" Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, or oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty. "
John F. Kennedy

Back in the day


First Kwanzaa Celebrated

Observed from December 26 to January 1 and patterned after African harvest festivals, Kwanzaa is a secular festival celebrating the African heritage of African Americans. Developed by black-studies professor Maulana Karenga, Kwanzaa emphasizes the role of the family and community in African-American culture. Each day is dedicated to a particular principle—such as unity, creativity, or faith. The holiday's name is taken from the Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanzaa, which means what?



The Battle of Carrhae

Fought in 53 BCE, the Battle of Carrhae stopped the Roman invasion of Parthian Mesopotamia. The Romans were led by Marcus Licinius Crassus, who wanted a victory to balance those of his fellow triumvirs Pompey and Julius Caesar. With seven legions—about 44,000 men—but little cavalry, he was defeated in the desert by 10,000 mounted Parthian archers and was killed. His death gave impetus to Caesar's quest for power. The defeat also damaged Roman prestige, especially because of the capture of what?

Born on a day like today


Charles Babbage

Babbage was an English mathematician and inventor who devoted most of his life and private fortune to trying to perfect a mechanical calculating machine. In 1837, he described the so-called Analytical Engine, a machine capable of performing arithmetical operations with the use of instructions from punched cards. Although the device was never built, his idea is considered the forerunner of modern computers. Babbage also invented other devices, including the cowcatcher, which is used to do what?

Last updated on Sunday, 26th December 2010

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