Central African Federation Collapses (1963)

The Central African Federation was a semi-independent state in southern Africa that existed from 1953 to 1963. Created by the British government to unite the self-governing colony of Southern Rhodesia with the British protectorates of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland, the federation ultimately crumbled when black African nationalists demanded a greater share of power than the dominant minority white population was willing to concede. What are Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland called today? Discuss

New Year's Eve (Spain)

In Spain, it is customary for families to gather on New Year’s Eve in small groups to celebrate the coming of the New Year. Grapes are distributed, and, when midnight arrives, everyone eats one grape for each stroke of the clock. Eating all 12 grapes before the clock is finished striking ensures good luck in the New Year. The grapes are usually washed down with muscatel wine. So firmly entrenched is the custom that in theaters and cinemas, the show is often interrupted at midnight on New Year’s Eve so that the audience can eat the grapes and drink the wine they’ve brought with them. Discuss

Isma'il Pasha (1830)

Isma’il Pasha was appointed viceroy of Egypt under the Ottoman Empire and was involved with work on the Suez Canal. He planned but failed to unify the Nile valley by creating a new southern Egyptian province in the Sudan. Educated in Paris and sent on diplomatic missions throughout Europe, he helped to modernize Egypt before being dismissed by the sultan because of fiscal mismanagement. The enormous debt he incurred led to the British occupation of Egypt in 1882. Who captured his son Hassan? Discuss

The Air France Robbery

In the 1960s, Air France was used to transport American money exchanged in France back to the US. Once the currency reached New York’s JFK International Airport, it was locked in a secure strong room. In 1967, 23-year-old mobster Henry Hill orchestrated an audacious robbery of the Air France cargo terminal. Using a copy of the strong room key, Hill and his associates quietly stole $420,000. They raised no alarm and were never prosecuted for the crime. How did Hill procure the copied key? Discuss

Rudyard Kipling (1865)

Kipling was raised in England but returned to his birthplace, India, as a 16-year-old journalist. He soon became famous for his stories and poetry, which often feature the heat, strife, and ennui of India and romanticize British imperialism. While in the US in the 1890s, he published The Jungle Book and The Second Jungle Book, stories of the boy Mowgli in the Indian jungle that have become children’s classics. In 1907, he became the first English language writer to win what award? Discuss


Go, a two player board game, originated in China before 2000 BCE, and its popularity has since spread worldwide. Players take turns placing game pieces, or stones, on the vacant intersections of a 19×19 grid. The objective is to control a larger territory than one’s opponent, and this is accomplished by surrounding, capturing, and removing the opposing player’s stones. The game ends when neither player can increase his territory or reduce his opponent’s. How is a player’s score calculated? Discuss