Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, June 17, 2016)
Word of the Day

clairvoyant

Definition:(adjective) Having the supposed power to see objects or events that cannot be perceived by the senses.
Synonyms:precognitive, second-sighted
Usage: An advertisement marked "fortune-teller" listed the abilities of a supposedly clairvoyant woman.
Article of the Day

William Kemmler's 8-Minute Execution

In 1890, William Kemmler became the first person to be executed via electric chair after murdering his wife with a hatchet. Appeals on the grounds that electrocution was "cruel and unusual punishment" were opposed by Thomas Edison, who allegedly wanted to use the electric chair to convince people that alternating current electricity was dangerous. Witnesses reported that Kemmler's last words were "Take it easy and do it properly, I'm in no hurry." What was Warden Charles Durston's reply? More...
This Day in History

The Battle of Bunker Hill (1775)

Early in the American Revolution and soon after the battles of Lexington and Concord, colonial troops laid siege to Boston. When they began occupying hills overlooking the city, newly reinforced British troops attacked. After two failed assaults, a third charge dislodged the Americans, who had run out of gunpowder. Though the British technically won, their unexpectedly heavy casualties were a psychological blow, and American morale soared. On what hill was the battle actually fought—and why? More...
Today's Birthday

John Hersey (1914)

Born in China to missionary parents, Hersey worked as a journalist in East Asia, Italy, and the Soviet Union from 1937 to 1946, including as a war correspondent during WWII. In 1944, he won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel A Bell for Adano, which depicts the Allied occupation of a Sicilian town. He later combined fact and fiction in his most famous work, Hiroshima, about the experiences of atomic-blast survivors. How did Hersey inspire Dr. Seuss to write The Cat in the Hat? More...
Quotation of the Day
Every woman is supposed to have the same set of motives, or else to be a monster.

George Eliot (1819-1880)

Today's Holiday

Saigusa Matsuri (2018)

For hundreds of years the citizens of Nara, Japan, have searched the surrounding mountains for lilies, gathering them each summer in preparation for the Lily Festival at the Isagawa Shrine. A Shinto priest carries a large bundle of flowers to the altar as an offering. Then the seven women perform a special dance in which they wave lily stalks in a motion designed to ward off the problems brought on by the wet weather typical this time of year. Afterwards, the lilies are mounted on a float and taken out in a procession through the streets of Nara, where it is believed that they will purify the air. More...
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