" Any nobleness begins at once to refine a man's features, any meanness or sensuality to imbrute them. "
Henry David Thoreau

Back in the day


"I Have a Dream," Says Martin Luther King, Jr

King was a leading figure in the American Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 60s. His "I Have a Dream" speech was delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial as part of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Considered one of the finest speeches in the history of American oratory, it powerfully and eloquently expresses King's desire for a future in which blacks and whites can live harmoniously as equals. What political, cultural, and religious allusions can be found in the speech?



The Lafarge Poisoning Case

In one of the first trials followed by the public through daily newspaper reports, Frenchwoman Marie-Fortunée Lafarge, who stood accused of poisoning her husband with arsenic, was found guilty of murder. Her conviction in 1840 was the first to be based heavily on direct forensic toxicological evidence. During the trial, local experts presented contradictory testimony regarding the presence of arsenic in the victim's body, and it was ultimately exhumed and tested using what new detection method?

Born on a day like today


Leo Tolstoy

Tolstoy was a Russian novelist and philosopher. Considered one of the world's greatest writers, he is perhaps most famous for his masterpieces, War and Peace, a vast prose epic of the Napoleonic invasion of 1812, and Anna Karenina, about the tragedy of a woman's faith in romantic love. Tolstoy was an anarchist and disapproved of all organizations based on the premise of force, including the government and the Church. How many characters are there in War and Peace?

Last updated on Thursday, 28th August 2008

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