Exiled Dalai Lama Arrives in India (1959)

Tenzin Gyatso—better known as the Dalai Lama—was installed as the spiritual and political leader of Tibet before he reached the age of five. He was a teenager when China took control of Tibet, and subsequent suppression forced him flee to the northern Indian city of Dharamsala. There, he set up the Tibetan exile government. Famously pacifistic in his campaign for Tibetan independence, the Dalai Lama once said it would be appropriate to shoot someone in the leg in what hypothetical situation? Discuss
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The Sicilian Vespers Rebellion (1282)

By 1282, the French Angevin dynasty had controlled of the island of Sicily for decades. However, at the start of the traditional vespers service on Easter Monday, an uprising spontaneously broke out following a seemingly isolated altercation in which local residents sparred with French soldiers. The revolt spread like wildfire, and soon the Sicilians had massacred almost every French person on the island. What reportedly started the confrontation between the Sicilians and the soldiers? Discuss
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Routledge Expedition Arrives at Easter Island (1914)

Today known by its traditional name of Rapa Nui, Easter Island is one of the most remote inhabited locations on Earth. The first study of the island by outsiders was undertaken by British archaeologist Katherine Routledge, who spent 16 months on Rapa Nui studying its indigenous Polynesian culture. She interviewed residents and catalogued the island’s now-famous stone statues. Her scholarship proved to be invaluable to later researchers. Why did Routledge’s husband eventually have her kidnapped? Discuss
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Vikings Capture Paris (845 CE)

Ragnar Lodbrok was a Norse hero of the Viking Age whose life—which was spent largely invading one country after another—has been mixed with myth in many legendary accounts. One of his favorite tactics was to attack Christian cities on holy days, as he did in 845, when he arrived in Paris on Holy Saturday with 120 ships. By some accounts, he accepted a tribute of 7,000 pounds of silver from French King Charles the Bald in exchange for sparing the city. According to legend, how did he die? Discuss
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The “Beeching Axe” Decimates British Railways (1963)

In an effort to reduce the cost of running the nationalized railway system of the UK, the British government commissioned a report to find ways to save money. Authored by Dr. Richard Beeching, the report concluded that many of the railway’s lines were costing more to operate than they earned and called for the elimination of unprofitable routes and closure of a large percentage of railway stations. More than 2,000 stations were closed as a result of the “Beeching Axe.” What became of Beeching? Discuss
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