" It is only prudent never to place complete confidence in that by which we have even once been deceived. "
Rene Descartes

Back in the day


Jay's Treaty Signed

When unsettled controversies with England in the aftermath of the American Revolution threatened to involve the US in another war, President George Washington named Chief Justice John Jay as an envoy for the negotiation of a treaty. The agreement, concluded in 1794 and known as Jay's Treaty, averted war between the two nations, solved many outstanding issues, and opened 10 years of largely peaceful trade in the midst of the French Revolutionary Wars. How was the treaty received in the US?



Celtic Knots

The Celtic knot is a design motif involving interwoven lines that loop around one another forming intricate knots. Developed by Celtic tribal artisans by the 7th century CE, Celtic knots decorate a variety of objects and structures but are best known for their use in the ornamentation of Christian monuments and manuscripts like the 8th century Book of Kells and Lindisfarne Gospels. How many elementary knots are thought to form the basis of nearly all interlaced patterns in Celtic decorative art?

Born on a day like today


Ferdinand Marie, Vicomte de Lesseps

A French diplomat and engineer, Lesseps conceived the idea of the Suez Canal while serving in Egypt. He supervised the construction and achieved world renown for the project. In 1878, he became president of the company formed to construct the Panama Canal, but lack of funds forced the project into bankruptcy amid charges of corruption. He was brought to trial for misappropriation of funds and sentenced to prison but was later cleared. What monument did Lesseps present to the US in 1884?

Last updated on Friday, 19th November 2010

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