" "Begin at the beginning," the King said gravely, "and go on till you come to the end: then stop." "
Lewis Carroll

Back in the day


Earthquake Devastates Port Royal, Jamaica

In the 17th century, Port Royal was a popular place for pirates to bring and spend their treasure, earning it a reputation for gaudy displays of wealth and loose morals. On June 7, 1692, a devastating earthquake hit the city, causing two-thirds of it to sink into the Caribbean Sea. The earthquake and subsequent tsunami killed between 1,000 and 3,000 people—over half the city's population. What city assumed Port Royal's role as a center of commerce?




Medina is a city in Saudi Arabia, 110 mi (177 km) inland from the Red Sea in a well-watered oasis where fruit, dates, vegetables, and grain are raised. Muhammad gained control of the city in 622 and used it as a base for converting and conquering Arabia. It grew rapidly until 661, when the Umayyad dynasty transferred the capital of the caliphate to Damascus. Pilgrimages to Mecca usually include a side trip to Medina, where the Prophet's Mosque houses the tombs of what important Islamic figures?

Born on a day like today


Gwendolyn Brooks

Brooks was an award-winning poet whose poems, technically accomplished and written in a variety of forms, deal with the experience of being black and often of being female in America. Her 1949 book of poetry, Annie Allen, received a Pulitzer Prize, the first ever awarded to an African American. In 1994, she was named the National Endowment for the Humanities' Jefferson Lecturer, one of the highest honors in the American literary world. In what city did she spend almost all of her life?

Last updated on Thursday, 7th June 2007

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