" Every individual has a place to fill in the world and is important in some respect whether he chooses to be so or not. "
Nathaniel Hawthorne

Back in the day


Henry David Thoreau Begins Two Years of Simple Living

In 1845, Thoreau, an American author and naturalist, built himself a cabin on the shore of Walden Pond in Massachusetts. He spent the next two years, two months, and two days there, observing nature, reading, and writing. He also kept a journal that he later used to write his masterpiece, Walden, or Life in the Woods, which compresses his time there into a single calendar year and uses the passage of the seasons to symbolize human development. What were Thoreau's enigmatic last words?



Mad as a March Hare

"Mad as a March hare" is an idiomatic phrase derived from the excitable and unpredictable antics of hares during their breeding season, often incorrectly believed to occur only in March. Though the phrase has been in continuous use since the 16th century, it was popularized by Lewis Carroll in his book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, in which the March Hare co-hosts a tea party with the Mad Hatter. What are some of the strange behaviors displayed by hares during mating season?

Born on a day like today


Meyer Lansky

Lansky was a Russian-born US gangster. After partnering with Bugsy Siegel as a young man, he joined Lucky Luciano in forming a national crime syndicate. By 1936, he ran gambling operations in Cuba and the US, and by 1970, he had amassed a fortune estimated at $300 million. In 1979, a government investigation linked Lansky with Jack Ruby, the nightclub owner who killed Lee Harvey Oswald, the assassin of President John F. Kennedy. In what wartime effort did Lansky partner with the US government?

Last updated on Sunday, 4th July 2010

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