" There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke. "
Herman Melville

Back in the day


The Green March Begins

Extremely arid and almost entirely sand and gravel, the sparsely populated territory of Western Sahara was a protectorate of Spain until the 1970s. Despite internal calls for independence, the king of neighboring Morocco led a march of more than 300,000 unarmed Moroccans into the territory as a show of support for annexation. Known as the Green March, the mass demonstration led to Spanish withdrawal, but control of the region is still contested. What other group claims the territory?



The Lowell Mill Girls

Situated on the Merrimack River, the city of Lowell, Massachusetts, was home to dozens of textile mills in the mid-19th century. Attracted by the promise of high wages, thousands of young women came to the mills for work. Living and working together in close quarters, they developed a distinct community. When profits declined, hours were increased, wages were lowered, and the women organized strikes and started a labor reform organization. In 1853, their workday was shortened to how many hours?

Born on a day like today


Joanna the Mad

Joanna was the first queen regnant of both Castile and Aragon, which would become modern Spain. Though Joanna likely suffered from depression, the extent of her mental illness may have been exaggerated for political reasons. Throughout much of Joanna's reign, her father, husband, and son vied for power, each ruling on her behalf by attesting to her insanity. Joanna remained confined for much of her life. According to some accounts, what did she do with her husband's body after he died?

Last updated on Tuesday, 6th November 2012

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