From today's featured article
Ernest Roberts (21 February 1868 – 2 December 1913) was a Labor member of the South Australian House of Assembly, and then the Australian House of Representatives. Roberts emigrated to Australia from the UK and worked in Port Pirie, South Australia, where he was a member of its town council. In 1896, aged 28, he became the youngest person elected to the House of Assembly and quickly gained a reputation for his oratory. He served in South Africa twice during the Second Boer War, rising to the rank of captain. During his second period of service his term in the South Australian parliament expired. After returning home, he was the editor of a political newspaper before being elected to the House of Assembly again in 1905. He was elected to the federal House of Representatives in a by-election in 1908 and was appointed as an honorary minister in 1911. After a fiery parliamentary debate on 2 December 1913, Roberts collapsed and died, aged 45. His state funeral was attended by around 6,000 people. (Full article...)
Did you know ...
- ... that 80 police officers were needed to disperse a crowd that tarred and feathered Statue of Industry (pictured)?
- ... that fridges filled with "frozen duck" sent to Britain actually contained illegal coins?
- ... that Steve Englehart wrote the Captain America comic book storyline "Secret Empire" as an allegory for the Watergate scandal?
- ... that the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council became the richest landlord in Uganda after inheriting land left behind by Asian Muslims expelled under Idi Amin?
- ... that a downed power line caused a fire spanning more than 100 acres (40 ha) during a November 2013 North American storm?
- ... that white moths are suspected to cause seasonal hyperacute panuveitis in Nepal?
- ... that the developers of Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number suggested that Australian customers pirate their game?
- ... that "National Stupid Day" was not intended to be on Veterans Day?
In the news
- Former U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger (pictured) dies at the age of 100.
- All 41 workers trapped in a road tunnel collapse in Uttarakhand, India, are rescued after 17 days underground.
- In motorcycle racing, Francesco Bagnaia wins the MotoGP World Championship.
- The novel Prophet Song by Paul Lynch wins the Booker Prize.
- Somalia is admitted as the eighth member of the East African Community.
On this day
- 1899 – Philippine–American War: A 60-man Filipino rearguard was defeated at the Battle of Tirad Pass, but delayed the American advance long enough to ensure President Emilio Aguinaldo's escape.
- 1943 – World War II: The Luftwaffe conducted a surprise air raid on Allied ships in Bari, Italy, sinking twenty-eight vessels and releasing one ship's secret cargo of mustard gas.
- 1956 – Cuban Revolution: The yacht Granma, carrying Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and 80 other members of the 26th of July Movement, reached the shores of Cuba.
- 1988 – Benazir Bhutto (pictured) took office as Prime Minister of Pakistan, becoming the first woman to head the government of a Muslim-majority state.
- 2001 – Less than two months after disclosing accounting violations, the Texas-based energy firm Enron filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, evaporating nearly $11 billion in shareholder wealth.
Today's featured picture
The coronation of Napoleon was the crowning of Napoleon and his wife Joséphine as Emperor and Empress of the French, which took place on December 2, 1804, at Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris. It took the format of a sacred ceremony, in the presence of Pope Pius VII. Preparations for the coronation began in May 1804, when the Sénat conservateur voted to change the constitution to vest the French First Republic's government in an emperor, a move ratified in a constitutional referendum in November 1804. Napoleon's motivations for being crowned included a desire for prestige in international royalist and Catholic circles and to lay the foundation for a future dynasty. The event is also regarded by historians as a propaganda exercise. Napoleon's coronation was markedly different from those of the French monarchy and brought together various rites and customs, incorporating ceremonies of Carolingian tradition, the ancien régime and the French Revolution, with a highly luxurious presentation. This large oil-on-canvas painting, titled The Coronation of Napoleon, measures 6.21 m × 9.79 m (20 ft 4 in × 32 ft 1 in) and was painted by Jacques-Louis David (assisted by his student Georges Rouget) between 1805 and 1807, depicting the moment of Joséphine's crowning by Napoleon. The painting now hangs in the Louvre in Paris.