[Daily article] June 25: Hitler Diaries

The forged diaries of Adolf Hitler are a series of sixty volumes of
journals created by Konrad Kujau (pictured) between 1981 and 1983. They
were purchased in 1983 for 9.3 million Deutsche Marks (US$3.7 million)
by the West German news magazine Stern through one of their journalists,
Gerd Heidemann. Stern sold serialisation rights to several news
organisations, including The Sunday Times. In April 1983, at a press
conference to announce the forthcoming publication, several
historians—including two who had previously authenticated the
diaries—raised questions over their validity, and subsequent forensic
examination quickly confirmed they were forgeries. As Stern's scoop
began to unravel, it became clear that Heidemann, who had an obsession
with the Nazis, had stolen a significant proportion of the money
provided. Kujau and Heidemann both spent time in prison for their parts
in the fraud, and several newspaper editors lost their jobs. The scandal
has been adapted for the screen twice: as Selling Hitler (1991) for the
British ITV channel, and the following year as Schtonk!, a German film.

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

Today's selected anniversaries:


Anglo-Spanish War: English colonial forces repelled a Spanish
attack in the largest battle ever fought on Jamaica.


(Continue reading)


[Daily article] June 24: Horse-fly

Horse-flies are large flies of the family Tabanidae that feed mainly on
nectar. The males have weak mouthparts; only the females bite animals,
including humans, to obtain enough protein from the blood to produce
eggs. For this they use a stout stabbing organ and two pairs of sharp
cutting blades to bite, and a spongelike part to lap up the blood that
flows from the wound. They can transfer blood-borne diseases from one
animal to another. They can also reduce growth rates in cattle and lower
the milk output of cows if suitable shelters are not provided; some
animals have lost up to 300 millilitres of blood in a single day to the
insects. Horseflies prefer to fly in sunlight, avoiding dark and shady
areas, and are inactive at night. They are found all over the world
except for some islands and the polar regions. The larvae are predaceous
and grow in semiaquatic habitats. Horse-flies have appeared in
literature since Aeschylus in Ancient Greece wrote about them driving
people to madness. Gadflies (horse-flies and botflies) are mentioned in
Shakespeare's plays King Lear and Antony and Cleopatra.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horse-fly>

Today's selected anniversaries:


An outbreak of dancing mania, wherein crowds of people danced
themselves to exhaustion, took place in Aachen (present-day Germany),
before spreading to other cities and countries.

(Continue reading)


[Daily article] June 23: Len Hutton

Len Hutton (23 June 1916 – 6 September 1990) was a Test cricketer who
played for Yorkshire and England as an opening batsman. Marked out as a
potential star from his teenage years, Hutton made his debut for
Yorkshire in 1934 and by 1937 was playing for England. He set a record
in 1938 for the highest individual innings in a Test match, scoring 364
runs against Australia, a milestone that stood for nearly 20 years.
During the Second World War, he received a serious arm injury that never
fully recovered. In 1946, he assumed a role as the mainstay of England's
batting; the team depended greatly on his success for the remainder of
his career. In 1952, he became the first professional cricketer of the
20th century to captain England in Tests; under his captaincy in 1953,
England won the Ashes for the first time in 19 years. As a batsman,
Hutton was cautious and built his style on a sound defence. He remains
statistically among the best batsmen to have played Test cricket, and
was knighted for his contributions to the game in 1956. He went on to be
a Test selector, a journalist and broadcaster, an engineering firm
director and, in 1990, Yorkshire's president.

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

Today's selected anniversaries:


American Revolutionary War: The Continental Army victory in the
Battle of Springfield effectively put an end to British ambitions in New

(Continue reading)


[Daily article] June 22: Sons of Soul

Sons of Soul is the third studio album by American R&B; group Tony!
Toni! Toné!, released on June 22, 1993, by Wing Records and Mercury
Records. The group recorded at several studios in California before
moving their sessions to the Caribbean Sound Basin studio in Trinidad,
where they wrote, recorded, and produced most of the album. They used
session musicians and vintage and contemporary recording equipment.
Incorporating live instrumentation and elements from funk and hip hop,
including samples and scratches, they also paid homage to their musical
influences, classic soul artists of the 1960s and 1970s. Lead singer and
bassist Raphael Wiggins wrote the music and quirky, flirtatious lyrics
for most of the songs. A commercial success, Sons of Soul charted for 43
weeks on the Billboard 200 and was certified double platinum in the US.
It was acclaimed by music critics and named the best album of 1993 by
The New York Times and Time magazine. With its success, Tony! Toni!
Toné! became one of the most popular R&B; acts during the genre's
commercial resurgence in the early 1990s.

