Today in history
- Rubens's Massacre of the Innocents Sells for £49.5 million (2002)
Misattributed to an assistant of Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens until 2002, when an expert from Sotheby's auction house identified it as the work of the master himself, Massacre of the Innocents is an early 17th-century painting depicting Herod's slaughter of the infants of Bethlehem. One of two paintings Rubens made of the Biblical scene, it fetched £49.5 million ($76 million) at auction and is one of the priciest paintings ever sold. Its style is reminiscent of which Italian painter? Discuss
- US President Zachary Taylor Dies in Office (1850)
On a hot 4th of July in Washington, DC, Taylor—who had been US president for just 16 months—enjoyed a cool snack of cherries and milk. Five days later, he was dead. The official cause of death was listed as gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the stomach and intestines that can be caused by food poisoning. His remains were exhumed in 1991 and showed no evidence of foul play. According to one historian, Taylor could have recovered had he not been bled, blistered, and given what cocktail of drugs?
- Dow Jones Averages Reaches Its Lowest Point of the Great Depression (1932)
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, often referred to as the Dow, is the best-known and most widely followed market indicator in the world. Tracking the performance of 30 blue-chip US stocks—which sometimes change—the Dow is thought to reflect the overall condition of the US economy. In 1932, the Dow reached its lowest point of the Great Depression, closing at 41.22—down almost 90 percent since 1929. It did not return to pre-1929 levels until 1954. When did the Dow reach its all-time high?