Brown v. Board of Education Decided (1954)

In 1951, a class action suit was filed against the Board of Education of the City of Topeka, Kansas, by 13 African-American parents on behalf of their children. The plaintiffs argued that segregating schools along racial lines violated the students’ 14th Amendment right to equal protection under the law. The case was heard by the US Supreme Court, which unanimously agreed that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” What future Supreme Court judge represented the plaintiffs? Discuss

Edward Jenner (1749)

Jenner, an English surgeon, discovered the smallpox vaccine and laid the foundations of modern immunology. Apprenticed to a surgeon at 13, Jenner then studied under John Hunter, a pioneer in morphology. Jenner found that people who had been sick with the relatively harmless disease cowpox did not contract smallpox. His invaluable experiments, beginning in 1796 with the vaccination of eight-year-old James Phipps, proved that cowpox provided immunity against smallpox. What killed Jenner in 1823? Discuss

Giacomo Puccini

Puccini was an Italian composer of operas and a leading exponent of the realistic, verismo style. Born into a family of musicians, he studied piano and organ in his hometown before entering the Milan Conservatory in 1880. His famous operas, which remain exceedingly popular to this day, include La Bohème, Tosca, and Madama Butterfly. His death in 1924 is often cited as the end of grand opera. Complications from what experimental medical treatment hastened his death? Discuss

technical

spod – A studious person who is quite socially inept or dull or a person who pursues an unfashionable, technical, or esoteric interest with obsessive dedication. More…

masterpiece – Originally, it was used in a technical or academic sense to apply to a work that was presented to a medieval guild for qualification as a “master.” More…

technical, technic – Technical is based on technic, an adjective meaning “pertaining to art,” from Greek tekhne, “art.” More…

technicize – To make technical. More…

Pope Benedict XV Canonizes Joan of Arc (1920)

Joan of Arc was a French military leader. As a girl, she began hearing voices—those of saints, she believed—exhorting her to aid the dauphin, who was being kept from the throne by the English in the Hundred Years War. Joan organized the French resistance that defeated the English siege of Orléans and had the dauphin crowned Charles VII. Captured and sold to the English by the Burgundians thereafter, she was tried for heresy and witchcraft. How old was she when she was burned at the stake? Discuss

Pope Innocent XI (1611)

In 1676, Benedetto Odescalchi was elected pope despite the strong opposition of Louis XIV of France, with whom he had a long, bitter quarrel over Gallicanism—a French Roman Catholic tradition of resistance to papal authority. He took the name Innocent XI. As Pope, Innocent lived very parsimoniously and sought to curb nepotism among the cardinals. He closed all of the theaters in Rome—deemed centers of vice and immorality—and brought a temporary halt to the flourishing tradition of what? Discuss