" The first duty of a lecturer—to hand you after an hour's discourse a nugget of pure truth to wrap up between the pages of your notebooks, and keep on the mantelpiece forever. "
Virginia Woolf

Back in the day


James Meredith Is Barred from the University of Mississippi

After a US federal court ruled that colleges could not deny admission to qualified students on the basis of race, civil rights activist James Meredith prepared to enter the segregated University of Mississippi. On the day of Meredith's enrollment, Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett stood in the doorway of the admissions office, physically blocking Meredith's entry, and informed him that his application was denied. Ten days later, Meredith returned—with 500 federal marshals. What happened then?




Flan is a dessert made by adding custard to a caramel-lined mold. After it is baked, then chilled, it is tipped out of the mold so the caramel is on top. The dish is popular around the world, from Europe to the Philippines to Latin America, and one form is a staple of Japanese convenience stores. Though flan is typically vanilla-flavored, it can be made with a number of other flavors, such as almond or chocolate. A variation of flan popular in Puerto Rico contains an added layer of what?

Born on a day like today


Maxwell Perkins

After joining the publishing firm of Charles Scribner's Sons, Perkins became an enormously well-regarded editor with a genius for recognizing and fostering new talent. Though best known for the intensive editorial work that shaped Thomas Wolfe's sprawling manuscripts into publishable form, he also edited and published early works by then-unknown writers such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Erskine Caldwell. How many words did Perkins persuade Wolfe to cut from his first novel?

Last updated on Thursday, 20th September 2012

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