" There is, one knows not what sweet mystery about this sea, whose gently awful stirrings seem to speak of some hidden soul beneath. "
Herman Melville

Back in the day


US President-Elect Survives Train Wreck, Loses Son

Just months before he was inaugurated as the 14th US president, Franklin Pierce, his wife, and his 11-year-old son were in a terrible train wreck in which their car derailed and rolled down an embankment. Pierce and his wife survived but saw their son crushed to death. He was their third child, and the only one to have lived past early childhood. The suddenly childless parents were devastated, and Pierce entered the presidency in mourning. To what did Pierce's wife attribute the train accident?




Nasserism is a political ideology based on the thinking of Gamal Abdel Nasser, who served as president of Egypt from 1956–70. Combining elements of Arab socialism, republicanism, nationalism, anti-imperialism, and non-alignment, it became one of the most potent political ideologies in the Arab world. Though Nasserism was tarnished when Nasser led the Arab world in the disastrous Six Day War of 1967, it is still espoused by some Egyptian political parties. Nasser died suddenly of what in 1970?

Born on a day like today


Sarah Trimmer

Trimmer was a British writer and critic of children's literature. Books written specifically for children had only become popular around 1730, and Trimmer helped to define the genre through her periodical The Guardian of Education. Her interest in education came from teaching her 12 children. Devoutly religious, she wrote her own scripture lessons, condemned fairy tales, and supported Sunday schools. What famous children's author might have been influenced by Trimmer's work?

Last updated on Monday, 6th January 2014

More sponsors