" I made up my mind long ago that life was too short to do anything for myself that I could pay others to do for me. "
W. Somerset Maugham

Back in the day


National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Founded

The oldest and largest US civil rights organization, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was formed as the direct result of race riots that occurred in 1908 in Springfield, Illinois. In 1939, it organized the Legal Defense and Education Fund as its legal arm, which sued for school desegregation in Brown v. Board of Education. During WWII, it pressed for desegregation of the armed forces, which was achieved in 1948. Who is the NAACP's current president?




Text messages are brief written messages exchanged between mobile phones or other mobile communications devices. Texting originated in the 1990s with the Short Message Service (SMS), a system that supports messages of up to 160 characters, and has since become a global phenomenon. With billions of texters around the world, texting has created new forms of interaction and has had a wide social impact that extends to language, crime, and politics. What was the first text message ever sent?

Born on a day like today


Cotton Mather

Mather was an American Puritan leader remembered for his role in the Salem witch trials. Although his Memorable Providences Relating to Witchcraft and Possessions fed the hysteria that led to the witch hunts, he disapproved of some of the trials and argued against the use of "spectral evidence," a type of evidence based on dreams. Deeply interested in science, Mather was the first native-born American to be a fellow of the Royal Society and was an early supporter of what medical method?

Last updated on Saturday, 12th February 2011

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