" I can resist everything except temptation. "
Oscar Wilde

Back in the day


First Group of Explorers Reaches South Pole

Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen had been planning for a trip to the North Pole until he heard that someone had beaten him to it. Instead, he and his team set sail for Antarctica. There, they spent nearly a year preparing for the final two-month trek that made them the first people to reach the South Pole. With good equipment and plenty of sled dogs, the team was extremely well prepared compared to other polar expeditions of the day, some of which ended badly. How was their clothing better?



The Tizard Mission

Though the British made major scientific advances during World War II, by September 1940, they were mired in the Battle of Britain and unable to produce the new military technology that could help them win. Taking a gamble, prominent British scientist Henry Tizard led a mission to give Britain's secret military research to the US in the hope that it would be developed faster there—and that the US would share the results with Britain. It worked. What critical object did Tizard bring with him?

Born on a day like today


Margaret Chase Smith

Smith served as her husband's secretary following his election as a US representative. After he died in 1940, she was elected to finish his unexpired term, becoming Maine's first congresswoman. Noted for her integrity and independence, she joined the Senate in 1948 and continued to be reelected until 1972. In 1950, she gave her famed "Declaration of Conscience" speech opposing the actions of Senator Joseph McCarthy. The speech earned her what derisive nickname from McCarthy's staff?

Last updated on Friday, 14th December 2012

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