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[Daily article] November 18: Siege of Godesberg

The Siege of Godesberg, 18 November – 17 December 1583, was the first
major siege of the Cologne War (1583–89). A formidable 13th-century
fortress, the Godesburg (pictured c. 1500), sat on top of the
Godesberg mountain, towering over the Rhine valley. It commanded the
roads leading to Bonn, the Elector of Cologne's capital city, and
Cologne, the region's economic powerhouse. By the mid-16th century, the
Godesburg was considered nearly impregnable and had become a symbol of
the dual power of the Prince-electors and Archbishops of Cologne.
Bavarian and mercenary soldiers surrounded the mountain and the village
then of the same name, now Bad Godesberg, at its foot. The Godesburg
resisted a lengthy cannonade by the attacking army; finally, sappers
tunneled into the the mountain and blew up a significant part of the
fortifications. This killed many of the defenders, but the remainder
offered staunch resistance and the Bavarians had to enter the castle's
inner courtyard through the latrine system to succeed. The Godesburg's
commander negotiated safe passage for himself, his wife and his
lieutenant. The others who were left in the keep—men, women and
children—were killed.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Godesberg>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1812:

Napoleonic Wars: During Napoleon's invasion of Russia, Marshal
Michel Ney's leadership in the Battle of Krasnoi earned him the nickname
"the bravest of the brave" despite the overwhelming French defeat.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Krasnoi>
(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] November 17: Not My Life

Not My Life is a 2011 American independent documentary film about human
trafficking and contemporary slavery. The film was written, produced,
and directed by Robert Bilheimer (pictured in Senegal during filming),
who had been asked to make the film by Antonio Maria Costa, executive
director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Not My Life
addresses many forms of slavery, including the military use of children
in Uganda, involuntary servitude in the United States, forced begging
and garbage picking in India, sex trafficking in Europe and Southeast
Asia, and other kinds of child abuse. Fifty people are interviewed in
the film, including Don Brewster of Agape International Missions, who
says that all of the girls they have rescued from child sex tourism in
Cambodia identify Americans as the clients who were the most abusive to
them. The film was dedicated to Richard Young, its cinematographer and
co-director, after he died in December 2010. It had its premiere the
following month at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New
York City. Not My Life was named Best World Documentary at the 2012
Harlem International Film Festival.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Not_My_Life>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1292:

John Balliol was chosen to be King of Scots over Robert de
Brus.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Balliol>

1839:
(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] November 16: Hurricane Claudette (2003)

Hurricane Claudette was the third tropical storm and first hurricane of
the 2003 Atlantic hurricane season. A fairly long-lived July Atlantic
hurricane, Claudette began as a tropical wave in the eastern Caribbean.
It moved quickly westward, brushing past the Yucatán Peninsula before
moving northwestward through the Gulf of Mexico. Claudette remained a
tropical storm until just before making landfall in Port O'Connor,
Texas, when it quickly strengthened to a strong Category 1 hurricane.
Forecasting its path and intensity was uncertain, resulting in
widespread and often unnecessary preparations along its path. Claudette
was the first hurricane to make landfall in July in the United States
since Hurricane Danny in the 1997 season. The hurricane caused one death
and moderate damage in Texas, mostly from strong winds, as well as
extensive beach erosion. Because of the damage, President George W. Bush
declared portions of South Texas as a Federal Disaster Area, allowing
the affected citizens to apply for aid. Claudette also caused
significant rainfall and minor damage in the Mexican state of Quintana
Roo, as well as minor damage on Saint Lucia.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Claudette_(2003)>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1776:

American Revolutionary War: British and Hessian units captured
Fort Washington from the Patriots.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Fort_Washington>

1885:
(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] November 15: Metroid Prime 2: Echoes

Metroid Prime 2: Echoes is a first-person, action-adventure video game
developed by Retro Studios and published by Nintendo for the GameCube
video game console. It is the seventh published game in the Metroid
series, a direct sequel to Metroid Prime, and the first game in the
series with a multiplayer feature. Echoes was released in North America,
Europe, and Australia in 2004, and in Japan the following year. The
story follows bounty hunter Samus Aran as she explores Aether, a planet
that is infested with the Ing, an evil race from an alternate dimension.
Samus must travel to three temples to ensure the destruction of the Ing,
while battling Space Pirates and her mysterious doppelgänger called
Dark Samus. Retro decided to make the game different from its
predecessor by adding more focus on storyline and including new gameplay
elements. The game's single player mode and graphics were praised by
critics, while its steep difficulty level and multiplayer components
were met less positively. Echoes received several video game industry
awards, as well as spots on "top games" lists by Nintendo Power and IGN.
Over 800,000 copies of the game have been sold worldwide.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metroid_Prime_2:_Echoes>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

