Mark Pellegrini | 1 Aug 06:49 2005

August 1: Henry Moore

  Henry Moore was an artist and sculptor.  Born into a poor mining family 
  in Castleford, he became well known for his large scale abstract cast 
  bronze and carved marble sculptures; substantially supported by the 
  British art establishment, Moore helped to introduce a particular 
  strand of modernism into Britain.  His ability to satisfy large-scale 
  commissions, led him to become exceptionally wealthy towards the end 
  of his life, although he spent little and the bulk of his wealth went 
  to endow the Henry Moore Foundation which continues to support 
  education and promotion of the arts.  His signature form is a pierced 
  reclining figure, first influenced by a Toltec-Maya sculpture known as 
  "Chac Mool," which he had seen as a plaster cast in Paris in 1925.  
  Early versions are pierced conventionally as a bent arm reconnects 
  with the body; later more abstract versions are pieced directly 
  through the body, in order to explore the concave and convex shapes.  
  These more extreme piercings developed in parallel with Barbara 
  Hepworth's sculptures, when she first pierced a torso after misreading 
  a review of one of Henry Moore's early shows.  

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Today's selected anniversaries:

  Joseph Priestley discovered oxygen, corroborating the prior discovery 
  of this chemical element by Carl Wilhelm Scheele.  

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Mark Pellegrini | 3 Aug 05:21 2005

August 3: Marshall, Texas

Marshall, Texas, is a major cultural and educational center in Northeast 
Texas, located near the Louisiana and Arkansas borders in the Ark-La-Tex 
region.  As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 
23,935.  The county seat of Harrison County, the city is known for its 
Civil War, railroad, and civil rights movement history, for holding one 
of the largest light festivals in the United States, the Wonderland of 
Lights, and, as the self-proclaimed Pottery Capital of the World, for 
its sizable pottery industry.  It is also known variously as the 
Cultural Capital of East Texas, the Gateway of Texas, the Athens of 
Texas, and the City of Seven Flags. Read the rest of this article:

Today's selected anniversaries:

Nestorius, the originator of Nestorianism, was exiled by Byzantine 
Emperor Theodosius II to a monastery in Egypt.  

Sir Roger Casement was hanged for his role in the Easter Rising in 
Ireland.   (

Calvin Coolidge was inaugurated as the 30th President of the United 
States, succeeding Warren G.  Harding.  

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Mark Pellegrini | 4 Aug 07:52 2005

August 4: Carl Friedrich Gauss

  Carl Friedrich Gauss was a German mathematician and scientist who 
  contributed significantly to many fields, including number theory, 
  analysis, differential geometry, geodesy, magnetism, astronomy and 
  optics.  Sometimes known as "the prince of mathematicians", Gauss 
  introduced concepts which have had a profound impact in many areas and 
  his work is ranked alongside that of Newton and Archimedes.  Gauss was 
  a child prodigy, and he made his first ground-breaking mathematical 
  discoveries while still a teenager.  He completed Disquisitiones 
  Arithmeticae, his magnum opus, at the age of 24.  This work was 
  fundamental in consolidating number theory as a discipline, and it has 
  shaped the direction of modern research up to the present day.  

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Today's selected anniversaries:

  King Sebastian of Portugal disappeared in the Battle of Alcazarquivir, 
  leading to a dynastic crisis.  

  A newly passed tariff act in the United States established the Revenue 
  Cutter Service.  

  World War I: Adhering to the terms in the 1839 Treaty of London, the 
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Mark Pellegrini | 5 Aug 05:19 2005

August 5: Tooth enamel

  Tooth enamel is the most highly mineralized and hardest substance of 
  the body.  Enamel is one of the three major parts of the human tooth, 
  the others being dentin and cementum.  It is the normally visible 
  dental tissue of a tooth, and must be supported by underlying dentin.  
  Minerals compose 96% of enamel, with water and organic material 
  composing the rest.  Since enamel is semi-translucent, the color of 
  dentin and any restorative dental material underneath the enamel 
  highly affects the outer appearance of the tooth.  The color of enamel 
  is a light yellow to grayish white.  It varies in thickness over the 
  surface of the tooth.  Often, enamel is thickest at the cusp, up to 2.5 
  mm, and the thickness tapers down to a miniscule amount at its border, 
  which is seen clinically as the cementoenamel junction.  

