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[Daily article] March 6: 1850 Atlantic hurricane season

In the 1850 Atlantic hurricane season, three significant tropical
cyclones affected land. Records of other storms are incomplete, since
the Atlantic hurricane database goes back only to 1851. The first system
struck North Carolina in July, causing significant damage before
battering the Mid-Atlantic states. Rivers were flooded from Baltimore to
northern New England, and 20 people were killed along the Schuylkill
River. In August, a strong hurricane hit Havana, Cuba, before making
landfall on the Florida Panhandle with an enormous storm surge. Coastal
flooding was severe around Apalachicola. Abundant precipitation fell
from Georgia through Virginia; one river swelled more than 20 feet (6 m)
above its normal height. The storm toppled a railroad bridge near
Halifax, North Carolina. Offshore, a pilot boat collided with a larger
ship in the rough seas and sank. Considered the worst storm in nearly 30
years in the tidewater region of Virginia, the cyclone briefly reentered
the Atlantic off New Jersey before making landfall over New England,
with strong winds and moderate to heavy rains. In September, a hurricane
brushed the coastline from New York to Cape Cod with gusty winds and
appreciable rainfall, and later struck Atlantic Canada.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1850_Atlantic_hurricane_season>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

961:

The Muslim Emirate of Crete was conquered by the Byzantine
Empire.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emirate_of_Crete>

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[Daily article] March 5: HMS Bellerophon (1786)

HMS Bellerophon was a 74-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal
Navy. Launched in 1786, she served mostly on blockades or convoy escort
duties. Known to sailors as the "Billy Ruffian", she entered service on
the outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars, and took part in the
Glorious First of June fleet action in 1793. Bellerophon narrowly
escaped being captured by the French in 1795, saved only by the bold
actions of the squadron's commander, Vice-Admiral Cornwallis. Detached
to reinforce Rear-Admiral Nelson's fleet in 1798 under Admiral Jervis,
she took part in the decisive defeat of a French fleet at the Battle of
the Nile. At the Battle of Trafalgar Bellerophon fought a bitter
engagement against Spanish and French ships, sustaining heavy casualties
including the death of her captain, John Cooke. In July 1815, when
Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo and found escape to America barred by
the blockading Bellerophon, he came aboard "the ship that had dogged his
steps for twenty years" to finally surrender to the British, ending 22
years of nearly continuous war with France. The ship's long and
distinguished career has been recorded in literature and folk songs.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Bellerophon_(1786)>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1616:

Nicolaus Copernicus's De revolutionibus orbium coelestium,
describing his heliocentric theory of the Solar System, was prohibited
by the Roman Catholic Church.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_revolutionibus_orbium_coelestium>

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[Daily article] March 4: History of Bradford City A.F.C.

Bradford City A.F.C. was founded in Bradford, England, in 1903, bringing
an association football club to the West Riding of Yorkshire as an
alternative to rugby league. They were immediately elected to the
Football League to replace Doncaster Rovers in Division Two, and made
their permanent home in the Valley Parade stadium. Under the management
of Peter O'Rourke the club won promotion to Division One in 1908, and
the FA Cup in 1911 (team pictured). After subsequent relegations, they
remained in the third and fourth tiers of the English football league
system until 1985–86. During that time, they endured several periods
of financial hardship, and in 1985, their ground suffered a disastrous
fire in which 56 people died. After coming close to returning to the
top division of the League in 1987–88, the club enjoyed mixed fortunes
before finally achieving promotion to the Premier League in 1998–99.
After two seasons in the top tier, the club's playing and financial
misfortunes multiplied; successive relegations saw them fall into the
bottom tier of The Football League, before promotion in 2012–13
brought them back up a division.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Bradford_City_A.F.C.>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

306:

Roman Herculian guard Adrian of Nicomedia, who had converted to
Christianity after being impressed with the faith of Christians that he
had been torturing, was martyred.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrian_and_Natalia_of_Nicomedia>

(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] March 3: Three-cent nickel

The three-cent nickel was designed by the US Mint's Chief Engraver James
B. Longacre and struck by the mint from 1865 to 1889. When precious
metal coinage was hoarded during the economic turmoil of the American
Civil War, including the silver three-cent piece, and even the copper-
nickel cent was commanding a premium, Congress issued paper money in
denominations as small as three cents, but these small slips of paper
became ragged and dirty. After the issue of a lighter bronze cent and a
two-cent piece in 1864, there were proposals for a three-cent piece in
copper-nickel. The advocates were led by Pennsylvania industrialist
Joseph Wharton, who then controlled the domestic supply of nickel ore.
On the last day of the congressional session, March 3, 1865, a bill for
a three-cent piece in copper-nickel alloy was introduced in Congress,
passed by both houses without debate, and signed by President Abraham
Lincoln. Although initially popular, the three-cent nickel piece became
less so with the introduction in 1866 of the five-cent nickel, a larger,
more convenient coin, with a value better fitting the decimal system.
After 1870, most years saw low annual mintages for the three-cent
nickel, and in 1890 Congress abolished it.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-cent_nickel>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1284:

