The Sumerian civilization was the world's earliest civilization, developing at the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in lower Mesopotamia in about 3500 BCE. The Sumerians had a well-organized communal life and were adept at building canals and irrigation systems. Unfortunately, the evaporation of irrigated waters led to increased soil salinity and greatly reduced agricultural yields, weakening the predominantly agricultural civilization. What form of writing did the Sumerians invent?
Back in the day
Gemini 3 was the first manned launch of the Gemini program, whose objective was to develop techniques for advanced space travel. The mission's primary goal was to test the new, maneuverable Gemini spacecraft. In space, the crew fired thrusters to change the shape of their orbit, shift their orbital plane slightly, and drop to a lower altitude. What dangerous contraband did one member of the flight crew sneak on board the spacecraft?
Born on a day like today
Schuyler Colfax was the 17th Vice President of the United States under Ulysses S. Grant. As a young man, Colfax established a reputation as a rising young Whig in Indiana politics, and at 19, he became the editor of a pro-Whig newspaper. He later helped to organize Indiana's Republican party and was a member of the House of Representatives from 1855 to 1869, serving as Speaker of the House for the last six years of his tenure in the legislature. What scandal ended Colfax's political career?