" To make a contented slave, it is necessary to make a thoughtless one. It is necessary to darken his moral and mental vision, and, as far as possible, to annihilate the power of reason. "
Frederick Douglass

Back in the day


George Boleyn, Brother of Anne, Beheaded

Henry VIII had two of his six wives beheaded, but the unpleasant consequences of his marriages did not apply only to his spouses. After Henry's first marriage was annulled, he took Anne Boleyn as his queen. Though she bore him the future Queen Elizabeth I, she produced no male heir, and he lost interest in her. In 1536, he had her imprisoned on questionable charges of adultery and incest—allegedly with her brother, George. Both were beheaded. What did George reportedly say before his execution?



Operation Paperclip

During World War II, German scientists made great strides in rocketry, aeronautics, and other fields. Almost immediately after the war's end, the US began vigorously recruiting these scientists, bolstering its own scientific programs while denying the USSR access to these assets. Though the US president authorized Operation Paperclip, he forbade the recruitment of Nazi Party members and active supporters of Nazi militarism. How did the agency overseeing the program sidestep this order?

Born on a day like today


Caroline of Brunswick

Caroline wed her cousin, George IV, the future king of England, in 1795. The marriage was an unhappy one, and soon after Caroline bore George a daughter, they separated. The two were almost certainly involved in adulterous relationships thereafter—George had even been secretly, and illegally, married to another woman when he wed Caroline—yet it was Caroline whose infidelities sparked an investigation. George became king in 1820. What happened when Caroline tried to claim her rights as queen?

Last updated on Friday, 17th May 2013

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