This Day in History

The Hindu Milk Miracle (1995)
On September 21, 1995, news spread around the world that Hindu worshippers in India and several other countries were experiencing what they considered a miracle. At numerous temples, thousands of Hindus were spooning offerings of milk to statutes of deities, especially the elephant-headed god Ganesha, and claiming that the milk—which appeared to disappear from the spoons—was being miraculously consumed by the gods. What scientific explanation was given for the phenomenon? Discuss

The Battle of the Sexes (1973)
Though she won 67 tournament titles in her career, American tennis player Billie Jean King is perhaps best known for the "Battle of the Sexes" against former champion Bobby Riggs. In 1973, Riggs emerged from retirement and defeated Margaret Court in a nationally televised match. Proclaiming the superiority of the male athlete over the female no matter what the age, he challenged Billie Jean King, who accepted and routed him in three straight sets. How many people reportedly watched the match?

Giles Corey Pressed to Death during Salem Witch Trials (1692)
Martha Corey was a Massachusetts woman hanged for the crime of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials. A pious churchgoer, she had refused to confess but was convicted anyway. Her husband, Giles Corey, was also eventually accused but refused to enter a plea at his trial. In an attempt to make him enter a plea, he was pressed beneath an increasingly heavy load of stones. He died two days before his wife's execution. What did Giles reportedly reply each time he was asked for his plea?


Maurice Barrymore (1849)
Maurice Barrymore was the first in the famous family of Barrymore actors. In 1875, a few years after he began his acting career in London, Barrymore went to New York and became an instant success. Over the next 25 years, he starred in a variety of roles. In 1876, he married Georgiana Drew, the actress daughter of famous British-American actors John and Louisa Lane Drew, thus founding what would become known as "The Royal Family of Broadway." Who are the other famous Barrymore actors? Discuss

Upton Sinclair (1878)
Sinclair was a prolific American novelist and socialist activist who wrote over 90 books, including The Jungle, a best-selling muckraking exposé of conditions in the Chicago meat-packing industry that aroused public indignation and resulted in the passage of food inspection laws in the US. He also organized a socialist reform movement in the 1930s and won the Democratic nomination for governor of California but was defeated in 1934. For what book was Sinclair awarded the Pulitzer Prize?

William Golding (1911)
Praised for his highly imaginative and original writings, Golding was a British author whose works focus on the eternal nature of man. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1983 and was knighted in 1988. In his best-known work, the allegorical Lord of the Flies, he described the nightmarish adventures of a group of English schoolboys stranded on an island and traced their degeneration from a state of innocence to blood lust and savagery. What else did he write?