Henry Schoolcraft (1793)

Schoolcraft was a geologist, geographer, and ethnologist noted for his studies of Native American cultures as well as for his discovery of the source of the Mississippi River in 1832. His extensive relations with Native Americans—including his marriage to an Ojibwa woman—led to his appointment as an Indian agent, and he negotiated a treaty with the Ojibwa in 1836 that ceded much of their land to the US. Upon discovering the lake that feeds the Mississippi River, what did Schoolcraft name it? Discuss
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Michael Jackson (1942)

Not to be confused with the American musician of the same name, English journalist Michael Jackson was arguably the most influential beer and whiskey critic in modern history. He came to prominence after the publication of his influential 1977 book The World Guide to Beer and went on to host a TV show that featured him traveling around the globe sampling various brews. He played an enormous role in the popularization of brewing culture and was especially fond of beers from what country? Discuss
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Sir Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford (1753)

A scientist and inventor, Thompson was perhaps the first person to recognize heat as a form of motion, at a time when many believed it to be a substance. He invented various heat-related items, including a double boiler, a drip coffeepot, thermal underwear, and a more efficient fireplace. After he was denied a commission in the Continental Army, Thompson spied for the British in the American Revolution. When he had to flee the country, what particularly notable thing did he leave behind? Discuss
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Saint Catherine of Siena (1347)

Born in Siena, Italy, as Caterina Benincasa, Catherine claimed to have mystic visions beginning in early childhood. In 1370, in response to a vision, she began sending letters to prominent figures. She later traveled to Avignon and influenced Pope Gregory XI to end the “Babylonian captivity” of the papacy and return to Rome. Although she never learned to write, she dictated hundreds of letters and some notable mystic works. Catherine is believed to have suffered from what condition? Discuss
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Olive Schreiner (1855)

Schreiner was a South African author and feminist. Though she had no formal education, she read widely and developed a keen intellect and militantly feminist and liberal views. In 1883, she published her famed semiautobiographical novel, The Story of an African Farm, about a girl who lives on an isolated farm and struggles to attain independence in the face of rigid Boer social conventions. Under what pseudonym did Schreiner publish this text, arguably the first great South African novel? Discuss
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