" Liberty…is one of the most valuable blessings that Heaven has bestowed upon mankind. "
Miguel de Cervantes

Back in the day


The Morecambe Bay Cockling Disaster

At low tide, the sand flats of England's Morecambe Bay are rich in cockles, or edible saltwater clams. However, gathering them can be dangerous, as the bay is subject to treacherous, fast-moving tides. In 2004, 23 Chinese immigrants who had been at work collecting cockles on the sand flats drowned after becoming trapped by the incoming tide. The leader of the group was later convicted of manslaughter for failing to warn them about the tide. Whose attempt to warn them unfortunately went unheeded?



Taxi-Dance Hall

Throughout the 1920s and 30s, taxi-dance halls flourished in American cities, despite their reputation for fostering lewd behavior. At a typical hall, men would buy tickets—usually for 10 cents each—that they could present to the hall's young female employees in exchange for sharing a dance. The women, called taxi-dancers, earned a commission based on the number of tickets they collected. The taxi-dance hall was created in 1913 when San Francisco outlawed what other kind of dance hall?

Born on a day like today


Belle Star

Though her only criminal conviction was for the theft of a horse, Starr associated with numerous criminals throughout her life and was portrayed after her death as a notorious American outlaw, earning the nickname "the Bandit Queen." Two of her husbands were killed in the course of their respective criminal careers, and days before her 41st birthday, Starr herself was ambushed and shot in the back as she returned to her Oklahoma ranch. Her murder was never solved. Who were some of the suspects?

Last updated on Tuesday, 5th February 2013

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