This Day in History

Mona Lisa Stolen by a Louvre Employee (1911)
In 1911, Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa disappeared from the Louvre and was believed to be lost forever. Two years later, former Louvre employee Vincenzo Peruggia was caught trying to sell the masterpiece to a gallery owner in his native Italy. It turned out that Peruggia had stolen the painting by hiding in a closet, waiting until the museum had closed, taking it down, and simply walking out with it hidden under his coat. How much time did Peruggia serve in jail for his crime? Discuss

The Big Burn (1910)
The Great Fire of 1910 was a wildfire that burned approximately three million acres (12,000 sq km) in Washington, Idaho, and Montana. Spurred by hurricane-force winds, it destroyed parts of several national forests. Since known as the Big Burn, the firestorm burned over two days and killed more than 80 people, including 78 firefighters. It is believed to be the largest, although not the deadliest, fire in US history. How did the Great Fire of 1910 shape future US Forest Service policy?

American Outlaw John Wesley Hardin Shot Dead (1895)
Hardin was an American desperado who claimed to have killed 42 men, one of them allegedly for snoring. He became a gambler and a gunman very early in life, but his friends and gunfighting skills helped him evade the authorities until 1877, when he was sentenced to 25 years for killing a sheriff. He studied law in prison and was released after serving 16 years. Pardoned in 1894, he passed the bar exam and began to practice law, but a local constable shot him to death a year later for what reason?

Quote of the Day

Charles Darwin
The very essence of an instinct is that it is followed independently of reason. Discuss

Jane Austen
There will be little rubs and disappointments everywhere, and we are all apt to expect too much; but then, if one scheme of happiness fails, human nature turns to another; if the first calculation is wrong, we make a second better: we find comfort somewhere.

Oscar Wilde
Where there is sorrow there is holy ground.