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Aceasta zi in istorie - This day in history

The League of Nations was an international confederation of countries created after World War I and disbanded following World War II when many of its functions were transferred to the United Nations. The League collapsed when faced with threats to international peace from all sides in the 1930s, including the Spanish civil war, Japan's resumption of war against China, and the appeasement of Adolf Hitler at Munich. Its last important act was to expel the Soviet Union in 1939 for doing what? Discuss
The Council of Trent made sweeping reforms to the Catholic Church over 18 years, eliminating many abuses criticized in the Protestant Reformation. Convened by Pope Paul III at Trento, Italy—28 years after Martin Luther issued his 95 Theses—the council fixed the canon of the Old and New Testaments, set the number of sacraments at seven, defined the nature of original sin, and confirmed the doctrine of transubstantiation. How many years was it until the next ecumenical council? Discuss
Near London on the morning of December 12, 1988, the driver of the 7:18 train from Basingstoke to Waterloo saw a signal in front of him abruptly change from green to red. He stopped his train and called the signalman, who told him to proceed. Before he could, however, the 6:14 from Poole rammed into his train's rear at about 40 mph (64 km/h). Then, an empty train traveling in the opposite direction hit the wreckage. The crashes killed 35 and injured hundreds more. What caused the signal failure? Discuss
The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF)—now the United Nations Children's Fund—was founded in 1946 for the purpose of providing relief to children in countries devastated by World War II. After 1950, it turned to general children's welfare programs, winning the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1965. Today, it focuses on areas in which relatively small expenditures can have a significant impact. How did its famous "Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF" fundraising campaign begin? Discuss
Japanese aggression in late 1941 prompted Britain to send two of their largest warships—HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse—to the Pacific as a deterrent. However, war in the Pacific escalated with the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7. Three days later, Japanese forces destroyed the Prince of Wales and Repulse near Singapore. The warships were the first sunk by aircraft while at sea. How did British Prime Minister Winston Churchill react to the sinkings? Discuss
The Doctors' Trial was the first of 12 post-World War II trials collectively called the "Subsequent Nuremberg Trials," which the US held in its occupation zone in Nuremberg, Germany. Of the 23 defendants, 20 were medical doctors, and they faced charges for war crimes that included experimenting on human subjects without their consent. The Nuremberg Code was thus established to protect the rights of humans participating in medical research. How many of the defendants received death sentences? Discuss
Not long after American heavy metal band Pantera disbanded and two of its founding members, brothers "Dimebag" Darrell and Vinnie Paul Abbott, formed the band Damageplan, the group released its debut album. Sadly, it would also be its last. During a concert in Columbus, Ohio, later that year, former US Marine Nathan Gale went on a shooting rampage, killing Darrell along with a fan, a roadie, and a security guard before being fatally shot by a police officer. Why did Gale do it? Discuss
Toft, an English servant, had a bizarre 15 minutes of fame in 1726 when she convinced doctors that she had given birth to a litter of rabbits. At age 25, Toft suffered a miscarriage. About a month later, she appeared to go into labor and proceeded over the next few weeks to "birth" several animal parts along with nine baby bunnies. The episode was attributed to a fascination with rabbits that Toft had developed during her pregnancy—until it was revealed to be a hoax. How had she pulled it off? Discuss
In December 1928, after a month-long strike to secure better working conditions, United Fruit Company workers from the Colombian town of Ciénaga gathered with their families in the town square to hear a scheduled gubernatorial address. Instead of words they were met with bullets fired by government troops. An unknown number died that day. The government took such decisive—and deadly—action to end the strike partly out of fear that US interests in the United Fruit Company would lead to what? Discuss
Early in December 1952, a cold fog caused Londoners to burn more coal than usual. When the resulting pollution was trapped by the dense mass of cold air, concentrations of pollutants built up dramatically. By the time it lifted, the smog had caused or advanced the deaths of thousands of people—most of whom were very young or elderly or had pre-existing respiratory problems—leading to a new focus on the dangers of air pollution. Even indoor events were cancelled during the Great Smog. Why? Discuss