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Today's selected anniversaries:

  Penda of Mercia defeated and killed Oswald of Northumbria in the 
  Battle of Maserfield, becoming the most powerful of the Anglo-Saxon 
  rulers of the time.  

  Henry I was crowned King of England in Westminster Abbey.  

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Mark Pellegrini | 6 Aug 04:53 2005

August 6: Grunge music

  Grunge music is an independent-rooted music genre that was inspired by 
  hardcore punk, thrash metal, and alternative rock.  The genre became 
  commercially successful in the late 1980s and early 1990s, peaking in 
  mainstream popularity between 1991 and 1994.  Bands from cities in the 
  U.S. Pacific Northwest such as Seattle, Washington, Olympia, 
  Washington, and Portland, Oregon, were responsible for creating grunge 
  music and later made it popular with mainstream audiences.  The genre 
  is closely associated with Generation X, due to its popularization 
  being in tandem with the popularizing of the generation's name.  The 
  popularity of grunge was one of the first phenomena that distinguished 
  the popular music of the 1990s from that of the 1980s.  

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Today's selected anniversaries:

  The Holy Roman Empire was dissolved when Francis II, the last Holy 
  Roman Emperor, was forced to abdicate.  

  William Kemmler became the first person to be executed in an electric 

  World War II: Enola Gay, a B-29 Superfortress of the U.S. Army Air 
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Mark Pellegrini | 9 Aug 08:10 2005

August 9: Sharon Tate

  Sharon Tate was an American actress.  During the 1960s she played small 
  roles in television, before starting her film career.  After receiving 
  positive reviews as a light comedienne, she was hailed as one of 
  Hollywood's promising newcomers.  Tate's celebrity status and role as a 
  style icon of the "Swinging Sixties" increased after fashion magazines 
  began featuring her as a model and cover girl.  Married to the film 
  director Roman Polański, Tate was eight months pregnant when she, 
  along with four others, was murdered in her Benedict Canyon home by 
  followers of Charles Manson, in a crime that shocked the nation.  A 
  decade after the murders, her mother Doris Tate, appalled at the 
  growing cult status of the killers and the possibility that any of 
  them might be granted parole, joined a campaign to ensure they 
  remained in prison.  This was part of the catalyst which led to 
  amendments to California law in 1982, which allowed crime victims and 
  their families to make victim impact statements.  

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Today's selected anniversaries:

  The construction of a campanile which would eventually become the 
  Leaning Tower of Pisa began.  

  USAAF bomber Bockscar dropped an atomic bomb named Fat Man, 
  devastating Nagasaki, Japan.  
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Mark Pellegrini | 10 Aug 05:41 2005

August 10: Augustan literature

  Augustan literature is a style of English literature whose origins 
  correspond roughly with the reigns of Queen Anne, King George I, and 
  George II.  In contemporary critical parlance, it refers to the 
  literature of 1700 up to approximately 1760.  It is a literary epoch 
  that featured the rapid development of the novel, an explosion in 
  satire, the mutation of drama from political satire into melodrama, 
  and an evolution toward poetry of personal exploration.  The 
  chronological anchors of the era are generally vague, largely since 
  the label's origin in contemporary 18th-century criticism has made it 
  a shorthand designation for a somewhat nebulous age of satire.  This 
  new Augustan period exhibited exceptionally bold political writings in 
  all genres, with the satires of the age marked by an arch, ironic 
  pose, full of nuance, and a superficial air of dignified calm that hid 
  sharp criticisms beneath.  

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Today's selected anniversaries:

  French Revolution: Insurrectionists stormed the Tuileries Palace, 
  effectively ending the French monarchy until it was restored in 1814.  

