" Failure after long perseverance is much grander than never to have a striving good enough to be called a failure. "
George Eliot

Back in the day


World's First Passenger Railway Begins Service

In 1804, British Parliament approved the laying of a railway line between Swansea and Oystermouth in South Wales to move limestone from the quarries of Mumbles to Swansea and to the markets beyond. Later renamed the Swansea and Mumbles Railway, the line was approved to carry passengers in 1807. The world's first regular passenger service began that same year and operated in one form or another for more than a century and a half before it was decommissioned. What powered the line's first trains?



Sadako Sasaki

Sadako Sasaki was only two years old when an atomic bomb destroyed her hometown of Hiroshima, Japan. A decade later, she was diagnosed with leukemia. Inspired by a Japanese legend that promises a wish to anyone who folds 1,000 origami cranes, Sadako began making paper cranes in the months before her death, completing 644 before losing her battle with cancer. She has since become a symbol of the impact of nuclear war, and schoolchildren around the world have learned her story through which books?

Born on a day like today


Aretha Franklin

Known as the "Queen of Soul," Aretha Franklin began singing in church choirs as a child before achieving mainstream success with a string of hit songs including "Respect," "Think," and "Natural Woman." Her rousing mixture of gospel and rhythm and blues defined the golden age of soul music of the 1960s, and, in 1987, she became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She is the second most honored female singer in the history of the Grammy Awards. How many has she won?

Last updated on Thursday, 25th March 2010

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