Cigars, tightly rolled bundles of cured tobacco, were being smoked by the Mayans as early as the 10th century. Spanish travelers to the Americas brought cigars back to Spain in the 16th century, and their popularity then spread throughout Europe. The word cigar, therefore, derives from the Mayan word for tobacco. What did US President John F. Kennedy reportedly do immediately before imposing the Cuban trade embargo that, among other things, prohibits US residents from purchasing Cuban cigars?
Back in the day
While on its way from Athens to Rome in 1985, Trans World Airlines Flight 847 was hijacked by members of the Amal Movement terrorist group. The aircraft's 153 passengers and crew endured a three-day intercontinental ordeal during which one passenger, a US Navy diver, was murdered. Though most of the passengers were released during this time, dozens were held hostage for more than two weeks. Flight attendant Uli Derickson is widely credited with saving the lives of many passengers by doing what?
Born on a day like today
A prolific writer whose works fill more than a dozen volumes, Stowe was an American novelist and humanitarian. After encountering fugitive slaves, she was inspired to write her antislavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, which became an instant and controversial best-seller. Its impact on Northerners' attitudes toward slavery was so immense that it was often cited among the causes of the American Civil War—by which time it had sold more than a million copies. What else did Stowe write?