Sati is an Indian funerary practice in which a widow immolates herself on her husband's funeral pyre. Though its stated purpose is to purge the sins of the couple and ensure their reunion in the afterlife, the practice has been encouraged by the low status of widowhood. Practiced since the 4th century BCE, sati became widespread in India in the 17th and 18th centuries, and not all instances were voluntary. Today, it occurs rarely, and mostly in remote areas. When was the practice outlawed?
George Bernard Shaw
Back in the day
It took 10 years to build the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, which towers over the River Dee valley in Wrexham, Wales. A feat of civil engineering, it is still in use more than two centuries later, allowing boats to cross the Llangollen Canal about 120 feet (35 m) above the valley. The aqueduct consists of a narrow cast iron trough supported by stone columns and bordered by a railed path that was built so horses could tow canal boats. The span occasionally closes for maintenance. How is it emptied?
Born on a day like today
The niece of a wealthy Philadelphia banker, Drexel inherited a vast fortune and used it to address racial injustice and educational inequality in the US. She established mission schools across the American West and founded Xavier University, the only historically black, Catholic university in the US. In 1891, after becoming a Roman Catholic nun, she founded a society of nuns to aid Native Americans and African Americans. The second US-born saint, Drexel is known as the patron saint of what?