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Niger Gains Independence from France

In 1885, the Conference of Berlin placed Niger within the French sphere of influence, and in 1922, the territory became a separate colony within French West Africa. During that time, France did little to develop Niger's economy or educational system. The French constitution of 1946 allowed Nigerien assembly members to participate more actively in the political system, stimulating national political activity in Niger. In 1960, Niger achieved independence. Who became the country's first president?

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Danites

In 1838, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from Caldwell County, Missouri, founded a fraternal organization known as the Danites. Though it is believed that the Danites operated as a vigilante group during the Mormon War, historians disagree as to the exact nature and scope of the organization. Nevertheless, the Danites and their alleged atrocities have become part of Mormon folklore and were even featured in the first novel starring which fictional detective?

Born on a day like today

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Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia

Friedrich Wilhelm III ruled Prussia from 1797 to 1840. He was an honest and well-intentioned man but proved ineffectual as a ruler. Despite attempts at neutrality, he was drawn into the bitter struggle between two of Europe's greatest powers, Napoleon's France and Alexander I's Russia. Defeated by the French in 1806, he allied with Russia, and his troops played an important role in Napoleon's defeat soon after. According to rumor, which other royal was in love with Friedrich's beautiful wife?

Last updated on Monday, 3rd August 2009

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