After reporting from Vietnam as a war correspondent, American journalist Terry A. Anderson became chief correspondent for the Associated Press in Lebanon. In March 1985, he was abducted from a Beirut street by Shiite Hezbollah militants retaliating against the US for supplying Israel with weapons. Held with other American hostages taken at around the same time, Anderson remained in captivity for nearly seven years and was the last to be released. What has he done since regaining his freedom? Discuss
After starting out as The High Numbers, British rock band The Who gained international fame in the 1960s and 70s with songs like "My Generation," "Pinball Wizard," and "Won't Get Fooled Again." The band's incredibly loud concerts and penchant for destroying their instruments onstage boosted their appeal to rock fans, but offstage destruction overshadowed the music on December 3, 1979, when a stampede prior to The Who's show at the Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati, Ohio, killed how many fans? Discuss
In the late 1940s, doctors at the Yale School of Medicine used parts from an Erector Set to build the first artificial heart pump. The device bypassed the heart of a dog for more than an hour. However, an artificial heart would not be implanted in a human until decades later. Barney Clark, a Seattle dentist with congestive heart failure, was the first recipient. Though the surgery was successful, Clark never recovered enough to leave the hospital and died of complications after how long? Discuss
On the night of November 30, 1948, passersby on Australia's Somerton Beach saw a man they believed to be drunk or sleeping. The next day, the mystery man was determined to be dead, which opened the still unsolved Taman Shud Case. The dead man has never been identified. Though investigators promptly searched the body and found normal things like chewing gum in the mystery man's pocket, something strange was later found, taking the case in a new—but equally elusive—direction. What was it? Discuss
Thousands of people are struck by lightning every year, but in 1954, Ann Hodges of Sylacauga, Alabama, became the first person in modern history to be hit by a meteorite. Hodges was napping on her couch when she was rudely awakened by a grapefruit-sized meteorite crashing through her roof, bouncing off her radio, and striking her on the hip. The incident left her badly bruised. Who prevailed in the dispute between Hodges and her landlord over ownership of the meteorite? Discuss
An attempt to overthrow Russian rule in Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine, the November Uprising was the result of long-simmering resentments that came to a head when news broke of a Russian plan to use the Polish Army to suppress revolutions in France and Belgium. It began when a group of Warsaw-based Polish Imperial Russian Army cadets took up arms against the Russians and drove the Russian troops from the city. The rebellion soon grew and spread. How long did the fighting continue? Discuss
The deadliest nightclub fire in US history, the Cocoanut Grove fire claimed 492 lives. When the fire broke out, the Boston, Massachusetts, club was packed well beyond capacity. About 1,000 people were inside, with limited avenues of escape. Side doors had been locked to prevent patrons from skipping out on tabs, and the main entrance, a revolving door, was rendered useless by the crush of the crowd, as were other unlocked doors that opened inward. What is one theory as to what sparked the fire? Discuss
For five years, the Eddystone Lighthouse guided mariners safely past the treacherous Eddystone Rocks off the southwestern coast of the UK. Then, a catastrophic hurricane struck. The Great Storm claimed hundreds of ships, thousands of lives, and the Eddystone Lighthouse—along with its builder, Henry Winstanley, who was inside at the time. Fire destroyed the second lighthouse on the site, and erosion led to the dismantling of the third. How did operators mark the 100th anniversary of the fourth? Discuss
One of the most iconic romantic films of all time and winner of three Oscars, Casablanca is a tale of love, heartbreak, and sacrifice. Rick Blaine, played by Humphrey Bogart, is an American expatriate living in Casablanca, Morocco, in 1941, who "stick[s his] neck out for nobody." But when his former lover, played by Ingrid Bergman, and her husband need his help, Blaine's resolve is tested. To what did Bogart's son compare the controversial colorization of the black-and-white classic? Discuss
Five years after being granted a patent for the first practical sewing machine, Howe patented his design for a zipper-like garment fastener. However, he never put much effort into marketing this invention, perhaps due to the great success of his sewing machine, and today, credit for the zipper's development is largely given to Whitcomb Judson, who demonstrated his innovative slide-fastener design 42 years later at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. How did the zipper get its name? Discuss
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