From today's featured article
Boroughitis was the creation in the 1890s, usually by referendum, of many small boroughs in the U.S. state of New Jersey, particularly in Bergen County (map shown). A previously little-used law that allowed parts of existing townships to vote by referendum to form independent boroughs was amended in 1894 to allow boroughs formed from parts of two or more townships to elect a representative to the county Board of Chosen Freeholders. This 1894 act, in combination with another to consolidate school districts, made it easy and attractive for dissatisfied communities to break away and become boroughs, in order to gain a seat on the county board or to keep control of the local school. Forty new boroughs were formed in 1894 and 1895, with the bulk in Bergen County, where townships were broken up or greatly reduced in size; there are few of them there today. The state legislature scuttled the right to elect a freeholder in 1895, and ended the formation of boroughs by referendum in 1896. (Full article...)
Did you know ...
- ... that at one point in 2008, the Bear Stearns Building (pictured) was worth approximately five times the price offered for the acquisition of Bear Stearns?
- ... that a European settler in Kenya who tortured a black employee to death in 1920 was sentenced to just two years' imprisonment?
- ... that the California Golden Bears men's basketball team won the 1959 NCAA University Division Basketball Championship Game by a single point over West Virginia?
- ... that Saudi Arabian poet Hamad al-Hajji lost three members of his family during his childhood and later suffered from schizophrenia until he died at the age of 49 after a lung disease?
- ... that riders on the Jolly Rancher Remix can smell one of five randomly chosen Jolly Rancher flavors?
- ... that television production companies working in Bhadun, Bangladesh, can hire a local woman as an extra for ৳500 (US$5.30) per day?
- ... that Bob Dylan's "Absolutely Sweet Marie" was misspelled on several international releases of Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits 2?
- ... that a civil servant sued his own minister for libel?
In the news
- In Australian rules football, the AFL season concludes with Geelong defeating the Sydney Swans in the Grand Final (Norm Smith Medal winner Isaac Smith pictured).
- Following the death of Mahsa Amini, arrested for not wearing the hijab in accordance with government standards, at least 50 people are killed during protests in Iran.
- At least 100 people are killed in renewed fighting between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
- In the Swedish general election, the bloc consisting of the Sweden Democrats, Moderates, Christian Democrats and Liberals wins a majority of seats in the Riksdag.
On this day
- 1567 – After a two-week siege, the Oda clan captured Inabayama Castle from the Saitō clan.
- 1851 – The British East India Company inaugurated the Horsburgh Lighthouse on the rocky outcrop of Pedra Branca, Singapore, which later became the subject of a territorial dispute.
- 1854 – The paddle steamer SS Arctic sank after a collision with SS Vesta 50 miles (80 km) off the coast of Newfoundland, killing approximately 320 people.
- 1988 – Led by pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi (pictured), the political party National League for Democracy was founded in Burma.
- 1996 – The Taliban drove Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani out of Kabul, tortured and murdered former president Mohammad Najibullah, and established the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
Today's featured picture
The double-crested cormorant (Nannopterum auritum) is a member of the cormorant family of water birds. Its habitat is near rivers and lakes as well as in coastal areas, and is widely distributed across North America, from the Aleutian Islands in Alaska down to Florida and Mexico. Measuring 70 to 90 cm (28 to 35 in) in length, it is an all-black bird which gains a small double crest of black and white feathers in breeding season. It has a bare patch of orange-yellow facial skin. Five subspecies are recognized. It mainly eats fish and hunts by swimming and diving. Its feathers, like those of all cormorants, are not waterproof and it must spend time drying them out after spending time in the water. Once threatened by the use of DDT, its numbers have increased markedly in recent years. This juvenile double-crested cormorant, of the subspecies N. a. albociliatum (the Farallon cormorant), was photographed at the Sutro Baths in San Francisco, California.
Photograph credit: Frank Schulenburg