From today's featured article
Nelson Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary and political leader. A Xhosa, in the 1940s he joined the African National Congress (ANC) party and campaigned against the white-only government's system of apartheid, a form of racial segregation that privileged whites. An African nationalist and socialist, in 1961 he co-founded the militant Umkhonto we Sizwe, which led a sabotage campaign against the apartheid government. He was arrested in 1962, convicted of conspiring to overthrow the state, and imprisoned for 27 years. Released in 1990 amid growing ethnic strife and violence, he became leader of the ANC and helped negotiate an end to apartheid with President F. W. de Klerk. In the country's first multi-racial election, in 1994, he was elected President of South Africa. His administration stressed racial reconciliation and measures to alleviate poverty. He retired in 1999 to focus on philanthropic causes. Controversial throughout much of his life, in South Africa he is widely regarded as the "Father of the Nation". (Full article...)
Did you know...
- ... that the Serra Cross (pictured) in Ventura, California, was sold in response to a threatened lawsuit challenging the use of public funds to maintain a religious symbol on public land?
- ... that Croatian concentration camp commander Vjekoslav Luburić's wife divorced him in 1957 after she was sent an anonymous letter detailing his crimes?
- ... that in its early years, the Indian National Theatre troupe traveled in two lorries and used them as a stage?
- ... that Chief was the United States Army's last living operational cavalry horse?
- ... that in Der goldene Drache, the ninth opera by Péter Eötvös, five singers perform 18 characters, switching age and gender?
- ... that when she successfully auditioned for the role of Louise Mitchell, actress Tilly Keeper thought she was auditioning for another character?
- ... that Hu Wei became a division commander at the age of only 29, but soon suffered a setback at the Battle of Dengbu Island?
- ... that during the Petticoat Revolution, Laura Starcher became mayor of Umatilla, Oregon, while keeping her candidacy a secret from her husband—the current mayor—until the afternoon of election day?
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On this day
- 1290 – Edward I issued an edict expelling all Jews from England.
- 1806 – A gunpowder magazine explosion in Birgu, Malta, killed around 200 people.
- 1949 – Francisco Javier Arana, Chief of the Armed Forces of Guatemala, was killed in a shootout with supporters of President Juan José Arévalo.
- 1966 – Angered by racism and poverty, African American residents of the Hough neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio, began to riot for six days.
- 2014 – Silvio Berlusconi (pictured), the former Prime Minister of Italy, who had previously been found guilty of paying for an underage prostitute, had his conviction overturned on appeal.
Bartolomé de las Casas (d. 1566) · Clare Stevenson (b. 1903) · Priyanka Chopra (b. 1982)