The Beach Boys had already pioneered California rock—guitar-oriented songs about girls and surfing—when Brian Wilson resolved to create "the greatest rock album ever made." Wilson's new arrangements, full of sweeping harmonies and sounds ranging from the electro-theremin to the bicycle bell, made up the 1966 album Pet Sounds. Its songs—including "God Only Knows" and "You Still Believe in Me"—shocked his bandmates but enthralled listeners. What album inspired Wilson's creative quest?
Back in the day
The League of Nations was an international confederation of countries created after World War I and disbanded following World War II when many of its functions were transferred to the United Nations. The League collapsed when faced with threats to international peace from all sides in the 1930s, including the Spanish civil war, Japan's resumption of war against China, and the appeasement of Adolf Hitler at Munich. Its last important act was to expel the Soviet Union in 1939 for doing what?
Born on a day like today
The subject of the Academy Award-winning 2010 film The King's Speech, George VI became king of the United Kingdom following the abdication of his brother, Edward VIII. George was an important symbolic leader of the British people during World War II, supporting the wartime leadership of Winston Churchill and visiting his armies on the battlefield. He earned the respect of his people by scrupulously observing the responsibilities of a constitutional monarch and by overcoming what handicap?