Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, December 20, 2013)
Word of the Day

languish

Definition:(verb) To suffer deprivation, hardship, or neglect.
Synonyms:decline, waste away, fade away, flag, weaken, wilt
Usage: He languished in prison for nearly two decades before he was exonerated.
Article of the Day

The Forty-Eighters

In 1848, Europe was in tumult. After two years of severe crop failures, French revolutionaries overthrew the monarchy, touching off a series of revolutions across the continent. However, the revolts ended in failure and repression, prompting waves of disappointed supporters—some of whom were now deemed enemies of the state—to immigrate to the US, Canada, and England. As these "Forty-Eighters" maintained their liberal ideals upon relocating, many went on to participate in what major US conflict? More...
This Day in History

South Carolina Becomes the First State to Secede from the US (1860)

In the 1830s, South Carolina residents, frustrated by agricultural tariffs, broached the possibility of secession. Tariff reform appeased them for some time, but following the election of President Abraham Lincoln in 1860, South Carolina seceded from the Union. The state's governor immediately demanded all federal property within the state, including Fort Sumter. The firing on Sumter by Confederate batteries in 1861 precipitated the Civil War. When was the US flag raised over Fort Sumter again? More...
Today's Birthday

Branch Wesley Rickey (1881)

Rickey was an American baseball executive. In 1919, he devised baseball's farm system of using minor-league teams to train major-league players. In 1945, after he took over the Brooklyn Dodgers, he defied convention and broke a long-standing race barrier by hiring Jackie Robinson, the first black player in the major leagues. A deeply religious man, the "Mahatma"—as Rickey was popularly known—never played, attended, or managed games on Sundays. What protective gear did he introduce to baseball? More...
Quotation of the Day
Do you know why this world is as bad as it is? ... It is because people think only about their own business, and won't trouble themselves to stand up for the oppressed, nor bring the wrongdoer to light.

Anna Sewell (1820-1878)

Idiom of the Day

a head-scratcher

A thoroughly complex or difficult mystery, problem, puzzle, or riddle. More...
Today's Holiday

Halcyon Days (2016)

The ancient Greeks called the seven days preceding and the seven days following the Winter Solstice the "Halcyon Days." Greek mythology has it that Halcyone (or Alcyone), Ceyx's wife and one of Aeolus's daughters, drowned herself when she learned her husband had drowned. The gods took pity on her and transformed them both into kingfishers. Zeus commanded the seas to be still during these days, and it was considered a period when sailors could navigate in safety. Today, the expression "halcyon days" has come to mean a period of tranquillity, often used as a nostalgic reference to times past. More...
In the News

ASPCA OKs Pets as Presents

Animal welfare groups have long advised against purchasing a pet as a gift for a loved one during the holidays, believing that there is a greater likelihood that the animal will be rejected or returned than if the recipient had been the one to pick the pet out. Some animal shelters even close down for a week or more in advance of Christmas to prevent pet gifting. However, a new study by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) suggests these fears are unfounded. The survey found that people who received pets as presents kept them at the same rate as those who obtained their animals in other ways. More...
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