The Statute of Rhuddlan incorporated the Principality of Wales
into England.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statute_of_Rhuddlan>

(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] March 2: Maggie Gyllenhaal

Maggie Gyllenhaal (born 1977) is an American actress. She started out
appearing in films directed by her father, Stephen Gyllenhaal, and
achieved recognition in a supporting role in the indie cult film Donnie
Darko (2001), which starred her brother, Jake Gyllenhaal. Her first
critically acclaimed role was in Secretary (2002); she received Golden
Globe nominations for this film and Sherrybaby (2006). She appeared in
the romantic comedy Trust The Man (2006) and such big-budget films as
World Trade Center (2006) and The Dark Knight (2008). She was nominated
for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Jean
Craddock in the musical-drama Crazy Heart (2009). She appeared in the
theatrical play Closer (2000) and in the television production The
Honourable Woman (2014), for which she won the Golden Globe Award for
Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film. Gyllenhaal is an active
Democrat and a supporter of the American Civil Liberties Union. Before
the US-led invasion of Iraq she participated in anti-war demonstrations,
and she is active in causes involving human rights, civil liberties,
poverty and education. She is married to actor Peter Sarsgaard.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1484:

The College of Arms, one of the few remaining official heraldic
authorities in Europe, was established by royal charter in London.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/College_of_Arms>

1791:
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[Daily article] March 1: Old Church of St Nidan, Llanidan

The Old Church of St Nidan, Llanidan, is a medieval church in Anglesey,
Wales. The first church on the site was established in the 7th century
by St Nidan, the confessor of the monastery at Penmon, Anglesey; the
oldest parts of the present structure date from the 14th century. In
about 1500 a second nave was added, and an arcade (pictured) was built
between the two naves. Between 1839 and 1843 a new church was built
nearby, partly due to the cost of repairing St Nidan's. A sandstone
chest containing bone fragments (which local tradition holds to be those
of St Nidan) and a 13th-century font were relocated to the new church.
Much of the old church was demolished, leaving part of the western end
and the central arcade. It has been restored and is occasionally open to
the public. The remaining parts of the church are a Grade II* listed
building. In the 12th century, Gerald of Wales said that the church
possessed a curious stone shaped like a thigh that would always return
by the next day no matter how far away it was taken. A Norman earl, he
said, had chained it to a large rock and thrown it into the sea, only
for the stone to return to the church by the following morning.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Church_of_St_Nidan,_Llanidan>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1565:

Rio de Janeiro (Christ the Redeemer statue pictured) was
founded by the Portuguese as São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rio_de_Janeiro>

1633:
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[Daily article] February 28: Poetry of Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou's books of poetry are widely admired best-sellers, though
not as critically acclaimed as her seven autobiographies. Angelou
(1928–2014), a prominent African-American writer, used everyday
language, the Black vernacular, Black music and forms, and sometimes
shocking language to explore themes of love, loss, and struggle against
oppression and hardship. Her poetry is not easily categorized, and has
been compared with musical forms including the blues. She studied and
began writing poetry at a young age, in part to cope with trauma, as she
described in her first and best-known autobiography, I Know Why the
Caged Bird Sings. She became a poet after touring Europe in the cast of
Porgy and Bess and performing calypso music in nightclubs in the 1950s.
Her first volume of poetry, Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'fore I
Diiie (1971), was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. In 1993, she recited
one of her best-known poems, "On the Pulse of Morning", at President
Bill Clinton's inauguration (pictured). Her poetry has not received as
much critical attention as her prose; this has been attributed to her
popular success and to critics' preferences for poetry as a written form
rather than a verbal, performed one.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

202 BC:

Rebel leader Liu Bang was enthroned as Emperor Gaozu of Han
after overthrowing the Qin dynasty, the first imperial dynasty of China.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qin_dynasty>

(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] February 27: Kenneth Horne

