" Ability is commonly found to consist mainly in a high degree of solemnity. "
Ambrose Bierce

Back in the day


Stalin Succeeds Lenin

After the October Revolution of 1917, Stalin entered the Soviet cabinet as people's commissar for nationalities and began to emerge as a leader. Lenin thought Stalin a good administrator but strongly criticized his conduct as general secretary and recommended his removal. After Lenin's death in 1924, Stalin won a power struggle against Leon Trotsky and became the leader of the USSR. Stalin's real name was Dzhugashvili; in 1913, he adopted the name Stalin, which means what?



Ajanta Caves

These caves in Maharashtra, India, discovered in 1819, are carved out of the side of a steep horseshoe-shaped ravine and contain remarkable examples of Buddhist art. They consist of chapels and monasteries dating from about 200 BCE to 650 ACE, with magnificent frescoes and sculpture depicting scenes from the life of Buddha. Changes in Buddhist thought in what century made it possible for the image of the Buddha to become a focus of worship?

Born on a day like today


Helmut Kohl

Helmut Kohl was Chancellor of Germany from 1982 to 1998 and the leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) from 1973 to 1998. Conservative and pro-American, he led the CDU to convincing victories in 1983 and 1987. During his administration, West Germany prospered and became increasingly influential in world affairs. Why was Kohl forced to resign as honorary chairman of the CDU in 2000?

Last updated on Tuesday, 3rd April 2007

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