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Leonard Bernstein Conducts His Final Concert

Less than two months before he died, Bernstein, a highly regarded American composer and conductor, conducted what would be his final concert. He had suffered from smoking-related lung problems for years, and his coughing fit partway through the Boston Symphony appearance that night nearly ended the performance. With his health declining, he officially retired in early October, and he died just five days later. What feat in 1943 made him an overnight sensation and set his career in motion?

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Chanakya, the Indian Machiavelli

Chanakya, also known as Kautilya, was a Hindu statesman and philosopher who wrote a classic treatise on politics, Arthashastra, or The Science of Material Gain. Often compared to Machiavelli, Chanakya wrote the book as a guide for the Maurya emperor, Chandragupta. An astute advisor, Chanakya is considered one of the architects of the Mauryan Empire, which began in the 4th century BCE. According to legend, Chanakya accidentally killed the emperor's wife, but then saved his son—how?

Born on a day like today

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Orville Wright

Born and raised in Ohio, Orville was four years younger than his brother Wilbur. They were in the bicycle business when they began the aeronautic experiments that led to the first controlled, powered airplane flight in 1903. Wilbur died in 1912, and Orville sold his interest in their company three years later. He later served for 28 years on the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, a precursor to NASA, before his death in 1948. What toy sparked Orville's interest in flying as a boy?

Last updated on Sunday, 19th August 2012

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