" A great city is not to be confounded with a populous one. "

Back in the day


Dred Scott Emancipated by His Original Owners

Scott was an American slave who sued unsuccessfully for his freedom in the famous Dred Scott v. Sandford case. Though he argued that having lived in states and territories where slavery was illegal rendered him a free man, the Supreme Court ruled against him in 1857, finding that no person of African ancestry could claim citizenship in the US or bring suit in federal court. Shortly thereafter, Scott was returned to his original owners and emancipated. What did he do after he was freed?



Troy Town

Many of England's historic turf mazes—labyrinthine paths formed by cutting complex patterns into grass—were given names that incorporate the word "Troy," such as Troy Town, The City of Troy, or Troy's Walls. Such names were presumably used because, according to popular legend, the walls of the city of Troy were constructed in such a confusing and complex manner that any enemy who entered would be unable to find his way out. What is thought to have been the original purpose of these turf mazes?

Born on a day like today


John Wayne

An American actor and enduring icon of rugged masculinity, Wayne is best known for playing the archetypal Western hero in films like Stagecoach, The Alamo, and Rio Bravo. He appeared in some 250 films before his work in True Grit earned him his first—and only—Academy Award. An outspoken supporter of conservative political causes, notably America's role in Vietnam, Wayne also appeared in a number of war films, including The Green Berets. What was his real name?

Last updated on Wednesday, 26th May 2010

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