" And the Devil did grin, for his darling sin is pride that apes humility. "
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Back in the day


Blackout Engulfs New York City

This blackout came at a low point in New York history, when the city was facing a financial crisis. It lasted only one night, but by the time it was over, a record 3,776 people had been arrested, and looting, vandalism, and arson had caused an estimated $300 million worth of damage. The chain of events that caused the blackout began when two circuit breakers were tripped in Westchester County. What was responsible for tripping them?




With a name meaning "killers of monarchs," the Monarchomachs were originally members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France who opposed absolute monarchy at the end of the 16th century. Born out of the wars between Catholics and Protestants, the Monarchomachs promoted a theory of tyrannicide—the killing or assassination of tyrants for the common good—in their advocacy of popular sovereignty. What separated their political vision from the modern conception of democracy?

Born on a day like today


John Jacob Astor

Astor was a businessman, inventor, and writer. He made a fortune in real estate, built the Astoria Hotel, patented several inventions, and wrote a science-fiction novel about life on the planets Saturn and Jupiter in the year 2000. His second marriage to the much younger Madeleine Talmadge Force caused a scandal, and the two took an extended honeymoon abroad to wait out the controversy. On their return trip, Astor was killed in what infamous disaster?

Last updated on Sunday, 13th July 2008

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