From today's featured article
Georges Feydeau (1862–1921) was a French playwright of the era known as the Belle Époque, remembered for his farces. His first full-length comedy, Tailleur pour dames ('Ladies' tailor'), was well-received. After studying earlier masters of French comedy, particularly Eugène Labiche, Alfred Hennequin and Henri Meilhac, he wrote or collaborated on seventeen full-length plays between 1892 and 1914, many of which have become staples of the theatrical repertoire in France and abroad. They include L'Hôtel du libre échange ('The Free Exchange Hotel', 1894), La Dame de chez Maxim ('The lady from Maxim's', 1899), La Puce à l'oreille ('A flea in her ear', 1907) and Occupe-toi d'Amélie! ('Look after Amélie', 1908). His plays are marked by recognisable characters and fast-moving comic plots of mistaken identity, attempted adultery, split-second timing and a precariously happy ending. In the 1940s and 1950s, productions by Jean-Louis Barrault and the Comédie-Française revived interest in his works. (Full article...)
Did you know ...
- ... that the 19th-century poet Cyprian Norwid (pictured), now recognized as one of the most important Polish poets, led a poverty-stricken life and his works were rarely appreciated until decades after his death?
- ... that ancient Rome's Temple of Piety was closely connected with the legend of a daughter who breastfed an imprisoned parent?
- ... that the librarian Paul Needham has argued for the "respectful burial of the human remains" included in a book bound in human skin?
- ... that the Solution and EU Party aimed to represent 30 percent of Turkish Cypriots, but failed to enter the Northern Cypriot parliament?
- ... that Seattle Sounders FC players held their practices over Zoom during part of their 2020 season?
- ... that according to Rolling Stone, Lauren Jenkins blended music and acting for No Saint "in ways not currently common practice" in country music?
- ... that Thorfinn's journey to Vinland in the manga Vinland Saga was influenced by the author's anxieties during the Cold War and the September 11 attacks?
- ... that the bicolor molly inevitably goes off the deep end in adulthood?
In the news
- The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft mission returns samples of asteroid Bennu to Earth (return capsule pictured).
- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland is implicated in a cash-for-visa corruption scandal.
- The oldest known wooden structure, estimated to be at least 476,000 years old, predating Homo sapiens, is discovered at the Kalambo Falls.
- A ceasefire is announced following Azerbaijan's military operation in Nagorno-Karabakh.
On this day
- 46 BC – Julius Caesar dedicated the Temple of Venus Genetrix in Rome to Venus, claimed to be the mythical ancestor of his family.
- 1580 – English explorer Francis Drake's galleon the Golden Hind (replica pictured) sailed into Plymouth, completing his circumnavigation of the globe.
- 1928 – The Nationalist government of China adopted Gwoyeu Romatzyh as the official system for the romanization of Mandarin Chinese.
- 1983 – Cold War: Soviet lieutenant colonel Stanislav Petrov averted a potential nuclear war by identifying as a false alarm signals that appeared to indicate an impending U.S. missile attack.
- 2010 – Scottish aid worker Linda Norgrove and three Afghan colleagues were kidnapped by members of the Taliban in Kunar Province, Afghanistan.
Today's featured picture
Edward Bouchet (1852–1918) was an American physicist and educator. He was the first African American to earn a PhD from an American university, completing his dissertation in physics at Yale University in 1876. Bouchet had become one of the first African Americans to graduate from Yale College in 1874. On the basis of his academic record, he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, an academic honor society. Unable to find a university-teaching or research-facility position due to racial discrimination, he moved to Philadelphia in 1876 and took a position at the Institute for Colored Youth, where he taught physics and chemistry for the next 26 years. This photograph of Bouchet, from the archives of Yale, is part of a portrait album of students in the class of 1874.
Photograph credit: George Kendall Warren; restored by Adam Cuerden