" It is when suffering finds a voice and sets our nerves quivering that this pity comes troubling us. "
H.G. Wells

Back in the day


Mexican Emperor Maximilian I Executed by Firing Squad

In the 1860s, France sought to establish an empire in Mexico. Ferdinand Maximilian, an Austrian navy chief and member of the Habsburg dynasty, accepted Napoleon III's offer of the throne, naively believing that the Mexicans had voted him their king. In reality, Maximilian's only support came from the French army, and the empire was doomed. In 1866, Napoleon withdrew his troops. Maximilian refused to abdicate and was captured and executed, ending the empire. What were his last words?



Rock Climbing

In rock climbing, participants scale natural rock formations or artificial rock walls using ropes and special equipment—or, sometimes, just their hands and feet. Though humans have been rock climbing for millennia, the activity emerged as a sport in the 19th century. Aid climbing, in which artificial handholds and footholds are used, allowed climbers to reach heights that once seemed inaccessible. Today, the sport continues to evolve. What are some of the ethical considerations of rock climbing?

Born on a day like today


Wallis Simpson

Simpson was an American socialite for whom English King Edward VIII voluntarily abdicated the throne. Their relationship caused a furor in England because the Church of England at the time did not allow people with living ex-spouses to marry, and, as king, Edward was also head of the church. Simpson's two ex-husbands were still alive when she married Edward on June 3, 1937, just six months after he relinquished his title. How did Wallis and Edward spend the rest of their lives together?

Last updated on Wednesday, 19th June 2013

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