" A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author. "
Gilbert Chesterton

Back in the day


Plessy v. Ferguson: "Separate but Equal" Ruled Constitutional

In this case, the US Supreme Court upheld an 1890 Louisiana statute mandating racially segregated railroad carriages, ruling that the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment dealt with political and not social equality. This provided constitutional sanction for the adoption of the Jim Crow laws. Justice Henry Billings Brown wrote the majority opinion, stating that "separate but equal" laws did not imply one race's inferiority to another. What case effectively overturned Plessy?




Thermopylae is a narrow coastal passage between Locris and Thessaly in Greece that has been the site of several battles. There in 480 BCE, Leonidas with his Spartans and their allies lost a heroic battle to the Persians under Xerxes. At the pass in 279 BCE, the Greeks held back the Gauls under Brennus, who ultimately broke through, and, in 191 BCE, Antiochus III of Syria was defeated there by the Romans. What does "Thermopylae" mean in Greek?

Born on a day like today


Isabella d'Este

Isabella d'Este was one of the leading women of the Italian Renaissance and a major cultural and political figure. Known as "The First Lady of the Renaissance," she was well-educated in her youth and was a keen musician and collector of Roman sculpture. Under her auspices, the court of Mantua became one of the most cultured in Europe, drawing many important artists, writers, and thinkers. The portrait of her that hangs at the Louvre in Paris was painted by what famous artist and scientist?

Last updated on Friday, 18th May 2007

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