In the late 19th century, Western adventurers who had explored beyond India's frontiers brought back thrilling tales, exaggerating Russian activity in Central Asia and sparking British interest in the area. The rivalry that developed between Russia and Britain—known as the Great Game—resulted in the creation of the Wakhan Corridor, a buffer zone between the two empires. The rugged, highly remote stretch now links northeastern Afghanistan with China. How many people live in the Wakhan Corridor?
Back in the day
An English nurse, Cavell was working to improve the nursing standards at a Brussels hospital when World War I broke out. After Germany occupied Belgium, she became involved with an underground group that helped about 200 Allied soldiers escape to the Netherlands. In 1915, she was arrested by the German occupation authorities and court-martialed. Despite diplomatic pressure on Germany, she was executed and became a celebrated martyr of the Allies. What reportedly went wrong at the execution?
Born on a day like today
Originally a schoolteacher, Pavarotti only began his vocal training in his 20s but nevertheless became one of the most successful tenors of all time. He made his professional debut in 1961 and then debuted at La Scala in 1965 and the Metropolitan Opera in 1968. A popular favorite, Pavarotti was noted for the rich and ringing clarity of his voice as well as for his immense personal charm. At the peak of his career, his concerts drew hundreds of thousands of attendees. Where did he last perform?