Monthly Archives: July 2016

Spanish Treasure Fleet Sinks off Florida Coast in Hurricane (1715)

From the 16th to the 18th centuries, the Spanish Empire used a system of convoys, called treasure fleets, to transport a wide variety of items to Spain from its territories in the New World. Seven days after departing from Havana, Cuba, all 11 of the ships in the 1715 treasure fleet sank during a hurricane near present-day Florida, resulting in the deaths of thousands of sailors. The disaster also resulted in the loss of what precious items, some of which still occasionally wash ashore? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Nicodemus Emancipation and Homecoming Celebration

The Nicodemus Emancipation and Homecoming Celebration is held annually the last weekend in July to celebrate the abolishment of slavery in the United States. It also celebrates NicodemusNicodemus, the only still-living all-black community west of the Mississippi founded by former slaves. The Emancipation and Homecoming Celebration has taken place every year since 1878. The event includes such attractions as a parade, a fashion show, military displays, and descendants’ program, which draws relatives of the original town settlers from across the country. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Peter Benenson (1921)

Peter Benenson was an English lawyer who organized a letter-writing campaign in 1961 calling for amnesty for “prisoners of conscience.” His campaign resulted in the establishment of Amnesty International, a human-rights organization that works to combat violations of human rights, especially abridgments of freedom of speech and religion and the imprisonment and torture of political dissidents. Why did Benenson resign from his position within Amnesty International in 1967? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Misanthropy

Misanthropy is a general dislike or distrust of the human species. Typically motivated by social alienation or feelings of contempt for society’s prevailing characteristics, misanthropes express a dislike for humanity as a whole, but can have normal relationships with some individuals. Overt expressions of misanthropy can be attributed to characters throughout literature. What existentialist philosopher and writer famously wrote that “hell is other people” in his play No Exit? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

WWI: Black Tom Explosion (1916)

In the midst of WWI, German saboteurs demolished a US munitions stockpile in the Black Tom section of Jersey City, New Jersey. The series of massive explosions killed a few, injured hundreds, damaged all sorts of structures, including the Statue of Liberty, and was heard hundreds of miles away. Sued by the US government in 1922 but vindicated in 1930 by an international claims commission, the German government was ultimately ordered to pay $50 million in damages. When was the final payment made? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Bologna Festival

In 1906, a bologna maker named T. J. Minnie set up his shop in Yale, Michigan. Over the next several decades, a number of other bologna makers settled in Yale, but today only one remains: C. Roy Inc., which produces Yale Bologna. The annual Bologna Festival, established in 1989, is designed to attract true bologna lovers with its booths serving bologna rings, bologna hot dogs, bologna and sauerkraut, and fried bologna sandwiches. A King and Queen Bologna are crowned, and they ride through town on the C. Roy float in the Big Bologna Parade wearing crowns made out of bologna rings. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Emily Brontë (1818)

Sister of writers Charlotte and Anne Brontë, Emily Brontë was an English author who is most famous for her novel Wuthering Heights, a highly imaginative story of passion and hatred set on the Yorkshire moors. Emily’s unusual character and intellect seem to have been unrecognized by her family until quite late in her short life—she died at 30 of tuberculosis—but Charlotte was astonished by her poetry and regarded her work as unparalleled. Emily originally published under what pen name? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary