Monthly Archives: May 2017

Copyright Act of 1790 Signed into US Law (1790)

After the US Constitution was ratified in 1788, one of the first issues that the fledgling government faced was the lack of a copyright law. Without it, Congress would be swamped with individual petitions for protection from piracy. Modeled on Britain’s Statute of Anne, the Copyright Act of 1790 was soon signed into law by President Washington. Instituted to encourage learning by securing US authors the sole rights to their work for 14-year periods, it drew what complaint from Charles Dickens? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Royal Brunei Armed Forces Day

The formation of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces took place on May 31, 1961, and is commemorated each year. Brunei had been a British protectorate since 1888, dependent on the British armed forces for its defense. In 1961, Brunei recruits began training as part of a transition period toward independence for the country, which occurred in 1984. Around the country, there may be parades and military displays put on by various units of the armed forces. In the capital city of Bandar Seri Begawan, it is usually commemorated at the Taman Haji Sir Omar Ali Saifuddien in the city center. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Lady Margaret Beaufort (1443)

Beaufort was an English noblewoman, wife of Edmund Tudor, and the mother of Henry VII, founder of the Tudor Dynasty. She gave birth to Henry at 13, shortly after being widowed, and developed a close bond with her only child. Renowned for her philanthropy, she endowed professorships of divinity at Oxford and Cambridge and with the help of her confessor, John Fisher, founded Christ’s College and St. John’s College, Cambridge. She later acted as regent for Henry VIII. How many times did she marry? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Frogmen

An allusion to the appearance of divers clad in shiny wetsuits and wearing large fins on their feet, the term “frogman” was first used to describe scuba divers around 1940. Although scuba users prefer to be called “divers,” the word “frogman” is often used, especially by the media, to refer to professional divers, such as soldiers, who carry out amphibious assaults, sabotage operations, and clandestine surveys. What types of tools and weapons can frogmen carry underwater? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Dominican Republic Dictator Rafael Trujillo Is Assassinated (1961)

Trujillo was a military strongman who seized control of the Dominican Republic in 1930 and ruled it as a dictator for the next 30 years. He renamed the capital after himself and forced all citizens to join his political party. He brutally suppressed dissent and ordered the infamous 1937 Parsley Massacre, in which up to 30,000 Haitians living near the Dominican border were murdered. In 1961, Trujillo was ambushed and shot to death by seven men. Why was the CIA said to be involved? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Kaamatan Festival

Kaamatan is a festival and public holiday in the state of Sabah in Malaysia. The festival is celebrated by the Kadazandusun people, the largest indigenous ethnic group in Sabah. Irrigated rice is their principal crop, and the harvest is a ritual dedicated to the Bambaazon, or rice spirit. If the harvest has been good, this is a thanksgiving; if it has been poor, the ritual is an appeasement of the spirit. This festival is celebrated during the month of May with carnivals, special exhibits, sports competitions, and a regatta, all leading up to the harvest rituals on May 30-31 in Penampang. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Mel Blanc (1908)

One of the most prolific voice actors of all time, Blanc began his career in radio. In 1933, he began to work for a daily radio program, for which he created several voices. In 1937, he joined the cartoon department of Warner Brothers. During his 50-year career, he supplied voices in more than 3,000 animated cartoons for hundreds of characters, including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, and Woody Woodpecker. What nod to Blanc’s career is inscribed on his tombstone? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary