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History

"CQD" Distress Signal Adopted

"CQD" was one of the first Morse code distress signals adopted for radio use. The Marconi Marine Communication Company began using it in 1904, but by 1908, "CQD" had largely been supplanted by "SOS," a simpler code. Contrary to popular belief, "CQD" does not stand for "Come Quick, Danger" or "Come Quickly: Distress." Rather, it combines the call "CQ"—a general call to all stations stemming from the French word sécurité—with "D" for "distress." What was its most famous use?

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The Maypole

The maypole is the center of activity during the celebration of May Day. The tall wooden pole is often decorated with flowers, greenery, and streamers. Dancers hold the loose ends of the streamers and weave intricate patterns as they encircle the pole and pass each other in dance. May Day festivities also include a May king and queen and people carrying garlands. The maypole probably originated in ancient fertility rites, but its symbolism has long been debated. What are some interpretations?

Born on a day like today

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Ludwig III of Bavaria

Ludwig III, the last king of Bavaria, took an unusual path to the crown. His father Luitpold had ruled Bavaria for his insane nephews Ludwig II—a brilliant eccentric who was ultimately confined to a château—and Otto I. Ludwig III succeeded Luitpold as regent and reigned as king from 1913 to 1918. Ludwig's brief rule was tumultuous, coinciding with World War I and the German Revolution. He was the first monarch to be deposed in the revolution and fled Munich in November 1918. Where did he die?

Last updated on Tuesday, 7th January 2014

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