" The stupid believe that to be truthful is easy; only the artist, the great artist, knows how difficult it is. "
Willa Cather

Back in the day


Niger Gains Independence from France

In 1884-5, the Conference of Berlin placed the territory of Niger within the French sphere of influence. In 1900, Niger was made a military territory within Upper Senegal–Niger, and in 1922 it was constituted a separate colony within French West Africa. National political activity began when Niger received its own assembly under the French constitution of 1946, which established the French Union. Niger achieved full independence on August 3, 1960. Who became the country's first president?



Papyrus of the Nile Delta

Papyrus was an early form of paper made from the pith of the papyrus plant, a wetland sedge that once flourished in the Nile Delta. Though its earliest use has been traced to Ancient Egypt, it was also widely used throughout the Mediterranean region, inland parts of Europe, and southwest Asia. Making a sheet of papyrus involves a complex process of layering the inner piths of the stems, then hammering, drying, and polishing them. What unlikely article of clothing was made from papyrus?

Born on a day like today


Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia

Friedrich Wilhelm III ruled Prussia from 1797-1840. He was an honest and well-intentioned man, but proved ineffectual as a ruler. Despite attempts at neutrality, he was drawn into the bitter struggle between two of Europe's greatest powers, Napoleon's France and Alexander I's Russia. Defeated by the French in 1806, Friedrich allied with Russia, and his troops played an important role in Napoleon's defeat soon after. Who were Friedrich's traveling companions during this alliance?

Last updated on Friday, 3rd August 2007

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