" All violence consists in some people forcing others, under threat of suffering or death, to do what they do not want to do. "
Leo Tolstoy

Back in the day


15th Amendment to the US Constitution Ratified

Ratified during the post-Civil War Reconstruction Period, the main purpose of the 15th Amendment to the US Constitution was to enfranchise former slaves. It states: "The right of citizens…to vote shall not be denied or abridged…on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude." Though the amendment's purpose was not fully achieved until 1965, the first African American to exercise this right did so the day after the amendment was ratified, when he participated in what election?



The Vrba-Wetzler Report

Two weeks after their 1944 escape from Auschwitz, Rudolf Vrba and Alfréd Wetzler met with Jewish officials in Slovakia and gave them a detailed report on the Nazi concentration camp as well as sketches of its layout, gas chambers, and crematoria. Although the report's release to the public was controversially delayed, it was the first detailed report on Auschwitz that the Allies found credible and is credited with having saved many lives. Why did Vrba claim the report was deliberately withheld?

Born on a day like today


Hugo Junkers

Junkers was a pioneering German engineer who held many patents for his original developments in the fields of gas engine and aircraft design. He had innovative ideas about metal airplanes and flying wings, but the realities of war hampered his ability to develop them. During World War II, his company was taken over by the Nazis, and Junkers, a pacifist and a socialist, was sentenced to house arrest and died soon after. What was the "Sheetmetal Donkey"?

Last updated on Tuesday, 3rd February 2009

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