" Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilized by education; they grow firm there, firm as weeds among stones. "
Charlotte Bronte

Back in the day


The North Sea Flood

When heavy winds struck the North Sea during the high spring tide in 1953, it created a severe flood that affected parts of the Netherlands, Belgium, and the UK. Belgium suffered significant property damage but little loss of life. The Netherlands, on the other hand, had 1,836 reported deaths, and the UK had more than 500, with nearly half of the victims perishing at sea. The flood remains one of the UK's worst natural disasters. What has been done to prevent future disasters of this sort?




During World War II, Reinhard Heydrich—deputy chief of the Gestapo—became known as "the Hangman of Europe" for his mass executions. Czech patriots sought to end to his reign of terror by rolling a grenade under his car in May 1942, and he died of an infection from his injuries a week later. The Gestapo retaliated by demolishing the Czech village of Lidice. They executed its male population of about 200 and deported all women and children to concentration camps. Why did they choose Lidice?

Born on a day like today


Tokugawa Ieyasu

Along with Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Tokugawa was one of the three unifiers of war-torn, premodern Japan. The three warriors established military control over the whole country and succeeded one another in the dictatorship. Tokugawa's time as shogun, or military dictator, ushered in a period of internal peace, urban growth, increased literacy, and resistance to Western influences. He died in 1616, but the Tokugawa shogunate did not die with him. For how long did his heirs rule Japan?

Last updated on Saturday, 1st February 2014

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