" One realizes that human relationships are the tragic necessity of human life; that they can never be wholly satisfactory, that every ego is half the time greedily seeking them, and half the time pulling away from them. "
Willa Cather

Back in the day


Umberto I of Italy Assassinated

Umberto I was the king of Italy from January 9, 1878, until his death. Officially nicknamed "the Good," he was deeply loathed in left-wing circles because of his hard-line conservatism. His support of General Bava-Beccaris, who ordered his troops to fire muskets and cannons at demonstrators protesting rising bread prices, greatly enraged many citizens, including the assassin who ultimately succeeded in killing Umberto. How many attempts on his life did Umberto escape before he was killed?



Christo and Jeanne-Claude

Christo and Jeanne-Claude are a husband-and-wife team famous for creating large-scale environmental art installations around the world. Fabric is an integral part of their art, as it is often used to veil buildings, bridges, monuments, and natural features like trees and coastlines. Their works include the wrapping of Berlin's Reichstag building, the Pont Neuf bridge in Paris, and, recently, The Gates in New York City's Central Park. How did they fund the $21 million New York project?

Born on a day like today


Max Nordau

Nordau was a Hungarian Zionist leader, physician, author, and social critic. He co-founded the World Zionist Organization together with Theodor Herzl and was president or vice president of several Zionist congresses. As a social critic, he wrote a number of controversial books, including The Conventional Lies of Our Civilization, Degeneration, and Paradoxes. Nordau was a fully assimilated and acculturated European Jew when what major event sparked his interest in Zionism?

Last updated on Wednesday, 29th July 2009

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