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|54||Nero succeeds his great uncle Claudius, who was murdered by his wife, as the new emperor of Rome.|
|1307||Members of the Knights Templar are arrested throughout France, imprisoned and tortured by the order of King Philip the Fair of France.|
|1399||Henry IV of England is crowned.|
|1670||Virginia passes a law that blacks arriving in the colonies as christians cannot be used as slaves.|
|1776||Benedict Arnold is defeated at Lake Champlain.|
|1792||President George Washington lays the cornerstone for the White House.|
|1812||At the Battle of Queenston Heights, a Canadian and British army defeats the Americans who have tried to invade Canada.|
|1849||The California state constitution, which prohibits slavery, is signed in Monterey.|
|1942||In the first of four attacks, two Japanese battleships sail down the slot and shell Henderson field on Guadalcanal, in an unsuccessful effort to destroy the American Cactus Air Force.|
|1943||Italy declares war on Germany.|
|1944||Troops of the advancing Soviet Army occupy Riga, the capital of Latvia.|
|1946||The Fourth Republic begins in France; it will continue to 1958.|
|1972||Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crashes in the Andes Mountains, near the Argentina-Chile border; only 16 survivors (out of 45 people aboard) are rescued on Dec. 23.|
|1983||The Space Shuttle Challenger, carrying seven, the largest crew to date, lands safely at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.|
|1990||The Lebanese Civil War ends when a Syrian attack removes Gen. Michel Aoun from power.|
The rationale for starting a college in the 19th century usually had less to do with promoting higher learning than with pursuing profit. For most of US history, the primary source of wealth was land, but in a country with a lot more land than buyers, the challenge for speculators was how to convince people to buy their land rather than one of the many other available options. (George Washington, for instance, accumulated some 50,000 acres in the western territories, and spent much of his life unsuccessfully trying to monetize his holdings.) The situation became even more desperate in the mid-19th century, when the federal government started giving away land to homesteaders. One answer to this problem was to show that the land was not just another plot in a dusty agricultural village but prime real estate in an emerging cultural center. And nothing said culture like a college. Speculators would ‘donate’ land for a college, gain a state charter, and then sell the land around it at a premium, much like developers today who build a golf course and then charge a high price for the houses that front on to it.Today, American schools account for 52 of the top 100 universities in the world, and even small colleges draw students from around the world. How did that happen? An article at Aeon explains how the flexibility born of the system's ragged beginnings helped make the American higher education business what it is today.
Of course, chartering a college is not the same as actually creating a functioning institution. So speculators typically sought to affiliate their emergent college with a religious denomination, which offered several advantages. One was that it segmented the market. A Presbyterian college would be more attractive to Presbyterian consumers than the Methodist college in the next town. Another was staffing. Until the late-19th century, nearly all presidents and most faculty at US colleges were clergymen, who were particularly attractive to college founders for two reasons. They were reasonably well-educated, and they were willing to work cheap. A third advantage was that the cult just might be induced to contribute a little money from time to time to support its struggling offspring.
At the end of every October for the past 21 years, nearly 4000 costumed Halloween enthusiasts from all around the world have gathered in Kawasaki, just outside Tokyo, for the Kawasaki Halloween Parade, which is the biggest parade of its kind in Japan. However, not everyone can simply join in the festivities. The Kawasaki Halloween Parade has strict guidelines and standards, so you have to apply for entry two months before the parade begins.While the party aspect of Halloween is spreading, many places mark holidays that are more somber, or even religious, as they pay respect to the departed. Read about the widely-varying traditions of Halloween or Halloween-like holidays at Mental Floss.
The work required equal comfort in palaces and in prisons, and a certain ease with the grotesque: in her memoirs, Tussaud claimed that she sat “on the steps of the exhibition, with the bloody heads on her knees, taking the impressions of their features.”Madame Tussaud eventually moved to England and opened her museum. You can read her story at Atlas Obscura.
Success in waxworks involved not only artistic skill and patience, but an ear to the ground and fast feet: when Charlotte Corday murdered the radical Jean-Paul Marat in his bathtub, Marie got to the scene so fast, the killer was still being processed by law enforcement as she started work on Marat’s death mask.