" The fortunes of war more than any other are liable to frequent fluctuations. "
Miguel de Cervantes

Back in the day


First Issue of Newsweek Magazine Is Published

Originally News-Week, the magazine debuted 10 years after Time, for which Newsweek founder Thomas J.C. Martyn had been an editor. It evolved into a full spectrum of news material, from breaking news and analysis to reviews and commentary. In 1961, it was purchased by Philip Graham, publisher of The Washington Post. In 2010, it was sold for $1 to American businessman Sidney Harman. Today, Newsweek is the second largest newsweekly in the US. What is the largest?



Ethelred the Unready

Ethelred was about 10 years old when his half-brother, the King of England, was murdered—possibly by Ethelred's advisors. He took the throne in 978 CE and reigned for nearly 40 tumultuous years. Danes began attacking the coast of England while he was still a teen. He failed to mount an organized defense against them, and his later massacre of a Danish settlement provoked more attacks. Though often translated as "unready," Ethelred's epithet, "Unraed," may have in fact been a pun meaning what?

Born on a day like today


Ruth Barbara Rendell, Baroness Rendell of Babergh, CBE

Born in London, Rendell became an author of murder mysteries and psychological thrillers in the 1960s. She has since published dozens of award-winning novels—many featuring her Chief Inspector Wexford—and has been recognized for her sharp prose and psychological insight by both critics and audiences. Originally a journalist, Rendell was fired after writing about a society dinner she did not attend. What notable misfortune, which was absent from Rendell's article, befell the speaker of the event?

Last updated on Friday, 17th February 2012

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