" I would prefer even to fail with honor than to win by cheating. "

Back in the day


George Washington Resigns as Commander-in-Chief

After demonstrating exemplary leadership as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolution, George Washington resigned his commission as commander-in-chief and retired to Mount Vernon, Virginia. This act established the important precedent that civilian-elected officials, rather than military officers, possess ultimate authority over the armed forces. Six years later, Washington was elected US president. What was Washington's annual presidential salary?



Exit Polling

Instead of asking who voters plan to support in a future election, as is done in opinion polling, pollsters involved in exit polling ask people who they actually voted for as they leave polling stations. Exit polls are usually conducted by firms providing media outlets with an early indication of an election's outcome, though they have also been used to deter election fraud. Critics, however, maintain that the results of these surveys can be distorted. How might exit polls influence an election?

Born on a day like today


Helmut Schmidt

Schmidt, a German political leader, rose to prominence as chancellor of West Germany. His administration was characterized by a tough approach to the worldwide economic recession of the 1970s. He was committed to improving relations with East Germany and the USSR, and he succeeded in cultivating ties with France, encouraging economic cooperation among western European nations, and maintaining close relations with the US. How did he earn the nickname "Schmidt-Schnauze"?

Last updated on Tuesday, 23rd December 2008

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