Monthly Archives: August 2015

Iroquois Confederacy Is Formed (1142)

The Iroquois Confederacy is a North American confederation of indigenous peoples, initially comprising the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca. A sixth tribe, the Tuscarora, joined later. The league was formed for both defense purposes and to prevent intertribal conflict. Although frequently referred to as the Iroquois, the nations refer to themselves collectively as Haudenosaunee, which means “people of the longhouse.” The league’s formation is said to have coincided with what event? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Kyrgyz Republic Independence Day

Kyrgyztan declared independence from the Soviet Union on August 31, 1991, along with other central Asian republics as the Soviet empire crumbled. Located along the famed Silk Road, the trade route connecting the eastern and western parts of Eurasia, the country is mostly mountainous, part of the Tien-Shan, or Celestial Mountains. Independence Day is a national public holiday in the Kyrgyz Republic. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Caligula (12 CE)

Caligula was a Roman emperor who began his reign upon the death of the extremely unpopular Tiberius. His reign was initially welcomed, but, shortly after assuming power, he suffered a severe illness that is widely believed to have rendered him insane. He earned a reputation for cruel autocracy, torture, and execution and was finally assassinated by a tribune of the Praetorian Guard. Caligula’s real name was Caius Caesar Germanicus. Why was he nicknamed Caligula as a child? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Arlo Guthrie

Arlo Guthrie, American folk singer and son of Woody Guthrie, is perhaps best known for his talking blues song “Alice’s Restaurant.” The song’s original recording lasts 18 minutes and 20 seconds, though Arlo has been know to lengthen the song to 45 minutes in concert. Based on an actual incident, the song was a scathing indictment of the Vietnam War draft. Arlo also appeared at the 1969 Woodstock Festival in Bethel, New York. What movie launched his acting career? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Fort Mims Massacre (1813)

At the start of the Creek Civil War, settlers north of Mobile, Alabama, sought refuge at Fort Mims. Approximately 550 settlers, including 175 armed militiamen, were at the fort when it was attacked by a force of Creek Indians belonging to the Red Sticks faction under the command of Peter McQueen and William Weatherford, known as Red Eagle. The massacre marked the transition from civil war among the Creeks to war between Americans and Red Stick warriors. How many settlers were killed or captured? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Goombay!

Goombay! is a celebration of African and Caribbean heritage, culture, and arts held during the last weekend of August at Eagle and Market Streets in Asheville, North Carolina. “Goombay” is a Bantu word that refers both to a goatskin drum and to the music played on it. Activities are scheduled over three days and include dance and stilt performances, as well as entertainers in a variety of musical styles, such as reggae, R&B, jazz, and Afro-fusion. In addition, festivalgoers may take part in games, mask making, demonstrations of traditional crafts, or African percussion lessons. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797)

In 1816, 18-year-old Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin and her soon-to-be husband, poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, traveled to Geneva to spend the summer with poet Lord Byron. Forced indoors by unpleasant weather, the friends amused themselves by sitting around a fire and reading ghost stories. Byron suggested they each write their own supernatural tale, and the story that Mary wrote became the basis for her novel, Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus. What real-life events may have inspired her? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

André the Giant

André “the Giant” René Roussimoff was born in France and rose to fame as a pro wrestler. His stature was the result of pituitary gigantism, a hormonal disease. Conflicting reports exist as to his actual height; estimates range from 6 ft 10 in (208 cm) to 7ft 5 in (226 cm). His weight, also under dispute, has been billed as lying anywhere between 380 lb (172 kg) and 540 lb (245 kg). André played Fezzik in the movie The Princess Bride and later inspired Billy Crystal to write what film? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary