" So, naturalists observe, a flea
Has smaller fleas that on him prey;
And these have smaller still to bite 'em;
And so proceed ad infinitum.
Jonathan Swift

Back in the day


First US Marshal Killed in the Line of Duty

Born in Scotland, Robert Forsyth moved to America as a teen and distinguished himself in the Continental Army. After the Revolutionary War, he was appointed by US President George Washington to be the first US Marshal in the state of Georgia. Forsyth was serving in this capacity when he knocked at the door of Beverly Allen to serve him some court papers. The reluctant recipient shot Forsyth through the door, making him the first US Marshal killed in the line of duty. What happened to Allen?




The art of decorating textiles with needle and thread has unclear origins, but examples of ancient embroidery have been found on the wrappings of Egyptian mummies, meaning it has been around for millennia. While some traditional embroidery techniques are specific to certain cultures, the basic stitches used to make patterns on fabric have remained the same for thousands of years. Embellishments like pearls, shells, and sequins sometimes adorn embroidered pieces. What is whitework embroidery?

Born on a day like today


Alice Stokes Paul

A militant leader of the US suffrage movement, Paul is best remembered as the author of the Equal Rights Amendment. Written in 1923, the proposed constitutional amendment has been the source of nearly a century of legislative wrangling. While fighting for women's rights, Paul—who earned doctorate degrees in both sociology and law—picketed the White House, was imprisoned, and was force-fed after she staged a hunger strike. Paul was recently selected to appear on a US coin—in place of whom?

Last updated on Friday, 11th January 2013

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