From today's featured article
The Great Gold Robbery took place on the night of 15 May 1855, when a shipment of gold to Paris was stolen from the guard's van of the rail service between London and Folkestone. There were four robbers: two employees of the rail company, a former employee and Edward Agar, a career criminal. They took wax impressions of the keys to the train safes and made copies. One of them ensured he was on guard duty when a shipment was taking place, and Agar hid in the guard's van. They emptied the safes of 224 pounds (102 kg) of gold, valued at £12,000 (approximately equivalent to £1,193,000 in 2021); the theft was only discovered in Paris. When Agar was arrested for another crime, his former girlfriend, in need of funds, revealed the details of the theft. Agar admitted his guilt and testified as a witness. The other three were arrested, tried and found guilty of the theft. In 1978 a highly fictionalised version of events was turned into a film, The First Great Train Robbery, featuring Sean Connery. (Full article...)
Did you know ...
- ... that The One (pictured), a private residence in Los Angeles, has 21 bedrooms, 42 bathrooms, a 30-car garage, a four-lane bowling alley, a casino, a nightclub, and five swimming pools including a moat?
- ... that gynecologist Mary Lake Polan wrote a medical mystery novel to "demystify" the procedures behind in vitro fertilisation?
- ... that in his Ethics, Peter Abelard argued that infidels who sincerely believe themselves to be honouring God are not guilty of sin?
- ... that the Scottish judge Lord Duthie served as an officer in the Royal Naval Reserve?
- ... that the first election in Baden in which women could vote resulted in nine women being elected to the state legislature?
- ... that the alt-pop musician Lucy Tun cites death metal and RuPaul's Drag Race as influences?
- ... that Rob Thomas always planned to give iZombie a happy ending?
- ... that placekicker Cam Little donated money to a Down syndrome organization for every field goal he made?
In the news
- Following the general election, Shehbaz Sharif (pictured) is appointed Prime Minister of Pakistan.
- Former Prime Minister of Canada Brian Mulroney dies at the age of 84.
- Following the general election, Feleti Teo is appointed Prime Minister of Tuvalu.
- Dahomey wins the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival.
On this day
- 1811 – Peninsular War: At the Battle of Barrosa, Anglo-Iberian forces trying to lift the Siege of Cádiz defeated a French attack but could not break the siege itself.
- 1825 – Roberto Cofresí, one of the last Caribbean pirates, was apprehended after his flagship sloop Anne was captured by authorities.
- 1936 – The prototype of the Supermarine Spitfire (pictured) flew for the first time.
- 1960 – Cuban photographer Alberto Korda took his iconic photograph Guerrillero Heroico of Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara.
- 1981 – The ZX81, a pioneering British home computer, was launched by Sinclair Research, and went on to sell more than 1.5 million units around the world.
Today's featured picture
The dyeing poison dart frog (Dendrobates tinctorius) is a species of poison dart frog. It is among the largest species, reaching lengths of 50 millimetres (2.0 in). It is distributed throughout the eastern portion of the Guiana Shield, including parts of French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname and Brazil. This dyeing poison dart frog was photographed in the Karlsruhe Zoo in Germany.
Photograph credit: H. Zell