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Sophocles

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Last Passenger Pigeon Dies in Captivity

Billions of passenger pigeons inhabited eastern North America in the early 19th century, migrating in enormous flocks that darkened the skies for days at a time. Their abundant numbers made them a popular source of cheap meat for slaves and the poor, but by the early 20th century, overhunting, deforestation, and a possible epidemic led to their extinction. What unusual breeding practice prevented the few surviving flocks from reestablishing the species before it became extinct?

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The Amboyna Massacre

The Amboyna massacre involved the torture and killing of 20 men—including 10 British East India Company employees—by agents of the Dutch East India Company in 1623. The companies were intense rivals who competed for dominance in the Maluku Islands spice trade. When the Dutch at the Amboyna trading post began to suspect the British of planning an attack, they tortured several men until they obtained confessions and then beheaded the accused for treason. What torture methods did the Dutch employ?

Born on a day like today

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Gloria Estefan

Gloria Estefan is a Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter. Born in Cuba and raised in Miami, Florida, she began her career as lead vocalist for the Miami Sound Machine. Her later recordings as a solo artist led to mainstream popular success and a slew of English-language hits. With over 90 million albums sold worldwide, she is the single most successful crossover performer in Latin music history. What happened to Estefan in 1990, when a tractor-trailer crashed into her tour bus?

Last updated on Tuesday, 1st September 2009

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