" The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons. "
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Back in the day


US Supreme Court Declares Standard Oil an "Unreasonable" Monopoly

By 1880, through elimination of competitors, mergers, and railroad rebates, John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil controlled the refining of up to 95 percent of all oil produced in the US. In 1892, the Ohio Supreme Court ordered the trust dissolved, but it continued to operate. Exposed in Ida Tarbell's History of the Standard Oil Company in 1904, it was broken up in 1911 after a lengthy antitrust suit by the US government. What current oil companies have ties to the former Standard Oil?




Shinto, Japan's indigenous religion, cannot be traced to its beginnings because until the 5th century—when Chinese writing was introduced into Japan—the myths and rituals were transmitted orally. Although Shinto has no founder and no official scripture, its mythology and ancient beliefs and customs are collected in the Kojiki—"Record of Ancient Matters." Prepared under imperial order in the early 8th century, it is the oldest extant chronicle in Japan. What myths does it include?

Born on a day like today


L. Frank Baum

Baum was an American author of more than 70 children's books who is best known for penning The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. He moved from New York to South Dakota in 1888. When his newspaper there failed, he moved to Illinois and found work as a journalist. His first children's book, Mother Goose in Prose (1897), was followed by Father Goose: His Book, an immediate bestseller. In 2006, Baum's descendants apologized for editorials in which he called for the extermination of whom?

Last updated on Sunday, 15th May 2011

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