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Edith Wharton

Back in the day


US President Abraham Lincoln Suspends Habeas Corpus

In law, habeas corpus is a writ ordering that a person be brought before a judge, especially to decide whether a prisoner's detention is lawful. Its suspension means that prisoners can be held indefinitely without being charged. During the US Civil War, President Lincoln suspended habeas corpus to arrest and silence Southern dissenters. A legal battle ensued, and Lincoln prevailed. Habeas corpus has been suspended numerous times in US history, most recently in what year?



Tulip Mania

It takes seven years to grow a tulip from seed, and the bulb can only be uprooted in the summer months. Therefore, when the Dutch tulip market exploded in fall of 1636, few tulips physically changed hands before the futures market collapsed. According to some reports, at the height of the market, single bulbs were selling for more than houses before they even sprouted. It was the first documented speculation bubble. Why were the most expensive varieties those afflicted with a certain virus?

Born on a day like today


Ulysses S. Grant

Though he served with bravery in the Mexican-American War, Grant resigned his post several years later, possibly due to his heavy drinking. However, he returned to serve in the US Civil War and won a string of brilliant victories. Three years after Confederate general Robert E. Lee surrendered to him, ending the war, Grant was elected president. Still, he spent his final years in poverty after being swindled by a friend. Days before his death, he did what to secure his family's finances?

Last updated on Friday, 27th April 2012

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