" Happiness: an agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another. "
Ambrose Bierce

Back in the day


General Sherman Captures Savannah

In the spring of 1864, Major General Ulysses S. Grant put General Sherman in charge of all Union forces in the West. The result was Sherman's highly controversial "March to the Sea," from Chattanooga, Tennessee, to Savannah, Georgia. It was conducted by 64,000 men in two columns; the soldiers were ordered to follow a scorched earth policy and destroy everything in their path. The twisted and broken railroad rails that the troops wrapped around tree trunks and left behind became known as what?



Poets' Corner

Poets' Corner is the name traditionally given to a section of Westminster Abbey due to the number of poets, playwrights, and writers buried and commemorated there. The first person to be interred there was Geoffrey Chaucer, whose burial in the abbey owed more to his position as Clerk of Works than to his fame as a writer. The erection of a monument to him in the mid-16th century and the nearby burial of Edmund Spencer started a tradition. What 152 year old man is buried there?

Born on a day like today


Jean Racine

Racine was one of the "big three" 17th century French dramatists and the prime exemplar of French classicism. With Andromaque, a tragedy after Euripides, Racine supplanted Corneille as France's leading tragic dramatist. The nobility of his Alexandrine verse, the simplicity of his diction, the psychological realism of his characters, and the skill of his dramatic construction contribute to the continued popularity of his works. What did his contemporaries criticize about his plays?

Last updated on Friday, 22nd December 2006

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