  History of Ecuador: After nearly three centuries of Spanish rule, the 
  first cry for independence was heard in Quito.  
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Mark Pellegrini | 11 Aug 04:20 2005

August 11: Tasmanian Devil

  The Tasmanian Devil is a carnivorous marsupial found exclusively on 
  the Australian island of Tasmania.  At the size of a small dog, but 
  stocky and muscular, the Tasmanian Devil is the largest carnivorous 
  marsupial in the world.  The devil is characterised by its black fur, 
  offensive odour when stressed, extremely loud and disturbing screech, 
  and vicious temperament when feeding.  Known to hunt, as well as to 
  scavenge carrion, communal eating is one of the few social activities 
  in which the usually solitary devil participates.  The Tasmanian Devil 
  became extinct on the Australian mainland about 400 years prior to 
  European settlement in 1788.  Seen as a threat to livestock, humans 
  hunted devils in Tasmania until 1941, when they were officially 
  protected.  Since the late 1990s devil facial tumour disease has 
  reduced the devil population significantly and threatens the survival 
  of the species.  The impact of the disease on devil population may lead 
  to listing of the devil as an endangered species.  

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Today's selected anniversaries:

  Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia was elected pope and became known as Pope 
  Alexander VI.  

  The Weimar Republic adopted its constitution.  
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Mark Pellegrini | 12 Aug 03:18 2005

August 12: Battle of Jutland

  The Battle of Jutland was the largest naval battle of World War I, and 
  the only full-scale clash of battleships in that war.  It was fought on 
  31 May–1 June 1916, in the North Sea near Jutland.  The combatants were 
  the Kaiserliche Marine's High Seas Fleet, commanded by Vice Admiral 
  Reinhard Scheer, and the Royal Navy's Grand Fleet, commanded by 
  Admiral Sir John Jellicoe.  The Germans planned to lure Vice Admiral 
  Sir David Beatty's battlecruiser squadrons into the path of the main 
  German battle fleet and so destroy them.  But the British had learned 
  from signal intercepts that a major fleet operation was in prospect, 
  and on 30 May Jellicoe sailed with the Grand Fleet to rendezvous with 
  Beatty.  On the afternoon of 31 May, Beatty and Hipper encountered each 
  other, and in a running battle Hipper drew the British into the path 
  of the High Seas Fleet.  Fourteen British and eleven German ships were 
  sunk with great loss of life.  Both sides claimed victory.  The British 
  had lost more ships and many more sailors, but Scheer's plan of 
  destroying Beatty's squadrons had failed.  For the remainder of the 
  war, the German High Seas Fleet stayed in port.  and never again 
  contested control of the seas.  Instead, the German Navy turned its 
  efforts and resources to unrestricted submarine warfare.  

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Today's selected anniversaries:

  The First Crusade concluded with the Battle of Ascalon, and Fatimid 
  forces under Al-Afdal Shahanshah retreating to Egypt.  
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Mark Pellegrini | 13 Aug 03:40 2005

August 13: Helen Gandy

  Helen Gandy was an American civil servant.  Gandy, who at age 21 left 
  her native New Jersey for Washington, D.C., was for 54 years the 
  secretary to Federal Bureau of Investigation director J.  Edgar Hoover.  
  Hoover called her "indispensable" and she exercised great 
  behind-the-scenes influence on Hoover and the workings of the Bureau; 
  Hoover's biographers, Theoharis and Cox, describe her as "a 
  wraith-like, grim-faced spinster from New Jersey" whose "stern face 
  recalled Cerberus at the gate".  Following Hoover's death in 1972, she 
  spent weeks destroying his "Personal File," thought to be where the 
  most incriminating material he used to manipulate and control the most 
  powerful figures in Washington was kept.  

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Today's selected anniversaries:

  Conquistador Hernan Cortes captured the Aztec capital of 
  Tenochtitlan, destroying most of the city.  

  The Battle of Blenheim, a pivotal event of the War of the Spanish 
  Succession, took place.  England and Austria claim victory over France 
  and Bavaria.  

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