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Aceasta zi in istorie - This day in history

What began as a practical joke became a famous, decades-long scientific hoax when a prominent geologist not only fell for it, but vigorously defended it as real. After miners in Calaveras County, California, claimed to have found a human skull deep within a mine, Harvard University Professor Josiah Whitney—then the State Geologist of California—announced that it was the earliest evidence of humans on the continent. Where might the miners who planted the skull have obtained it in the first place? Discuss
Though the Roman Emperor Diocletian ordered the persecution of Christians several times, his so-called Great Persecution began with an official edict. Churches were razed, scriptures burned, and practitioners executed. A few years later, he became the first Roman emperor to voluntarily abdicate, after which he retired to Croatia to grow cabbages in peace. The reign of Constantine soon made Christianity the empire's preferred religion. When asked to return to the throne, how did Diocletian reply? Discuss
The first American attack on Japanese soil during WWII, the Battle of Iwo Jima lasted more than a month and claimed tens of thousands of Japanese and American lives. Just days into the campaign, photographer Joe Rosenthal witnessed a group of American soldiers struggling to raise their flag on Iwo Jima's highest point and took what would become the most reproduced photograph in history. It was the second flag-raising that day. How many of the six men shown in the photograph survived the battle? Discuss
In an elaborate heist that took place over the course of several hours, the manager of the Securitas bank depot in Kent, England, was abducted along with his family and forced by a gang of masked, armed men to help steal approximately £53 million. In the process, 14 other staff members at the depot were held captive. It was the largest robbery in British history, and dozens of people would eventually be arrested in connection with it. What had previously been the UK's largest cash robbery? Discuss
Historically, the idea of peace has been represented by symbols that attempt to transcend differences of culture, such as the white dove, the olive branch, and the broken rifle. The now-familiar line-drawing of a crow's foot in a circle was created specifically for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament by British artist Gerald Holtom, but it quickly caught on as a general, international sign for peace. Holtom has stated that it is derived from the semaphore flag signals for what two letters? Discuss
Moments after the band Great White took the stage at the Station nightclub in Rhode Island, sparks from one of the group's pyrotechnic devices—of which the nightclub was unaware—ignited the highly flammable sound insulation around the stage. The nightclub, which had no sprinklers, was engulfed in minutes, trapping many inside. One hundred people were killed, making it one of the deadliest nightclub fires in US history. How many people faced criminal charges in the aftermath of the tragedy? Discuss
Nearly three years after killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel, former US Vice President Aaron Burr was arrested on unrelated charges of treason. Though the exact details of his plan were a mystery even then, he was accused of plotting to establish an independent country of his own, possibly in the American Southwest. He was treated well while imprisoned at Fort Stoddert and was eventually acquitted, but his political career was destroyed. Which of his co-conspirators turned on him? Discuss
In Hindu scripture, the age of Kali Yuga is the last of the four cyclic stages of the world and is currently ongoing. It is thought to have begun on the same day that Krishna left the Earth and is said to be marked by greed and murder. The scriptures predict that during Kali Yuga, unreasonable rulers will impose burdensome taxes and people will migrate to wheat-producing countries, become addicted to alcohol, and exhibit flexible morals. How long is the age expected to last? Discuss
The US Civil War-era submarine Hunley required an eight-man crew—seven to power the propeller with a hand-crank and one to steer. Within months of its launch, the Confederate sub had sunk and been salvaged twice, taking the lives of five crewmen the first time and the entire crew the second. Manned with a new crew, Hunley became the first submarine to sink a ship in battle, yet the achievement was marred when the sub itself sank, killing all aboard yet again. When was it recovered? Discuss
While passing through neutral Norwegian waters during WWII, the German supply vessel Altmark was boarded by Norwegian inspectors. They were told the craft was merely a commercial ship, but it was in fact being used to transport 299 British prisoners of war. The captives tried to make their presence known by banging on the hull, but winches were run to drown them out. The Royal Navy, however, pursued the ship and mounted a rescue. What now-famous phrase alerted the men to their liberation? Discuss
