Today's Birthday

  • Roald Engelbregt Gravning Amundsen (1872)
    Roald Engelbregt Gravning Amundsen (1872)

    Amundsen was a Norwegian polar explorer who led the first expeditions to traverse the Northwest Passage and to reach the South Pole. Turning to air exploration, in 1926 he and Umberto Nobile succeeded in flying over the North Pole and unexplored regions of the Arctic Ocean in a dirigible built and piloted by Nobile. A bitter controversy followed with Nobile as to the credit for the success. Yet in 1928, when Nobile crashed a different dirigible, Amundsen launched a rescue mission. What happened?

  • Dame Iris Murdoch (1919)
    Dame Iris Murdoch (1919)

    An Irish-born novelist and philosopher, Murdoch studied at Cambridge under prominent philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein before pursuing a career in writing. Her novels focus on the idea that free will is illusory and depict humans as "accidental" creatures, seemingly free but actually bound to self, society, and the natural world. She penned 26 novels and many philosophical works before Alzheimer's ended her writing career. To what non-medical condition did she initially attribute her symptoms?

  • Emmeline Pankhurst (1858)
    Emmeline Pankhurst (1858)

    Pankhurst was a leading British suffragette. In 1889, she founded the Women's Franchise League, which in 1894 secured for married women the right to vote in local elections. She later advocated militancy, mainly in the form of arson, and was once arrested 12 times in a year. During World War I, she organized a rally of 30,000 women to encourage employers to let men fight while women did their jobs in England. Pankhurst also founded the Women's Social and Political Union, whose motto was what?