The ginkgo is a tall and slender picturesque deciduous tree with fan-shaped leaves. A "living fossil," the ginkgo is the only remaining species of a large order of gymnosperms that existed in the Triassic period; its form has not changed in millions of years. A combination of amazing disease resistance, insect-resistant wood, and the ability to form aerial roots and sprouts helps ginkgoes live more than 2,000 years. Four Japanese ginkgo trees survived what catastrophic event in 1945?
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Back in the day
On this day in 1876, Alexander Graham Bell received US patent 174,465 for his telephone. Today, however, the US and British governments recognize Antonio Meucci as the "first inventor" of the device. Subsequent inventions and improvements to the telephone include the electric microphone, the rotary dial, and the digitization of sound. Cordless phones were invented in 1965, and the first fully automatic cell phone system was introduced in what year?
Born on a day like today
Rudi Dutschke was the most prominent spokesperson of the left-wing German student movement of the 1960s. Later, he was one of the founding members of the Green Party of Germany. In 1968, he survived an assassination attempt by a right-wing extremist, living for another twelve years until related health problems caused his death. How has the public assessment of Dutschke's political activities changed in the last decades?