Liberation Day (Vietnam)

On April 30, 1975, the Vietnam War officially came to an end as communist North Vietnamese tanks rolled onto the grounds of the Presidential Palace in the South Vietnamese capital city of Saigon. The Vietnamese hold celebrations throughout the month of April that culminate on April 30th, when the entire nation celebrates the final victory in Saigon (now named Ho Chi Minh City). In Ho Chi Minh City, there are military parades featuring marching bands and Vietnam War veterans. Fireworks are shot off to mark the hour when the South Vietnamese government officially surrendered. Discuss

Eugen Bleuler (1857)

Bleuler was a Swiss psychiatrist who in 1908 introduced the term “schizophrenia.” While studying schizophrenic patients, Bleuler concluded that the disease was not one of dementia, a condition involving organic deterioration of the brain, but one consisting of a state of mind in which contradictory tendencies exist together. He argued, against the prevailing opinion, that such patients were not incurable. “Schizophrenia” replaced what term for the disease? Discuss


Grapeshot is a cluster of small iron balls loaded into a canvas bag and fired from a cannon. When a grapeshot-loaded cannon is fired, the balls disperse at a high velocity, causing devastation similar to that of a scaled-up shotgun. This ammunition was especially effective against infantry massed at close range and was used until the early 19th century, when it was largely replaced by metal-cased canister shot. Which pirate was killed by a blast of grapeshot? Discuss

WWII: Operation Manna Begins (1945)

During WWII, the Royal Air Force delivered 6,680 tons of food into parts of the German-occupied Netherlands, with the acquiescence of the occupying forces, to feed starving Dutch citizens suffering from a famine that ultimately claimed 18,000 lives. Operation Manna, as it was called, was named for the food that the Book of Exodus says miraculously appeared for the Israelites in the wilderness. The mission ended on May 8, when Germany’s surrender ended the war in Europe. How was the food delivered? Discuss

John Arbuthnot (1667)

Greatly admired in his time, Arbuthnot was a Scottish scientist, mathematician, and satirist. The court physician to Queen Anne, he is best remembered for his five “John Bull” pamphlets, political satires on the Whig war policy that introduced the character John Bull, a personification of England akin to the American Uncle Sam. With his friends Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, and John Gay, Arbuthnot was a founding member of the famous Scriblerus Club, an organization devoted to what? Discuss


Rhyta are ancient, hornlike drinking vessels that often feature a wide mouth and a pierced, pointed bottom. This design allows a rhyton to function as both a scoop for liquids contained in a larger storage vessel and, when the hole at its base is unstoppered, as a pouring device. Rhyta are often shaped like animal heads or horns and can be simple ceramic constructions or ornate showpieces decorated with precious metals and stones. What animal was frequently depicted on the rhyta of Minoan Crete? Discuss

Assassination of Conrad of Montferrat, King of Jerusalem (1192)

Conrad of Montferrat was a northern Italian nobleman and one of the major participants in the Third Crusade. In 1189, he joined Guy of Lusignan at the siege of Akko, but a year later he sought to displace Guy as king of Jerusalem. To establish a claim to the crown, he married Isabella, daughter of Amalric I. In 1192, Conrad was acknowledged as king, but a few days later he was assassinated, and the royal title passed to the two later husbands of his widow. Who killed him? Discuss