Kenneth Horne (1907–1969) was an English comedian and businessman. His
burgeoning career with the Triplex Safety Glass company was interrupted
by wartime service with the Royal Air Force. While serving in a barrage
balloon unit and broadcasting as a quizmaster on the BBC radio show Ack-
Ack, Beer-Beer, he met the entertainer Richard Murdoch, with whom he
wrote and starred in the comedy series Much-Binding-in-the-Marsh
(1944–51). After demobilisation Horne returned to his flourishing
business career, keeping his broadcasting as a sideline. He later became
the chairman and managing director of toy manufacturers Chad Valley. In
1958 Horne suffered a stroke and gave up his business dealings to focus
on his entertainment work. He was the anchor figure in Beyond Our Ken
(1958–64). When the programme came to an end, he recorded four series
of the comedy Round the Horne (1965–68). Before a planned fifth
series, Horne died of a heart attack. A 2002 BBC radio survey to find
listeners' favourite British comedian placed Horne third, behind Tony
Hancock and Spike Milligan.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

380:

Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire as a
result of the Edict of Thessalonica.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edict_of_Thessalonica>

1776:

(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] February 26: Operation Hardboiled

Operation Hardboiled was a Second World War military deception.
Undertaken by the Allies in 1942, it was the first attempt at deception
by the London Controlling Section (LCS) and was designed to convince the
Axis powers that the Allies would soon invade German-occupied Norway.
The LCS had recently been established to plan deception across all
theatres, but had struggled for support from the unenthusiastic military
establishment. The LCS had little guidance in strategic deception, an
activity pioneered by Dudley Clarke the previous year, and was unaware
of the extensive double agent system controlled by MI5. Although Clarke
preferred the fast and inexpensive approach of spreading false rumours
through agents and wireless traffic, Hardboiled was conducted as a
diversionary operation (training pictured). Resistance to the operation
by the chosen units interfered with preparations. Hitler ordered the
reinforcement of Scandinavia in March and April 1942, before Hardboiled
was shelved in May; it is unclear to what extent the operation
contributed to his decision.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1233:

Mongol–Jin War: The Mongols captured Kaifeng, the capital of
the Jin dynasty, after besieging it for months.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongol_siege_of_Kaifeng>

1815:

(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] February 25: The Unnatural (The X-Files)

"The Unnatural" is the 19th episode of the sixth season of the American
science fiction television series The X-Files, which first aired on
April 25, 1999, on the Fox network. The series centers on FBI special
agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson),
who work on cases linked to the paranormal. This episode was written and
directed by Duchovny (pictured), and received positive reviews from
critics and a viewership of 16.88 million people on its debut. In the
episode, Arthur Dales (M. Emmet Walsh), the brother of a previously
recurring retired FBI agent, tells Mulder the story of a black baseball
player who played for the Roswell Grays in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947
under the pseudonym "Josh Exley" (Jesse L. Martin). Exley is actually an
alien who is later tracked down by the Alien Bounty Hunter (Brian
Thompson) and executed for betraying his people. The episode was
inspired by the 1947 Roswell Incident. Many of the outdoor baseball
scenes were filmed at Jay Littleton Ballfield, an all-wood stadium in
Ontario, California. The episode has been critically examined for its
use of literary motifs, its fairy tale-like structure, and its themes of
racism and alienation.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Unnatural_(The_X-Files)>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1570:

Pope Pius V issued the papal bull Regnans in Excelsis to
excommunicate Queen Elizabeth I and her followers in the Church of
England.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regnans_in_Excelsis>
(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] February 24: Oryzomys

Oryzomys is a genus of semiaquatic rodents in the tribe Oryzomyini
living in southern North America and far northern South America. It
includes eight species, two of which are widespread: the marsh rice rat
(O. palustris, pictured) of the U.S. and O. couesi of Mexico and
Central America. Two or three species have gone extinct over the last
two centuries and at least one other is endangered. Species of Oryzomys
are medium-sized rats with long, coarse fur. The upperparts are gray to
reddish and the underparts white to buff. The animals have broad feet
with reduced or absent ungual tufts of hair around the claws and, in
some species, with webbing between the toes. The habitat includes lakes,
marshes, and rivers. Oryzomys species swim well, are active during the
night, and eat both plant and animal food. They build woven nests of
vegetation; after a gestation period of 21 to 28 days, about four young
are born. Species of Oryzomys are infected by numerous parasites and
carry at least three hantaviruses, one of which (Bayou virus) also
infects humans. The name Oryzomys was established in 1857 by Spencer
Fullerton Baird for the marsh rice rat and was soon applied to many
other rats.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1809:

After standing only 15 years, London's Drury Lane theatre, the
third building of that name, burned down.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theatre_Royal,_Drury_Lane>

(Continue reading)


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