Monthly Archives: March 2018

Exiled Dalai Lama Arrives in India (1959)

Tenzin Gyatso—better known as the Dalai Lama—was installed as the spiritual and political leader of Tibet before he reached the age of five. He was a teenager when China took control of Tibet, and subsequent suppression forced him flee to the northern Indian city of Dharamsala. There, he set up the Tibetan exile government. Famously pacifistic in his campaign for Tibetan independence, the Dalai Lama once said it would be appropriate to shoot someone in the leg in what hypothetical situation? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Lazarus Saturday

In Russia and in all Eastern Orthodox churches, the Saturday before Palm Sunday is set aside to honor Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead. Pussywillows are blessed at the evening service in the Russian Orthodox Church, and the branches are distributed to the worshippers, who take them home and display them above their icons. On this day in Greece, Romania, and the former Yugoslavia, one custom is for groups of children to carry willow branches from house to house and sing songs and act out the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

César Chávez (1927)

As the child of Mexican-American migrant laborers, Chávez spent his childhood in a succession of migrant camps, attending 65 different elementary schools. After a two-year stint in the Navy, he returned to migrant farm work and, in 1962, began organizing the largely Latino farmworkers of Arizona and California. A charismatic figure, he used strikes and nationwide boycotts to win union recognition and contracts from California grape and lettuce growers. How long did the first strike last? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Sadako Sasaki

Sadako Sasaki was only two years old when an atomic bomb destroyed her hometown of Hiroshima, Japan. A decade later, she was diagnosed with leukemia. Inspired by a Japanese legend that promises a wish to anyone who folds 1,000 origami cranes, Sadako began making paper cranes in the months before her death, completing 644 before losing her battle with cancer. She has since become a symbol of the impact of nuclear war, and schoolchildren around the world have learned her story through which books? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

The Sicilian Vespers Rebellion (1282)

By 1282, the French Angevin dynasty had controlled of the island of Sicily for decades. However, at the start of the traditional vespers service on Easter Monday, an uprising spontaneously broke out following a seemingly isolated altercation in which local residents sparred with French soldiers. The revolt spread like wildfire, and soon the Sicilians had massacred almost every French person on the island. What reportedly started the confrontation between the Sicilians and the soldiers? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Ta'anit Bechorot (Fast of the Firstborn)

The Fast of the Firstborn is the only fast in the Jewish calendar which is neither an atonement for sin nor a fast of petition. Observed only symbolically by firstborn male Jews on the day before Passover, its main purpose appears to be to remind Jews of the Angel of Death’s slaying of the Egyptians’ firstborn sons and the miraculous escape of their own sons. The obligation to fast can be avoided by participating in a siyyum—the study of a particular passage of the Talmud. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Naomi Sims (1948)

Often considered the first black supermodel, Sims was teased as an adolescent for her unusual height. While attending college, she attempted to earn money by securing modeling work but was frustrated by the racism of established agencies. Instead, she forged her own connections, achieving wide success and recognition in the 1960s and 70s before retiring to found a beauty-product empire. What film role did she turn down in 1972 due to the film’s exploitative portrayal of African Americans? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary