The "Miracle on Ice" (1980)

Voted the greatest sports moment of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated magazine, the unlikely victory of the US men’s hockey team over its Soviet counterpart during the 1980 Olympic Winter Games has been called the “Miracle on Ice.” The Soviet team was considered the world’s best international hockey team, while the US team was made up of amateur and collegiate players. Who scored the decisive goal in the game, allowing the US to go on to the gold-medal game against Finland? Discuss

German Socialist Kurt Eisner Is Assassinated (1919)

Eisner was a German journalist and politician. From 1898, he was editor of Vorwärts, the official Social Democratic Party newspaper. He joined the Independent Social Democratic Party in 1917, later becoming its leader. In November 1918, he organized a Socialist revolution that overthrew the monarchy in Bavaria, and he became the first prime minister and minister of foreign affairs of the new Bavarian republic. In February 1919, Eisner was assassinated while on his way to do what? Discuss

The Barber of Seville's Disastrous Debut (1816)

In 1816, Italian composer Gioacchino Rossini produced The Barber of Seville, based on the comedy by French playwright Pierre Beaumarchais. Though Rossini created much of the opera’s music in just weeks, it resounds with his brilliant arias, ensemble numbers, and famous crescendos. Still, several on-stage accidents and constant jeers from the audience, likely spurred by supporters of one of Rossini’s rivals, made its debut in Rome a disaster. What happened during the second performance? Discuss

Battle of Iwo Jima Begins (1945)

The island of Iwo Jima is only 8 sq mi (21 sq km) in area, but when US forces attacked the Japanese air base there during WWII, it became the site of one of the most severe campaigns of the war. More than 21,000 Japanese troops and nearly 7,000 Americans died in the clashes. A photograph of US marines raising the American flag over Iwo Jima’s Mt. Suribachi has since become one of the most famous images of the war. What was the US operation in Iwo Jima called? Discuss

Republic of The Gambia Gains Independence from the UK (1965)

Entirely surrounded by Senegal except for an outlet to the Atlantic, the Republic of The Gambia is a West African nation that consists of a relatively narrow strip of land that spans both banks of the Gambia River and follows the river’s path inland for about 300 mi (480 km). In 1588, the territory was sold to English merchants by the Portuguese. In 1843, it became a British colony. In 1965, it gained independence, and in 1982, it joined with Senegal to form a confederation by what name? Discuss

The Armory Show Opens in New York City (1913)

The Armory Show was an international exhibition of modern art held in 1913 at the 69th-regiment armory in New York City. Representing a range of avant-garde movements in Europe, the show was one of the most important art exhibitions ever held in the US. The Armory Show aroused the curiosity of the public and helped to change the direction of American painting. What painting at the exhibition was singled out by hostile critics as emblematic of the so-called insanity and degeneracy of modern art? Discuss

Ash Wednesday Fires (1983)

In 1983, extreme weather and years of severe drought combined to create one of Australia’s worst fire days in a century. Within 12 hours, more than 180 fires—fanned by high winds—were burning, causing widespread destruction across the states of Victoria and South Australia. The fires killed 75 people and left thousands of others injured and homeless. They obliterated entire townships in just minutes. This series of fires was the deadliest bushfire event in Australian history until what disaster? Discuss

USS Maine Sinks, Prompting the US to Declare War on Spain (1898)

In January 1898, the USS Maine was sent to protect American interests in Cuba, where an anti-Spanish insurrection was taking place. It sank weeks later, after an onboard explosion. Fueled by the conspiracy theories of American yellow journalism, outrage over the deaths of 260 of the ship’s crew members helped push the nation toward the Spanish-American War. Several investigations into the sinking have since taken place, including one that was conducted in 1998. What were its findings? Discuss

ENIAC, Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, Unveiled (1946)

ENIAC was an early electronic digital computer built in the US by engineers J. Presper Eckert and John W. Mauchly. The massive ENIAC weighed 30 tons, filled an entire room, and used some 18,000 vacuum tubes, 70,000 resistors, and 10,000 capacitors. After its official unveiling in 1946, it was used to prepare artillery-shell trajectory tables and perform other military and scientific calculations. When ENIAC solved its first test problem, it made calculations for what? Discuss

Thomas Edison Observes the Edison Effect (1880)

Known as “the Edison Effect,” thermionic emission is the emission of electrons or ions by substances that are highly heated. The charged particles that are emitted are called thermions, and their number rapidly increases with the temperature of the substance. If the heated substance that emits thermions carries a charge, the thermions will carry the same charge. The effect was observed by Edison in 1883 when he was working on what invention? Discuss