The South Sea Bubble was one of the earliest modern financial crises. It involved the South Sea Company, which was established in 1711 by the lord treasurer of England and was expected to be extremely profitable. Touting exclusive trading rights with Spanish South America, it sparked wild speculation that rocketed its share price to £1,000 in August 1720. The following month, it collapsed. Thousands were ruined—including many members of the government. What was the company's true purpose?
Lucy Maud Montgomery
Back in the day
The 1933 fire at the German Parliament building known as the Reichstag was a pivotal event in the establishment of Nazi Germany. Allegedly set by a Dutch communist, the fire was used by Adolf Hitler to turn public opinion against his opponents, especially the communists. Immediately after the fire, he enacted a decree suspending constitutional protection of personal rights, effectively establishing the Nazi Party dictatorship. Why do some believe the fire was set by the Nazis themselves?
Born on a day like today
Black was a US Supreme Court Justice for 34 years. A prominent supporter of the New Deal, he was also in the majority that struck down mandatory school prayer and guaranteed the availability of legal counsel to suspected criminals. He was known for an absolutist belief in the Bill of Rights, and his last major opinion supported the right of The New York Times to publish the Pentagon Papers, which revealed improper government conduct. To what secret society did Black once belong?