By the 1960s, Canada had been an organized dominion for a century and an equal, autonomous partner of Britain for decades. Consequently, its British-derived flag had become the subject of intense controversy. Following the Great Flag Debate of 1964, Canada's Parliament considered several possible designs before choosing the red-and-white maple leaf flag. In what foreign conflict had the previous flag's design, which incorporated the Union Jack, caused trouble for Canadian peacekeeping forces? Discuss
When British-Indian author Salman Rushdie's fourth novel, The Satanic Verses, was published in 1988, it received much critical acclaim, but it was also the subject of intense controversy within the Muslim community due to its allegedly blasphemous content. Particularly outraged was Iran's political and religious leader Ayatollah Khomeini, who issued a call for Rushdie's execution. What misunderstanding about the book's title, as translated into Arabic, may have contributed to the crisis? Discuss
Just before it became first major Southern US city to begin integrating public spaces, Nashville was the scene of a months-long peaceful protest at the lunch counters of the city's department stores. Scores of African-American college students calmly occupied seats at the counters while employees refused to serve them. Some protesters were assaulted or jailed. That May, the counters were desegregated. The protesters' code of conduct became a model for other demonstrations. What did it say? Discuss
The meatless days of Lent were approaching when Sir John Fastolf set off from Paris with hundreds of wagons laden with weapons and barrels of herring to resupply the English troops that had been laying siege to the French town of Orléans for months. Engaged by thousands of French troops attempting to sever his supply route, Fastolf made a defensive formation with his wagons, lending the battle its name. What group's poorly timed attempt to help the French may have caused them to lose the battle? Discuss
Often called Ethiopia's first modern ruler, Tewodros was a bold and clever warrior who came to the throne through the conquest of other chiefs, reunifying the various Ethiopian kingdoms into one empire. He attempted to modernize the country, abolish feudalism and slavery, and focus loyalty around the government rather than the church but failed to achieve this during his reign. His later years were marked with instability and cruelty. Why did he assume the name Tewodros upon taking the throne? Discuss
Considered Miller's masterpiece, Death of a Salesman won a Pulitzer Prize, a Tony Award for Best Play, and the New York Drama Critics' Circle Best Play award in its first year. An unconventional tragedy, it tells the story of the last day of Willy Loman, a failed salesman betrayed by his own hollow values. The play follows Loman's stream of consciousness. As he talks to people from his past, those from his present wonder if he is unraveling. What famous actors have played Loman? Discuss
Hailed as a milestone in American pop culture, the Beatles' first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show attracted a record 73 million viewers—the majority of Americans watching television that night. As the band's first concert in the US, the event effectively marked the beginning of the "British Invasion." The band opened with "All My Loving" in front of hundreds of screaming teenage fans. What caption accompanied John Lennon's name when it appeared on-screen over a close-up of his face? Discuss
Two years after his record-setting win at the Epsom Derby, the acclaimed Irish racehorse Shergar was loaded into a trailer at gunpoint and abducted by a gang of masked men. At that time, the retired 1981 "European Horse of the Year" commanded a stud fee upwards of £50,000 and was thus extremely valuable. The horse's owners refused to pay the demanded ransom, and police were unable to find him. Shergar was never seen again. Who may have taken him, and what is believed to have been his fate? Discuss
One of the largest earthquakes ever to strike the US—and possibly one of the strongest earthquakes in human history—the New Madrid earthquake is said to have made the Mississippi River run backwards, permanently changing its course and redefining state boundaries. Though it struck a sparsely populated area near modern-day New Madrid, Missouri, the quake was felt across the country, ringing church bells as far away as Boston, Massachusetts. What large lake did it create in Tennessee? Discuss
After US Marshall Frank Dalton was killed in the line of duty, three of his nine brothers—Bob, Grat, and Emmett—became lawmen themselves. However, they soon decided that they preferred the other side of the law. Aided by another Dalton brother, Bill, the gang held up its first train in 1891. It did not go well. Undeterred, the brothers embarked on a train-robbing spree across much of the western US, which ended when the townspeople of Coffeyville, Kansas, saw through what unsuccessful disguise? Discuss
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