Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, May 1, 2015)
Word of the Day

balustrade

Definition:(noun) A rail and the row of balusters or posts that support it, as along the front of a gallery.
Synonyms:banister, handrail
Usage: She leaned over the balustrade, trying to see what was happening below.
Article of the Day

Sunflowers

The sunflower is a plant native to the New World and common throughout the US. Its stem can grow up to 10 ft (3 m) tall, and its flower head, commonly having yellow rays, can reach 1 ft (30 cm) in diameter. The sunflower was domesticated around 1000 BCE in the Americas, where the Incas venerated it as an image of their sun god, and it reached Europe in the 16th century. It is valued today for its oil-bearing seeds that can be made into bread. The sunflower is the state flower of what US state? More...
This Day in History

U-2 Crisis of 1960 Begins (1960)

After becoming Soviet premier in 1958, Nikita Khrushchev asserted a doctrine of peaceful coexistence with capitalist nations. He toured the US in 1959 and planned a Paris summit with the US, Britain, and France in 1960, but in May of that year, an American U-2 reconnaissance plane was shot down over the Soviet Union. Khrushchev cancelled the conference, and the American pilot, F. Gary Powers, was tried in the Soviet Union and sentenced to 10 years in prison. What happened to him? More...
Today's Birthday

Anna Marie Jarvis (1864)

Though she never wed or had children herself, Jarvis campaigned tirelessly for the establishment of an annual holiday honoring mothers. She began her campaign after the death of her mother, a social activist who had brought mothers together in an effort to counter the divisions caused by the Civil War. By 1914, Mother's Day had been proclaimed a US national holiday. Rather than savor her success, Jarvis soon became one of the holiday's most vehement opponents. Why did she want it abolished? More...
Quotation of the Day
Reason sits firm and holds the reins, and she will not let the feelings burst away and hurry her to wild chasms. The passions may rage furiously, like true heathens, as they are; and the desires may imagine all sorts of vain things: but judgment shall still have the last word in every argument, and the casting vote in every decision.

Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855)

Today's Holiday

Vappu (2016)

Vappu is a national holiday and celebration of the coming of spring in Finland. This traditional festival is also Labor Day, and factories that are said to "never close" do close on May 1 (and Christmas Day). For students, the "anything goes" celebration begins at midnight on the eve of May Day, called Vapunaatto, when they wear white student caps and indulge in anything not indecent or criminal. There are balloons, streamers, horns, and masks everywhere, and few get much sleep. On May Day itself, the students lead processions through the streets of Helsinki, and then enjoy carnivals and concerts. More...
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