From today's featured article
Istanbul, Turkey, known before 330 as Byzantium and between 330 and 1930 as Constantinople, is a transcontinental city of Europe and Asia, straddling the Bosporus strait between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. Its commercial and historical center lies on the European side; about a third of its residents live on the Asian side. The population of the city has increased tenfold since the 1950s to around 15 million, making Istanbul one of the world's most populous cities and the fourth-largest city proper. Founded on the Sarayburnu promontory around 660 BCE, the city grew in size and influence. It was an imperial capital for almost 16 centuries, during the Roman and Byzantine (330–1204), Latin (1204–1261), Palaiologos Byzantine (1261–1453) and Ottoman (1453–1922) empires. Although Ankara was chosen as the new capital after the Turkish War of Independence, Istanbul remains Turkey's economic and cultural center. (Full article...)
Did you know...
- ... that Eugène de Mirecourt (pictured) wrote 100 biographical articles on his contemporaries, including Alexandre Dumas, Hector Berlioz, and George Sand?
- ... that the British Army's Deolali transit camp is the origin for the slang term "doolally", meaning mentally ill?
- ... that Liang Jingkui designed an instrument to measure the temperature in nuclear tests?
- ... that the Neo-Bechstein was a pioneering electric grand piano in which the mechanics of the piano were no longer involved in the direct production of sound?
- ... that before being appointed to the Supreme Court of Texas, William F. Ramsey served as president of three banks, in different cities, at the same time?
- ... that the larger feeding tentacles of the sea gherkin carry food to its mouth, where two smaller ones help push food in?
- ... that during the Second World War, Rachel Dübendorfer received sensitive German military information, including plans for the German invasion of the USSR?
- ... that Thomas Forsyth stocked his cellar with wine until his wife cut the pipes and drained it all?
In the news
- German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld (pictured), best known for his creative work at Chanel, dies at the age of 85.
- A suicide bombing attack near Pulwama, in Indian-administered Kashmir, kills 40 security personnel.
- NASA concludes the 15-year Opportunity Mars rover mission after being unable to wake the rover from hibernation.
- The Republic of Macedonia changes its name to the Republic of North Macedonia as the Prespa agreement takes effect, ending a 27-year naming dispute with Greece.
On this day
- 1739 – The identity of English highwayman Dick Turpin was uncovered by his former schoolteacher, who recognised his handwriting, leading to Turpin's arrest.
- 1886 – American inventor Charles Martin Hall discovered an inexpensive method of producing aluminium (sample pictured).
- 1909 – The Silver Dart was flown off the ice of Bras d'Or Lake on Cape Breton Island, making it the first controlled powered flight in Canada.
- 1947 – The International Organization for Standardization, responsible for worldwide industrial and commercial standards, was founded.
- 1991 – The government of Thai prime minister Chatichai Choonhavan was deposed in a bloodless coup by General Sunthorn Kongsompong.