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

Today's selected anniversaries:


Galileo Galilei was forced to recant his heliocentric view of
the Solar System by the Roman Inquisition, after which, as legend has
it, he muttered under his breath, "And yet it moves."

(Continue reading)


[Daily article] June 21: Mortara case

The Mortara case was a controversy precipitated by the Papal States'
seizure of Edgardo Mortara, a six-year-old Jewish child, from his family
in Bologna, Italy, in 1858. The city's inquisitor, Father Pier Feletti,
heard from a servant that she had administered emergency baptism to the
boy when he fell sick as an infant, and the Supreme Sacred Congregation
of the Roman and Universal Inquisition held that this made the child
irrevocably a Catholic. Because the Papal States had forbidden the
raising of Christians by members of other faiths, it was ordered that he
be taken from his family and brought up by the Church. After visits from
the child's father, international protests mounted, but Pope Pius IX
would not be moved. The boy grew up as a Catholic with the Pope as a
substitute father, trained for the priesthood in Rome until 1870, and
was ordained in France three years later. In 1870 the Kingdom of Italy
captured Rome during the unification of Italy, ending the pontifical
state; opposition across Italy, Europe and the United States over
Mortara's treatment may have contributed to its downfall.

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

Today's selected anniversaries:


War of the League of Cognac: The French army under Francis de
Bourbon was destroyed in Lombardy, present-day Italy, by the Spanish

(Continue reading)


[Daily article] June 20: Schmerber v. California

Schmerber v. California (1966) was a landmark US Supreme Court case that
clarified whether a search warrant is required before taking blood
samples from a suspect, and whether those samples may be introduced into
evidence in a criminal prosecution. In a 5–4 opinion, the court held
that forced extraction of a blood sample is not compelled testimony and
does not violate the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-
incrimination. The court also held that search warrants are ordinarily
required by the Fourth Amendment for intrusions into the human body,
except under exigent circumstances. In 2013, the Supreme Court specified
in Missouri v. McNeely that a warrant may be required for a blood sample
from someone suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol, even
though their blood alcohol level is likely to drop before a warrant can
be obtained. Because the court's ruling in Schmerber prohibited the use
of warrantless blood tests in most circumstances, some commentators
argue that the decision was responsible for the proliferation of
breathalyzers to test for alcohol and urine analyses to test for
controlled substances in criminal investigations.

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

Today's selected anniversaries:


A garrison of the British army in India was imprisoned in the
Black Hole of Calcutta in conditions so cramped that at least 43 died.

(Continue reading)


[Daily article] June 19: Quatermass and the Pit

Quatermass and the Pit is a British television science-fiction serial
that was transmitted live by BBC Television in December 1958 and January
1959. It was the third and last of the BBC's Quatermass serials, all
written by Nigel Kneale. In Knightsbridge, London, a strange skull and
an alien spacecraft are discovered; Professor Bernard Quatermass and his
newly appointed military superior at the British Experimental Rocket
Group, Colonel Breen, join the investigation. The ship and its contents
have a powerful and malign influence over many of those who come in
contact with it, including Quatermass. He discovers that aliens,
probably from Mars, had long ago engineered a human genetic legacy
responsible for much of the war and strife in the world. The serial has
been cited as an influence on Stephen King and the film director John
Carpenter. It featured in the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes
compiled by the British Film Institute in 2000, which described it as
"completely gripping". The character reappeared in a 1979 ITV production
called Quatermass.

