" Silence may be as variously shaded as speech. "
Edith Wharton

Back in the day


Blackbeard Killed in Battle with Royal Navy

Before turning to piracy, Blackbeard, whose real name was probably Edward Teach, likely worked as a privateer in the War of the Spanish Succession. While marauding in the West Indies and along the Atlantic coast, Blackbeard enjoyed the protection of N Carolina's governor—who partook of the pirate's booty. A British naval force eventually killed Blackbeard and took his head back to England as proof. Legend has since romanticized the notoriously cruel pirate. What were some of his savage exploits?




Scrimshaw is the decoration of bone or ivory objects, such as whale teeth and walrus tusks, with fanciful designs. Traditionally carved by Anglo-American and Native American whalers with a jackknife or sail needle and emphasized with black pigments, scrimshaw works, which often depict maritime scenes, date to at least the late 17th century. The craft reached its peak around the mid-1800s and is still practiced by whalers in Siberia and Alaska. What did early scrimshaw artists use for pigment?

Born on a day like today


Charles de Gaulle

De Gaulle was a French general and statesman. He left France after it fell to the Germans in WWII and started the Free French movement in England. He returned to France after the liberation of Paris and headed two provisional governments before resigning in 1946. When an insurrection in Algeria threatened to bring civil war to France, he returned to government, helped establish the Fifth Republic, and became its first president in 1958. What was his role in the "Empty Chair Crisis"?

Last updated on Monday, 22nd November 2010

More sponsors