Legionnaire’s Disease Mystery Declared Solved (1977)

In July 1976, members of the American Legion veterans association who were gathered at a Philadelphia hotel began falling ill with a mysterious respiratory ailment that sickened 221 and killed 34. Months later, the US Centers for Disease Control announced that a new bacterium—Legionella pneumophila—had been identified as the culprit. It had spread through the hotel’s air conditioning system. In 2010, it was reported that 20% of Legionella infections may come from what surprising source? Discuss
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US Supreme Court Declares Home VCRs Legal (1984)

After Sony introduced the Betamax home video tape recorder in the mid-1970s, Universal Studios sued, alleging that Betamax facilitated copyright infringement by allowing users to make copies of television programs. After an eight-year legal battle, the US Supreme Court ruled that using the new technology to “time-shift” one’s television viewing constituted fair use. By then, Betamax had been eclipsed by the VHS format. What later case concerned the “space-shifting” of media? Discuss
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Prohibition Era Begins in the US (1920)

By January of 1919, members of the US temperance movement had been campaigning against excessive drinking for a century. Their efforts resulted in the 18th Amendment, which, when it went into effect in 1920, prohibited the sale—but not the consumption—of liquor. Prohibition spawned what John D. Rockefeller called “a vast army of lawbreakers” who profited from the illegal sale of alcohol, and the failed ban was repealed in 1933. What was delivered to the White House immediately after the repeal? Discuss
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Otho Begins His 3-Month Reign as Roman Emperor (69 CE)

Otho and Roman Emperor Nero were once friends. Then, Otho’s wife became Nero’s mistress, and Nero dispatched Otho to the remote province of Lusitania. After patiently governing the province for a decade, Otho joined a revolt against the emperor in 68 CE. Nero committed suicide, and Otho took over. However, a rival soon challenged him for the throne. Just three months into his reign, Otho killed himself, presumably to avoid a civil war in his empire. How did he bid farewell to his friends? Discuss
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Survivor of British Retreat from Kabul Reaches Jalalabad (1842)

During the First Anglo-Afghan War, a group of 4,500 British soldiers and 12,000 British civilians left Kabul for Jalalabad. Beset by murderous bands, their numbers quickly dwindled. A few were captured alive and later released, but army surgeon William Brydon was the sole person to escape the final ambush by Afghan tribesman and reach the British camp at Jalalabad that day. Part of Brydon’s skull had been sheared off by a sword, but he survived thanks to what object stuffed inside his hat?
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