" The accumulation of all powers, Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny. "
James Madison

Back in the day


Australia Day: Britain's First Fleet Arrives

On January 26, 1788, the first British fleet in modern-day Australia claimed it in the name of King George III. Captain Arthur Phillip and his band of British convicts settled in Port Jackson—where the city of Sydney was later established—and built a penal colony there to help relieve overcrowding in the British prisons. First officially celebrated in 1818, Australia Day—formerly known as Foundation Day or Anniversary Day—has been a public holiday since 1838. What was the British fleet called?



Judith and Holofernes

In the Book of Judith, the eponymous heroine—a Jewish widow of great beauty and piety—enters the Assyrian camp as their army besieges her city of Bethulia. General Holofernes tries to seduce her, but she beheads him while he is drunk. Judith brings his head back to Bethulia, and the Jews rout the Assyrians. Judith's story is likely fictional and is not part of the Hebrew Bible, though her erotically-charged, violent tale has made her a popular artistic subject. How did early Christians view her?

Born on a day like today


Pierre Paul François Camille Savorgnan de Brazza

Born to Italian nobility in Brazil, Brazza joined the French navy and explored present-day Gabon from 1875 to 1878. Racing his British-American counterpart Henry Morton Stanley, Brazza explored the Congo River region, where he founded the French Congo and Brazzaville—now capital of the Republic of the Congo. He added some 200,000 square miles (500,000 sq km) to the French colonial empire and was the French Congo's commissioner general from 1886 to 1898. Why was he sent back to the Congo in 1905?

Last updated on Sunday, 26th January 2014

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