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Honda Point Disaster

The Honda Point Disaster was the largest peacetime loss of US Navy ships. On the evening of September 8, 1923, 14 destroyers were engaging in simulated combat maneuvers a few miles from the northern side of the Santa Barbara Channel off the California coast. Upon reaching Honda Point, seven destroyers ran aground and were wrecked; two others suffered minor damage. In all, twenty-three sailors lost their lives. What is the "Devil's Jaw," and how did it factor into the incident?

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Gloomy Sunday

Written in 1933 by Hungarian composer Rezso Seress, the song "Gloomy Sunday" has been the subject of several urban legends. Recorded and performed by numerous artists, notably Paul Robeson and Billie Holiday, the song was once called the "Hungarian suicide song" due to claims that it inspired hundreds of suicides in Hungary and in the US. Further legends claimed that performances and radio broadcasts of the song were banned as a result. What fact about Seress likely fueled some of the legends?

Born on a day like today

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Peter Sellers

Sellers was a British actor who earned international stardom playing a wide range of characters at a time when rigid typecasting was the norm. The son of vaudeville performers, he began appearing with his parents as a boy. He started making films in the 1950s and later gained enormous popularity as the bumbling Inspector Clouseau in the Pink Panther series. In Dr. Strangelove, he plays three characters, including the titular role. What fourth character was he initially supposed to play?

Last updated on Wednesday, 8th September 2010

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