" The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe with blood for centuries. "
James Madison

Back in the day


US President Lincoln Signs Homestead Act into Law

The Homestead Act was a federal law that sought to shape the American West by populating it with farmers. The act provided for the transfer of 160 acres of unoccupied public land to each homesteader at $1.25 an acre after 6 months of residence or for a nominal fee after 5 years of residence. Unfortunately, speculators took advantage of the generous law, securing much of the land. Of the trillion acres made available through the act, how many are estimated to have served their intended purpose?



1970 Bhola Cyclone

While the 1970 Bhola cyclone was not the strongest tropical cyclone to hit East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), it was the deadliest, claiming approximately half a million lives. It ranks among the most deadly natural disasters of modern times. The low-lying islands of the Ganges Delta were particularly susceptible to the storm surge's floodwaters, which reached 33 ft (10 m) when the cyclone made landfall. How did this tragic event help to bring about the establishment of Bangladesh?

Born on a day like today



In a career spanning more than 40 years, Cherilyn Sarkisian LaPierre, better known as Cher, has established herself as an enduring pop culture icon and one of the most popular female artists in music history. Cher first rose to prominence in the 1960s as one half of the pop/rock duo Sonny and Cher. Their first hit, “I Got You Babe” (1965), topped US and UK charts. Cher went on to become an accomplished solo artist as well as a TV and film actress. As of 2002, what was her estimated net worth?

Last updated on Tuesday, 20th May 2008

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