" By a curious confusion, many modern critics have passed from the proposition that a masterpiece may be unpopular to the other proposition that unless it is unpopular it cannot be a masterpiece. "
Gilbert Chesterton

Back in the day


Illinois Becomes the 21st US State

At the end the French and Indian Wars, France ceded the entire Illinois region to Britain. This region was an integral part of the Old Northwest that was brought within US boundaries 20 years later by the 1783 Treaty of Paris, which ended the American Revolution. In 1787, the area was officially designated the Northwest Territory. Made part of Indiana Territory in 1800, Illinois was granted statehood in 1818. In recent years, Illinois has earned recognition for being what sort of state?



The Business Plot

In 1933, retired US Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler claimed that business tycoons were plotting to use a veterans' organization to overthrow President Franklin D Roosevelt and install a fascist dictator. The media ridiculed the claim, but a congressional committee concluded that his allegations were credible. Although historians question whether a coup was close to execution, most agree that a political conspiracy was at least contemplated. What businessmen were implicated in the plot?

Born on a day like today


George Brinton McClellan

At the outbreak of the American Civil War, McClellan was placed in command of the Union forces in Ohio. Appointed general-in-chief of the army by President Abraham Lincoln in 1861, he cautiously conducted the Peninsular Campaign but failed to take Richmond. At the Battle of Antietam, he failed to destroy Robert E. Lee's army, and Lincoln removed him from command. In 1864, he was the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for president against Lincoln. What did Lee once say about McClellan?

Last updated on Saturday, 3rd December 2011

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