" The gods too are fond of a joke. "

Back in the day


The Japanese Attack Pearl Harbor

The Imperial Japanese Navy's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Oahu, Hawaii, severely damaged or demolished 19 American naval vessels, destroyed 188 aircraft, killed 2,280 American servicemen and 68 civilians, and wounded more than 1,000 military personnel. The following day, the US declared war on Japan. Pearl Harbor is now a national historic landmark; a memorial has been built over the sunken hulk of the USS Arizona. How many Japanese planes reached Oahu on the morning of the attack?



War Elephants

Elephants were first used in military campaigns in India around 1100 BCE. At the 331 BCE Battle of Gaugamela, Alexander the Great's forces faced 15 war elephants. Recognizing the large pachyderms' military value, Alexander began employing them in his own campaigns. The elephants' thick hides made them extremely difficult to kill or neutralize, and they easily trampled opposing forces as they charged through enemy lines. How did the Megarians use pigs to combat war elephants?

Born on a day like today


Gian Lorenzo Bernini

Bernini, a 17th c. artist, sculptor, painter, and architect, was a leading figure in the development of the Italian baroque style. Among his best-known sculptures, which often combine white and colored marble with bronze and stucco, are the Cornaro Chapel's Ecstasy of St. Teresa and the David, which is displayed at the Borghese Gallery. Bernini also designed the magnificent baldachin, or canopy, inside St. Peter's Basilica. On what unit of Italian currency did his portrait appear?

Last updated on Friday, 7th December 2007

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