Red River ox carts were a vital form of transportation during the 19th-century westward expansion in the US and Canada. They carried fur to trading posts in places like St. Paul, Minnesota, and then carried supplies back to settlements along the Red River of the North, which now forms the Minnesota–North Dakota border. Built entirely of wood and animal hide—and no metal—the carts typically had two wheels, which were notorious for their constant creaking. Why couldn't their axles be greased?
Back in the day
Released to universal acclaim, Toy Story was the first feature-length computer-generated film, as well as the first such film from Pixar Studios. Steve Jobs had purchased Pixar in 1986, but the company had yet to find its niche. When its 1988 short film Tin Toy won an Oscar, Disney took notice, and the two companies soon formed a partnership that would prove to be extremely successful, beginning with the release of Toy Story. What popular toy was cut from the original plot?
Born on a day like today
A prolific and unconventional French writer, Gide was controversial for his confessional works, his frank defense of homosexuality, and his espousal of Communism—and subsequent disavowal of it after a visit to the Soviet Union. A champion of society's victims, he spurred reform of French colonial policy in Africa with books such as Travels in the Congo. In one of his most famous quotes, Gide advised that one should believe those who seek the truth and reserve doubt for whom?