An Afro-Brazilian dance form that incorporates self-defense maneuvers, capoeira originated among African slaves in 19th-century Brazil and is now a popular art form practiced worldwide. Capoeira is performed in a special roda, or circle, where practitioners take turns playing instruments, singing, and sparring. While capoeira focuses on skill rather than injuring opponents, the intensity of an individual game depends on the rhythm of the music. Why was capoeira outlawed in Brazil in 1890?
Louisa May Alcott
Back in the day
When Ruth Handler, wife of Mattel toy company co-founder Elliot Handler, realized that there were no adult-bodied dolls on the toy market, she suggested to her husband that Mattel begin producing one. In 1959, Barbie made her debut. She was based on a German doll called Bild Lilli and was marketed as a "Teen-age Fashion Model." According to estimates, over a billion Barbie dolls have been sold worldwide and many have become collector's items. How much is a mint-condition original Barbie worth?
Born on a day like today
Gagarin was a Russian cosmonaut who, in 1961, became the first human being to successfully travel into space. Gagarin circled the earth once during his 1-hour-and-48-minute flight aboard the Vostok 1. His success is believed to have ushered in the modern era of man in space, and Gagarin toured widely to promote the Soviet achievement. Ironically, he died in a plane crash just seven years later. What factors did Soviet officials consider when choosing Gagarin for the historic space flight?