No man's land is territory whose ownership is unclear or under dispute and is often unoccupied. The term—then spelled "nonesmanneslond"—was likely first used in medieval Europe to describe a contested territory or refuse dumping ground between fiefdoms. During WWI, it was used to refer to the land between enemy trenches too dangerous to occupy, and during the Cold War, it became associated with territories near the Iron Curtain. What stretch of no man's land is known as the "Cactus Curtain"?
Eleanor H. Porter
Back in the day
At the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, Vanderlei de Lima was on track to become the first Brazilian to win an Olympic gold medal in the marathon, leading the pack in the last miles of the race, when he was pushed into the crowd by a spectator named Cornelius Horan, a defrocked Irish priest. De Lima lost about 10 seconds in the incident and finished third. Brazil appealed for de Lima to be awarded a gold medal but was denied. What other sporting event had Horan previously disrupted?
Born on a day like today
When the Great Depression hit, Thomas was forced to set aside his dreams of becoming a doctor and instead found work as a laboratory assistant to American surgeon Alfred Blalock. He spent the next 34 years working with Blalock and was instrumental in developing a pioneering surgical treatment for tetralogy of Fallot, a congenital heart malformation. Despite his groundbreaking work, he went unrecognized for many years due to racial prejudices. What honorary degree was conferred upon him in 1976?