From today's featured article
The Delaware Tercentenary half dollar is a commemorative fifty-cent coin designed by Carl L. Schmitz and minted by the United States Bureau of the Mint to mark the 300th anniversary of New Sweden, the first successful European settlement in Delaware. Also known as the Swedish Delaware half dollar, the coin was produced by the Philadelphia Mint in March 1937, though that year appears nowhere on the piece. The obverse (pictured) shows Wilmington's Old Swedes Church, one of the oldest Protestant churches in the United States still standing, while the reverse features the ship Kalmar Nyckel, which carried emigrants to New Sweden. Schmitz won a competition to design the coin. The half dollars were sold to the public by the Delaware Swedish Tercentenary Commission for $1.75 each, and more than 20,000 coins were sold of the 25,000 coins minted for sale. The profits were used to help fund the tercentenary celebrations. (Full article...)
Did you know ...
- ... that pianist Fujita Haruko, one of the first 19 female students enrolled at the University of Tokyo, was taught by Leo Sirota, who was once called the "god of piano" (both pictured)?
- ... that the Optimizer by Capex Corporation brought memory and runtime savings to COBOL programs running on IBM mainframes?
- ... that as part of its strategy of political renovation, National Convergence nominated a librarian to contest one of Bolivia's most competitive legislative districts?
- ... that the title of the livestreaming concert Freedom came from Regine Velasquez's desire to have freedom of singing anything she wants?
- ... that in the 2022 film Saint Omer, Guslagie Malanda plays a character based on convicted murderer Fabienne Kabou, while Kayije Kagame plays a stand-in for director Alice Diop?
- ... that the site of Mount Bibele is home to a necropolis with 171 tombs?
- ... that Ruth Scott Miller, the first female music critic for the Chicago Tribune, said she was hired to "write for the masses and not for 'four or five thousand freak music lovers'"?
- ... that not all military rations are food?
In the news
- In Mexico, at least 38 people are killed in a fire at a migrant detention facility in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua.
- A tornado outbreak (damage pictured) in Mississippi and Alabama, United States, leaves at least 24 people dead.
- Robert Metcalfe wins the Turing Award for the invention of Ethernet.
- The World Baseball Classic concludes with Japan defeating the United States for the championship.
- An earthquake in Afghanistan and Pakistan kills at least 21 people and injures more than 380 others.
On this day
March 31: World Backup Day (2011)
- 1146 – French abbot Bernard of Clairvaux preached a sermon to a crowd at a council in Vézelay, with King Louis VII in attendance, urging the necessity of a Second Crusade.
- 1521 – Ferdinand Magellan and members of his crew participated in the first Catholic Mass in the Philippines.
- 1800 – After fighting through the night the French Navy ship of the line Guillaume Tell surrendered to a British squadron in the Malta Channel.
- 1930 – To avoid government censorship, Hollywood movie studios instituted their own set of industry censorship guidelines, popularly known as the Hays Code.
- 1942 – Second World War: Because of a mutiny by Indian soldiers against their British officers, Japanese troops captured Christmas Island without any resistance.
From today's featured list
Grace Kelly, an American actress, had 14 film, 45 television, and 2 stage credits between 1948 and 1977. She made her screen debut in 1948, in the televised play "Old Lady Robbins" as part of the anthology series Kraft Television Theatre. The following year, Kelly made her Broadway debut playing Bertha in The Father. Kelly's film debut was a minor role in the 1951 drama Fourteen Hours. For her performance as Linda Nortley in John Ford's Mogambo, she received the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress, and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. In 1954, she starred in the Alfred Hitchcock–directed thrillers Dial M for Murder with Ray Milland and Rear Window with James Stewart. In the same year, she portrayed the long-suffering wife of an alcoholic actor played by Bing Crosby in The Country Girl, for which Kelly received the Academy Award for Best Actress, and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama in 1955. (Full list...)
Today's featured picture
Jessica Meir (born 1977) is an American-Swedish NASA astronaut, marine biologist, and physiologist. She was previously an assistant professor of anesthesia at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, following postdoctoral research in comparative physiology at the University of British Columbia. She has studied the diving physiology and behavior of emperor penguins in Antarctica, and the physiology of bar-headed geese, which are able to migrate over the Himalayas. Meir launched on September 25, 2019, to the International Space Station onboard Soyuz MS-15, where she served as a flight engineer during Expedition 61 and Expedition 62. On October 18, 2019, Meir and Christina Koch became the first women to participate in an all-female spacewalk.
Photograph credit: Robert Markowitz
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