" Assistance given to the weak makes the one who gives it strong. "
Booker T. Washington

Back in the day


Former Slave Isabella Baumfree Becomes Sojourner Truth

Born into slavery in New York, Baumfree had four different masters before escaping with her infant daughter in 1826, one year before the state abolished slavery. She traveled and championed abolition, changing her name in 1843. Her dictated memoirs were published as The Narrative of Sojourner Truth: A Northern Slave. In 1851, she delivered what is now known as the "Ain't I a Woman?" speech at the Women's Rights Convention. How did the first report of the speech differ from later accounts?



Late 16th-Century European Fashions

From 1550 to 1600, European fashions became increasingly opulent. Garments were embellished with slashed and puffed fabric and gemstones. Ruffs grew from a narrow frill at the neck to a broad "cartwheel" style requiring wire support. Women dressed in bodices with narrower sleeves and fuller skirts, with supportive farthingales underneath. Men sported linen shirts with ruffs, doublets, jerkins, hose, and stockings. Platform shoes, called chopines, also originated at this time. How tall were they?

Born on a day like today


Dr. Henry Faulds

Faulds was a Scottish doctor and scientist who pioneered the study of fingerprints as forensic evidence. He first became interested in fingerprints after noticing the imprints left by craftsmen's fingertips in ancient pottery. Convinced that fingerprints could be a valuable investigative tool, Faulds unsuccessfully tried to convince Scotland Yard to employ his methods. His findings went largely unnoticed during his lifetime. How does Darwin's cousin factor into a controversy over Faulds's work?

Last updated on Saturday, 1st June 2013

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