The Antarctic Treaty Is Signed (1959)

Following 18 months of successful international cooperation and research on the icy, southern continent, 12 countries signed a treaty officially designating Antarctica a non-militarized international region to be used solely for scientific purposes. Today, scientists perform research there year-round, with citizens of multiple nations working side by side. In 2006, an unusual legal situation arose when New Zealand police were unable to fully investigate what suspicious incident in Antarctica? Discuss
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Romania National Day

The national holiday of Romania has been celebrated since 1990, after the fall of the Romanian Communist Party head Nicolae Ceausescu, with military parades, speeches, and a holiday from work. This day marks the unification in 1918 of Romania and Transylvania and the formation of the Romanian state within its present-day boundaries. Romania’s full independence had been recognized in 1878, but Transylvania had remained outside the new state. On December 1, a Romanian assembly passed the resolution of unity celebrated on National Day. Discuss
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Dame Alicia Markova (1910)

Markova was a well-known English ballerina. She made her debut with Sergey Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in 1924 and later became the first prima ballerina of what is now the Royal Ballet. Noted for her ethereal grace and lightness, she excelled in classic roles and was celebrated as the lead in Giselle. She formed several ballet companies with Anton Dolin and served as director of the Metropolitan Opera Ballet for six years. How old was she when she retired from dancing? Discuss
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Human Branding

Historically, human branding—the practice of burning marks or patterns into the skin of a living person—was used to mark slaves and criminals. The ancient Romans branded runaway slaves with the letters FUG, for fugitivus. Until the 1800s, hot irons were used to brand British criminals with letters specific to their crimes. Today, human branding is generally voluntary and is used as body decoration or as an act of initiation to gangs. What religious sect practices human branding? Discuss
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