" Please do not shoot the pianist. He is doing his best. "
Oscar Wilde

Back in the day


William Semple Files the First Chewing Gum Patent

Existing in various forms since at least the Neolithic period, chewing gum has been made from many materials, including plants, grasses, and resins. Though the first commercial chewing gum was sold in the US in 1848, modern chewing gum was only developed in the 1860s, when a rubber substitute called chicle began being imported from Mexico. In 1869, after Thomas Adams's experiments with the natural latex, a man named William Semple filed for the first chewing gum patent. How is gum made today?




Angkor was the site of several Khmer Empire capitals in what is now northwest Cambodia from the 9th to the 15th century CE. Home to a number of architectural masterpieces, the complex contains about 1,000 temples. At one time, the surrounding settlement was roughly the size of the modern city of Los Angeles, CA, making it the largest pre-industrial complex of its kind. Its principal temple, Angkor Wat, is the largest religious structure in the world. What is its layout believed to represent?

Born on a day like today


Woodrow Wilson

Wilson served as US president from 1913 to 1921, a period that spanned the country's involvement in World War I. Following the war, Wilson hoped to achieve world peace through his "Fourteen Points," but his progressive vision suffered numerous setbacks, and he ended his term incapacitated by a stroke. While trying to implement his plan at the Paris Peace Conference, he became the first US president to travel to Europe while in office. Wilson's image is featured on what unit of US currency?

Last updated on Monday, 28th December 2009

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