From today's featured article
Chinua Achebe (1930–2013) 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. After the Nigerian government retook the region, he involved himself in political parties but distanced himself after having negative experiences with them. 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 Saint Barbara (pictured) in Palma Vecchio's Polyptych of Saint Barbara has been said to express the noble serenity of a saint who is still a woman?
- ... that the doll company American Girl published The Care and Keeping of You, a book explaining puberty, after receiving thousands of letters from children asking about it?
- ... that Alia Bhatt's first screen appearance was as the younger version of Preity Zinta's character in the 1999 horror film Sangharsh?
- ... that in 2022 Joe Biden delivered a speech in Warsaw addressing the "task of this generation" that was overshadowed by an apparently ad-libbed nine-word comment?
- ... that the Ancient Synagogue in the Jewish quarter of Barcelona is one of the oldest synagogues in Europe?
- ... that soccer player Danielle Marcano scored four goals in back-to-back games that helped to send the University of Tennessee to the NCAA tournament quarterfinals for the first time in history?
- ... that the comet C/1963 A1 (Ikeya) was discovered by 19-year-old amateur astronomer Kaoru Ikeya using a self-made telescope?
- ... that a temple once housed the New York City Opera and New York City Ballet?
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)
- Marina Salye (d. 2012)
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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