On a bitterly cold day in mid-January, 1842, British soldiers manning the garrison at Jalalabad on the Afghan frontier saw a strange sight. Out of the snowy wasteland rode a single man, badly wounded, on a dying horse. His name, he told the soldiers, was William Brydon.
In May 1970, news was made at Ohio's Kent State University when campus police and the National Guard attempted to wrest control from out-of-control students. The collective temper-tantrum ignited a full-blown coup that had been some 30 years in the making.
In the country of Mt. Ararat, where the Bible says Noah’s Ark rested when the Great Flood subsided, there now is news of the discovery of the world’s oldest leather shoe. First announced on the plosone.org scientific website, the moccasin-looking shoe is made of cowhide, cut into two layers, and tanned with plant or vegetable oil. A leather cord is used to lace the shoe along front and back seams through leather eyelets.
The proud Roman general stood with his commanders and retinue as the wild hillsmen, dressed in the ragged but still-flamboyant clothes of corsairs, fell before him in turn, begging for clemency. It was about 75 B.C. in the rugged hills near Coracesium in Cilicia, an untamed region along the coast of southwestern Asia Minor, and the Cilician pirates, possibly the most successful race of brigands the world has ever seen, were surrendering to the Roman general Pompey.
Amtrak and its lobbyists at the National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP) recently invited us to commemorate the third annual National Train Day on May 8. Supposedly celebrating “America’s love for trains,” the day could not boast a more ironic host than the railroad nobody rides. Worse, Amtrak’s sponsorship was as shameless as Dracula’s funding a fashion show concentrating on décolletage: The government that owns Amtrak has sabotaged, subsidized, and sucked the life from American railroads since the industry’s inception.