" There are only two styles of portrait painting, the serious and the smirk. "
Charles Dickens

Back in the day


Martin Luther Posts His Ninety-Five Theses

According to the traditional account, Luther posted his Ninety-Five Theses on the door of the castle church in Wittenberg, Germany—an event now seen as the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Written in response to the selling of indulgences to pay for the rebuilding of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, the theses represented an implicit criticism of papal policy and aroused much controversy. Why do some scholars question whether Luther actually nailed his theses to the church door?



The Third Servile War

The Servile Wars were three slave uprisings—the last of which was led by the gladiator Spartacus—that took place in the later years of the Roman Republic. With a force of 90,000 gladiators, slaves, and peasants, Spartacus overran most of southern Italy in 73 BCE. He led his army north, hoping to release them to find freedom, but they refused to abandon their campaign. After Spartacus was killed in battle, the revolt was cruelly put down by Crassus and Pompey. How were the survivors punished?

Born on a day like today


Michael Landon

After appearing in minor roles on TV, Landon made his film debut in 1957's I Was a Teenage Werewolf. He endeared himself to audiences as Little Joe in the western series Bonanza (1959-1973) and later as Charles Ingalls in the series based on Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie. He also sometimes wrote and directed episodes for the shows in which he acted, including Highway to Heaven. A prankster, Landon put what reptile in his mouth to get a laugh?

Last updated on Monday, 31st October 2011

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