This Day in History

The Honeymooners Premiers on CBS (1955)
The Honeymooners was a short-lived American sitcom based on sketches by comedian Jackie Gleason. It starred Gleason and Audrey Meadows as a struggling working class couple in New York—a drastic departure from other popular comedies of the era that depicted their characters in comfortable, middle-class, suburban environments. Though The Honeymooners was cancelled after just 39 episodes, it has been aired for decades in syndication. What animated TV series did Gleason's show inspire? Discuss

First Photos Taken of a Giant Squid in the Wild (2004)
In 2004, two teams of Japanese researchers traveled to a sperm whale hunting ground south of Tokyo, where they attached bait, a camera, and a flash to a 3,000-foot (914-m) line. After numerous attempts to lure their prey, a 26-foot (8-m) giant squid attacked and became entangled in the lure, breaking free after more than 500 photos were taken over a four-hour period. What did the photos—the first ever taken of a live giant squid in its natural habitat—reveal about the mysterious creature?

Japan Resumes Diplomatic Relations with China (1972)
The first Sino-Japanese War in the late 19th century damaged relations between the two countries for decades, as it marked the emergence of imperial Japan and saw harsh terms imposed on a badly defeated China. Relations did not improve until Kakuei Tanaka was elected prime minister of Japan in 1972. Shortly after his election, Tanaka visited China and signed an agreement establishing diplomatic relations between Japan and the Beijing regime. Who else made a historic visit to China in 1972?

Today

Jimmy Carter (1924)
Carter served as US President from 1977 to 1981. His foreign policy had some success—he mediated the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt and signed a treaty with Panama regarding control of the Panama Canal—but his domestic policy was less effective, and oil-related inflation and unemployment hurt his bid for re-election. He has since been active in human-rights causes and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002. In 2007, Carter earned a Grammy Award for best album in what category? Discuss

Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi (1207)
Rumi was a great Persian poet and Sufi mystic whose influence has spread to Persian-speakers in Afghanistan, central Asia, Turkey, and beyond. His Masnavi-ye Manavi, a six-volume work of spiritual teaching and Sufi lore related in the form of stories and lyric poetry, widely influenced Muslim mystical thought and literature. Rumi's followers founded the Mevlevi order, whose members use dancing and music as part of their spiritual method and are popularly known by what name?

Miguel de Cervantes (1547)
Cervantes was a Spanish author best known for Don Quixote de la Mancha, his novel about an aging "knight." A superb burlesque of the popular romances of chivalry, the work was an enormous success and has had an indelible effect on the development of the European novel. Cervantes himself led an eventful life: he was imprisoned several times, captured by pirates, and sold as a slave. How long was he enslaved before his family managed to scrape together the money to secure his release?