The Watts Riots Begin (1965)

As Los Angeles, California, became a hub for the production of munitions and supplies during World War II, thousands of African Americans moved to the city to work. Massive suburban growth in Los Angeles after the war, however, created or exacerbated a variety of urban problems. In 1965, the African-American community of Watts was the site of six days of race rioting that left 34 people dead and caused extensive property damage. What happened on the evening of August 11 to trigger the riots? Discuss

Eiji Yoshikawa (1892)

Yoshikawa was a popular Japanese historical novelist. Despite the fact that many of his novels are actually revisions of past works, Yoshikawa was awarded the Order of Cultural Merit in 1960. Just before his death from cancer two years later, he received the Mainichi Art Award as well. His success is especially impressive given his lack of formal education—he had not been able to study beyond primary school due to his family’s financial troubles. What are some of Yoshikawa’s novels? Discuss

The Cannes Film Festival

This prestigious international film festival is held annually in Cannes, France. It takes place at the Palais des Festivals, and its most illustrious award is the Palme d’Or—meaning “Golden Palm”—for the best film. First held in 1946, the festival marked a resurgence for the film industry, which had been shattered by World War II, and became a meeting place for those interested in the art and influence of the movies. Why wasn’t the festival held in either 1948 or 1950? Discuss

Día de San Lorenzo

St. Lawrence of Rome (San Lorenzo) was a deacon under Pope Sixtus II in the third century. His feast day is August 10. As the patron saint of Zinacantán, Chiapas State, Mexico, San Lorenzo is honored with a five-day festival that takes place August 8-11 each year. The highlight is a procession, interrupted periodically by a dance performed by the Capitanes. Each dancer holds one foot out in front while hopping on the other foot for a time, then they shift so that the opposite foot is held out. Thousands attend the festival, which includes a huge open market and a fireworks display. Discuss

Herbert Hoover (1874)

Hoover rose to fame for his relief efforts during and after World War I, which included arranging the return of Americans stranded abroad and securing supplies for civilians of war-devastated Europe. Elected US president in 1928, his administration was dominated by the economic depression that followed the 1929 stock market crash. Believing the economy would regenerate spontaneously, he was reluctant to extend federal activities. What event spurred Hoover to order federal troops to the capital? Discuss

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a technique used in traditional Chinese medicine. It is thousands of years old and involves inserting fine metal needles into the skin at specially designated points along the 14 lines, or meridians, of the human body. Today, it is widely used in China in the treatment of headaches, ulcers, arthritis, and hypertension. It is also used as an anesthetic during childbirth and some types of surgery. To diagnose a patient, which body part does an acupuncturist examine? Discuss