" It takes very little fire to make a great deal of smoke nowadays, and notoriety is not real glory. "
Louisa May Alcott

Back in the day


Kublai Khan Becomes Ruler of the Mongol Empire

The grandson of Genghis Khan, Kublai Khan was a Mongol emperor who founded China's Yuan Dynasty and became the first Yuan emperor in 1271. In 1279, he completed his grandfather's conquest of China by overthrowing the Sung dynasty. He promoted economic prosperity by rebuilding the Grand Canal, repairing public granaries, extending highways, and encouraging foreign commerce. His magnificent capital at Cambuluc—now Beijing—was visited by several Europeans, including what notable figure?



Walpurgis Night

Celebrated in parts of Europe on April 30 or May 1, Walpurgis Night is a holiday influenced by both Pagan and Christian traditions. It is named after Saint Walpurga, whose holy day coincides with various Pagan spring customs, including the commemoration of the Norse god Odin's self-sacrificing retrieval of the knowledge of the runes. On this night, the boundary between the living and dead is allegedly weakened. Who is said to gather in Germany's Harz mountains on Walpurgis Night?

Born on a day like today


Karl Marx

Often called the father of communism, Marx was both a philosopher and revolutionary. In 1848, he and Friedrich Engels wrote The Communist Manifesto, which argued that industrialization had widened the gap between the capitalist ruling class and the impoverished proletariat and called on the proletariat to overthrow the capitalists, abolish private property, and take over the means of production. Shortly thereafter, Marx settled in London, where he wrote what treatise on political economy?

Last updated on Wednesday, 5th May 2010

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