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Today

Elizabeth Fry (1780)
Fry was an English prison reformer as well as an advocate of higher nursing standards and the education of working women. From 1813, she worked untiringly to improve the conditions for women in Newgate prison, advocating separation of the sexes, employment, and religious training. Her successful methods at Newgate impressed the government and were tried in other prisons. She also helped the homeless, founding soup kitchens and shelters in London. On what unit of currency is Fry pictured? Discuss

Dolley Madison (1768)
Dolley Madison was the wife of US President James Madison, whom she married in 1794, after the death of her first husband. Noted for her magnificence as a hostess as well as for her charm, Dolley was an extremely popular first lady and was a great asset to Madison's political career. During the War of 1812, she saved many state papers and a portrait of George Washington from the advancing British soldiers. Why did she perform the duties of the first lady during Thomas Jefferson's administration?

Johns Hopkins (1795)
Hopkins, a US merchant and financier, worked with an uncle as a wholesale grocer before going into business with his brothers in 1819. As he continued to prosper, his interests diversified into banking, insurance companies, steamship lines, and railroads. In his will, he set aside $7 million—the largest philanthropic bequest in US history at the time—for the founding of a free hospital and university in Baltimore, Maryland. His will also called for the establishment of what other institution?

Quote of the Day

Rudyard Kipling
I keep six honest serving-men(They taught me all I knew);Their names are What and Why and WhenAnd How and Where and Who. Discuss

Mark Twain
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.

Mark Twain
Truth is the most valuable thing we have. Let us economize it.

This Day in History

Island of Saint Helena Discovered (1502)
The uninhabited island of St. Helena was discovered by Portuguese navigator João da Nova in the eastern South Atlantic, 1,200 mi (1,931 km) west of Africa. It became a port of call for ships sailing between Europe and the East Indies and was annexed by the British East India Company in 1659. Because of the island's remoteness, when the British exiled Napoleon Bonaparte in 1815, he was sent there. It became a British crown colony in 1834, but its importance declined after what was opened in 1869? Discuss