" There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The True courage is in facing danger when you are afraid. "
L. Frank Baum

Back in the day


United Air Lines Chesterton Crash

In 1933, a Boeing 247 operated by United Air Lines exploded mid-flight and crashed near Chesterton, Indiana. The crash killed all seven people aboard, including four passengers and three crew members. Investigators concluded that a bomb caused the explosion, making this the first proven act of air sabotage in the history of commercial aviation. No suspect has ever been identified or charged in the incident. How did investigators determine that a bomb caused the explosion?




Blackbirding refers to the recruitment of people through kidnapping and fraud to work on plantations, particularly the sugar cane plantations of Fiji and Queensland, Australia, in the latter half of the 19th century. Those "blackbirded" were kidnapped from the indigenous populations of Australia or nearby Pacific islands. In 1872, the British Parliament passed a law in an attempt to curtail the practice, but it continued until the turn of the century. How did blackbirding get its name?

Born on a day like today


Thelonious Monk

One of the key innovators of modern jazz, Monk worked as a pianist in the early 1940s at Minton's Playhouse and other clubs where the rudiments of the new jazz style were being developed. Known for his highly idiosyncratic, percussive playing, he performed with many notable jazz musicians, including Dizzy Gillespie, before recording under his own name beginning in 1947. Monk is one of only five jazz musicians to have been featured on the cover of Time magazine. Who are the other four?

Last updated on Monday, 10th October 2011

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