Iroquois Confederacy Is Formed (1142)

The Iroquois Confederacy is a North American confederation of indigenous peoples, initially comprising the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca. A sixth tribe, the Tuscarora, joined later. The league was formed for both defense purposes and to prevent intertribal conflict. Although frequently referred to as the Iroquois, the nations refer to themselves collectively as Haudenosaunee, which means “people of the longhouse.” The league’s formation is said to have coincided with what event? Discuss

Trinidad and Tobago Independence Day

After being subjected to British rule since 1802, Trinidad and Tobago became an independent commonwealth state on this day in 1962. This national holiday is celebrated amid a Carnival atmosphere, with an elaborate military parade accompanied by calypsos at the Queen’s Park Savannah. Religious services are varied to accommodate the Yoruba Orisha, Hindu, Muslim, Baptist, and other faiths represented in the citizenry. Later in the day, awards are presented at the National Awards Ceremony to those who have notably served their country. Discuss

André the Giant

André “the Giant” René Roussimoff was born in France and rose to fame as a pro wrestler. His stature was the result of pituitary gigantism, a hormonal disease. Conflicting reports exist as to his actual height; estimates range from 6 ft 10 in (208 cm) to 7ft 5 in (226 cm). His weight, also under dispute, has been billed as lying anywhere between 380 lb (172 kg) and 540 lb (245 kg). André played Fezzik in the movie The Princess Bride and later inspired Billy Crystal to write what film? Discuss

Fort Mims Massacre (1813)

At the start of the Creek Civil War, settlers north of Mobile, Alabama, sought refuge at Fort Mims. Approximately 550 settlers, including 175 armed militiamen, were at the fort when it was attacked by a force of Creek Indians belonging to the Red Sticks faction under the command of Peter McQueen and William Weatherford, known as Red Eagle. The massacre marked the transition from civil war among the Creeks to war between Americans and Red Stick warriors. How many settlers were killed or captured? Discuss

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797)

In 1816, 18-year-old Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin and her soon-to-be husband, poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, traveled to Geneva to spend the summer with poet Lord Byron. Forced indoors by unpleasant weather, the friends amused themselves by sitting around a fire and reading ghost stories. Byron suggested they each write their own supernatural tale, and the story that Mary wrote became the basis for her novel, Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus. What real-life events may have inspired her? Discuss

Doughnuts or Donuts?

Regardless of how you spell this sweet, deep-fried treat—doughnut or donut—its origins remain a mystery. Some claim that Dutch settlers brought it to North America. Others maintain that a Danish sea captain impaled a fried cake on a wheel spoke to free his hands during a storm and, thus, invented the doughnut’s hole. The two most common types are ring-shaped doughnuts and filled doughnuts, flattened spheres injected with a sweet filling. In what countries can you get a meat-filled doughnut? Discuss