" Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hands. I will not allow books to prove anything. "
Jane Austen

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The "Flying Tailor" Dies after Failed Parachute Jump from Eiffel Tower

Parachutes at the dawn of the aviation age were bulky and, inconveniently, had to be pre-opened. Among those trying to improve upon their design was French tailor Franz Reichelt. He had some success testing his designs on dummies, but he had no evidence that his parachute would work with a real person when he jumped from the Eiffel Tower before a crowd of spectators and reporters. The chute failed to open, and he plummeted to his death. How had he convinced the authorities to allow the jump?

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James the Just

James the Just was an important figure in early Christianity whose exact relationship to Jesus has been the subject of much debate. Several early sources refer to him as the "brother" of Jesus, and scholars differ about whether he was a half-brother, cousin, or merely a brother in spirit like the other apostles. After Jesus' crucifixion, James led the Christian movement as the first bishop of Jerusalem. What evidence exists to explain how James might or might not have been related to Jesus?

Born on a day like today

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Charles Lindbergh

In 1927, Lindbergh, an American aviator, made the first nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic in 33.5 hours, landing in Paris to a hero's welcome. He returned to the US a celebrity but moved to England in 1932 to escape the media frenzy surrounding the kidnapping and murder of his son. Returning to the US in 1940, he faced criticism for opposing US entry into WWII. Still, he flew combat missions for the US during the war. He helped invent what device that made open-heart surgery possible?

Last updated on Saturday, 4th February 2012

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