655:

Penda of Mercia was defeated by Oswiu of Northumbria at the
Battle of the Winwaed in modern-day Yorkshire, England.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penda_of_Mercia>

1864:
(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] November 14: Harold Larwood

Harold Larwood (1904–1995) was a professional cricketer for
Nottinghamshire and England between 1924 and 1938. A right-arm fast
bowler, he was considered by many commentators to be the finest bowler
of his generation. He was the main exponent of the bowling style known
as "bodyline", developed under the guidance of England's combative
captain Douglas Jardine as a response to the domination of Australia's
leading batsman, Don Bradman. The tactic was used with considerable
success in the 1932–33 Test series, but the Australians' description
of the method as "unsportsmanlike" soured cricketing relations between
the two countries. Larwood refused to apologise for his bowling, as he
was carrying out his captain's instructions, and never played for
England again. In retirement after the Second World War, he and his
family emigrated to Australia, where he was warmly welcomed, in contrast
to his cricketing days. He paid several subsequent visits to England,
and was honoured at his old county ground, Trent Bridge, where a stand
was named after him. In 1993 he was appointed a Member of the Order of
the British Empire (MBE), in delayed recognition of his services to
cricket.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Larwood>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1910:

Aviator Eugene Burton Ely performed the first takeoff from a
ship (pictured), flying from a makeshift deck on the USS Birmingham in
Hampton Roads, Virginia, US.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_Burton_Ely>
(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] November 13: Sadie Harris

Sadie Harris is a recurring fictional character from the American
television medical drama Grey's Anatomy, played by actress Melissa
George (pictured). Introduced in November 2008 as a surgical intern who
has an old companionship with the series' protagonist Meredith Grey
(Ellen Pompeo), Harris eventually forms a friendship with Lexie Grey
(Chyler Leigh), and departs after it is revealed she cheated her way
into the surgical program. George's original contract included
appearances in eight to eleven episodes of season five, with the
possibility of becoming a series regular. Harris was originally planned
to be a romantic foil for Erica Hahn (Brooke Smith) and Callie Torres
(Sara Ramirez), but the role was retooled after the former left. After
some speculation about the character's future, it was confirmed that she
would not be joining the series; the final episode to include Harris was
broadcast in February 2009. In response to assertions that Harris left
to "de-gay" Grey's Anatomy, George explained that it was her own
decision to leave. The character received mixed feedback from critics,
and has been characterized as "naughty", "mischievous", and "nutty".

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadie_Harris>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1002:

King Æthelred II ordered the massacre of all Danes in
England.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Brice%27s_Day_massacre>

1642:
(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] November 12: Jo Stafford

Jo Stafford (1917–2008) was an American traditional pop music singer
and occasional actress whose career spanned five decades. Admired for
the purity of her voice, she achieved by 1955 more worldwide record
sales than any other woman artist. Born in Coalinga, California,
Stafford made her first musical appearance at age twelve. She was
trained as an opera singer before turning to popular music. With her two
older sisters, she appeared in Alexander's Ragtime Band in 1938, where
she met musicians with whom she formed the The Pied Pipers and became
the group's lead singer. Her work with the USO, giving concerts for
soldiers, earned her the nickname "G.I. Jo". From 1945, Stafford was a
regular host of the NBC series The Chesterfield Supper Club and later
appeared on television including two series called The Jo Stafford Show.
In 1961, the album Jonathan and Darlene Edwards in Paris won Stafford
her only Grammy Award. In the 1970s, she recorded a cover of the Bee
Gees hit "Stayin' Alive". Her work is recognized by three stars on the
Hollywood Walk of Fame. Her 1952 song "You Belong to Me" made her the
first woman to reach number one on the U.K. Singles Chart.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jo_Stafford>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1330:

Led by voivode Basarab I, Wallachian forces defeated the
Hungarian army in an ambush at the Battle of Posada.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Posada>

1892:
(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] November 11: Goodbyeee

