" I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence. "
Frederick Douglass

Back in the day


Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel Completed

In 1508, Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The work was completed in 1512 and features over 300 biblical figures and nine episodes from the Book of Genesis. Below these scenes are the statuesque figures of prophets and sibyls, with episodes from the Old Testament in the spandrels. The last great work Michelangelo executed in the chapel was The Last Judgment. Where in the chapel did he paint it?



El Gran Capitán

Known to his contemporaries as "El Gran Capitán", or "the Great Captain," Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba was a Spanish general who made Spain the world's preeminent military power. Born in 1453, de Córdoba was one of the founders of modern warfare. He formed the first modern standing army and was the first European general to organize the pursuit of defeated armies after a victory in order to destroy the retreating enemy. Historians refer to him as the father of what kind of warfare?

Born on a day like today


Alexander Alekhine

Alekhine, a Russian chess grandmaster, was one of the world's great chess champions. By the age of 16 he was a master player, and, in 1927, he defeated José Raúl Capablanca to become world champion. Alekhine dominated the chess world between 1927 and 1935, losing only seven of 238 tournament games. When World War I broke out, he was in Germany competing in an international tournament and was taken as a prisoner of war. What scheme did Alekhine devise to secure his release?

Last updated on Sunday, 1st November 2009

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