" Ghost, n.: The outward and visible sign of an inward fear. "
Ambrose Bierce

Back in the day


King Henry IV of France Marries Marguerite de Valois

The marriage of Henry of Navarre—later King Henry IV of France—to Marguerite de Valois—daughter of Henry II and Catherine de' Medici—was intended to forge peace between Roman Catholics and Protestants. However, the occasion was instead used as a plot to massacre the Protestant Huguenots gathered for the wedding. The massacre spread from Paris throughout France, and an estimated 70,000 were killed, resulting in the resumption of civil war. How did Henry narrowly escape death amid the killings?



The History of Kleenex

Since 1924, "Kleenex" has been the trademarked brand name of facial tissues manufactured by Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. The global popularity of the product, originally marketed to the public as a cold cream remover and later, in the 1930s, as a disposable handkerchief, has led consumers to use the Kleenex name when referring to any facial tissue, regardless of brand. The first tissues were produced using a material that was designed during WWI and was used in what way by the US military?

Born on a day like today


Virginia Dare

The first English child born in the Americas, Dare began her life in the colony of Roanoke in what is now the state of North Carolina. Strangely, the colony soon disappeared, and what became of Dare and the other colonists remains a mystery. In the 400 years since, Dare has become a prominent figure in American mythology and folklore. To many, she represents concepts like innocence and hope. Others use her name as a rallying cry for bigotry and sexism. How do historians know about her birth?

Last updated on Wednesday, 18th August 2010

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