Mae West Sentenced For Obscenity (1927)

In 1926, American actress Mae West, mistress of the double entendre, began to write, produce, and star in her own Broadway plays, the first of which was the sensation-creating Sex. The notorious production did not go over well with city officials, who prosecuted West on morals charges. She served eight days of her 10-day sentence, getting off two days for good behavior. Still, the punishment did not deter her from tackling taboo subjects, as evidenced by her next play, named what? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Primrose Day

Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield, novelist, and twice prime minister of England, died on this day in 1881. When he was buried in the family vault at Hughenden Manor, near High Wycombe, Queen Victoria came to lay a wreath of primroses—thought to be his favorite flower—on his grave. Two years later, the Primrose League was formed to support the principles of Conservatism which Disraeli had championed. The organization’s influence ebbed after World War I, but Primrose Day is remembered in honor of Disraeli and his contribution to the Conservative cause. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Jayne Mansfield (1933)

One of the leading sex symbols of the 1950s, Mansfield reportedly spoke five languages, played the violin, and claimed an IQ of over 150. However, the provocative image she presented to the public was carefully crafted, and she was best known for her film roles as a “blonde bombshell” and her many appearances in photographs. Her tragic death at the age of 34 in a car accident led to the mandating of underride guards on tractor-trailer trucks in the US. What well-known actress is her daughter? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

The Year without a Summer

It is now widely thought that the eruption of Indonesia’s Mount Tambora—the largest in over 1,600 years—led to a widespread reduction in temperature in 1816 that destroyed crops and prompted food shortages and famine across the globe. The event became the primary motivation for western expansion in America, and the lack of horse feed inspired research into horseless travel. What novel is said to have been written by an author forced to stay inside by the unseasonable weather in July 1816? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Paul Revere's Midnight Ride (1775)

American patriot Paul Revere was a member of the Sons of Liberty and a participant in the Boston Tea Party, but he is chiefly remembered for his late-night horseback ride to warn the Massachusetts colonists that British soldiers were setting forth on the mission that, as it turned out, began the American Revolution. Two others also rode out with the news, but it is Revere who is celebrated as the midnight rider, despite having been captured before reaching his final destination. Why is this? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Parashurama Jayanti

According to Hindu mythology, it was Parashurama (Rama with an Ax) who destroyed the evil Kshatriya kings and princes 21 times. His birthday, Parashurama Jayanti, is therefore observed with fasting, austerities, and prayer. It is also a day to worship Lord Vishnu, of whom Parashurama is believed to be the sixth incarnation. To Hindus, Parashurama represents filial obedience, austerity, power, and brahmanic ideals. The Malabar region on the southwest coast of India is believed to have been founded by Parashurama. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

James McCune Smith (1813)

Smith was the first African American to obtain a medical degree and operate a pharmacy in the US. Denied admission to American colleges due to racial discrimination, he studied in Scotland, obtaining a series of degrees. After returning to New York, he became the first professionally trained black physician in the country. He wrote forcefully against common misconceptions and false notions about race, science, and medicine and once used statistics to refute what argument about slaves? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary