Black Monday: Dow Jones Industrial Average Falls 508 Points (1987)

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On what is known in the financial world as Black Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 508 points, nearly 23%—the largest drop since 1914. Although the cause of the crash is still debated, its result was immediately apparent: it sent the value of markets plummeting worldwide. By the end of the month, markets in Hong Kong and Australia had lost over 40%. That December, a group of eminent economists predicted that the next few years could be the worst since the Great Depression. Were they? Discuss

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French Indochina

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The region that is today home to Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam came under French control in the late 1800s as French Indochina. Though occupied by Japan during World War II, the area did not achieve full independence from France until 1954. Soon after independence, the Vietnam War erupted. After World War II, US President Franklin Roosevelt unsuccessfully attempted to arrange for China to acquire the region before France could regain control. What was Chairman Chiang Kai-shek's emphatic response? Discuss

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Jamaica National Heroes Day

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In Kingston, Jamaica, National Heroes Park contains a series of statues devoted to key figures in the country's history, including independence leader Alexander Bustamante and pan-African crusader Marcus Garvey. As a way to honor the figures commemorated in this park, the Jamaican government has established National Heroes Day. Local parishes all over the island hold award ceremonies to honor community figures, while at National Heroes Park a main ceremony takes place that features a speech by a national leader, typically the prime minister. Discuss

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John McLoughlin (1784)

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A Canadian doctor and fur trader, McLoughlin became administrator of the far western region of England's Hudson's Bay Company in the 1820s. In spite of the strained relations between Britain and the US, "the Father of Oregon" offered help to American settlers in the disputed territory. After an 1846 treaty established the US-Canadian border farther north than he had hoped, he claimed a large tract of land whose ownership he disputed with the US until his death. Who was he accused of murdering? Discuss

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October 19, 2020 – NATIONAL CLEAN YOUR VIRTUAL DESKTOP DAY – NATIONAL KENTUCKY DAY – NATIONAL SEAFOOD BISQUE DAY – NATIONAL LGBT CENTER AWARENESS DAY

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The Hittites

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The Hittites were an ancient Indo-European people who flourished from 1600 to 1200 BCE in what is today Turkey and Syria. They either displaced or absorbed the previous inhabitants of the region, the Hattians, whose culture had a strong influence on that of the Hittites. For several hundred years, the Hittite Empire was the chief cultural and political force in West Asia. The loose confederation of the empire was eventually broken up by invaders, and its remnants were conquered by whom? Discuss

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Jan Gies (1905)

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When the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands forced Otto Frank to resign from his own company because he was a Jew, his friend Jan Gies nominally took over. Soon after, the Franks and several friends went into hiding in a secret annex on the company's premises. For the next two years, Jan and his wife, Miep, sustained eight people in hiding, including Otto's daughter Anne, bringing them food and supplies until they were betrayed to the Nazis. How were the Nazis responsible for the Gies' marriage? Discuss

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Earthquake Destroys Basel, Switzerland (1356)

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Estimated to have been greater than 6.0 in magnitude, the Basel earthquake of 1356 may have been the most serious seismological event in the recorded history of central Europe. The main earthquake struck around 10 PM. In the Swiss city of Basel, all the major buildings—including castles and churches—were destroyed by the quake and subsequent fires. Three hundred people are thought to have been killed. The event was felt across Europe, including as far away as what locations? Discuss

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Nagoya Festival

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An annual secular festival in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan, the Nagoya Festival was started by the city's merchants in 1955 to give thanks for their prosperity. It features a parade of about 700 participants depicting historical figures in period costume, among them Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu, the three feudal warlords who unified the country at the end of the 16th century. Discuss

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October 18, 2020 – NATIONAL EXASCALE DAY – NATIONAL CHOCOLATE CUPCAKE DAY – INTERNATIONAL LEGGING DAY – NATIONAL NO BEARD DAY

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Pope John Paul I (1912)

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Born Albino Luciani, Pope John Paul I was the first pope to choose a double name, a moniker that honored his two immediate predecessors, Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI. Refusing to have the centuries-old traditional papal coronation, he instead opted for a simplified ceremony. His 33-day papacy was one of the shortest reigns in papal history, resulting in the most recent "Year of Three Popes." Several conspiracy theories surround his death. In what position was his body found? Discuss

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Human Echolocation

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Used by some blind people to navigate the world, human echolocation is a technique for establishing the locations and shapes of nearby objects by making sounds and interpreting the echoes that result. Sound-producing methods include tapping a cane, stamping, or making clicking noises with one's mouth. This sort of echolocation can provide blind practitioners with enough information to identify large objects by ear alone. What are some feats that blind people have accomplished using echolocation? Discuss

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Keene Pumpkin Festival

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Every year since 1991, the town of Keene, New Hampshire, has held the Pumpkin Festival, in which tens of thousands of carved and lit pumpkins are displayed on scaffolding standing some 50 feet high. The scaffolding is arranged as walls and as four massive towers, and pumpkins are carved and displayed in rows thereon. In the evening, candles are lit within each pumpkin to form great flickering orange walls that light up the crowds. Related activities include the largest children's costume parade in New England, a pumpkin pie eating contest, and a pumpkin seed spitting contest. Discuss

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Loyalty Day: Massive Crowd Demands Release of Juan Perón (1945)

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As secretary of labor and social welfare in the wake of the 1943 revolution in Argentina, Perón enacted a wide range of benefits for workers that earned him a loyal following. In October 1945, he was overthrown in a coup, arrested, and jailed. Mass demonstrations of workers forced his release on October 17, a day now known in Argentina as Loyalty Day. Shortly thereafter, Perón ran for president and was elected by a vast majority in 1946. He was forced into exile in 1955. When did he return? Discuss

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