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[Daily article] April 20: Paramount Television Network

The Paramount Television Network was a venture in the late 1940s by
American film corporation Paramount Pictures to organize a television
network. The company had built television stations KTLA in Los Angeles
and WBKB in Chicago, and had invested $400,000 in the DuMont Television
Network, which operated stations in New York City, Washington, D.C., and
Pittsburgh. The Paramount Television Network aired several programs,
including the Emmy award-winning children's series Time for Beany, and
distributed them to an ad-hoc network of stations. It signed affiliation
agreements with more than 50 television stations in 1950; despite this,
most of Paramount's series were not widely viewed outside the West
Coast. The Federal Communications Commission prevented the studio from
acquiring additional television stations. Escalating disputes between
Paramount and DuMont concerning breaches of contract, company control,
and network competition erupted regularly between 1940 and 1956, and led
to the dismantling of the DuMont Network. Paramount continued to produce
series for other networks, and re-entered the broadcast network field in
1995 with the United Paramount Network.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1535:

The appearance of sun dogs over Stockholm, Sweden, inspired the
painting Vädersolstavlan, the oldest colour depiction of the city.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V%C3%A4dersolstavlan>

1828:
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[Daily article] April 19: Banksia grossa

Banksia grossa is a species of shrub in the plant family Proteaceae
endemic to Southwest Australia. It is one of fourteen species of banksia
of the series Abietinae, all of which bear predominantly round or oval
inflorescences. Collected in 1965, it was described in 1981 by Alex
George. Its thick leaves and large seeds distinguish it from other
members of the Abietinae, and are the basis of its species name. Found
in sand or sand over laterite among heath between Eneabba and
Badgingarra in Western Australia, it grows as a many-stemmed shrub to
1 m (3 ft) high with narrow leaves and oval brownish flower spikes up
to 10 cm (4 in) high, composed of hundreds of individual flowers.
Flowering occurs throughout the cooler months of March to September. Old
flower spikes develop woody follicles which bear the seeds. The plant
takes 5 to 7 years to reach maturity and begin flowering. After
bushfire, Banksia grossa regenerates from its woody lignotuber;
bushfires also stimulate the release of seeds, which germinate after
disturbance. Visitors to (and likely pollinators of) inflorescences
include insects and a nocturnal mammal, the white-tailed dunnart.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

65:

The freedman Milichus betrayed Gaius Calpurnius Piso's plot to
kill the Emperor Nero and all the conspirators were arrested.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pisonian_conspiracy>

1809:
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[Daily article] April 18: Beorhtwulf of Mercia

Beorhtwulf (died 852) was King of the Mercians from 839 or 840 to 852.
His ancestry is unknown, though he may have been connected to Beornwulf,
who ruled Mercia in the 820s. Beorhtwulf restarted a Mercian coinage
early in his reign, initially with strong similarities to the coins of
Æthelwulf of Wessex, and later with independent designs. The Vikings
attacked soon after Beorhtwulf's accession: the province of Lindsey was
raided in 841, and London, a key centre of Mercian commerce, was
attacked the following year. Another Viking assault on London in 851
"put Beorhtwulf to flight", according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle; the
Vikings were subsequently defeated by Æthelwulf. Berkshire appears to
have passed from Mercian to West Saxon control during Beorhtwulf's
reign. The Welsh are recorded to have rebelled against Beorhtwulf's
successor, Burgred, shortly after Beorhtwulf's death, suggesting that
Beorhtwulf had been their overlord. Charters from his reign show a
strained relationship with the church, as he seized land and
subsequently returned it. Beorhtwulf and his wife, Sæthryth, may have
had two sons, Beorhtfrith and Beorhtric. Beorhtwulf's death is not
recorded.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1689:

Provincial militia and citizens gathered in Boston, and
arrested officials of the Dominion of New England.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1689_Boston_revolt>

(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] April 17: Spinning Around

"Spinning Around" is the lead single from Light Years (2000), Kylie
Minogue's seventh studio album. The disco-influenced dance-pop song
addresses the theme of reinvention, with Minogue (pictured performing
the song) claiming that she has changed as a person and learned from the
past. Released in June 2000, it received favourable reviews from music
critics, who regarded it as one of the album's highlights and praised
Minogue for returning to her signature musical style. The song was a
commercial success and became Minogue's "comeback" single following the
critical and commercial disappointment of her sixth studio album
Impossible Princess (1997). It entered the Australian Singles Chart at
number one, becoming the singer's first chart-topper since "Confide in
Me" (1994). The song also debuted at number one in the United Kingdom,
and was her first UK number-one single since 1990. The accompanying
music video features Minogue dancing and enjoying herself in a disco. It
became popular for the gold hotpants she sported in most of the scenes
and led to a media "fetish" regarding her bottom. "Spinning Around" has
been performed by Minogue during most of her concert tours.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1907:

