" Beth could not reason upon or explain the faith that gave her courage and patience to give up life, and cheerfully wait for death...She could not say, "I'm glad to go," for life was very sweet for her. She could only sob out, "I try to be willing." "
Louisa May Alcott

Back in the day


Alger Hiss Is Released from Prison

Though Hiss maintained his innocence until his death in 1996, the controversy surrounding his case persists today. Once a US government official, Hiss was accused before the House Un-American Activities Committee of spying for Russia. Though he could not be tried for espionage under the statute of limitations, he was convicted of perjury and served 44 months in prison. Many believed he had been wrongly convicted. However, Soviet files released in 1996 seem to implicate him. Who was his accuser?



Crowns of Silla

Established in 57 BCE, the ancient Korean kingdom of Silla lasted for more than a millennium. The nearly impenetrable royal Sillan tombs—located near the modern South Korean city of Gyeongju—have yielded lavish treasures. Among them are a number of fragile, solid gold crowns, crafted with an intricate tree branch motif. Because they are so delicate, they were probably used only for formal occasions or burials. Why did the Sillan practice of opulent burials end by the end of the 6th century?

Born on a day like today


Anders Celsius

Celsius was a Swedish astronomer who published observations of the aurora borealis and supervised the building of an observatory at Uppsala, Sweden, where he pioneered the measurement of the brightness of stars. Today, however, he is better known for an invention that has been adopted by almost the entire world—the centigrade, or Celsius, thermometer. Originally, his temperature scale had 0 as its boiling point and 100 as its freezing point. Who reversed the numbers after Celsius died?

Last updated on Tuesday, 27th November 2012

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