" It seems to me that I have always existed and that I possess memories that date back to the Pharaohs. "
Gustave Flaubert

Back in the day


Nellie Tayloe Ross Becomes First Woman to Head US Mint

In 1925, following the death of her governor husband, Ross was elected to serve out the remainder of his term, becoming the US's first female governor. She remained politically active after her gubernatorial term and was appointed director of the US Bureau of the Mint in 1933—becoming the first woman to hold that office as well. In her 20 years as director, she saw the Mint through the economic throes of the Great Depression and through WWII. What did Ross do before becoming governor?



The Revenge of the Forty-Seven Ronin

The Forty-seven Ronin were a group of Japanese samurai who, in 1703, assassinated Lord Kira, the official responsible for the disgrace and consequent seppuku—ritual suicide—of their master, Lord Asano. Though the ronin had followed the precepts of bushido—the samurai code of conduct—by avenging their lord's death, their actions defied shogunate authority, and they were therefore ordered to commit seppuku. Today, they are regarded as heroes. Why was one of the ronin pardoned?

Born on a day like today


Bernhard von Bülow

A German statesman, von Bülow was appointed state secretary for the foreign department in 1897. He quickly became a potent force and succeeded to the chancellorship in 1900, serving until 1909. Together with Emperor William II, he pursued a policy of German aggrandizement in the years preceding WWI, inadvertently antagonizing the English, French, and Russians, who eventually formed an alliance against Germany. He lost the emperor's confidence in the Daily Telegraph affair, which was what?

Last updated on Tuesday, 3rd May 2011

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