Wikipedia:Today's featured article/July 2024

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July 1

Flag of Canada

The flag of Canada is a red flag with a white square in its centre, featuring a stylized 11-pointed red maple leaf. It has become the predominant and most recognizable national symbol of Canada. It was adopted in 1965 to replace the Union Flag for most official purposes, although the Canadian Red Ensign had also been unofficially used since the 1860s and approved by a 1945 Order in Council. In 1964, Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson appointed a committee to discuss these issues, sparking a serious debate about a flag change. Out of three choices, the maple leaf design by George Stanley, based on the flag of the Royal Military College of Canada, was chosen. It made its first appearance on February 15, 1965, a date now celebrated annually as National Flag of Canada Day. Other flags, usually containing the maple leaf motif in some fashion, have been created for use by Canadian officials, government bodies, and military forces. (Full article...)


July 2

Thomas Cranmer

Thomas Cranmer (2 July 1489 – 21 March 1556) was a leader of the English Reformation and Archbishop of Canterbury. He helped build the case for the annulment of Henry VIII's marriage to Catherine of Aragon. He established the first doctrinal and liturgical structures of the Church of England and published the Exhortation and Litany. When Edward VI was king, Cranmer published the Book of Common Prayer, changed doctrine or discipline in several areas, and promulgated the new doctrines through the Homilies. Upon the accession of Mary I, Cranmer was put on trial for treason and heresy. While imprisoned he made recantations and reconciled himself with the Catholic Church. Mary pushed for his execution, and he was burned at the stake after withdrawing his recantations. Cranmer's death was immortalised in Foxe's Book of Martyrs and his legacy continues through the Book of Common Prayer and the Thirty-Nine Articles. (Full article...)

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July 3

Goldeneye, the estate where the book was written
Goldeneye, the estate where the book was written

On Her Majesty's Secret Service is the tenth novel and eleventh book in Ian Fleming's James Bond series. First published in 1963, it centres on Bond's search to find Ernst Stavro Blofeld after the events depicted in Thunderball (1961). In the novel, Bond falls in love with Tracy di Vicenzo during the story. The pair marry, but hours afterwards Blofeld and his partner, Irma Bunt, attack them and kill Tracy. Fleming developed Bond's character within the book, showing an emotional side that was not previously present. The novel is one of three Bond stories to deal with the disruption of markets and the economy, in this case Blofeld's planned disruption to the food supply by bioterrorism. The novel received broadly positive reviews. In 1969, the book was adapted as the sixth film in Eon Productions' James Bond film series. It was the only film to star George Lazenby as Bond. (This article is part of a featured topic: Ian Fleming's James Bond novels and short stories.)


July 4

Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World) is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, within New York City. The copper statue, an 1886 gift to the United States from the people of France, was designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, and its metal framework was built by Gustave Eiffel. It is a figure of Libertas, the Roman goddess of liberty, holding a torch and a tablet bearing the date of the United States Declaration of Independence. A broken chain and shackle lie at her feet as she walks forward, commemorating the national abolition of slavery following the American Civil War. After its dedication the statue became an icon of freedom and of the United States, and it was later seen as a symbol of welcome to immigrants arriving by sea. Its completion was marked by New York's first ticker-tape parade and a dedication ceremony presided over by President Grover Cleveland. (Full article...)


July 5

Ed Bradley

Ed Bradley (1941–2006) was an American broadcast journalist best known for reporting with 60 Minutes and CBS News. Bradley started his television news career in 1971 as a stringer for CBS at the Paris Peace Accords. He won Alfred I. duPont and George Polk awards for his coverage of the Vietnam War and the Cambodian Civil War. Returning to the United States, he became CBS's first Black White House correspondent. Bradley joined 60 Minutes in 1981 and reported on more than 500 stories with the program during his career, the most of any of his colleagues. Known for his fashion sense and disarming demeanor, Bradley won numerous journalism awards for his reporting, which has been credited with prompting federal investigations into psychiatric hospitals, lowering the cost of drugs used to treat HIV/AIDS, and ensuring that the accused in the Duke lacrosse case received a fair trial. He died of lymphocytic leukemia in 2006. (Full article...)


