" Democracy is the healthful lifeblood which circulates through the veins and arteries, which supports the system, but which ought never to appear externally, and as the mere blood itself. "
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Back in the day


The Oka Crisis

This 1990 confrontation between the Mohawk nation and the town of Oka, Quebec, was the first of several violent conflicts between the First Nations and the Canadian government. It began when developers tried to turn a plot of land into a golf course. Because that land contained a burial ground and sacred pine grove, members of the Mohawk community blockaded the area. Canadian troops were sent in, and a 78-day standoff ensued, ending with the Mohawks' surrender. What happened to the golf course?



Medieval Scholar Forgers

The False Decretals, a collection of documents that address church law, were composed between 847 and 852 and were intended to reform canon law and support bishops against secular interference. Though the collection was widely accepted in the Middle Ages, even by the papacy, it was exposed as a hoax in the 16th century. Many of the papal letters and decrees included in the collection are forgeries, and among those that are genuine, many show evidence of tampering. Who forged the documents?

Born on a day like today


Millie and Christine McCoy

Millie and Christine McCoy were American conjoined twins born to slaves and sold to showman J.P. Smith as infants. A rival showman kidnapped the girls, but Smith reclaimed them. He taught them to speak five languages, play music, and sing, and the twins enjoyed a successful career under the stage names "The Two-Headed Nightingale" and "The Eighth Wonder of the World." In 1912, the girls both died of tuberculosis just 17 hours apart. What monarch was reportedly fond of their performances?

Last updated on Sunday, 11th July 2010

More sponsors