" A man will tell you that he has worked in a mine for forty years unhurt by an accident as a reason why he should apprehend no danger, though the roof is beginning to sink. "
George Eliot

Back in the day


Queen Victoria Chooses to Make Ottawa, Ontario, Canada's Capital

First inhabited by indigenous tribes, the city that became Ottawa was founded as Bytown in 1827 by John By, an engineer in charge of construction of the Rideau Canal linking Lake Ontario and the Ottawa River. In the 1850s, the city was renamed Ottawa—after the Algonquian-speaking Ottawa tribe—when it fell into competition with major cities like Montreal and Toronto to be named capital of the Province of Canada, which comprised modern-day Ontario and Quebec. Why did Queen Victoria choose Ottawa?



The Trepov Incident

In July 1877, a Soviet political prisoner refused to remove his cap in the presence of St. Petersburg governor Theodore Trepov, a colonel known for violently suppressing rebellions. In retaliation, Trepov ordered that the man be flogged, which outraged Vera Zasulich, a fellow prisoner allied with a revolutionary group. In January 1888, Zasulich wounded Trepov with a revolver shot. In the trial that followed, a sympathetic jury found Zasulich not guilty. What happened to her?

Born on a day like today


Jaime Alfonso Escalante Gutierrez

The subject of the acclaimed 1988 film Stand and Deliver, Escalante was a math teacher who, with his unconventional teaching style, dedication, and complete faith in his students' potential, created a successful advanced placement—or college level—calculus program at a high school in a poor East Los Angeles neighborhood. In 1982, when 18 of his students received perfect or near-perfect scores on a national exam, they were accused of cheating. What happened when 12 retook the test?

Last updated on Tuesday, 31st December 2013

More sponsors