July 6

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift

"Wildest Dreams" is a song by the American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift (pictured); it is the fifth single from her fifth studio album, 1989 (2014). Described by critics as synth-pop, dream pop, and electropop, the song was written by Swift and its producers Max Martin and Shellback. The lyrics feature Swift pleading with a lover to remember her even after their relationship ends. Retrospectively, critics have described "Wildest Dreams" as one of Swift's most memorable songs. The single peaked within the top five on charts in Australia, Canada, Poland, South Africa, and also the United States, where it became 1989's fifth consecutive top-ten single on the Billboard Hot 100. The track was certified four-times platinum. The music video depicts Swift as a classical Hollywood actress who falls in love with her co-star; media publications praised the production as cinematic but accused the video of glorifying colonialism. (This article is part of a featured topic: 1989 (album).)


July 7

Dave Grossman, game developer
Dave Grossman, game developer

Tales of Monkey Island is a graphic adventure video game developed by Telltale Games under license from LucasArts. It is the fifth game in the Monkey Island series, released a decade after the previous installment. The game was released in five episodic segments between July and December 2009. Players assume the role of Guybrush Threepwood, who accidentally releases a voodoo pox and seeks a cure. The game was conceived in late 2008 following renewed interest in adventure game development within LucasArts. Production began in early 2009, led by Dave Grossman (pictured). The game received generally positive reviews, with praise for its story, writing, humor, voice acting and characterization. Complaints focused on the quality of the game's puzzle design, a weak supporting cast in the early chapters, and the game's control system. Tales of Monkey Island garnered several industry awards and was Telltale's most commercially successful project until Back to the Future: The Game. (Full article...)


July 8

Peter Weller in 2016
Peter Weller in 2016

RoboCop is a 1987 American science fiction action film directed by Paul Verhoeven and written by Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner. Set in a crime-ridden Detroit in the near future, it centers on police officer Alex Murphy, played by Peter Weller (pictured), who is murdered by a gang of criminals and revived by the megacorporation Omni Consumer Products as a cyborg. The director emphasized violence throughout the film, making it so outlandish that it became comical. RoboCop was a financial success upon its release in July 1987, earning $53.4 million. Reviewers praised it as a clever action film with deeper philosophical messages and satire, but were conflicted about the violence. The film won the Academy Award for Best Sound Editing. RoboCop has been critically reevaluated since its release and hailed as one of the best films of the 1980s for its depiction of a cyborg coming to terms with the lingering fragments of its humanity. (Full article...)


July 9

Oceanic whitetip shark swimming near a diver

The oceanic whitetip shark is a large requiem shark inhabiting tropical and warm temperate seas. It has a stocky body with long, white-tipped, rounded fins. The species is typically solitary but can congregate around food concentrations. It is found worldwide between 45°N and 43°S latitudes in deep, open oceans. Bony fish and cephalopods are the main components of its diet. Females give live birth after a gestation period of nine to twelve months. Though slow-moving, it is opportunistic, aggressive, and reputed to be dangerous to shipwreck survivors. The shark was once extremely common and widely distributed; up to the 16th century, mariners noted that this species was the most common ship-following shark. The species has now been listed as critically endangered, and recent studies show steeply declining populations worldwide as the sharks are harvested for their fins and meat, like many other shark species. (Full article...)


July 10

DeLancey W. Gill

DeLancey W. Gill (1859–1940) was an American drafter, landscape painter, and photographer. As a teenager, he moved in with an aunt in Washington, D.C., after his mother and stepfather traveled west. He eventually found himself employed as an architectural draftsman for the Treasury. He created sketches and watercolor paintings of the city, with a particular focus on the still-undeveloped rural and poorer areas of the district. While working as an illustrator for the Smithsonian's Bureau of American Ethnology in the 1890s, he was appointed as the agency's photographer without prior photographic training. He took portrait photographs that circulated widely of thousands of Native American delegates to Washington, including notable figures such as Chief Joseph and Geronimo. These photographs have come under modern criticism for his frequent use of props and clothing, sometimes outdated or inauthentic, given to the delegates. (Full article...)


July 11

Dave Lombardo, Slayer's drummer
Dave Lombardo, Slayer's drummer

Still Reigning is a live performance DVD by the thrash metal band Slayer, released in 2004 through American Recordings. Filmed at the Augusta Civic Center on July 11, 2004, the performance showcases Reign in Blood (1986), Slayer's third studio album and its first to enter the Billboard 200. The album was played in its entirety with the four original band members on a set resembling their 1986 Reign in Pain Tour. Still Reigning was voted "best live DVD" by the readers of Revolver magazine, and received gold certification in 2005. In the finale, the band is covered in stage blood while performing the song "Raining Blood", leading to a demanding audio mixing process plagued by production and technical difficulties. The DVD's producer Kevin Shirley spent hours replacing cymbal and drum hits one-by-one. Later, Shirley publicly aired his financial disagreements with the band and criticized the quality of the recording. (Full article...)


