" Men are all right for friends, but as soon as you marry them they turn into cranky old fathers, even the wild ones. They begin to tell you what's sensible and what's foolish, and want you to stick at home all the time. I prefer to be foolish when I feel like it, and be accountable to nobody. "
Willa Cather

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History

The First Underground Line of the New York City Subway Opens

Now an integral part of New York City culture, the NYC subway opened its first underground line in 1904—about 35 years after service began on the first elevated line. The subway's early popularity was highlighted in songs like "Take the 'A' Train" and publicity contests like "Miss Subways." Millions of people now ride the city's subways every day, consistently crowding some trains well beyond capacity. What 1888 natural disaster boosted support for the creation of an underground transit system?

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The Babington Plot

Mary Queen of Scots was the Catholic monarch during the Scottish Reformation. Forced to abdicate, she fled to England and was welcomed but then imprisoned by Elizabeth I, who considered Mary a threat due to her Catholicism and her strong claim to the throne through her grandmother, Margaret Tudor. During her 18-year imprisonment, Mary endlessly schemed to gain her freedom but was beheaded when the Babington Plot—to murder Elizabeth and place Mary on the throne—was discovered. Who was Babington?

Born on a day like today

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Niccolò Paganini

An Italian violinist and composer whose virtuosity is the stuff of legend, Paganini was playing with an orchestra by the age of nine. By the time he reached adulthood, the renowned violinist had also earned a reputation as a shameless womanizer and inveterate gambler. The latter vice once even cost him his prized violin. Nevertheless, he had a profound influence on the evolution of violin technique. Why did the Catholic Church deny him burial in consecrated ground for years following his death?

Last updated on Sunday, 27th October 2013

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