Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, September 12, 2012)
Word of the Day

roly-poly

Definition:(adjective) Short and plump.
Synonyms:pudgy, tubby, dumpy
Usage: He went about in fear and trembling of the fat roly-poly puppy who was unafraid of his snarl.
Article of the Day

Alexander Chavchavadze

Born in 1786, Chavchavadze was a Georgian poet, military leader, and aristocrat who was an immensely influential figure in Georgian literature. Despite his military service to the Russian empire, Chavchavadze was a Georgian nationalist who wrote nostalgic poems about his homeland. He supported an 1832 plot aimed at organizing an uprising against the Russian authority in Georgia. When it failed, he was exiled, but he was later pardoned. What unfortunate accident brought about his untimely demise? More...
This Day in History

Nazi Commandos Rescue Imprisoned Benito Mussolini (1943)

In 1943, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini was deposed by his own government. When German forces discovered that he was being held at a ski resort in the Apennine Mountains, they launched a daring rescue. Arriving on gliders, German troops overwhelmed Mussolini's captors and spirited him away without firing a shot. The operation was a major propaganda success for the Nazis. According to some accounts, what was Mussolini's reply when the paratroopers told him that Adolf Hitler had sent them? More...
Today's Birthday

Henry Louis "H.L." Mencken (1880)

Often regarded as one of the most influential American writers of the early 20th century, Mencken was a journalist, satirist, social critic, and cynic known as the "Sage of Baltimore," for the city where he lived his entire life. Perhaps best remembered for his satirical reporting on the Scopes evolution trial, which he dubbed the "Monkey trial," Mencken was frequently critical of myriad institutions. Why did the Arkansas legislature pass a motion in 1931 to pray for Mencken's soul? More...
Quotation of the Day
Custom may lead a man into many errors; but it justifies none.

Henry Fielding (1707-1754)

Idiom of the Day

lay (one's) life on the line

To put oneself in harm's way (to achieve something), especially at the risk of losing one's life. (Sometimes used hyperbolically.) More...
Today's Holiday

Defenders' Day (2017)

Defenders' Day, a legal holiday in Maryland, celebrates the anniversary of the battle of North Point. The battle took place near Baltimore on September 12, 1814; two days later, the unsuccessful British attack on Baltimore's Fort McHenry inspired Francis Scott Key to jot down the words of "The Star-Spangled Banner." For this reason the two events are celebrated more or less in conjunction on September 12. Defenders' Day is celebrated with a number of patriotic events, including an annual mock bombardment of the fort on the weekend nearest September 12. More...
In the News

Where Is China's Xi Jinping?

Although Xi Jinping is expected to take over as China's top leader in a matter of weeks, he has not been seen for 11 days. Xi's absence from the public spotlight, during which his meetings with foreign leaders have been cancelled, has fueled speculation about his whereabouts and health. Some have reported that Xi injured his back while swimming, but party officials have not offered more details about what may be ailing the leader. Xi is expected to replace Chinese President Hu Jintao as general secretary of the Communist Party during the upcoming National Congress. More...
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