" Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. "
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Back in the day


Battle of the River Plate

The Battle of the River Plate, the first major naval battle of WWII, involved the Admiral Graf Spee, a German pocket battleship. Its crew had been under orders to sink British merchant ships, a practice known as commerce raiding, but avoid combat with enemy forces. During the Royal Navy's attack on the Graf Spee, the German vessel suffered some superficial damage and set a course for Montevideo. There, believing his forces to be outnumbered, the German captain made what decision?



The Affair of the Tichborne Claimant

When a young Sir Roger Tichborne, the Tichborne family heir, was lost at sea, his mother began a desperate search for the son she believed was still alive. In 1865, about a decade after her son disappeared, Lady Tichborne received a letter regarding Arthur Orton, an Australian butcher fitting Sir Roger's description. She soon accepted Orton as her eldest son. After her death, Orton testified in an inheritance trial, but lost. He was then arrested and convicted of perjury. What was his sentence?

Born on a day like today


Mary Todd Lincoln

Mary Todd Lincoln was a tragic figure of the American Civil War period. As First Lady, she was criticized for her use of taxpayers' money in refurbishing the White House and was even accused of being a Confederate spy. She struggled with depression after her husband's assassination and the deaths of two of her children, and she was committed to an insane asylum for three months in 1875. Where did she spend the four years following her release?

Last updated on Thursday, 13th December 2007

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