Court Martial of Benedict Arnold Begins (1779)

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When Arnold was court-martialed in 1779, it was not for the treason that would later make his name synonymous with betrayal. The charges involved fiscal irregularities and were relatively minor. Though he was largely exonerated, the trial sullied his reputation. Despite having distinguished himself in various American military campaigns—he was wounded more than once—Arnold was subsequently passed over for promotion. Embittered, he hatched what plot to aid the British in the American Revolution? Discuss

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Paranoid Fiction

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Paranoid fiction is a literary genre in which reality is portrayed as subject to manipulation by external forces, such as totalitarian governments, or internal forces, such as insanity. The genre frequently overlaps with dystopian fiction and science fiction and is inspired by the works of authors like Franz Kafka and Philip K. Dick, who penned the novel that was made into the film Blade Runner. What paranoid-fiction writer may have taken some of his inspiration from his own nightmares? Discuss

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James Hadley Billington (1929)

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Billington is a US scholar and the 13th Librarian of Congress. He earned his PhD in 1953 as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, taught at Harvard and Princeton, and published several significant books on Russia. He served as director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars from 1973 to 1987, when he became Librarian of Congress. There, he has fostered cooperation between libraries worldwide and encouraged the use of digital media. He has been decorated by what countries? Discuss

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Goûter Matrimonial (Matrimonial Tea Party)

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Known locally as Goûter Matrimonial, the Matrimonial Tea party that takes place on Whit Monday every year in Écaussinnes-Lalaing in Belgium is an opportunity for unmarried women to entertain eligible bachelors. At 9 a.m., the visiting men are greeted at the town hall and invited to write their names in an official guest book. At three in the afternoon the annual tea is announced. It consists of coffee, beer, and locally made sweets, and it is followed by folk dancing and merrymaking that continues for most of the night. No statistics are available concerning the success of the matchmaking. Discuss

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June 1, 2020 – NATIONAL SAY SOMETHING NICE DAY – WORLD REEF AWARENESS DAY – NATIONAL NAIL POLISH DAY – NATIONAL GO BAREFOOT DAY – NATIONAL OLIVE DAY – NATIONAL PEN PAL DAY – NATIONAL HEIMLICH MANEUVER DAY – NATIONAL HAZELNUT CAKE DAY

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Abdus Salam

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Salam was a Pakistani theoretical physicist who helped develop the electroweak theory explaining the relationship between electromagnetic and weak forces. For this work, he shared a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979. He was the first Pakistani and the first Muslim scientist to be so honored. To support physicists from developing countries, he founded the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in 1964. He died in England and was brought back to Pakistan for burial. Who defaced his grave? Discuss

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Lady Margaret Beaufort (1443)

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Beaufort was an English noblewoman, wife of Edmund Tudor, and the mother of Henry VII, founder of the Tudor Dynasty. She gave birth to Henry at 13, shortly after being widowed, and developed a close bond with her only child. Renowned for her philanthropy, she endowed professorships of divinity at Oxford and Cambridge and with the help of her confessor, John Fisher, founded Christ's College and St. John's College, Cambridge. She later acted as regent for Henry VIII. How many times did she marry? Discuss

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Festa do Divino (Festival of the Divine Holy Spirit)

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Portuguese colonists brought their Pentecost celebration, the Festa do Divino, to Brazil in the 17th century. This religious festival is still celebrated today in many Brazilian cities. In Alcântara, Maranhão State, and Paraty, Rio de Janeiro State, the townspeople dress up in colonial costumes of figures from Brazilian history. The climax is a visit from the "Emperor," who arrives with his servants for a procession and mass at the church square. He symbolically frees prisoners from the town jail, and strolling musicians known as Folias do Divino serenade the townspeople. Discuss

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Copyright Act of 1790 Signed into US Law (1790)

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After the US Constitution was ratified in 1788, one of the first issues that the fledgling government faced was the lack of a copyright law. Without it, Congress would be swamped with individual petitions for protection from piracy. Modeled on Britain's Statute of Anne, the Copyright Act of 1790 was soon signed into law by President Washington. Instituted to encourage learning by securing US authors the sole rights to their work for 14-year periods, it drew what complaint from Charles Dickens? Discuss

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May 31, 2020 – NATIONAL AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE DAY – NATIONAL SMILE DAY – NATIONAL MACAROON DAY – NECROTIZING FASCIITIS AWARENESS DAY – NATIONAL SPEAK IN COMPLETE SENTENCES DAY – NATIONAL UTAH DAY – NATIONAL SAVE YOUR HEARING DAY

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Dominican Republic Dictator Rafael Trujillo Is Assassinated (1961)

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Trujillo was a military strongman who seized control of the Dominican Republic in 1930 and ruled it as a dictator for the next 30 years. He renamed the capital after himself and forced all citizens to join his political party. He brutally suppressed dissent and ordered the infamous 1937 Parsley Massacre, in which up to 30,000 Haitians living near the Dominican border were murdered. In 1961, Trujillo was ambushed and shot to death by seven men. Why was the 1937 massacre named after a garden herb? Discuss

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Mel Blanc (1908)

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One of the most prolific voice actors of all time, Blanc began his career in radio. In 1933, he began to work for a daily radio program, for which he created several voices. In 1937, he joined the cartoon department of Warner Brothers. During his 50-year career, he supplied voices in more than 3,000 animated cartoons for hundreds of characters, including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, and Woody Woodpecker. Which Looney Tunes character is said to sound closest Blanc's natural voice? Discuss

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Living Statues

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Living statues are mimes who stand perfectly still for hours on end, pretending to be statues. They are sometimes painted with a metallic sheen or another color so that they appear to have been cast from metal or carved from stone. Often, they are so still that bystanders believe they are actual statues and—as has been shown on many a hidden-camera television show—create quite a commotion among startled onlookers if they disrupt the illusion by moving. When did the first living statues perform? Discuss

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Kallemooi

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Observed in the North Coast Islands of the Netherlands, the custom known as Kallemooi represents the fishermen's welcome to spring. A tall pole with a transverse arm near the top is erected in the center of the village. A live cock is suspended in a basket from the apex of the crosspiece. It is decorated at the top with the Dutch flag, a green branch, and a placard bearing the word "Kallemooi." For three days and three nights before Pentecost, or Whitsunday, people feast, make merry, and play Whitsun games. After the fun is over, the rooster is released and returned to its owner. Discuss

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May 30, 2020 – NATIONAL HOLE IN MY BUCKET DAY – NATIONAL CREATIVITY DAY – LOOMIS DAY – NATIONAL MINT JULEP DAY – NATIONAL WATER A FLOWER DAY – WORLD MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS DAY

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