" How blessed are some people, whose lives have no fears, no dreads; to whom sleep is a blessing that comes nightly, and brings nothing but sweet dreams. "
Bram Stoker

Back in the day


Dominican Republic Adopts First Constitution

The Dominican Republic declared its independence from Haiti in a movement led by Juan Duarte and Pedro Santana. It adopted a presidential form of government, but Santana forced the constitutional assembly to include an article in the constitution that gave him dictatorial powers, allowing him to drive out his political opponents, including Duarte. In 1861, Santana restored the Dominican Republic to what country?



Running the Gauntlet

The phrase "running the gauntlet" is used figuratively today to mean enduring a series of punishments or tests. It derives from the Roman form of military execution known as fustuarium, in which a soldier found guilty of laxity was cudgeled to death by his comrades. In some later traditions, the condemned was forced to pass between two rows of armed soldiers and pardoned if he managed to exit the other side. "The gauntlet" is also a type of athletic drill used in training for what sports?

Born on a day like today


Suleiman the Magnificent

Sultan Suleiman I, or Suleiman the Magnificent, reigned from 1520 to 1566, during which time the Ottoman Empire reached the height of its power and prestige. Suleiman restructured the Ottoman legal system, a move that earned him the name Kanuni, or "the Lawgiver." At the time of his death, Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem, Damascus, Baghdad, many Balkan provinces, and most of North Africa were under his empire's control. Why did Suleiman have his close boyhood friend, Ibrahim Pasha, executed?

Last updated on Friday, 6th November 2009

More sponsors