How about a little history?
On 3/8/1842 over 500 Mexican troops led by Rafael Vasquez invade Texas, briefly occupy San Antonio and then head back to the Rio Grande.
In 1904 Nikola Tesla, in Electrical World and Engineer, describes the process of ball lightning formation.
Woodrow Wilson is inaugurated for a second term as President of the United States on this day in 1917.
And in 1933 President Franklin D. Roosevelt declares a "bank holiday", closing all United States banks and freezing all financial transactions during the Great Depression.
In 1900 Mormon Brigham Roberts was denied a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives for his practising of polygamy.
In 1909, Annette Kellerman, the Australian swimming star, appeared on a Boston beach wearing a figure-fitting jersey bathing suit with sleeves shortened almost to her shoulders and trousers ending two inches above her knees. She was arrested for indecent exposure.
In 1912 English explorer Robert Falcon Scott reached the South Pole. Norwegian Roald Amundsen had beaten him there by one month. Scott and his party died during the return trip.
Dalai Lama is Tibetan title meaning "Ocean of Wisdom."
Before writing 007 novels, Ian Fleming studied languages at Munich and Geneva universities, worked with Reuters in Moscow, and then became a banker and stockbroker.
When Babe Ruth played baseball, he wore a cabbage leaf under his cap to keep him cool on hot days.
The first American to enter Germany after the signing of the Armistice of World War 1 rode in on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
William Bourne, a British mathematician, drew plans for a submarine in 1578. But it was only in 1620 that Cornelius van Drebbel, a Dutch inventor, managed to build a submarine. He wrapped a wooden rowboat tightly in waterproofed leather and had air tubes with floats to the surface to provide oxygen. Of course, there were no engines yet, so the oars went through the hull at leather gaskets. He took the first trip with 12 oarsmen in the Thames River.
Nobody is buried in Grant's tomb. President and Mrs. Grant are entombed there. A body is buried only when it is placed in the ground and covered with dirt.
Dr. Joel Poinsett, the 1st US ambassador to Mexico, brought the poinsettia to US in 1828. The plant, called "flower of the blessed night" in Mexico was renamed in Poinsett's honor.
In 1852 Elisha Graves Otis, invented the first safety brake for elevators. With his installation of the first safe elevator in 1853 he literally started the elevator industry.
Angstrom............An angstrom is a unit of length equal to one ten-millionth of a millimeter, primarily used to express electromagnetic wavelengths. It was named after Swedish astronomer and physicist Anders Jonas Angstrom (1814-1874).
"Five, four, three, two, one, lift-off!"..........The now famous rocketry countdown was invented by the German director Fritz Lang for his 1928 motion picture Die Frau im Mond, or Woman in the Moon. The movie is also known as By Rocket to the Moon.
The speed of sound--known as Mach 1, after the Austrian physicist Ernst Mach--is different at different heights. At sea level, for example, it is 760 miles-per-hour. Above 36,000 feet Mach 1 is reached at about 660 miles-per-hour.
Tonya Harding was the first American ice skater to successfully land a triple axel in competition.
On December 2, 1942, Enrico Fermi and a small band of scientists and engineers demonstrated that a simple construction of graphite bricks and uranium lumps could produce controlled heat. The space chosen for the first nuclear fission reactor was a squash court under the football stadium at the University of Chicago.
Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' cloakroom in the ancestral castle of Blenheim. His mother was attending a formal ball there when she prematurely delivered. The pharaohs of ancient Egypt wore garments made with thin threads of beaten gold. Some fabrics had up to 500 gold threads per one inch of cloth.
In 1893, Chicago hired its first police woman. Her name was Marie Owens. While the city was progressive in its hiring practices, Chicago's female police officers were not allowed to wear uniforms until 1956.
Como se' huh? - There are more than 2,700 languages in the world. In addition, there are more than 7,000 dialects. A dialect is a regional variety of a language that has a different pronunciation, vocabulary, or meaning.
The most difficult language to learn is Basque, which is spoken in northwestern Spain and southwestern France. It is not related to any other language in the world. It has an extremely complicated word structure and vocabulary.
More than 1,000 different languages are spoken on the continent of Africa. Many languages in Africa include a "click" sound that is pronounced at the same time as other sounds.
In 2000, Gao Xingjian, author of Soul Mountain and The Other Shore, became the first Chinese writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. His novels and plays have been banned in China since 1986.
Ba! Ba! Black Sheep was one of several working titles Margaret Mitchell used for her most famous novel, Gone With the Wind. She also considered the titles Tote the Weary Load, Bugles Sang True, Not In Our Stars, and Tomorrow is Another Day before finally settling on a phrase that she had used in the critical scene where Scarlett returns to Tara and asks, "Was Tara still standing? Or was Tara also gone with the wind which had swept through Georgia?"
Aldous Huxley and C.S. Lewis both died on November 22, 1963, but their deaths were overshadowed by a more sensational death that day: the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
Anne Sexton wrote To Bedlam and Part Way Back (1960), Transformations (1971), and The Death Notebooks (1974), as well as Live or Die (1967) for which she won the Pulitzer Prize. In 1974, despite a very successful writing career, she lost her lifelong battle with depression and, at the age of 46, committed suicide.
One of Tennessee Williams greatest plays, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, contains characters named "Big Daddy" and "Big Mama." These roles were played in the original Broadway production by Burl Ives and Mildred Dunnock.
Nikolai Gogol's most celebrated play was The Inspector General (1836), a comedy which told the tale of a young civil servant who finds himself stranded in a small town, mistaken for an influential government inspector. A masterpiece of dramatic satire, The Inspector General is universally respected as one of the greatest plays of the Russian theatre.
And don't forget art:
Edgar Degas is acknowledged as the master of drawing human figures in motion. In the early 1870s, the female ballet dancer became his favorite theme. He sketched from a live model in his studio and combined poses into groupings that depicted rehearsal and performance scenes.
The Dada school of art, or Dadaism, can be traced back to Zurich and the poetry of Romanian-born Tristan Tzara. Born out of the widespread disillusionment created by World War I, Dada attacked conventional standards of aesthetics and behavior and stressed absurdity and the role of the unpredictable in artistic creation. The principles of Dada were eventually modified to become the basis of surrealism.
Edvard Munch painted "The Scream" after a walk with two friends during which he sensed an "endless scream passing through nature". To describe this experience, he developed an exciting, violent, and emotionally charged style that is recognized by most critics as leading to the birth of German Expressionism.
Frida Kahlo--who began painting while recovering from a serious road accident at the age of 15--sent her early work to the painter Diego Rivera, whom she later married. Her works are often shocking in their stark portrayal of pain and the harsh lives of women.
"Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" was the most famous painting of Georges Seurat, founder of the 19th- century French school of Neo-Impressionism whose technique for portraying the play of light using tiny brushstrokes of contrasting colors became known as Pointillism. This painting inspired a Broadway musical by Stephen Sondheim entitled Sunday in the Park With George.
While studying at the Academy of Ancient Art in the Medici Palace, Michelangelo not only developed his genius as a sculptor, but also excited the wrath of his rival, Torregiano, who struck him with a mallet, crushing his nose and disfiguring him for life.