Brazil became the third country in the world to start
construction on a dreadnought battleship (pictured), sparking a vastly
expensive South American naval arms race.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_American_dreadnought_race>

(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] April 16: Horrible Histories (2009 TV series)

Horrible Histories is a children's sketch-comedy adaptation of Terry
Deary's long-running book series, produced by Lion Television with
Citrus Television, that ran for five 13-episode series on Britain's CBBC
from 2009 to 2013. Like the books, it was intended to foster children's
interest in British and other Western world history through factual
anecdotes retold with a focus on "gross-out"-style humour and comic
violence – "history with the nasty bits left in". The producers of
the TV series recruited writers and performers with roots in the adult
British comedy community. These in turn took a deliberately non-
condescending approach, relying instead on such influences as Blackadder
and the Monty Python films. A focus on historical accuracy was combined
with a comedy style relying heavily on parodies of current UK pop-
culture to make those facts more accessible, leading to takeoffs of
Masterchef, The Apprentice and Wife Swap among others. The result won
numerous domestic and international awards, including two British Comedy
Awards and four consecutive Children's BAFTAs (cast at 2011 ceremony
pictured), and eventually garnered respect as a classic from viewers of
all ages.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horrible_Histories_(2009_TV_series)>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1847:

New Zealand Wars: A minor Māori chief was accidentally shot by
a junior British Army officer in the Petre settlement of New Zealand's
North Island, triggering the Wanganui Campaign.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wanganui_Campaign>
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[Daily article] April 15: Bharattherium

Bharattherium is a mammal that lived in India during the Maastrichtian
(latest Cretaceous). The genus has a single species, Bharattherium
bonapartei. It is part of the gondwanathere family Sudamericidae, which
is also found in Madagascar and South America during the latest
Cretaceous. The first fossil of Bharattherium was discovered in 1989 and
published in 1997, but the animal was not named until 2007, when two
teams independently gave it different names. The specific name
bonapartei honors Argentinean paleontologist José Bonaparte, who was
the first to describe a gondwanathere fossil. Bharattherium is known
from a total of eight isolated fossil teeth, including one incisor and
seven molariforms (molar-like teeth). Bharattherium molariforms are
high, curved teeth, with a height of 5.97 to 8.40 mm. The tooth enamel
has traits that have been interpreted as protecting against cracks in
the teeth. The hypsodont (high-crowned) teeth of sudamericids like
Bharattherium is reminiscent of later grazing mammals, and the discovery
of grass in Indian fossil sites contemporaneous with those yielding
Bharattherium suggest that sudamericids were indeed grazers.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1638:

A rebellion by Catholic Japanese peasants in Shimabara over
increased taxes was put down by the Tokugawa shogunate, resulting in
greater enforcement of the policy of national seclusion.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shimabara_Rebellion>

(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] April 14: Franklin Peale

Franklin Peale (1795–1870) was an employee and officer of the
Philadelphia Mint from 1833 to 1854. He was the son of painter Charles
Willson Peale, and was born in the museum of curiosities that his father
ran in Philadelphia. For the most part, Franklin Peale's education was
informal, though he took some classes at the University of Pennsylvania.
He became adept in machine making. In 1820, he became an assistant to
his father at the museum, and managed it after Charles Peale's death in
1827. In 1833, Peale was hired by the Mint of the United States
("Mint"), and was sent for two years to Europe to study and report back
on coining techniques. He returned with plans for improvement, and
designed the first steam-powered coinage press in the United States,
installed in 1836. Peale was made Melter and Refiner of the Philadelphia
Mint that year, and Chief Coiner three years later upon the retirement
of the incumbent, Adam Eckfeldt, who continued in his work without pay.
Eckfeldt's labor allowed Peale to run a medal business using Mint
property. This sideline eventually caused Peale's downfall: conflicts
with Engraver James B. Longacre and Melter and Refiner Richard Sears
McCulloh led to Peale being accused of misconduct, and he was dismissed
by President Franklin Pierce in 1854. In retirement, Peale continued his
involvement in and leadership of many civic organizations; he died in
1870.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

966:

After his marriage to the Christian Dobrawa of Bohemia, the
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April 13: Pavle Đurišić

