Quote of the Day

Francis Bacon
Fame is like a river, that beareth up things light and swollen, and drowns things weighty and solid. Discuss

Jane Austen
I cannot speak well enough to be unintelligible.

Lucy Maud Montgomery
Next to trying and winning, the best thing is trying and failing.

This Day in History

Court Martial of Benedict Arnold Begins (1779)
When Arnold was court-martialed in 1779, it was not for the treason that would later make his name synonymous with betrayal. The charges involved fiscal irregularities and were relatively minor. Though he was largely exonerated, the trial sullied his reputation. Despite having distinguished himself in various American military campaigns—he was wounded more than once—Arnold was subsequently passed over for promotion. Embittered, he hatched what plot to aid the British in the American Revolution? Discuss

Copyright Act of 1790 Signed into US Law (1790)
After the US Constitution was ratified in 1788, one of the first issues that the fledgling government faced was the lack of a copyright law. Without it, Congress would be swamped with individual petitions for protection from piracy. Modeled on Britain's Statute of Anne, the Copyright Act of 1790 was soon signed into law by President Washington. Instituted to encourage learning by securing US authors the sole rights to their work for 14-year periods, it drew what complaint from Charles Dickens?

Dominican Republic Dictator Rafael Trujillo Is Assassinated (1961)
Trujillo was a military strongman who seized control of the Dominican Republic in 1930 and ruled it as a dictator for the next 30 years. He renamed the capital after himself and forced all citizens to join his political party. He brutally suppressed dissent and ordered the infamous 1937 Parsley Massacre, in which up to 30,000 Haitians living near the Dominican border were murdered. In 1961, Trujillo was ambushed and shot to death by seven men. Why was the 1937 massacre named after a garden herb?