" I believe that if one always looked at the skies, one would end up with wings. "
Gustave Flaubert

Back in the day


José Rizal Executed by Firing Squad

Rizal was a Philippine nationalist, author, and physician. In 1886, he published his first novel, a diatribe against Spanish administration and the religious orders in the Philippines. Angered, Spanish officials forced Rizal to leave his homeland. When he returned to Manila five years later, he was arrested as a revolutionary agitator. He was executed for treason four years after that, and his martyrdom incited a full-scale rebellion against Spanish rule. How many languages did Rizal speak?




The earliest extant journals are the Roman commentarii—household account books, senators' speech notebooks, and Caesar's account of the Gallic Wars. Diaries are of particular interest to historians because they depict everyday life in a particular place and time, often illuminating important historical events. Diaries valued by historians have been authored by a variety of figures, from anonymous clerks to statesmen and even children. Who were the earliest online diarists?

Born on a day like today


Rudyard Kipling

Kipling was raised in England but returned to his birthplace, India, as a 16-year-old journalist. He soon became famous for his stories and poetry, which often feature the heat, strife, and ennui of India and romanticize British imperialism. While in the US in the 1890s, he published The Jungle Book and The Second Jungle Book, stories of the boy Mowgli in the Indian jungle that have become children's classics. In 1907, he became the first English language writer to win what award?

Last updated on Thursday, 30th December 2010

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