From today's featured article
Allied logistics in the Southern France campaign played a key role in the success of Operation Dragoon, the Allied invasion of southern France during World War II. The US Seventh Army landed on the French Riviera on 15 August 1944. Its primary objective was to capture the ports of Marseille and Toulon, then drive northward up the Rhône valley. Both ports were captured, but badly damaged, so considerable effort was required to bring them into service. Priority was given to ammunition during combat loading, anticipating stubborn German resistance. When this proved to not be the case, ammunition had to be moved out of the way to reach other materiel, which slowed unloading. To facilitate the advance, engineers repaired bridges, rehabilitated railways and laid pipelines. The Seventh Army continued to draw its supplies from the North African Theater of Operations until the Southern Line of Communications was merged with the Communications Zone of the European Theater of Operations on 20 November. (Full article...)
Did you know ...
- ... that a 4 December 1915 agreement by French prime minister Aristide Briand (pictured) with a British proposal to evacuate the Salonika front almost led to the collapse of his government?
- ... that a reviewer wrote of Julian Moynahan that, although "disguised as an English professor at Rutgers", he was in fact "a nonstop Irish-American storyteller"?
- ... that the calling patterns of the Japanese tree frog have been used in wireless network design, furthering an area of science known as swarm intelligence?
- ... that Katharina Cibulka has created monumental feminist messages in cross-stitch that cover scaffolding at construction sites?
- ... that "Gegrüßet seist du, Königin", a German version of the Latin hymn "Salve Regina", was taken to the U.S. by emigrants and became popular in the U.S. in the film Sister Act?
- ... that while DreamBooth can be used by anyone to fine-tune image generation AI models, the cost barrier to entry is quite high for hobbyist users?
- ... that Chinese writer Ye Dehui was executed after he called members of the Chinese Communist Party "beasts" and "half-breeds"?
- ... that a Royal Air Force officer built a KAVE in New Mexico?
In the news
- After a failed attempt at dissolving Congress, Peruvian president Pedro Castillo is impeached and removed from office, with Dina Boluarte (pictured) sworn in as the country's first female president.
- Jiang Zemin, former general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, dies at the age of 96.
- A deadly fire in Ürümqi escalates ongoing protests across China in response to the government's zero-COVID policy.
- Anwar Ibrahim of the Pakatan Harapan coalition becomes Prime Minister of Malaysia after the general election produces the nation's first hung parliament.
On this day
- 1660 – Margaret Hughes appeared professionally on the English stage; she is thought to have been the first woman to do so.
- 1854 – Pope Pius IX (pictured) promulgated the apostolic constitution Ineffabilis Deus, proclaiming the dogmatic definition of the Immaculate Conception, which holds that the Virgin Mary was conceived free of original sin.
- 1880 – At an assembly of 10,000 Boers, Paul Kruger announced the fulfilment of the decision to restore the government and volksraad of the South African Republic.
- 1941 – The Holocaust: The Chełmno extermination camp in occupied Poland, the first such Nazi camp to kill Jews, began operations.
- 1991 – Belarusian, Russian and Ukrainian leaders signed the Belovezh Accords, agreeing to dissolve the Soviet Union and establish the Commonwealth of Independent States.
Today's featured picture
Orpheus in the Underworld is a comic opera composed by Jacques Offenbach with a French-language libretto by Hector Crémieux and Ludovic Halévy. It was first performed as a two-act opéra bouffon at the Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris, in 1858, and was extensively revised and expanded in a four-act opéra féerie version, presented at the Théâtre de la Gaîté in 1874. The plot is a lampoon of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice in Greek mythology. In this version, Orpheus is not the son of Apollo but a rustic violin teacher. He is glad to be rid of his wife Eurydice when she is abducted by Pluto, the god of the underworld. Orpheus has to be bullied by Public Opinion into trying to rescue Eurydice. The reprehensible conduct of the gods of Olympus in the opera was widely seen as a veiled satire of the court and government of French emperor Napoleon III. This photograph depicts Jeanne Granier as Eurydice and Eugène Vauthier as Jupiter in the form of a fly as part of the 1887 Paris revival of Orpheus in the Underworld.