Louis Riel, "Father of Manitoba," Executed for Treason (1885)

Of French and Métis parentage, Riel grew up in the Red River Settlement in what is now Manitoba, whose establishment in 1870 he precipitated by leading a revolt of Métis and indigenous peoples against the transfer of the Hudson’s Bay Company territory to Canada. Riel was outlawed for his role in the rebellion, but that did not deter him from leading a similar uprising in Saskatchewan in 1884. This time, however, he was captured by Canadian authorities and executed. Why was his penalty so harsh? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Bard of Armagh Festival of Humorous Verse

The town of Armagh, Northern Ireland, is featured in a famous ballad called “The Bard of Armagh.” That poem’s title inspired the name of the Bard of Armagh Festival of Humorous Verse, an annual event that has taken place since 1993. Poets appear before audiences to recite their works and compete for best poem. To determine the official entries, a selection process was established that ensures each poem does not exceed a length of 650 words and features humorous verse suitable for a family audience. The finals usually take place at the Armagh City Hotel. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Nnamdi Azikiwe (1904)

A native Nigerian, Azikiwe was educated in the US and, upon returning to his home country, began publishing denunciatory articles as editor of the African Morning Post. He was charged with sedition in 1936 but was ultimately acquitted. Azikiwe then became a political leader and was named the first president of Nigeria when it became a republic in 1963, serving until a military coup forced him out in 1966. His writings led to the emergence of Zikism, which is what? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Castrati

Castrati were male singers with artificially created soprano or alto voices that were the result of castration in boyhood. Possessing powerful voices of great range and unique sound, castrati were introduced in the 16th century. They were especially popular in churches and operas in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries and even sang in the Sistine Chapel choir until 1903. When was the practice of castrating prepubescent boys for musical purposes outlawed in Italy? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

First of Two Istanbul Bombings (2003)

In a pair of dual truck bomb attacks carried out days apart in Istanbul, Turkey, terrorists took the lives of over 50 people and injured some 700. The first attack targeted two synagogues during Sabbath services. A truck bomb was detonated at each, killing dozens and injuring hundreds more. Five days later, suicide bombers detonated truck bombs at Istanbul’s HSBC Bank headquarters and British consulate. What country handed over to Turkey 22 suspects who reportedly fled there after the attacks? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Shichi-Go-San

Shichi-Go-San is an ancient Japanese celebration that marks the special ages of seven, five, and three. It has long been traditional for families to take girls aged seven, boys of five, and all three-year-olds to the neighborhood Shinto shrine. There they are purified, and the priest prays for their healthy growth. Afterwards, there are often parties for the children, and they are given a special pink hard candy, called “thousand-year candy,” to symbolize hopes for a long life. Because Nov. 15 is not a legal holiday, families now observe the ceremony on the Sunday nearest that date. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

John I "the Posthumous" of France (1316)

For the five days he lived, John I, son of Louis X, was king of France. He thus had the shortest reign of any recognized French king. Because his uncle, Philip V, succeeded him, rumors swirled that Philip had caused John’s death. Another story claimed that a dying child had been substituted for John, who was then raised in Siena. In the mid-1300s, a Sienese man named Giannino di Guccio began claiming that he was John I and traveled through Europe seeking recognition. What happened to him? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary