" The world owes all its onward impulses to men ill at ease. The happy man inevitably confines himself within ancient limits. "
Nathaniel Hawthorne

Back in the day


Cease-Fire Declared in Iran-Iraq War

On September 22, 1980, Iraqi forces invaded Iran, which was still struggling in the aftermath of its revolution. The resulting war—ostensibly a territorial dispute—turned into a bloody stalemate that saw the first widespread use of chemical warfare since World War I. An estimated 1.5 million people were killed in the conflict. After nearly eight years, the United Nations mandated a cease-fire. Both sides held thousands of prisoners of war for years. When were the last prisoners exchanged?



Trajan's Column

Completed in 113 CE, Trajan's Column is a war monument erected by the Roman emperor Trajan in Rome. Standing 125 feet (38 m) high, the monument is decorated with a bas-relief sculpture spiraled around a column in a continuous band more than 600 feet (183 m) long. The sculpture depicts, with great detail, the emperor's two victorious campaigns in Dacia. The inside of the column contains Trajan's ashes and a spiral staircase. What three statues have topped the column at different times?

Born on a day like today


Benjamin Harrison

The grandson of a US president, Harrison practiced law in Indiana before leading a volunteer regiment in the Civil War. He made two unsuccessful bids for the Indiana governorship before gaining a seat in the US Senate. In the 1888 presidential election, he defeated incumbent US President Grover Cleveland, though Cleveland won the popular vote. His association with unpopular tariffs cost him an 1892 re-election and brought Cleveland back. Why did his children refuse to attend his second wedding?

Last updated on Monday, 20th August 2012

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