From today's featured article
Chinua Achebe (16 November 1930 – 21 March 2013) was a Nigerian novelist, poet, and critic who is regarded as the dominant figure of modern African literature. He garnered international attention for his novel Things Fall Apart (1958) and published three further novels in less than ten years. Achebe sought to escape the colonial perspective that framed African literature. He drew from the traditions of the Igbo people, Christianity and the clash of Western and African values. Achebe supported Biafran independence in 1967 and was an ambassador for the movement; during the Nigerian Civil War he appealed to Europe and the Americas for aid. When the Nigerian government retook the region, he involved himself in political parties but became disillusioned by the corruption and elitism he witnessed. He moved to the United States in 1990 after a car crash left him partially disabled. He was a professor of African studies at Brown University until his death in 2013. (Full article...)
Did you know ...
- ... that adultery was commonplace within Edward VII's Marlborough House set (pictured) but divorce was considered unacceptable?
- ... that Kenny Williams set a Polish Basketball League record with 14 three-point shots in a game?
- ... that the 2015 campaign Woman to Woman included a "Pink Bus" that was mocked by critics as sexist and patronising?
- ... that composer Igor Stravinsky fled Russia after the October Revolution, but returned once in 1962 to conduct in Moscow and Leningrad, meeting Nikita Khrushchev during the visit?
- ... that the season finale of The Last of Us used real giraffes?
- ... that Nobel laureate Czesław Miłosz described the 16th-century play The Dismissal of the Greek Envoys by Jan Kochanowski as the finest specimen of Polish humanist drama?
- ... that despite being accused of cowardice at the 28 March 1879 Battle of Hlobane, John Cecil Russell rose to become a major-general?
- ... that a Florida TV station claimed freeze damage to its transmitter as the reason it had to delay its first broadcast?
In the news
- Swiss bank UBS announces its intention to acquire its competitor Credit Suisse in a government-brokered deal.
- The International Criminal Court issues arrest warrants for Russian president Vladimir Putin (pictured) and Russian official Maria Lvova-Belova for the abduction of children from Ukraine.
- At the Academy Awards, Everything Everywhere All at Once wins seven awards, including Best Picture.
- Iran and Saudi Arabia agree to re-establish diplomatic relations, seven years after they were severed.
On this day
March 21: Oltenia Day in Romania
- 1556 – Former Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer (pictured), one of the founders of Anglicanism, was burnt at the stake for heresy in Oxford, England.
- 1814 – War of the Sixth Coalition: During their march on Paris, Coalition forces defeated Napoleon's French army on the final day of the Battle of Arcis-sur-Aube.
- 1918 – First World War: The German Army opened the Spring Offensive with Operation Michael, attempting to break through the Allied lines and to seize ports on the English Channel.
- 1960 – Police in Sharpeville, South Africa, opened fire on a group of unarmed black demonstrators who were protesting pass laws, killing 69 people and wounding 180 others.
- 2019 – A major explosion at a chemical plant in Yancheng, China, killed 78 people and injured 640 others.
- Absalon (d. 1201)
- Evelina Haverfield (d. 1920)
- Chinua Achebe (d. 2013)
Today's featured picture
Joseph Fourier (21 March 1768 – 16 May 1830) was a French mathematician and physicist born in Auxerre and best known for initiating the investigation of Fourier series, which eventually developed into Fourier analysis and harmonic analysis, and their applications to problems of heat transfer and vibration. The Fourier transform and Fourier's law of conduction are also named after him. He is also generally credited with the discovery of the greenhouse effect. This engraving of Fourier was drawn by Julien-Léopold Boilly, a French artist noted for his album of lithographs titled Iconographie de l'Institut Royal de France (1820–1821) and his booklet Album de 73 portraits-charge aquarellés des membres de l'Institut (1820), containing watercolor caricatures of seventy-three members of the Institut de France.
Engraving credit: Amédée Felix Barthélémy Geille, after Julien-Léopold Boilly; restored by Bammesk
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