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Michelangelo Begins Carving His Statue of David

Early in his career, Michelangelo created several sculptures for Lorenzo de'Medici, but it was his Bacchus that established his fame and led to a commission for the Pietà, the masterpiece of his early years. At 26, he began David, finishing it in three years. Commissioned for the cathedral of Florence, is still considered the prime example of the Renaissance ideal of perfect humanity. How does Michelangelo's David differ from previous representations of the subject?

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The 51st State

Today, many discussions about "the 51st state" involve serious suggestions about potential candidates for inclusion in the US, such as Puerto Rico, which is currently a self-governing entity in association with the US. Other references to "the 51st state" are made in jest to refer to independent territories that are perceived to be under American influence or control, or local areas that some believe have become too "Americanized." What other locations have been called "the 51st state"?

Born on a day like today

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Samuel "Uncle Sam" Wilson

After serving in the American Revolutionary War, Wilson started a meatpacking plant in Troy, New York. The meat that he shipped to the army during the War of 1812 was stamped "US." The initials referred to United States' property, but soldiers joked that they stood for "Uncle Sam" Wilson. Since the term came into more widespread use as a symbol of the US, it has been generally claimed that it owes its origin to Wilson's nickname. What resolution regarding Wilson did Congress pass in 1961?

Last updated on Tuesday, 13th September 2011

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