Monthly Archives: December 2015

Central African Federation Collapses (1963)

The Central African Federation was a semi-independent state in southern Africa that existed from 1953 to 1963. Created by the British government to unite the self-governing colony of Southern Rhodesia with the British protectorates of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland, the federation ultimately crumbled when black African nationalists demanded a greater share of power than the dominant minority white population was willing to concede. What are Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland called today? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Hogmanay

In Scotland and the northern part of England, the last day of the year is known as Hogmanay. Scottish children used to call at the homes of the wealthy on this day and ask for their traditional gift of an oatmeal cake. They would call out, “Hogmanay!” and recite traditional rhymes or sing songs in return for which they’d be given their cakes to take home. Today, Hogmanay is celebrated much as is New Year’s Eve around the rest of the Western world, with street and house parties. Such fire ceremonies as torchlight processions and lighting New Year’s fires are popular traditions as well. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Isma'il Pasha (1830)

Isma’il Pasha was appointed viceroy of Egypt under the Ottoman Empire and was involved with work on the Suez Canal. He planned but failed to unify the Nile valley by creating a new southern Egyptian province in the Sudan. Educated in Paris and sent on diplomatic missions throughout Europe, he helped to modernize Egypt before being dismissed by the sultan because of fiscal mismanagement. The enormous debt he incurred led to the British occupation of Egypt in 1882. Who captured his son Hassan? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Man O' War

Man o’ War, a large, reddish-colored colt, was owned and bred by August Belmont, Jr. The colt raced for only 2 years, but in that short time, he won 20 out of his 21 races and set five world records. One of the most renowned stallions in the history of American thoroughbred racing, Man o’ War went on to become a leading sire, producing more than 64 stakes winners and 200 champions. What was Man O’ War’s relationship to Seabiscuit? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

José Rizal Executed by Firing Squad (1896)

Rizal was a Philippine nationalist, author, and physician. In 1886, he published his first novel, a diatribe against Spanish administration and the religious orders in the Philippines. Angered, Spanish officials forced Rizal to leave his homeland. When he returned to Manila five years later, he was arrested as a revolutionary agitator. He was executed for treason four years after that, and his martyrdom incited a full-scale rebellion against Spanish rule. How many languages did Rizal speak? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Rizal Day

A national holiday in the Philippines, Rizal Day commemorates the execution of the national hero Dr. José Rizal on this day in 1896. Flags fly at half-staff throughout the country, and special rites are led by the president at the 500-foot Rizal Monument in Manila. Writing from Europe and denouncing the corrupt ruling of the Philippines by Spanish friars, Rizal became known as a leader of the Philippine reform movement. He had no direct role in the nationalist insurrection; nevertheless, he was arrested, tried for sedition, and executed by a firing squad. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Rudyard Kipling (1865)

Kipling was raised in England but returned to his birthplace, India, as a 16-year-old journalist. He soon became famous for his stories and poetry, which often feature the heat, strife, and ennui of India and romanticize British imperialism. While in the US in the 1890s, he published The Jungle Book and The Second Jungle Book, stories of the boy Mowgli in the Indian jungle that have become children’s classics. In 1907, he became the first English language writer to win what award? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary