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1919

The Paris Peace Conference opens in France

On this day in Paris, France, some of the most powerful people in the world meet to begin the long, complicated negotiations that would officially mark the end of World War I. Leaders of the victorious Allied powers - France, Great Britain, the United States and Italy - would make most of the crucial decisions in Paris over the next six months. For most of the conference, U.S. President Woodrow... Read more >

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1778

Cook visits Hawaii

On January 18, 1778, the English explorer Captain James Cook becomes the first European to discover the Hawaiian Islands when he sails past the island of Oahu. Two days later, he landed at Waimea on the island of Kauai and named the island group the Sandwich Islands, in honor of John Montague, who was the earl of Sandwich and one his patrons. In 1768, Cook, a surveyor in the Royal Navy, was com... Read more >

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1882

A.A. Milne is born

On this day in 1882, A.A. Milne, creator of Winnie-the-Pooh, is born. The youngest of three sons born to schoolteacher parents, Milne taught himself to read at age two. He began writing humorous pieces as a schoolboy and continued to do so at Cambridge, where he edited the undergraduate paper. In 1903, he left Cambridge and went to London to write. Although he was broke by the end of his first ... Read more >

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1985

Coen brothers release debut film, Blood Simple

The hard-boiled, often gruesome black comedy Blood Simple, the debut offering from the Minnesota-born brothers Joel and Ethan Coen, premieres on this day in 1985. The film told the story of Julian Marty (played by Dan Hedaya), a bar owner who hires a private detective (M. Emmett Walsh) to follow his wife (Frances McDormand). When the detective finds out that Marty’s wife is two-timing him wit... Read more >