This Day in History

Li Yuan Becomes Emperor Gaozu of Tang (618 CE)
Emperor Gaozu was the founder of the greatest of China's imperial dynasties, the Tang dynasty (618-907 CE), which ruled over what was then the world's largest empire and initiated a golden age for art, science, and Buddhism. Before becoming emperor, Li Yuan, as he was then known, was governor of a province under the Sui Dynasty. When the Sui emperor, Yangdi, was assassinated in 618, Li Yuan reunited the empire and took power. Why did he later abdicate the throne in favor of his son, Li Shimin? Discuss

The Night Attack (1462)
The Night Attack was a battle fought between the forces of Wallachian Prince Vlad III, known as Vlad the Impaler, and the forces of Mehmed II, sultan of the Ottoman Empire. After Vlad raided Bulgaria and killed more than 20,000 Turks and Bulgarians, Mehmed marched on Wallachia, and the two powers fought a series of skirmishes. In the Night Attack, Vlad attacked the Turkish camp in an attempt to assassinate Mehmed. The attempt failed, but Mehmed retreated anyway. Why?

Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova Becomes First Woman in Space (1963)
Tereshkova was a Soviet cosmonaut who became the first woman to fly in space. In 1963, she was the solo pilot of a three-day flight aboard Vostok 6, orbiting the Earth 48 times. Her flight was her only experience in space, and she left the Soviet space program soon after and married cosmonaut Andriyan Nikolayev. Their daughter, Elena, born a year later, was the first child of parents who had both been in space. What was Tereshkova's job before she was recruited as a cosmonaut?

Quote of the Day

George Bernard Shaw
Kings are not born: they are made by artificial hallucination. Discuss

Rene Descartes
Everything is self-evident.

Washington Irving
How easy it is for one benevolent being to diffuse pleasure around him; and how truly is a kind heart a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity to freshen into smiles!