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Today

Alan Alexander Milne (1882)
Milne was an English author who began his literary career as a journalist before publishing collections of verses for children, including When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six. He is, however, best remembered for Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner. Now classics beloved by adults as well as children, his books established the characters Christopher Robin and his toy animal friends, including Pooh Bear, Piglet, and Eeyore. On whom was Christopher based? Discuss

Benjamin Franklin (1706)
Regarded as one of the most extraordinary public servants in American history, Franklin was also a printer, publisher, author, scientist, and inventor. After gaining popularity as the publisher of Poor Richard's Almanack, he promoted public services in Philadelphia, including a library and a fire department. In 1776, he went to France to seek aid for the American Revolution, and in 1787 he was instrumental in the adoption of the US Constitution. What musical instrument did he invent?

Fulgencio Batista (1901)
Batista was a soldier, president, and dictator who twice ruled Cuba. After working his way up through the army, he ruled first through associates before becoming president himself in 1940. In his first term, he achieved gains in education, public works, and the economy while enriching himself and his associates. He lost the 1944 election but returned to power through a US backed coup in 1952 and ran a corrupt and brutal dictatorship that set the stage for his overthrow in 1959 by whom?

Quote of the Day

E. M. Forster
As long as learning is connected with earning, as long as certain jobs can only be reached through exams, so long must we take this examination system seriously. If another ladder to employment was contrived, much so-called education would disappear, and no one would be a penny the stupider. Discuss

Jerome K. Jerome
Opportunities flit by while we sit regretting the chances we have lost, and the happiness that comes to us we heed not, because of the happiness that is gone.

E. M. Forster
It is not that the Englishman can't feel—it is that he is afraid to feel. He has been taught at his public school that feeling is bad form. He must not express great joy or sorrow, or even open his mouth too wide when he talks—his pipe might fall out if he did.

This Day in History

Dr. William Price Introduces Cremation to the UK (1884)
Price was a Welsh physician, Druid, and famous eccentric best known for introducing cremation to the UK. Eight days after the death of his five-month-old son, Jesus Christ Price, Price attempted to burn the body in accordance with his Druid beliefs. After lighting the pyre, he was arrested, but he successfully defended himself in court, resulting in a decision that set a precedent leading to the permanent legalization of cremation in the UK. What were some of his other eccentric activities? Discuss