" Men of age object too much, consult too long, adventure too little, repent too soon, and seldom drive business home to the full period, but content themselves with a mediocrity of success. "
Francis Bacon

Back in the day


Private Slovik Executed for Desertion

US Army private Eddie Slovik was executed for desertion in 1945. His was the first such execution after the Civil War and the only one of 49 WWII desertion death sentences to be carried out. Slovik deserted with a friend during an artillery attack and later confessed to an MP in writing that he would do it again. Refusing several offers to tear up the confession, he said, "I've made up my mind. I'll take my court martial." How old was Slovik when he died?



Modern Antipopes

Modern antipopes are religious leaders who reject the popes selected by the Roman Catholic Church and instead claim the title for themselves, sometimes developing their own religious infrastructure. The Roman Catholic Church regards these claimants as schismatics and heretics. Unlike historical antipopes, most modern antipopes have few followers and are usually not recognized as serious claimants to the papacy. Why have many antipopes taken the name "Peter II"?

Born on a day like today


Norman Mailer

A prolific writer, Mailer is best known for his innovative nonfiction novels. He became a recognized author with the publication of The Naked and the Dead, which is based on his World War II experiences and has been touted as one of the best books about the war years. During the Vietnam era, he was arrested briefly for his involvement in anti-Vietnam demonstrations. Mailer's 1979 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Executioner's Song, depicts the events surrounding whose execution?

Last updated on Saturday, 31st January 2009

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