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In 1920 under Vladimir Lenin the Soviet Union was the first to legalize all abortions, but this was reversed in 1936 by Joseph Stalin in order to increase population growth.

Nigerian Civil War

The suffering in Biafra during the Nigerian Civil War led to the development of international humanitarian agencies designed to respond to complex emergencies anywhere in the world

Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, died after being shot by Vice President Aaron Burr in a duel


The banshee's appearance may be that of an old hag or a beautiful young woman, but her cry has always been understood to herald death.


The archipelago of Zanzibar was a separate state which united with Tanganyika to form Tanzania and still enjoys a high degree of autonomy within the union


The Trimurti is the Hindu representation of God as Brahma (creator), Vishnu (preserver), and Shiva (destroyer)

Eli Whitney

Eli Whitney is famous for patenting the invention of the cotton gin but he made no money from it

Mercury (planet)

Mercury is the smallest and innermost planet in the solar system, orbiting the Sun once every 88 days

Indus Valley Civilization

The Indus Valley Civilization had an advanced urban culture, with streets laid out in a grid pattern, advanced architecture and impressive sewage and drainage systems


Melanesia consists of 2,000 islands and 12 million people who practice a variety of subsistence economies


Kanji are the Chinese characters used in the Japanese writing system

Cape Breton Island

The residents of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia in Canada, can be grouped into five main cultures: Scottish, Mi'kmaq, Acadian, Irish, and English

Prisoner of war

To be entitled to prisoner of war status, the captured service member must have conducted operations according to the laws of war

Baha'i Faith

The word "Bahá'í" means "glory" or "splendor" in Arabic


Yakshagana is a traditional dance drama popular in Karnataka, India; it combines dance, music, dialogue, elaborate costumes, make-up, and stage techniques

Walter Scott

Sir Walter Scott organized the visit of King George IV to Edinburgh in 1822, the first visit to Scotland by a reigning British monarch since Charles I of England visited in 1633

Marlene Dietrich

Prior to World War II Marlene Dietrich rejected an offer by representatives of the Nazi Party, asking her to return to Germany to star in German films, and instead became an American citizen

John Cage

The twentieth century composer John Cage is best known for his composition 4'33", whose three movements are performed without a single note being played

Elgin Marbles

When he brought the Elgin Marbles to Britain Lord Elgin was accused of vandalism by his contemporaries

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein is considered the greatest scientist of the twentieth century and was named "Person of the Century" by TIME magazine

Margaret Thatcher

A Soviet newspaper gave Margaret Thatcher the nickname "Iron Lady," which she enjoyed as it reflected her uncompromising politics and steadfast leadership


Gandhinagar, the capital city of the Indian state of Gujarat, was named after Mahatma Gandhi who was himself a Gujarati

New York Stock Exchange

The New York Stock Exchange building on Broad Street opened on April 22, 1903 and was designated a National Historic Landmark on June 2, 1978


Kwakwaka'wakw have made great efforts to revive their traditional culture—their language, dances, masks, totem poles, and the previously outlawed potlatch

Michael Faraday

Although Michael Faraday received little formal education he became one of the most influential scientists and one of the best experimentalists in the history of science

Wellesley College

Wellesley College was founded by Pauline and Henry Fowle Durant to give women an opportunity for higher education

C. V. Raman

C. V. Raman completed his Masters degree in physics while still a teenager

Baba Yaga

Baba Yaga's "cabin on chicken legs" may be based on real buildings.


Aristotle believed that human nature is inherently political since individuals cannot achieve happiness without forming states (political bodies) because the individual in isolation is not self-sufficient

George Steinbrenner

George Steinbrenner changed the manager of the New York Yankees twenty times during his first twenty-three seasons.


Ajivika was an ancient Indian philosophical and ascetic movement that did not believe in karma or the possibility of free will


Chemosh was the supreme Moabite deity who was believed to bring victory to his people when they honored him properly, but allowed their enemies to prevail when they fell into sin


Yurts have been a distinctive feature of life for nomads living on the steppes of Central Asia for at least three thousand years

James Frazer

James Frazer's distinction between magic and religion has been widely adopted by anthropologists since his time

Constantine I

Constantine the Great was the first Roman Emperor to accept Christianity

Italian Fascism

The term "Fascism" derives from fasces, a bundle of rods used in the Roman Empire to symbolize strength through unity

African-American Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968)

The Montgomery Bus Boycott, led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was a seminal event in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement

Richard Dedekind

Dedekind came up with the notion of the "Dedekind cut" which is foundational in defining real numbers

Wild Bill Hickok

Wild Bill Hickok was shot and killed while playing poker in Deadwood, in what is now South Dakota


For the Plains Indians, the tipi was more than just a home—it was a sacred space.

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