This Day in History

Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima (1945)
The first American attack on Japanese soil during WWII, the Battle of Iwo Jima lasted more than a month and claimed tens of thousands of Japanese and American lives. Just days into the campaign, photographer Joe Rosenthal witnessed a group of American soldiers struggling to raise their flag on Iwo Jima's highest point and took what would become the most reproduced photograph in history. It was the second flag-raising that day. How many of the six men shown in the photograph survived the battle? Discuss

The Securitas Depot Robbery (2006)
In an elaborate heist that took place over the course of several hours, the manager of the Securitas bank depot in Kent, England, was abducted along with his family and forced by a gang of masked, armed men to help steal approximately £53 million. In the process, 14 other staff members at the depot were held captive. It was the largest robbery in British history, and dozens of people would eventually be arrested in connection with it. What had previously been the UK's largest cash robbery?

The Creation of the Peace Symbol (1958)
Historically, the idea of peace has been represented by symbols that attempt to transcend differences of culture, such as the white dove, the olive branch, and the broken rifle. The now-familiar line-drawing of a crow's foot in a circle was created specifically for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament by British artist Gerald Holtom, but it quickly caught on as a general, international sign for peace. Holtom has stated that it is derived from the semaphore flag signals for what two letters?

Today

Samuel Pepys (1633)
One of the most celebrated diarists of all time, Pepys was born into a humble family but steadily improved his standing and eventually became an important public servant and royal confidant. His diary, which he kept throughout the 1660s, describes some of the most important events of his time, including the Great Fire of London and an outbreak of the plague. It also offers a vivid, intimate record of the author's life. On New Year's Eve 1661, Pepys made what resolution that he broke soon after? Discuss

Ladislaus the Posthumous (1440)
Born four months after the death of his father, Albert II of Hapsburg, Ladislaus spent much of his childhood under the control of his powerful guardians, who refused to surrender the boy to his rightful place as king of Bohemia and Hungary. Though he was finally crowned king of Bohemia at age 13, he was unable to gain control of his realms before dying, probably of poisoning, just four years later. His coronation as king of Hungary when he was a baby was made possible by what daring theft?

Jeanne Calment (1875)
At the age of 100, Calment was still riding a bicycle around her native Arles, France. She lived on her own until she was 110 and smoked until she was 117. She saw the Eiffel Tower being built and remembered selling colored pencils to Vincent van Gogh as a girl in her family's shop. By the time she died in 1997 at the age of 122, Calment had lived the longest confirmed human life in history—and outlived her entire family. What foods have been cited as contributing to Calment's longevity?