" The history of every country begins in the heart of a man or a woman. "
Willa Cather

Back in the day


Night of the Murdered Poets

In one of the instances of violent anti-Semitism during Joseph Stalin's regime, 15 Soviet Jews linked to the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee were falsely accused of espionage, treason, and other crimes. After their arrests, they were tortured and isolated for three years before being formally charged. In 1952, 13 of them were executed in Moscow on a night remembered as the "Night of the Murdered Poets," named after five of the prisoners, who were Yiddish writers. Who were these poets?



The Lambton Worm

One of northeast England's most famous fairy tales, the story of the Lambton Worm opens with a youth named John Lambton skipping church to go fishing, whereupon he catches a strange eel-like creature and drops it down a well. Lambton eventually goes on to join the Crusades and returns years later to find that the worm has become a giant beast. A witch tells him how to defeat the creature but warns him that he must kill the first living thing he sees after he does so. How does the story end?

Born on a day like today


Mary Roberts Rinehart

Rinehart was a popular American author considered the inventor of the Had-I-But-Known school of mystery writing. Her immensely successful first novel, The Circular Staircase launched her career, and her books, which often blend mystery with humor and romance, have sold over 10 million copies. She was a war correspondent during WWI and wrote several books promoting women's contributions to the war effort. What popular phrase is said to have been inspired by her 1930 novel The Door?

Last updated on Friday, 12th August 2011

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