" It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare. "
Mark Twain

Back in the day


Sweden Adopts New Act of Succession

The Act of Succession is the part of the Swedish Constitution that regulates the rights of members of the House of Bernadotte to ascend to the Swedish throne. It was adopted in 1810 and is still enforced today. Among other things, the act specifies that the monarch and the royal family shall belong to the Church of Sweden and be raised within the realm. What change was made to the rule of succession in 1980?



The Barmakids

The Barmakids were a noble Persian family who attained great power under the Abbasid caliphs of Baghdad in the 8th century. Often serving as viziers and holding other influential roles, the Barmakids were patrons of the sciences and are credited with establishing Baghdad's first paper mill. However, by the start of the 9th century, the family's power and status was in decline and many of its members were imprisoned or executed. What is meant by the expression "Barmecide feast"?

Born on a day like today


Olivia Newton-John

Newton-John is a British-born Australian singer and actress who achieved international fame when her song "If Not for You," written by Bob Dylan, was released in 1971. In 1974, she represented the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest and had a #1 hit single with "I Honestly Love You." After moving to the US, she broke into film, co-starring with John Travolta in Grease, which was the biggest box office hit of 1978 and remains popular today. Who was her Nobel Prize-winning grandfather?

Last updated on Saturday, 26th September 2009

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