" Any mind that is capable of real sorrow is capable of good. "
Harriet Beecher Stowe

Back in the day


Last Quagga Dies at Amsterdam's Artis Magistra Zoo

The quagga, an extinct subspecies of the plains zebra, was once found in great numbers in parts of South Africa. It differed from other zebras in that its coat was sandy brown and its legs and tail whitish—only its head, neck, and shoulders were dark-striped. The quagga was hunted to extinction for its meat and hide, and to preserve feed for domesticated livestock. It was the first extinct creature to have its DNA studied. What did the study reveal?



Babylonian Law

The study of ancient Babylonian law, supported by thousands of primary sources that include contracts, deeds, and legal decisions, was greatly advanced by the discovery of a set of 282 laws known as the Code of Hammurabi. Created around 1760 BCE by the sixth Babylonian King, Hammurabi, the Code loosely divided the population into three classes and established an "eye-for-an-eye, tooth-for-a-tooth" style of punishment for criminals. What was the penalty for perjury?

Born on a day like today


Christian III of Denmark and Norway

Christian III was king of Denmark and Norway from 1534 to 1559. Early in his reign, he allied with Sweden to defeat the German city of Lübeck, which had invaded Denmark in an attempt to reinstate the deposed Christian II. That victory broke the power of the Hanseatic League and made the Danish fleet supreme in northern waters. As ruler, Christian established Lutheranism in Denmark and laid the foundation for the absolutist Danish monarchy of the 17th century. On what holiday did Christian die?

Last updated on Tuesday, 12th August 2008

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