Pavle Đurišić (1909–1945) was a Montenegrin Serb officer of the
Royal Yugoslav Army who became a Chetnik commander during World War II.
He was one of the commanders of the popular uprising against the
Italians in Montenegro in July 1941, then collaborated with the Italians
against the Yugoslav Partisans. In 1943, troops under his command
carried out several massacres against the Muslim population of Bosnia,
Herzegovina and the Sandžak and participated in an anti-Partisan
offensive alongside Italian troops. He was captured by the Germans in
May 1943, escaped and was recaptured. He was released after the Italian
surrender and began collaborating with the Germans and the Serbian
puppet government, creating the Montenegrin Volunteer Corps with German
assistance. In late 1944, he was decorated with the Iron Cross 2nd Class
by the German commander in Montenegro. He was killed by elements of the
Armed Forces of the Independent State of Croatia near Banja Luka after
he was captured in an apparent trap. Đurišić was a very able Yugoslav
Chetnik leader, and his fighting skills were respected by his allies and
opponents alike.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavle_%C4%90uri%C5%A1i%C4%87>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1111:

Henry V, the last ruler of the Salian dynasty, was crowned Holy
Roman Emperor.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_V,_Holy_Roman_Emperor>

1813:
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[Daily article] April 12: Triangulum Australe

Triangulum and Triangulum Australe are two small constellations, both
named for the triangular pattern of their three brightest stars. The
constellations are in the northern and the far southern celestial
hemispheres respectively. Triangulum was known to the ancient
Babylonians and Greeks, and was one of the 48 constellations listed by
the 2nd-century astronomer Ptolemy. It contains several galaxies, the
brightest and nearest of which is the Triangulum Galaxy (pictured)—a
member of the Local Group. It also contains 3C 48, the first quasar
ever observed. At magnitude 3.00, the white giant star Beta Trianguli is
the brightest star in Triangulum. Three stars in the constellation have
been found to have planets. Triangulum Australe was first depicted as
Triangulus Antarcticus by Petrus Plancius in 1589 and was given its
current name by Johann Bayer in 1603. Its brightest star is Alpha
Trianguli Australis, the 42nd-brightest star in the night sky. At
magnitude 1.91, it is an orange giant that is 5500 times more luminous
than, and 130 times as wide as, our Sun. One star system in Triangulum
Australe has a confirmed planet.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

240:

Shapur I was crowned shahanshah ("king of kings") of the
Sasanian Empire, the last Iranian empire before the rise of Islam.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shapur_I>

1776:
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[Daily article] April 11: Frank Berryman

Frank Berryman (1894–1981) was an Australian Army general during the
Second World War. After serving during the First World War on the
Western Front with the field artillery, he spent nearly twenty years as
a major. He joined the Second Australian Imperial Force in April 1940
and became chief of staff of the 6th Division, later becoming Commander,
Royal Artillery, 7th Division. He commanded "Berry Force" in the
Syria–Lebanon campaign before returning to Australia in 1942, where he
became chief of staff of the First Army and then Deputy Chief of the
General Staff. As chief of staff of New Guinea Force, he was involved
with the planning and execution of the Salamaua–Lae campaign and the
Huon Peninsula campaign, and in November 1943, he became commander of II
Corps, which he led in the Battle of Sio. He was the Australian Army
representative at the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay. After the war, he
directed the Army's response to the 1949 Australian coal strike, became
the Director General of the 1954 Royal Tour of Elizabeth II, and was
Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Agricultural Society of New South
Wales.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1814:

The Treaty of Fontainebleau was signed, ending the War of the
Sixth Coalition, and forcing Napoleon to abdicate as ruler of France and
sending him into exile on Elba.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Fontainebleau_(1814)>

(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] April 10: Elgin Cathedral

Elgin Cathedral is a historic ruin in Elgin, Moray, north-east Scotland.
The cathedral, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, was established in 1224 on
land granted by King Alexander II. After a damaging fire in 1270, a
rebuilding programme greatly enlarged the building. It was unaffected by
the Wars of Scottish Independence but suffered further fire damage in
1390 and 1402. The cathedral was abandoned at the time of the Scottish
Reformation in 1560 and its services transferred to Elgin's parish
church. After the removal of the lead that waterproofed the roof in
1567, the cathedral steadily fell into decay. Its deterioration was
arrested in the 19th century, by which time the building was in a
substantially ruinous condition. Today, the walls are at full height in
places and at foundation level in others yet the overall cruciform shape
is still discernible. The chapterhouse is mostly intact, as are the two
towers of the west front and the gable wall above the double door
entrance that links them. Recessed and chest tombs contain effigies of
bishops and knights, while large flat slabs in the now grass-covered
floor of the cathedral mark the positions of early graves.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1710:

The Statute of Anne, the first fully-fledged law regulating
copyright, entered into force in Great Britain.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statute_of_Anne>

1809:
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