" A sudden, bold, and unexpected question, doth many times surprise a man, and lay him open. "
Francis Bacon

Back in the day


WWI: Black Tom Explosion

In the midst of WWI, German saboteurs demolished a US munitions stockpile in the Black Tom section of Jersey City, New Jersey. The series of massive explosions killed a few, injured hundreds, damaged all sorts of structures, including the Statue of Liberty, and was heard hundreds of miles away. Sued by the US government in 1922 but vindicated in 1930 by an international claims commission, the German government was ultimately ordered to pay $50 million in damages. When was the final payment made?



The Book of Enoch

The Book of Enoch is an ancient religious text attributed to Enoch, the Biblical figure said to have been the great-grandfather of Noah. Although it is not considered part of the canon of scripture for Jews or Christians, apart from a few sects, it is quoted in the New Testament, indicating that its authors were familiar with the text. Aramaic fragments of the Book of Enoch were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls in Qumran, but the only known complete version is written in what ancient language?

Born on a day like today


Emily Brontë

Sister of writers Charlotte and Anne Brontë, Emily Brontë was an English author who is most famous for her novel Wuthering Heights, a highly imaginative story of passion and hatred set on the Yorkshire moors. Emily's unusual character and intellect seem to have been unrecognized by her family until quite late in her short life—she died at 30 of tuberculosis—but Charlotte was astonished by her poetry and regarded her work as unparalleled. Emily originally published under what pen name?

Last updated on Saturday, 30th July 2011

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