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The fall of Mussolini

Seventy years ago today, in the late afternoon of Sunday 25 July 1943, the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini went for what he imagined was a fairly routine audience with the Italian king. The war had been going badly for Italy: two weeks earlier US, Canadian and British forces had landed in Sicily, and met with little resistance. And the previous evening a number of senior fascists had passed a motion calling on the king to assume full military command.

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An idioms and formulaic language quiz

By Audrey Ingerson
On this day in 1928, sliced bread was sold for the first time by the Chillicothe Baking Company of Chillicothe, Missouri. Ever since then, sliced bread has been held up as the ideal — at least in idiomatic expressions. Ever heard of “the greatest thing since sliced bread”?

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Remembering the doughboys

By Christopher Capozzola
Ninety-six years ago today, on 26 June 1917, over 14,000 American soldiers disembarked at the port of St. Nazaire on the western coast of France. They were the initial members of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF), the United States’ contribution to the First World War. As America approaches the centennial of World War I, will it remember the doughboys? For their sake—and for ours—we should.

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The History of the World: President Kennedy and the moon landing

Possibly spurred by a wish to offset a recent publicity disaster in American relations with Cuba, President Kennedy proposed in May 1961 that the United States should try to land a man on the moon (the first man-made object had already crash-landed there in 1959) and return him safely to earth before the end of the decade…

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The History of the World: Nixon visits Moscow

22 May 1972 The following is a brief extract from The History of the World: Sixth Edition by J.M. Roberts and O.A. Westad. In October 1971 the UN General Assembly had recognized the People’s Republic as the only legitimate representative of China in the United Nations, and expelled the representative of Taiwan. This was not […]

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The History of the World: Israel becomes a state

From the beginning of the Nazi persecution the numbers of Jews who wished to settle in Palestine rose. As the extermination policies began to unroll in the war years, they made nonsense of British attempts to restrict immigration, which was the side of British policy unacceptable to the Jews; the other side – the partitioning of Palestine – was rejected by the Arabs.

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10 November 1975: Daniel Patrick Moynihan addresses the UN on Zionism

Before Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927-2003) was elected as a Democratic Senator from New York in 1976, a seat he held 24 years, he served as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations. While Moynihan was the ambassador, the UN passed Resolution 3379, which declared “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.” In the new book Moynihan’s Moment: America’s Fight Against Zionism as Racism, historian Gil Troy chronicles Moynihan’s fiery response to that resolution, a speech that was delivered 37 years ago today.

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Treaty of Versailles signed

This Day in World History
On 28 June 1919, in the famous Hall of Mirrors of the French palace at Versailles, more than a thousand dignitaries and members of the press gathered to take part in and see the signing of the treaty that spelled out the peace terms after World War I. American President Woodrow Wilson, British Prime Minister Lloyd George, and French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau were the among the leaders in attendance.

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Berlin Airlift begins

This Day in World History
On 26 June 1948, after three months of Communist rulers blocking the delivery of supplies to the American, British, and French zones of West Berlin, the western powers struck back with a bold response. American and British planes stepped up their process of flying supplies to West Berlin to an around the clock operation and the Berlin Airlift was on.

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Pablo Picasso gives first exhibition outside Spain

This Day in World History
On 24 June 1901, two Spanish artists joined in an exhibition of their works at the Paris gallery of Ambroise Vollard. One of these artists was Francisco Iturrino, who had lived off and on in Paris since 1895 and whom Vollard had mentored. The other was a not-yet-20-year-old named Pablo Picasso, who had been befriended by Iturrino and the gallery owner.

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Chinese Empress Cixi declares war on foreigners

On 21st June 1900, the Dowager Empress of China declared war on all foreigners. The conflict had been decades in building. Throughout the 19th century, foreign powers had carved up China, creating their own zones where they effectively ruled and where their nationals enjoyed privileged status.

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Napoleon defeated at the Battle of Waterloo

This Day in World History
In a day-long battle near Brussels, Belgium, a coalition of British, Dutch, Belgian, and German forces defeated the French army led by Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo led to his second and final fall from power, and ended more than two decades of wars across Europe that had begun with the French Revolution.

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Norway gives women partial suffrage

This Day in World History
On 14 June 1907, Norway’s Storting (Stortinget) demonstrated the difficulty faced by women’s suffrage advocates around the world. On the one hand, the national legislature approved a bill that would allow some of Norway’s women to vote for lawmakers and even to win seats in the Storting. On the other hand, the male lawmakers limited voting rights to women who had the right to vote in municipal elections.

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Boris Yeltsin elected Russia’s first President

This Day in World History
On 13 June 1991, millions of Russians went to the polls for the first time in an open election to choose a president. Emerging as winner was 60-year-old Boris Yeltsin, a maverick with a reputation for alcohol abuse who had for some time advocated political and economic reforms.

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