July 12

Hypericum sechmenii flowers
Hypericum sechmenii flowers

Hypericum sechmenii (Seçmen's St John's wort) is a rare species of flowering plant in the St John's wort family that is found in Eskişehir Province in central Turkey. It was first described and assigned to the genus Hypericum in 2009, and was later placed into the section Adenosepalum. H. sechmenii is a perennial herb that grows 3 to 6 centimeters (1 to 2 inches) tall and blooms in June and July. The stems of the plant are smooth and hairless, while the leaves are leathery and lack leafstalks. Its flowers are arranged in corymbs, and each has five bright yellow petals. Similar species are H. huber-morathii, H. minutum, and H. thymopsis. Found among limestone rocks, H. sechmenii has an estimated distribution of less than 10 square kilometers (4 square miles), with fewer than 250 surviving plants. Despite containing druse crystals and toxic chemicals that may deter herbivory, the species is threatened by overgrazing, as well as climate change and habitat loss. (Full article...)


July 13

Alan Wace

Alan Wace (13 July 1879 – 9 November 1957) was an English archaeologist who served as director of the British School at Athens between 1914 and 1923. He excavated widely in Thessaly, Laconia and Egypt, and at the Bronze Age site of Mycenae in Greece. Along with Carl Blegen, Wace argued against the established scholarly view that Minoan Crete had dominated mainland Greek culture during the Bronze Age. His excavations at Mycenae in the early 1920s established a chronology for the site's domed tombs that largely proved his theory correct. Wace served as the Laurence Professor of Classical Archaeology at the University of Cambridge between 1934 and 1944, and ended his career at Alexandria's Farouk I University. During both world wars, he worked for the British intelligence services, including as a section head for MI6 during the Second World War. His daughter, Lisa French, also became an archaeologist and excavated at Mycenae. (Full article...)


July 14

Greece celebrating their Euro 2004 win
Greece celebrating their Euro 2004 win

The UEFA Euro 2004 final was the final match of Euro 2004, the 12th European Championship, organised by UEFA for the senior men's national association football teams of its member associations. The match was played at the Estádio da Luz in Lisbon, Portugal, and contested by Portugal and Greece. The two defences ensured that goal-scoring opportunities were limited, and the score was 0–0 at half-time. Greece scored the only goal of the match after 57 minutes when Angelos Basinas took a corner kick to Angelos Charisteas, who sent a header past goalkeeper Ricardo. Several pundits labelled Greece's tournament win the greatest upset in the history of the European Championship, with their pre-tournament bookmakers' odds at 150–1. Greece subsequently failed to qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup and did not successfully defend their European Championship in 2008. Portugal eventually won the European Championship in 2016. (Full article...)


July 15

Jacques Offenbach

Jacques Offenbach (1819–1880) was a German-born French composer, cellist and impresario. He is remembered for his nearly 100 operettas of the 1850s to the 1870s, and his uncompleted opera The Tales of Hoffmann. Beginning as a cellist and conductor, Offenbach first wrote small-scale one-act pieces, limited by theatrical licensing laws. These eased by 1858 when he premiered his first full-length operetta, Orphée aux enfers (Orpheus in the Underworld). La belle Hélène (1864) and other successes followed. The risqué humour (often about sexual intrigue) and gentle satire in these pieces, together with Offenbach's facility for melody, made them internationally known, and he was a powerful influence on later operetta and musical theatre composers. His best-known works were continually revived during the 20th century, and many of his operettas continue to be staged in the 21st century. The Tales of Hoffmann remains part of the standard opera repertory. (Full article...)


July 16

Automatic tube loader of B Reactor at the HEW
Automatic tube loader of B Reactor at the HEW

The Hanford Engineer Works (HEW) was a nuclear production complex in Benton County in the US state of Washington, established in early 1943 as part of the Manhattan Project during World War II. Plutonium manufactured at the HEW was used in the atomic bomb detonated in the Trinity test on 16 July 1945, and the Fat Man bomb used in the bombing of Nagasaki on 9 August 1945. DuPont was the prime contractor for its design, construction and operation. The land acquisition was one of the largest in US history. The construction workforce reached a peak of nearly 45,000 in June 1944. B Reactor, the world's first full-scale plutonium production nuclear reactor, went critical in September 1944, followed by D and F Reactors in December 1944 and February 1945, respectively. The HEW suffered an outage on 10 March 1945 due to a Japanese balloon bomb. The total cost of the HEW up to December 1946 was more than $348 million (equivalent to $4.1 billion in 2023). (Full article...)


July 17

Cora Agnes Benneson

Cora Agnes Benneson (1851–1919) was an American attorney, lecturer, and writer. She graduated from the University of Michigan, earning a Bachelor of Arts in 1878, a Bachelor of Laws in 1880, and a Master of Arts in 1883, and was licensed to practice law in Illinois and Michigan. From 1883 to 1885, she traveled the world to learn about legal cultures and how they affected women. When she returned to the United States, she undertook a nationwide lecture tour to speak about her travels and observations. In 1886 Benneson briefly worked as an editor of West Publishing's law reports before taking up a history fellowship at Bryn Mawr College under then-professor Woodrow Wilson. In 1888 she moved to Boston, where she continued to write and lecture. She was licensed in Massachusetts in 1894 and opened a law practice. She was made a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1899 and elected secretary of its Social and Economic Science Section in 1900. (Full article...)


July 18

John Glenn

John Glenn (July 18, 1921 – December 8, 2016) was a United States Marine Corps aviator, astronaut, and politician. Before joining NASA, Glenn was a distinguished fighter pilot in World War II, the Chinese Civil War and the Korean War. In 1957, he made the first supersonic transcontinental flight across the United States. He was one of the Mercury Seven, military test pilots selected in 1959 by NASA as the nation's first astronauts. On February 20, 1962, Glenn flew the Friendship 7 mission, becoming the first American to orbit the Earth, and the fifth person and third American in space. After retiring from NASA, he served from 1974 to 1999 as a Democratic U.S. senator from Ohio. In 1998, Glenn flew on the Space Shuttle Discovery mission STS-95, making him the oldest person to enter Earth orbit and the only person to fly in both Project Mercury and the Space Shuttle program. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012. (Full article...)


July 19

John D. Whitney

John D. Whitney (July 19, 1850 – November 27, 1917) was an American Catholic priest who was the president of Georgetown University from 1898 to 1901. Born in Massachusetts, he joined the United States Navy at the age of sixteen. He became a Jesuit in 1872 and spent the next twenty-five years studying and teaching mathematics at Jesuit institutions in Canada, England, Ireland, and the United States. He became the vice president of Spring Hill College in Alabama before becoming the president of Georgetown. He oversaw the completion of Gaston Hall, the construction of the entrances to Healy Hall, and the establishment of Georgetown University Hospital and what would become the School of Dentistry. Afterwards, Whitney became the treasurer of Boston College and then engaged in pastoral work in Philadelphia, Brooklyn, and Baltimore, where he became the prefect of St. Ignatius Church. (This article is part of a featured topic: Presidents of Georgetown University.)


July 20

Alpine ibex

The Alpine ibex (Capra ibex), also known as the steinbock, is a species of goat that lives in the Alps of Europe. Its closest living relative is the Iberian ibex. They have brownish-grey coats and sharp hooves adapted to steep, rough terrain. Found at elevations as high as 3,300 metres (10,800 ft), they are active throughout the year, primarily feeding on grass in open alpine meadows. Adult males, which are larger than the females, segregate from them for most of the year, coming together only during the breeding season, when they fight for access to the females using their long horns. The Alpine ibex has been successfully reintroduced to parts of its historical range, but all individuals living today descend from a population bottleneck of fewer than 100 individuals from Gran Paradiso National Park in Italy. The species has few predators and is not threatened, but it has very low genetic diversity. (Full article...)


July 21

Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) was an American novelist, short-story writer and journalist. Known for an economical, understated style that significantly influenced later 20th-century writers, he is often romanticized for his adventurous lifestyle, and outspoken and blunt public image. Most of Hemingway's works were published between the mid-1920s and mid-1950s; these included seven novels, six short-story collections and two non-fiction works. His debut novel The Sun Also Rises was published in 1926. His wartime experiences as an ambulance driver on the Italian Front in World War I formed the basis for his 1929 novel A Farewell to Arms, and he drew on his experience as a journalist in the Spanish Civil War for his 1940 novel For Whom the Bell Tolls. Hemingway was with Allied troops as a journalist at the Normandy landings and the liberation of Paris. He was awarded the 1954 Nobel Prize in Literature. (Full article...)


July 22

Thekla (right) with Michael III
Thekla (right) with Michael III

Thekla (820s or 830s – after 870) was a princess of the Amorian dynasty of the Byzantine Empire. The eldest of seven children of the emperor Theophilos and empress Theodora, she was proclaimed augusta (an imperial title) in the late 830s. After her father's death in 842, her mother became regent for her younger brother Michael III, and Thekla was associated with the regime as a co-empress alongside Theodora and Michael. Thekla was deposed by Michael, possibly alongside her mother, in 856 and consigned to a convent in Constantinople. In one narrative, accepted by some Byzantinists and rejected by others, she became the mistress of Michael's friend and co-emperor Basil I, but was neglected after Basil murdered Michael in 867 and took power as the sole emperor. In this narrative, she took another lover, was discovered, and fell out of favor, then was beaten and had her property confiscated. (Full article...)


July 23

Flask from Iznik, c. 1560–1580
Flask from Iznik, c. 1560–1580

Empire of the Sultans was a touring exhibition from 1995 to 2004 displaying objects from the Khalili Collection of Islamic Art. Around two hundred exhibits, including calligraphy, textiles, pottery (example pictured), weapons, and metalwork, illustrated the art and daily life of six centuries of the Ottoman Empire. Many of the objects had been created for the leaders of the empire, the sultans. Two of the calligraphic pieces were the work of sultans themselves. In the 1990s, the exhibition was hosted by institutions in Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Israel, and its first catalogue was published by J. M. Rogers. The exhibits visited thirteen cities in the United States from 2000 to 2004, despite controversies in the wake of the September 11 attacks and the Iraq War. Critics described the exhibition as wide-ranging and informative. They praised it for showing beautiful art works – naming the calligraphy in particular – and for presenting a fresh view of Islam. (Full article...)


July 24

Ty Cobb
Ty Cobb

Ty Cobb was suspended for ten days during the 1912 baseball season. Cobb was disciplined for beating Claude Lucker, a fan who had been heckling him during the four-game series between Cobb's Detroit Tigers and the New York Yankees. Cobb was ejected from the game on May 15, 1912, and American League president Ban Johnson suspended him indefinitely. Cobb's teammates took his side, and after defeating the Philadelphia Athletics on May 17, told Johnson that they would not play again until Cobb was reinstated. Johnson refused to do so. Seeking to avoid a $5,000 fine, owner Frank Navin told manager Hughie Jennings to recruit a team; he did so. Facing the Athletics, baseball's World Champions, the replacement players, joined by Jennings and his coaches, lost 24–2, after which Cobb persuaded his teammates to return. They and Cobb were fined, but Navin paid. The walkout was baseball's first major league strike; it had little effect, but teams put additional security into stadiums. (Full article...)


July 25

Great cuckoo-dove

The great cuckoo-dove (Reinwardtoena reinwardti) is a species of bird in the pigeon family. First described by zoologist Coenraad Jacob Temminck in 1824, it is found on islands from New Guinea to Wallacea in primary forest and the forest edge. It is a large pigeon, and in adults the head, neck, and breast are whitish or blue-grey, the underparts are bluish-grey, the upperparts are chestnut-brown, and the outer wings are black. Females differ from males in having yellower irises and duller orbital skin. Juveniles are mainly dull grey-brown, with dirty-white throats and bellies. The bird feeds on fruit and seeds, usually alone or in pairs, but forms mixed flocks at fruit trees. It will defend fruiting shrubs, an uncommon foraging behaviour among birds. Breeding occurs throughout the year, although timing varies over its range. Nests are platforms made of plant material and the clutch is one white egg. This species is classified as least concern due to its large range and stable population. (Full article...)


July 26

Cover of the 1896 Summer Olympics official report
Cover of the 1896 Summer Olympics official report

The 1896 Summer Olympics were the first international Olympic Games held in modern history. The International Olympic Committee was established in 1894 by a congress organized by Pierre de Coubertin in Paris. The committee appointed the Greek capital Athens as the host city, and the games took place from 6 to 15 April 1896. According to the committee, 14 nations took part, and 241 male athletes competed. The participants were all European, or living in Europe, with the exception of the United States team. More than 65 per cent of the competing athletes were Greek, and Greece won the most medals overall, 47. The athletic highlight for the Greeks was the marathon victory by their compatriot Spyridon Louis. The most successful competitor was the German wrestler and gymnast Carl Schuhmann with four victories. The 1896 Olympics were regarded as a great success, with the largest international participation of any sporting event to that date. (Full article...)


