April 17, 2014
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roamed the plains of Eurasia, Africa, and North
America between 20 and 8 million years ago. The
first cat to immigrate into the Americas, it is
believed to be the ancestor of all modern cats,
including the domestic house cat.
was known as the best designer and
manufacturer of mathematical, astronomical,
surveying, and navigational instruments in
England in the late-1700's. He also invented the
dividing engine, an improved theodolite, a
pyrometer, and an eyepiece for reflecting
succeeded Tiberius as Emperor in 37 A.D.
Initially very popular among the citizenry, his
popularity began waning after he began showing
signs of mental instability less than a year
after assuming the throne. Known for humiliating
Senate members, killing members of his family,
and undertaking seemingly foolish and expensive
projects, he became the first Roman Emperor to be
assassinated in 41.
Wilson Asks Congress to Declare War on Germany
On April 2, 1917, President
Woodrow Wilson told a joint session of Congress
that "The world must be safe for
democracy." Congress ultimately agreed with
Wilson and, on April 6, issued a formal
declaration of war against Germany.
Bear (Tremarctos ornatus)
The only bear native to South America is found
throughout the more mountainous regions of the
Andes from western Venezuela south to Bolivia, as
well as northwestern Argentina into Panama. It is
named for the spectacle-like markings on its
face, which are unique to each individual bear.
was one of the largest land amphibians of the
Early Permian Period (295-270 million years ago),
with a length of up to 6.5 feet and weight of up
to 200 pounds. Looking much like a modern
crocodile, it likely moved and fed in a manner
very much like the crocodile.
is named for its jet-black skin (which can appear
red or purple under certain light conditions),
the cape-like webbing between its arms, and eyes
that appear red under most light conditions. It spends its entire life at a depth of
4,900 to 8,200 feet, where there is virtually no
light, very little oxygen, and the temperature
rarely exceeds 43 degrees Fahrenheit.
was founded as part of a Benedictine monastery by
Edward the Confessor in 1042. William the
Conqueror was crowned in the Abbey in 1066, and
every British monarch since (but two) has been
crowned there. Over 3,000 notable Britons are
honored with either a tomb or a memorial within
either the main church or one of its "side
is the common name for a huge bell that chimes
the hours for a huge clock near the top of a
tower at the Houses of Parliament in London,
England. It is also sometimes incorrectly used to
refer to the tower and clock.
Built as a fortress by William the Conqueror in
1066, the Tower of London also served as a royal
residence until the mid-16th century and as a
prison until the mid-20th century. It is still an
official royal residence, but is today more
commonly known as a popular tourist attraction.