From today's featured article
Lionel Matthews (15 August 1912 – 2 March 1944) was an Australian Army officer during World War II who was posthumously awarded the George Cross, the highest non-combat award for heroism for members of the Australian armed forces at the time. Matthews served in the 27th Brigade during the Malayan campaign, and at the surrender of Singapore in 1942 became a prisoner of war (POW). He was awarded the Military Cross for courage, energy and ability under fire during this fighting. At Sandakan POW camp Matthews established an intelligence network, collecting information, weapons, medical supplies and radio parts, and making contact with organisations outside the camp. The group was betrayed, and Matthews was arrested, beaten, tortured and starved. He refused to provide any information, and was executed by firing squad. After the war he was awarded the George Cross in recognition of his gallant and distinguished services while in Japanese hands. (Full article...)
Did you know ...
Government House, Bulawayo
- ... that the president of Zimbabwe has access to State House which has a "drunk" "Superman" statue of Robert Mugabe in the grounds, and to the former Rhodesian prime minister's house and Cecil Rhodes' Government House in Bulawayo (pictured), but not to Mugabe's Blue Roof mansion?
- ... that botanist Rosemary Margaret Smith had both an entire genus and a separate species named after her for her major discoveries and classification of ginger?
- ... that Kirka Sharif houses the cloak of the Prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam?
- ... that when the fireman's pole was invented at Chicago's Engine Company 21, other firefighters thought its use was crazy—until 21 started being the first crew to arrive at fires?
- ... that British band Black Country, New Road, who are known for experimenting with post-punk sound, showcased a clear preference for atmospherics on their album For the First Time?
- ... that runners training to represent Laos at the 2012 Summer Olympics used barbell weights made from concrete, tires, and paint cans?
- ... that the investigation into the Koh Tao murders and the subsequent trial were widely criticised by human-rights organisations, pathologists and legal experts?
- ... that Leslie Rowan was PPS to Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee, but Hugh Dalton called him "A bit too pi for me"?
In the news
Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic
On this day
Carl Sylvius Völkner
- 1444 – The League of Lezhë, an alliance of regional chieftains, was established in Venetian Albania with Skanderbeg as its commander.
- 1865 – New Zealand Wars: Carl Sylvius Völkner (pictured), a Protestant missionary, was killed by Hauhau militants in Ōpōtiki for working as an agent for George Grey, Governor-General of New Zealand.
- 1937 – The Steel Workers Organizing Committee, precursor to the United Steel Workers of America, had a major success when it signed a collective-bargaining agreement with U.S. Steel.
- 1962 – Led by General Ne Win, the Burmese military seized power in a coup d'état.
- 2017 – A naming ceremony for the chemical elements moscovium, tennessine, and oganesson took place at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow.