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Earthquake Destroys Basel, Switzerland

Estimated to have been greater than 6.0 in magnitude, the Basel earthquake of 1356 may have been the most serious seismological event in the recorded history of central Europe. The main earthquake struck around 10 PM. In the Swiss city of Basel, all the major buildings—including castles and churches—were destroyed by the quake and subsequent fires. Three hundred people are thought to have been killed. The event was felt across Europe, including as far away as what locations?

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French Indochina

The region that is today home to Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam came under French control in the late 1800s as French Indochina. Though occupied by Japan during World War II, the area did not achieve full independence from France until 1954. Soon after independence, the Vietnam War erupted. After World War II, US President Franklin Roosevelt unsuccessfully attempted to arrange for China to acquire the region before France could regain control. What was Chairman Chiang Kai-shek's emphatic response?

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Jan Gies

When the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands forced Otto Frank to resign from his own company because he was a Jew, his friend Jan Gies nominally took over. Soon after, the Franks and several friends went into hiding in a secret annex on the company's premises. For the next two years, Jan and his wife, Miep, sustained eight people in hiding, including Otto's daughter Anne, bringing them food and supplies until they were betrayed to the Nazis. How were the Nazis responsible for the Gies' marriage?

Last updated on Thursday, 18th October 2012

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