Your daily knowledge snacks, directly from Wikipedia
- In response to the poisoning of Sergei Skripal with a nerve agent, the United Kingdom expels 23 Russian diplomats.
- British physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking (pictured) dies at the age of 76.
- At least 49 people are killed after US-Bangla Airlines Flight 211 crashes en route from Dhaka, Bangladesh, to Kathmandu, Nepal.
- The Winter Paralympics open in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
- The wreck of USS Lexington is discovered in the Coral Sea.
Today in History
- 1241 – First Mongol invasion of Poland: Mongols overwhelmed the Polish armies of Sandomierz and Kraków provinces in the Battle of Chmielnik and plundered the abandoned city of Kraków.
- 1834 – The Tolpuddle Martyrs were sentenced to transportation to Australia for swearing an illegal oath to join their friendly society in Dorset, England.
- 1921 – The Polish–Soviet War, which determined the borders between the Republic of Poland and Soviet Russia, formally concluded with the signing of the Peace of Riga.
- 1938 – Mexican President Lázaro Cárdenas created Pemex, the national petroleum company, by expropriating all foreign-owned oil reserves and facilities.
- 1990 – Thieves stole 13 works of art valued at $500 million from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (pictured) in Boston, the largest-value theft of private property in history.
Did You Know?
- ... that Greek legends claim Pythagoras (pictured) had a golden thigh, could fly thanks to a magic arrow, was greeted by name by a river, and when bitten by a snake, bit it back and killed it?
- ... that Colophina clematis was the first species of aphid to be identified as having a "soldier" caste?
- ... that oceanographer and former Florida State University dean Nancy Marcus was also a magician and ventriloquist?
- ... that Pinewood Hospital was located in a pine wood in Pinewood, as pine trees were thought to be beneficial for tuberculosis patients?
- ... that Japanese voice actress Lynn was born to a Japanese-American father and a Japanese-Brazilian mother?
- ... that one of the largest volcanic eruptions on Earth, at La Pacana in Chile, erupted 2,451–3,500 cubic kilometres of rock?
- ... that Captain Marvel is expected to be Marvel Studios' first female-led film?
- ... that the Sutton Hoo helmet weighs 2.5 kg (5.5 lb), but the Sutton Hoo Helmet weighs 900 kg (2,000 lb)?
Today's Featured Article
Elcor is a ghost town in the U.S. state of Minnesota that was inhabited between 1897 and 1956. It was built on the Mesabi Iron Range near the city of Gilbert in St. Louis County. At its peak around 1920, Elcor had two churches, a post office, a mercantile, a primary school, a railroad station and its own law enforcement, and housed a population of nearly 1,000. Elcor was a mining town, built by the mining company to house its workers. People were allowed to own their homes, but the land on which the houses stood belonged to the company. In the early days, houses were made of wooden boards and surrounded by a four-board-high fence fronted with a boardwalk. Most of the streets were dirt roads. The townspeople were pioneers and immigrants, largely Croatian, Slovenian, Finnish, Italian, German, Scandinavian and English (especially Cornish). After the last mine closed in 1954, the residents were ordered to vacate the property; by 1956, Elcor was completely abandoned. (Full article...)
Today's Featured Picture
John C. Calhoun (1782–1850) was an American statesman and political theorist from South Carolina, and the seventh Vice President of the United States from 1825 to 1832. He is remembered for strongly defending slavery and for advancing the concept of minority rights in politics, which he did in the context of defending white Southern interests from perceived Northern threats. He began his political career as a nationalist, modernizer, and proponent of a strong national government and protective tariffs. By the late 1820s, his views reversed and he became a leading proponent of states' rights, limited government, nullification, and opposition to high tariffs. His beliefs and warnings heavily influenced the South's secession from the Union in 1860–1861.
Painting: George Peter Alexander Healy
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