Category Archives: Today’s Birthday

Martha Graham (1894)

In a career spanning more than half a century, American dancer and choreographer Martha Graham transformed the art of dance with her revolutionary style and choreography. Her technique became the first significant alternative to classical ballet, and her influence extended worldwide through her students, many of whom went on to become choreographers themselves. One of the foremost pioneers of modern dance, Graham was the first dancer ever to perform at the White House and to receive what honor? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Gustav Stresemann (1878)

A German statesman, Stresemann entered the Reichstag in 1907 as a deputy of the National Liberal party. During World War I, he supported the monarchy and an annexationist policy, but after the proclamation of a German republic in 1918, he founded the conservative German People’s party and turned to a conciliatory policy. As chancellor and foreign minister of the Weimar Republic from 1923, he worked to reconcile former enemy nations to Germany. With whom did he share the 1926 Nobel Peace Prize? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Roger Hargreaves (1935)

English children’s book author and illustrator Roger Hargreaves is best remembered for his beloved Mr. Men and Little Miss books, featuring colorful, boldly drawn characters like Mr. Silly, Mr. Happy, and Little Miss Chatterbox. Hargreaves is said to have been inspired to create the series after his young son innocently asked what a tickle looked like. Since 1971, when Mr. Tickle was first published, his books have sold over 100 million copies worldwide. What does a tickle look like? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

William Walker (1824)

Though he was a qualified doctor, lawyer, and journalist by the time he was 24, Walker had his sights set on a more adventurous career path. In 1853, he attempted but failed to seize and govern the Mexican province of Lower California. Undeterred, he led a small band of mercenaries to Nicaragua two years later, overthrew the government, and briefly served as president before being ousted. Despite his earlier failures, he tried once more to conquer Central America in 1860. What happened? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Rabindranath Tagore (1861)

Tagore was a Bengali poet, philosopher, artist, writer, and composer whose works reshaped Bengali literature and music in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His writings, which often exhibit rhythmic lyricism, colloquial language, and philosophical contemplation, received worldwide acclaim. He became Asia’s first Nobel laureate when he received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913. Knighted by the British government in 1915, Tagore resigned the honor four years later in protest of what? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Moshe Feldenkrais (1904)

Feldenkrais was a Russian-born Israeli physicist and engineer who was also an avid soccer player and a judo master. Motivated by a debilitating knee injury of his own, Feldenkrais developed a system to improve body movement and function and reduce pain by increasing self-awareness and re-educating the neuromuscular system. Since its introduction in the 1950s, the Feldenkrais method has gradually gained acceptance. Which statesman did Feldenkrais allegedly teach to stand on his head? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor (1747)

The third son of Maria Theresa and Holy Roman Emperor Francis I, Leopold II succeeded his father as duke of Tuscany in 1765 and his brother as emperor and ruler of the Hapsburg lands in 1790. A practitioner of what has been termed enlightened despotism, Leopold is remembered as a ruler of outstanding diplomatic and administrative abilities. He was emperor for just two years, but in that time, he precipitated the decade-long French Revolutionary Wars by making an alliance with what power? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Richard Louis "Dick" Proenneke (1916)

An icon of wilderness living, Proenneke spent 30 years residing alone in a log cabin he built by hand in remote Twin Lakes, Alaska. His three decades of solitude there were, in fact, his retirement years. During his stay, he chronicled his daily life, keeping detailed written journals and filming his activities, like the construction of his cabin, as well as wildlife. Proenneke left Alaska in 1998, at age 82, to live out the remainder of his life with family. What has since become of his cabin? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

James Brown, the Godfather of Soul (1933)

One of the original inductees of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and one of the most influential entertainers of the 20th century, “Godfather of Soul” James Brown evolved a highly personal style that combined gospel and blues elements with a spectacular stage presence. During his five-decade career, “the Hardest-Working Man in Show Business” had numerous chart-topping singles and albums. What trademark feature of Brown’s stage shows was inspired by professional wrestler Gorgeous George? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Saint Catherine Labouré (1806)

Shortly after LabourĂ© joined the Daughters of Charity, a religious order devoted to serving the poor, she reportedly began having visions of the Virgin Mary. In one, she was shown the design for what has come to be known as the Miraculous Medal, now worn by Christians the world over. Her role in the medal’s creation was concealed until after her death, so she lived out her life in relative obscurity. In 1947, she was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church. What invocation appears on the medal? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary