From today's featured article
Rachel Dyer is a Gothic novel of historical fiction by American writer John Neal (depicted). Published in 1828 in Maine, it is the first bound novel about the Salem witch trials. It garnered little critical notice in its day but influenced works by better-known authors. It is best remembered for "Unpublished Preface", an American literary nationalist essay that precedes the story. Following a darkly poetic narrative, the story centers around historical figure George Burroughs and fictional witch hysteria victim Rachel Dyer. About two-thirds of the story takes place in the courtroom, following the trials of alleged witches. Themes include justice, sexual frustration, mistreatment of American Indians by Puritans, the myth of national American unity in the face of pluralist reality, and republican ideals as an antidote for Old World precedent. The novel experiments with speech patterns, dialogue, and transcriptions of Yankee dialect that Neal hoped would come to characterize American literature. (Full article...)
Did you know ...
- ... that the United States Army Replacement and School Command (insignia pictured) reached its peak in May 1945 with 481,000 personnel?
- ... that Adele's song "Water Under the Bridge" is about her relationship with Simon Konecki, which she is usually reluctant to discuss in her music?
- ... that the 1995 Aigio earthquake caused the strongest ground acceleration ever recorded in Greece?
- ... that Latin philologist Robert Rodgers produced the first detailed commentary on Frontinus's work on Roman aqueducts in almost 300 years?
- ... that the bombing of Mokha was described as one of the deadliest attacks by the Saudi Arabian–led coalition against Yemen, leaving between 65 and 120 dead, including 10 children?
- ... that at the time of its construction in 1920, the Howard Theatre in Atlanta was the second-largest movie theater in the world, with a seating capacity of 2,700?
- ... that when Josette Simon appeared as Rosaline in Love's Labour's Lost, she was the first black woman in a lead role at the Royal Shakespeare Company?
- ... that Soccer Mommy hosted a virtual concert through Club Penguin Rewritten?
In the news
- Svante Pääbo (pictured) is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on human evolutionary genetics.
- In motorsport, Kalle Rovanperä wins the World Rally Championship, becoming its youngest champion at 22 years old.
- In Malang Regency, Indonesia, at least 131 people are killed in a human crush at an association football match.
- In Burkina Faso, a coup d'état led by Ibrahim Traore deposes interim president Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba.
On this day
- 610 – Heraclius was crowned Byzantine emperor, having personally beheaded his predecessor, Phocas.
- 1789 – French Revolution: Upset about the high price and scarcity of bread, thousands of Parisian women and allies marched on the Palace of Versailles.
- 1936 – Around 200 men began a 291-mile (468 km) march from Jarrow to London, carrying a petition to the British government requesting the re-establishment of industry in the town.
- 1962 – Dr. No, the first James Bond film, was released.
- 1963 – The U.S. suspended the Commercial Import Program, its main economic support for South Vietnam, in response to the oppression of Buddhists by President Ngô Đình Diệm (pictured).
Today's featured picture
Trimeresurus gumprechti, commonly known as Gumprecht's green pit viper, is a species of venomous pit viper in the family Viperidae. Endemic to Asia, it is found in parts of China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam, and is strikingly bright green in color. This female T. gumprechti snake was photographed in Phu Suan Sai National Park in northern Thailand.
Photograph credit: Rushen