" Best to live lightly, unthinkingly. "

Back in the day


Samoset Walks into Plymouth Colony, Greets Pilgrims in English

Half of the English pilgrims from the Mayflower perished during their first winter in the New World, and as the survivors struggled to build their settlement at Plymouth, they had several tense encounters with Native Americans. That spring, a Native American named Samoset unexpectedly walked into their settlement and greeted them in English. Within days, he had introduced them to their neighbors. As it happened, Samoset was merely visiting the area. Where had he learned English?



Lewis Chessmen

In 1831, dozens of intricately detailed chess pieces—enough to form several sets—were found buried in the sand on Scotland's Isle of Lewis. They had been carved from walrus ivory in the 12th century. Apparently unused, they may have been the stock of a merchant who buried them after a mishap at sea. Their origin and intended destination are unknown. The rooks are depicted not as castles, but as berserkers. Instead of white and black, the pieces may have been white and what other color?

Born on a day like today


Rosa Bonheur

One of the most famous female painters of the 19th century, Bonheur was trained by her father—an art teacher—and began regularly exhibiting her work at the Paris Salon in 1841. Her unsentimental paintings of animals became very popular, particularly in England and the US, and her most famous painting, The Horse Fair, gained her an international reputation. Who gave her formal permission to dress as a man so that she could study horses at the actual Horse Fair in Paris?

Last updated on Saturday, 16th March 2013

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