" To swallow and follow, whether old doctrine or new propaganda, is a weakness still dominating the human mind. "
Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Back in the day


Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima

The first American attack on Japanese soil during WWII, the Battle of Iwo Jima lasted more than a month and claimed tens of thousands of Japanese and American lives. Just days into the campaign, photographer Joe Rosenthal witnessed a group of American soldiers struggling to raise their flag on Iwo Jima's highest point and took what would become the most reproduced photograph in history. It was the second flag-raising that day. How many of the six men shown in the photograph survived the battle?



The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

One of the most important silent films of all time, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse established actor Rudolph Valentino as a superstar, inspired a tango craze, and beat out Charlie Chaplin's The Kid to become the highest-grossing film of 1921. It is considered to be among the first anti-war films ever made, and its success made producer June Mathis a powerful woman in Hollywood. Why does Valentino scornfully cast aside his partner at the end of the film's famous tango scene?

Born on a day like today


Samuel Pepys

One of the most celebrated diarists of all time, Pepys was born into a humble family but steadily improved his standing and eventually became an important public servant and royal confidant. His diary, which he kept throughout the 1660s, describes some of the most important events of his time, including the Great Fire of London and an outbreak of the plague. It also offers a vivid, intimate record of the author's life. On New Year's Eve 1661, Pepys made what resolution that he broke soon after?

Last updated on Saturday, 23rd February 2013

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