" Judge the goodness of a book by the energy of the punches it has given you. I believe the greatest characteristic of genius, is, above all, force. "
Gustave Flaubert

Back in the day


The 4th of August Regime Established in Greece

Political instability coupled with economic unrest undermined the Greek government for much of the 1920s and 30s and finally brought parliament to a standstill in 1936. On August 4 of that year, Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas declared a state of emergency, suspended parliament, and made himself dictator—with the blessing of the king. Though his 4th of August Regime suppressed political opposition, it also carried out beneficial economic and social reforms. What brought the regime to an end?



Maison du Roi

The Maison du Roi was the entourage that attended to the needs of the French royal family from the 14th to the 19th century. It was administered by the chief steward of France until the 1700s, when a ministry was organized to oversee the thousands of employees tasked with duties such as managing the king's stables, hunting for the king's meat, providing the king's food and entertainment, and attending to the king's spiritual needs. What was the Grand Panetier charged with overseeing?

Born on a day like today


Raoul Wallenberg

In 1944, as Nazi troops rounded up hundreds of thousands of Jews in Hungary, Wallenberg—a Swedish citizen who had previously worked for a company run by a Hungarian Jew—asked to be posted there as a diplomat. Once there, he worked relentlessly to save tens of thousands of Jews by sheltering them on Swedish property and distributing counterfeit Swedish passports. He was arrested by the Soviets in 1945, and his death while in their custody is shrouded in mystery. What might have happened to him?

Last updated on Saturday, 4th August 2012

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