Wikipedia:Main Page history/2013 April 26

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A letter from the Mongols to the Franks suggesting an alliance

The Franco-Mongol alliance was an attempted alliance between Frankish Crusaders and the Mongol Empire against the Muslims, their common enemy. Contact between Europeans and Mongols began around 1220, and tended to follow a pattern: the Europeans asked the Mongols to convert to Christianity, while the Mongols (who had already conquered many Christian and Muslim nations in their advance across Asia) responded with demands for submission and tribute (example letter pictured). European attitudes began to change in the mid-1260s, from perceiving the Mongols as enemies to be feared, to potential allies against the Muslims. The Mongols sought to capitalize on this, promising a re-conquered Jerusalem to the Europeans in return for cooperation. Attempts to cement an alliance continued through decades of negotiations, without success. The Mongols invaded Syria several times between 1281 and 1312, sometimes in attempts at joint operations with Crusader forces, but the forces were never able to coordinate in any meaningful way. The Mongol Empire eventually dissolved into civil war, and the Crusaders lost control of Palestine and Syria to the Egyptian Mamluks. (Full article...)

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Mud houses on the center island at on Lake Debo in a wide section of the Niger River

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The Antares rocket's maiden launch

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On this day...

April 26: Feast Day of Our Lady of Good Counsel (Roman Catholic Church); Arbor Day in the United States (2013)

Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant

More anniversaries: April 25 April 26 April 27

It is now April 26, 2013 (UTC) – Reload this page

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Chernobyl radiation map

A map showing caesium-137 contamination in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine (in curies per square kilometer) in 1996, ten years after the Chernobyl disaster struck the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. The disaster contaminated 162,160 square kilometres (62,610 sq mi) of land and is widely considered the worst nuclear power plant accident in history.

Map: Central Intelligence Agency/Eric Gaba

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