Songtsän Gampo

Born in the seventh century, Songtsän Gampo was the founder of the Tibetan empire. Though much of the information about his life is derived from legend and tradition, Gampo is believed to have ascended to the throne while still a minor. He is widely credited with bringing many cultural and technological advances to Tibet. Most notably, he is considered to be the first of the three rulers, known as the “Dharma Kings,” who established Buddhism in Tibet. Who were the other two? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Little Person Eddie Gaedel Has Major League Debut (1951)

At 43 inches (1.1 m) tall, Gaedel became the shortest player in the history of Major League Baseball when he made a single plate appearance for the St. Louis Browns in 1951. He arrived on the field inside a replica cake honoring the American League’s 50th anniversary, amusing the crowd by popping out of it. No one suspected his true reason for being there. Browns owner Bill Veeck—a showman fond of publicity stunts—had put Gaedel on the roster. What happened when Gaedel stepped up to the plate? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Payson Rodeo "August Doin's"

The Payson Rodeo is a rodeo, parade, and general Wild West three-day weekend in the cowboy-and-cattle country of Payson, Arizona. The first Payson rodeo was held in 1885, and it’s been held ever since with no interruptions, not even for war, making it the world’s oldest continuous Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association rodeo. Events of the weekend include the parade with floats, dancers, and cowboys, country music, a chili cookout, and arts and crafts. Total attendance is usually about 30,000. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Roman Vishniac (1897)

A Russian-American biologist, photographer, linguist, art historian, philosopher, and professor, Vishniac is best remembered for producing a photographic record of Central and Eastern European Jewish communities in the years preceding the Holocaust. His efforts were not without risk; he was imprisoned 11 times and forced to do hard labor in two concentration camps. He escaped to the US in 1940 and returned to his scientific roots, contributing to the development of what photographic techniques? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

K2

Standing 28,251 ft (8,611 m) high on the border of China and Pakistan, K2 is the second highest mountain in the world. Although the summit of Mt. Everest is at a higher altitude, K2 is considered a more difficult climb, due in part to its severe weather. Part of the Karakorum segment of the Himalayas, the peak was first scaled in 1954, but only a few hundred climbers have ever reached the summit—compared to the thousands who have ascended Everest. Why is the mountain called “K2”? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Priest Urbain Grandier Burned at the Stake for Witchcraft (1634)

Grandier was a 17th-century French Catholic priest who was accused of bewitching the nuns of the Ursuline convent. Although he was acquitted by an ecclesiastical council, Grandier had published scathing criticisms of Cardinal Richelieu, the chief minister and virtual ruler of France, who arranged to have him re-tried. Accused of having entered a pact with the devil, Grandier was tortured, found guilty, and burned at the stake. What was presented as evidence of the Grandier’s diabolical pact? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary