" Hope is a leaf-joy, which may be beaten out to a great extension, like gold. "
Francis Bacon

Back in the day


Steam Locomotive John Bull Operates for the First Time

The John Bull is a steam locomotive that ran on the Camden and Amboy Railroad, the first railroad built in New Jersey. Retired in 1866, the locomotive was acquired by the Smithsonian in 1885 and became the oldest operable steam locomotive in the world in 1981, when it was operated in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of its first use. Though its official name was Stevens, crews began calling it John Bull, and the name eventually stuck. What made them choose that name?



The Hungarian Revolution of 1956

In October 1956, discontented Hungarians—emboldened by a speech in which Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev criticized actions taken by Stalin's regime—began a revolt that quickly spread across the country, toppling the government. However, Western powers failed to respond to appeals for assistance, and the USSR soon invaded and quashed the revolution. Nevertheless, Hungary did thereafter experience a slow evolution toward some internal autonomy. Who was Time magazine's 1956 Man of the Year?

Born on a day like today


Dame Agatha Christie

Christie, a British mystery novelist and playwright known for her detective figures Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple, wrote over 75 novels, including Murder on the Orient Express and And Then There Were None. Her books have been translated into 100 languages and have sold over 100 million copies, and her play The Mousetrap, still running after 23,000 performances, holds the record for longest initial run in theatrical history. What prompted Christie's 1926 disappearance?

Last updated on Thursday, 15th September 2011

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