July 27

2014 Aston Martin DB9
2014 Aston Martin DB9

The Aston Martin DB9 is a two-door, two- or four-seater grand touring car produced by the British carmaker Aston Martin from 2004 until it was discontinued on 27 July 2016. It debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2003. The official series manufacture began in January 2004 for the coupe version and February 2005 for the DB9 Volante convertible. Designed by Ian Callum and Henrik Fisker, the DB9 is the successor to the DB7, which Aston Martin produced from 1994 to 2004. The DB9's chassis is composed of aluminium and composite materials. In 2008 and 2010, minor alterations were implemented to the DB9's exterior and engine, and in 2012 prominent adjustments were made to its front fascia, interior and engine. The DB9 was adapted for racing by Aston Martin's racing division in the form of the DBR9 and the DBRS9, both introduced in 2005. To commemorate the discontinuation of the DB9, Aston Martin released the DB9 GT in 2015. (Full article...)


July 28

Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen

Darkness on the Edge of Town is the fourth studio album by the American singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen (pictured), released on June 2, 1978, by Columbia Records. The album was recorded during sessions in New York City with the E Street Band from June 1977 to March 1978, after a series of legal disputes between Springsteen and his former manager Mike Appel. Darkness musically strips the Wall of Sound production of its predecessor, Born to Run, for a rawer hard rock sound emphasizing the band as a whole. The lyrics focus on ill-fortuned characters who fight back against overwhelming odds. Released three years after Born to Run, Darkness did not sell as well as its predecessor but reached number five in the United States. Critics initially praised the album's music and performances but were divided on the lyrical content. In recent decades, Darkness has attracted acclaim as one of Springsteen's best works and has appeared on lists of the greatest albums of all time. (Full article...)


July 29

SMS Bodrog in 1914
SMS Bodrog in 1914

Sava was a river monitor, originally built for the Austro-Hungarian Navy as SMS Bodrog. She and two other monitors fired the first shots of World War I in the early hours of 29 July 1914, when they shelled Serbian defences near Belgrade. During the war, she fought the Serbian and Romanian armies, and was captured in its closing stages. She was transferred to the newly created Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later Yugoslavia), and renamed Sava. During the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941, she fought off several air attacks, but was scuttled on 11 April. Sava was later raised by the Axis puppet state, the Independent State of Croatia, and continued to serve under that name until 1944 when she was again scuttled. Following World War II, Sava was raised again, and was refurbished to serve in the Yugoslav Navy from 1952 to 1962. She became a gravel barge after that, but was restored and opened as a floating museum in November 2021. (Full article...)


July 30

Near-contemporary image of the Battle of Caen
Near-contemporary image of the Battle of Caen

From 1345 to 1347, the Hundred Years' War between the English and the French flared up. Determined to renew the conflict, King Edward III of England despatched a small force to south-west France where they won victories at Bergerac and Auberoche. In 1346 an English army of 10,000 men landed in northern Normandy, devastated the region, and stormed and sacked Caen (pictured). They then cut a swath to within 20 miles (32 km) of Paris, turned north, and inflicted a heavy defeat on the French army at the Battle of Crécy. They exploited this by laying siege to Calais. The period from the English victory outside Bergerac to the start of the siege of Calais is known as Edward III's annus mirabilis (year of marvels). After an eleven-month siege, which stretched both countries' financial and military resources to the limit, the town fell, and for more than two hundred years it served as an English entrepôt into northern France. (This article is part of a featured topic: Hundred Years' War, 1345–1347.)


July 31

Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari
Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari

Nil Battey Sannata (Hindi slang for 'Good For Nothing') is a 2015 Indian comedy-drama film directed by Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari (pictured) in her feature debut. Produced by Aanand L. Rai, Ajay Rai, and Alan McAlex, the film was co-written by Iyer, Neeraj Singh, Pranjal Choudhary, and Nitesh Tiwari. Swara Bhaskar starred as Chanda Sahay, a high-school drop-out household maid and the single mother of a sullen young girl named Apeksha, played by Ria Shukla. The film's theme is a person's right to change their life, irrespective of social status. The film garnered critical acclaim for its realistic narrative and its cast, especially Bhaskar. In 2017 Iyer won the Filmfare Award for Best Debut Director; Screen Awards went to Bhaskar for Best Actress (Critics) and to Shukla for Best Child Artist. The film totalled around 69 million (US$830,000) at the box office. It was remade in Tamil as Amma Kanakku and in Malayalam as Udaharanam Sujatha. (Full article...)