" All visible objects ... are but as pasteboard masks. "
Herman Melville

Back in the day


Lebanon Hostage Crisis: Last US Captive Released after 7 Years

After reporting from Vietnam as a war correspondent, American journalist Terry A. Anderson became chief correspondent for the Associated Press in Lebanon. In March 1985, he was abducted from a Beirut street by Shiite Hezbollah militants retaliating against the US for supplying Israel with weapons. Held with other American hostages taken at around the same time, Anderson remained in captivity for nearly seven years and was the last to be released. What has he done since regaining his freedom?




Shiraz is a southern Iranian city near the extensive ruins of ancient Persepolis—the capital of Persia established by Darius I and plundered by Alexander the Great in 330 BCE. In the 18th century, Karim Khan briefly made Shiraz the capital of Persia, adorning it with fine buildings. Shiraz has long been regarded as an economic and cultural center of Iran, famous for its eponymous wine, gardens, carpets, shrines, and mosques, as well as its poets and philosophers. Which poets are buried here?

Born on a day like today


Francisco Franco

A career army officer and skillful leader, Franco was appointed the Spanish army's chief of staff in 1935. The next year, he joined the military uprising that precipitated the Spanish Civil War and became the leader of the Nationalist forces bent on overthrowing the republican government. Over the next few years, a bloody war was waged. The Nationalists emerged victorious, and from 1939 until his death in 1975, Franco served as virtual dictator of Spain. Whose aid helped secure Franco's victory?

Last updated on Wednesday, 4th December 2013

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