" Positiveness is a good quality for preachers and orators, because he that would obtrude his thoughts and reasons upon a multitude, will convince others the more as he appears convinced himself. "
Jonathan Swift

Back in the day


US Vice President Spiro Agnew Resigns

After being investigated for extortion and bribery allegedly committed while he was governor of Maryland, Agnew pleaded no contest to a charge of tax evasion and became the second US vice president to resign. President Richard Nixon then selected House Minority Leader Gerald Ford to replace Agnew. The following year, Nixon himself was forced to resign for his role in the Watergate scandal, making Ford president. Agnew's portrait was removed from the Maryland State House in 1979. Who put it back?



Ye Xian

Perhaps the oldest known version of the archetypical Cinderella story, "Ye Xian" is a Chinese fairy tale first published in the 9th century. Enslaved by her wicked stepmother and stepsister, the story's eponymous heroine befriends a magical fish in a nearby lake. The fish is killed and eaten by Ye Xian's stepfamily, but its bones provide her with lovely clothes to wear to a festival. There, she loses a tiny slipper, which falls into the hands of a king. The slipper is made not of glass but what?

Born on a day like today


Harold Pinter

One of the most important English playwrights of the late 20th century, Pinter wrote what have been called "comedies of menace." His austere, distinctive language, which provokes an ominous sense of unease, gave rise to the adjective "Pinteresque." His plays include The Birthday Party and The Homecoming, and he also wrote a number of screenplays. In 2005, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature. His 1978 play, Betrayal, was inspired by what betrayal in his own life?

Last updated on Wednesday, 10th October 2012

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