"Goodbyeee" is the sixth and final episode of the British historical
sitcom Blackadder '​s fourth series, entitled Blackadder Goes Forth.
First broadcast on BBC One on 2 November 1989, shortly before Armistice
Day, the episode depicts its main characters' final hours before a
British offensive on the Western Front of the First World War, and the
failed attempts of Captain Blackadder, played by Rowan Atkinson
(pictured), to escape his fate by feigning madness. After he cannot
convince General Melchett, and Field Marshal Haig's advice is useless,
he is resigned to take part in the push. It has a darker tone than other
episodes in the series, culminating with the main characters charging
into no-man's land under machine-gun fire. The episode's theme of death
ties in with the series' use of gallows humour and its criticism and
satire of war. Richard Curtis and Ben Elton wrote the episode, and
additional material was provided by its cast members. Its slow-motion
final sequence showing the main characters going "over the top" has
often been voted one of the greatest moments in television.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodbyeee>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1805:

War of the Third Coalition: French, Austrian and Russian units
all suffered heavy losses in the Battle of Dürenstein.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_D%C3%BCrenstein>

1839:

(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] November 10: Ontario Highway 401

Highway 401 is a 400-series highway in the Canadian province of Ontario
stretching 817.9 kilometres (508.2 mi). The portion that passes through
Toronto is the busiest highway in the world, and one of the widest
(18 lanes pictured near Toronto Pearson International Airport). By the
end of 1952, three individual highways were numbered "Highway 401": the
partially completed Toronto Bypass between Weston Road and Highway 11;
Highway 2A between West Hill and Newcastle; and the Scenic Highway
between Gananoque and Brockville. The route was expanded across the
province, and became fully navigable from Windsor to the Quebec border
on November 10, 1964. In 1965 it was designated the Macdonald–Cartier
Freeway, in honour of the Fathers of Confederation, and it became a
freeway for its entire length in 1968. A portion of the highway was
designated the Highway of Heroes in 2007, as the road is travelled by
funeral convoys for fallen Canadian Forces personnel from CFB Trenton to
the coroner's office in Toronto. In 2011 construction began on a
westward extension of Highway 401 that will be known as the Herb Gray
Parkway and extend to Interstate 75 via a new international crossing.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontario_Highway_401>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1202:

The first major action of the Fourth Crusade and the first
attack against a Catholic city by Catholic crusaders, the Siege of Zara,
began in Zadar, Croatia.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Zara>

(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] November 9: SMS Emden (1908)

SMS Emden was the second and final member of the Dresden class of light
cruisers built for the Imperial German Navy. Named for the town of
Emden, she was completed in July 1909 at the Imperial Dockyard in
Danzig, and spent most of her career with the German East Asia Squadron,
based in Tsingtao, China. At the outbreak of World War I, Emden captured
a Russian steamer and converted her into the commerce raider Cormoran.
In October 1914, Emden launched a surprise attack on Penang, sinking the
Russian cruiser Zhemchug and the French destroyer Mousquet.
Emden '​s commander, Karl von Müller, then took her to raid the
Cocos Islands, where he landed a contingent of sailors to destroy
British facilities. On 9 November 1914, Emden was attacked by the
Australian cruiser HMAS Sydney, a more powerful ship, and seriously
damaged. Müller ran his ship aground to prevent her from sinking. Out
of a crew of 376, 133 were killed in the battle. Most of the survivors
were taken prisoner, though the landing party commandeered an old
schooner and eventually returned to Germany. Emden '​s wreck was
quickly destroyed by wave action, but was not broken up for scrap until
the 1950s.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMS_Emden_(1908)>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1822:

USS Alligator engaged three piratical schooners off the coast
of Cuba in one of the West Indies anti-piracy operations of the United
States.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Action_of_9_November_1822>
(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] November 8: Pelican

Pelicans are a genus of large water birds comprising the family
Pelecanidae. They are characterised by a long beak and large throat
pouch used for catching prey and draining water from the scooped up
contents before swallowing. They have predominantly pale plumage, the
exceptions being the brown and Peruvian pelicans. The bills, pouches and
bare facial skin of all species become brightly coloured before the
breeding season. The eight living pelican species (great white pelican
pictured) have a patchy global distribution, ranging latitudinally from
the tropics to the temperate zone. They frequent inland and coastal
waters where they feed principally on fish, catching them at or near the
water surface. Gregarious birds, they often hunt cooperatively and breed
colonially. Four white-plumaged species tend to nest on the ground, and
four brown or grey-plumaged species nest mainly in trees. The birds have
been persecuted because of their perceived competition with fishers, and
have suffered from habitat destruction, disturbance and environmental
pollution. They have a long history of cultural significance in
mythology, and in Christian and heraldic iconography.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pelican>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1576:

The provinces of the Habsburg Netherlands signed the
Pacification of Ghent, to make peace with the rebelling provinces
Holland and Zeeland, and also to form an alliance to drive the occupying
Spanish out of the country.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacification_of_Ghent>
(Continue reading)


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