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

Today's selected anniversaries:


The Hudson's Bay Company and the North West Company, rival fur-
trading companies, engaged in a violent confrontation in present-day
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

(Continue reading)


[Daily article] June 18: Chickasaw Turnpike

The Chickasaw Turnpike is a short two-lane toll road in the rural south
central region of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. It stretches for 13.3
miles (21.4 km) from north of Sulphur to just south of Ada, running
southwest-to-northeast through Murray and Pontotoc counties. The first
section opened in 1991. The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority owns, maintains,
and collects tolls on most of it; a four-mile (6.4 km) segment was
transferred to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation in 2011.
Originally it was part of a plan to link Ada to the Interstate system
and connect southern and eastern Oklahoma with a longer turnpike. It was
proposed at the same time as three other turnpikes, which would become
the Kilpatrick Turnpike in Oklahoma City, the Creek Turnpike in Tulsa,
and the Cherokee Turnpike in eastern Oklahoma. Rural legislators
objected to the Kilpatrick and Creek Turnpikes, and moved to block them
unless the Chickasaw Turnpike was built. Lightly traveled, the road is
used by about 2,000 vehicles per day. It is the only two-lane turnpike
in Oklahoma.

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

Today's selected anniversaries:


A fleet of about 200 Rus' vessels sailed into the Bosporus and
started pillaging the suburbs of Constantinople.


(Continue reading)


[Daily article] June 17: Silent Hill 4

Silent Hill 4: The Room is a survival horror video game, the fourth
installment in the Silent Hill series developed by Konami Computer
Entertainment Tokyo. It was published by Konami and translated by Jeremy
Blaustein. The game and its soundtrack were released in Japan in June
2004, and in North America and Europe the following September, for the
PlayStation 2, Xbox and Microsoft Windows. In 2012, it was released on
the Japanese PlayStation Network. Unlike the previous installments,
which were set primarily in the town of Silent Hill, this game is set in
the fictional town of South Ashfield, and follows Henry Townshend as he
attempts to escape from his locked-down apartment. During the course of
the game, Henry explores a series of supernatural worlds and finds
himself in conflict with an undead serial killer. The fourth installment
in the series features an altered gameplay style with third-person
navigation and plot elements taken from previous installments. Upon its
release, the game received generally positive critical reaction, with
mixed reaction to its deviations from the rest of the series.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silent_Hill_4>

Today's selected anniversaries:


Mumtaz Mahal, wife of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, died in
childbirth; Jahan spent the next seventeen years constructing her
mausoleum, the Taj Mahal (pictured).

(Continue reading)


[Daily article] June 16: Pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer arises when cells in the pancreas, a glandular organ
behind the stomach, begin to multiply out of control and form a mass.
There are usually no symptoms in the cancer's early stages; by the time
of diagnosis, it has often spread to other parts of the body. Symptoms
of pancreatic adenocarcinoma, the most common form of pancreatic cancer,
may include yellow skin, abdominal or back pain, unexplained weight
loss, light-colored stools, dark urine and loss of appetite. It rarely
occurs before the age of 40, and more than half of cases occur in those
over 70. The risk is lower among non-smokers and people who maintain a
healthy weight and limit their consumption of red or processed meat. It
can be treated with surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, palliative
care, or a combination of these, depending in part on the cancer stage.
It is never cured by nonsurgical treatments, though any of these will
sometimes improve quality of life, particularly palliative care. It
typically has a very poor prognosis: 25% of people live for one year
after diagnosis, and 5% for five years.

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

Today's selected anniversaries:


During the Ming–Hồ War, the Chinese Ming armies captured
Hồ Quý Ly and his sons, thus ending the Vietnamese Hồ dynasty.


(Continue reading)


[Daily article] June 15: Amanita bisporigera

Amanita bisporigera is a fungus that produces a deadly poisonous
mushroom commonly known as the destroying angel, a name it shares with
three other lethal white Amanita species. It is found on the ground in
mixed coniferous and deciduous forests of Eastern North America, and
rarely in western North America and Colombia. It has a smooth white cap
that can reach up to 10 cm (3.9 in) across with crowded white gills,
and a stalk up to 14 cm (5.5 in) long with a delicate white skirt-like
ring near the top. The bulbous base is covered with a membranous sac-
like volva. First described in 1906, A. bisporigera typically bears two
spores on the basidia, as the species name suggests. The mushroom
produces amatoxins, which inhibit a vital enzyme when eaten, RNA
polymerase II. The first symptoms of poisoning appear 6 to 24 hours
after consumption, followed by a period of apparent improvement, then by
progressive liver and kidney failure, and death after four days or more.
The DNA of A. bisporigera has been partially sequenced, and the genes
responsible for the production of amatoxins have been determined.

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

Today's selected anniversaries:


King John of England put his seal to Magna Carta.


Eadweard Muybridge took a series of photographs to prove that
(Continue reading)