The Wikipedia article of the day for April 30, 2016 is Franklin half dollar.
The Franklin half dollar coin was struck by the United States Mint from 1948 to 1963. It pictures Founding Father Benjamin Franklin on the obverse, with the Liberty Bell and a small eagle on the reverse. Produced in 90 percent silver with a reeded edge, the coin was struck at the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco mints. Mint director Nellie Tayloe Ross had long admired Franklin, and asked the Mint’s chief engraver, John Sinnock, to design the coin; his initials appear on the obverse, but some mistook them for the initials of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. When Ross submitted the designs to the Commission of Fine Arts, they disliked the small eagle and felt that depicting the crack in the Liberty Bell would expose the coinage to jokes and ridicule; nevertheless, the Mint proceeded with Sinnock’s designs. Beginning in 1964 the coin was replaced by the Kennedy half dollar, issued in honor of the assassinated President, John F. Kennedy. Though the coin is still legal tender, its face value is greatly exceeded by its value to collectors or as silver.
The Wikipedia article of the day for April 29, 2016 is Final Fantasy.
Lightning is a fictional character from Square Enix’s Final Fantasy series. She first appeared as a playable character and protagonist in the role-playing video game Final Fantasy XIII, and reappeared as a supporting character in Final Fantasy XIII-2 and as the sole playable character in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. She was created by Motomu Toriyama, the director and scenario writer of XIII, and designed by Tetsuya Nomura, a regular character artist for the series. Their idea was to create a strong female protagonist who was adept at combat and less feminine than previous Final Fantasy heroines. Lightning has received mixed commentary from critics—much of it relating to her cold personality, which was compared to that of Final Fantasy VII’s protagonist Cloud Strife. Some critics saw her in Lightning Returns as underdeveloped and unlikable, while others found her better developed and more human than in previous games. In lists later compiled by video game publications, Lightning was commended as one of the best characters in the Final Fantasy series and in video games as a whole.
The Wikipedia article of the day for April 28, 2016 is Mutiny on the Bounty.
On 28 April 1789, a mutiny on HMS Bounty in the south Pacific was led by Fletcher Christian. Bounty had left England in 1787 on a mission to collect breadfruit plants from Tahiti. During a five-month layover there, many of the men were in relationships with native Polynesians. Lieutenant William Bligh handed out increasingly harsh punishments and abuse, especially to Christian, and morale plummeted. After three weeks back at sea, Bligh and 18 of his crew were set adrift in the ship’s small uncovered launch, and had to row and sail more than 4,000 miles (6,400 km) to reach safety. In 1791, 14 of the Bounty crew were arrested in Tahiti; four of these died when their ship ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef, four were acquitted at a court martial, three were pardoned and three were hanged. On Pitcairn Island, just one surviving mutineer, John Adams, was discovered in 1808; Christian and most of the rest had been killed, by each other and by the mistreated Tahitians they brought with them. Their descendants would continue to inhabit Pitcairn into the 21st century. The view of Bligh as an overbearing monster has in recent years been challenged by historians.
The Wikipedia article of the day for April 27, 2016 is Menkauhor Kaiu.
Menkauhor Kaiu was an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the Old Kingdom period, the seventh ruler of the Fifth Dynasty in the 25th or 24th century BC. He ruled for possibly eight or nine years, following king Nyuserre Ini, and was succeeded by Djedkare Isesi. Although Menkauhor is well attested by historical sources, few artefacts from his reign have survived; less is known about him than about most Fifth Dynasty pharaohs, and no offspring of his have been identified. Khentkaus III may have been Menkauhor’s mother, as indicated by discoveries in her tomb in 2015. Beyond the construction of monuments, the only known activity dated to his reign is an expedition to the copper and turquoise mines in Sinai. He ordered the construction of a sun temple, the last ever to be built, called the Akhet-Ra (“The Horizon of Ra”). Known from inscriptions found in the tombs of its priests, this temple is yet to be located. Menkauhor was buried in Saqqara in a small pyramid named Netjer-Isut Menkauhor (“The Divine Places of Menkauhor”). Known today as the Headless Pyramid, the ruin had been lost under shifting sands until its rediscovery in 2008.
The Wikipedia article of the day for April 26, 2016 is Big Star.
Big Star was an American power pop band formed in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1971 by Alex Chilton, Chris Bell, Jody Stephens, and Andy Hummel. The group broke up in 1974, but reorganized with a new line-up nearly 20 years later. In its first era, the band’s musical style drew on the vocal harmonies of The Beatles, as well as the swaggering rhythms of The Rolling Stones and the jangling guitars of The Byrds. To the resulting power pop, Big Star added dark, existential themes, and produced a style that foreshadowed the alternative rock of the 1980s and 1990s. Their first two albums, #1 Record and Radio City, suffered from ineffective marketing but garnered enthusiastic reviews; Rolling Stone called the band a “quintessential American power pop band” that was “one of the most mythic and influential cult acts in all of rock & roll”. In 1993, Chilton and Stephens re-formed Big Star with Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow. After tours in Europe and Japan, they released a new studio album, In Space, in 2005. Big Star was inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame in 2014.
The Wikipedia article of the day for April 25, 2016 is Battle of Kaiapit.
The Battle of Kaiapit was fought in 1943 between Australian and Japanese forces in New Guinea during the Finisterre Range campaign of World War II. Following landings at Nadzab and at Lae, the Allies attempted to exploit their success with an advance into the upper Markham Valley, starting with Kaiapit (pictured). The Australian 2/6th Independent Company flew in to the valley from Port Moresby in 13 USAAF C-47 Dakotas, making a difficult landing on a rough airstrip. Unaware that a much larger Japanese force was also headed for Kaiapit and Nadzab, the company attacked the village on 19 September to secure the area so that it could be developed into an airfield. They then held it against a strong counterattack. During two days of fighting the larger force, the Australians suffered relatively few losses. Their victory at Kaiapit enabled the Australian 7th Division to be flown in to the upper Markham Valley, stopping the Japanese from threatening Lae or Nadzab, where a major airbase was being developed. The victory also led to the capture of the Ramu Valley, which provided new forward fighter airstrips for the air war.
The Wikipedia article of the day for April 24, 2016 is Nelson’s Pillar.
Nelson’s Pillar was a large granite column capped by a statue of Horatio Nelson, erected in the centre of O’Connell Street, Dublin, Ireland in 1809. It was severely damaged by explosives in March 1966 and demolished a week later. The monument was erected after the euphoria following Nelson’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. It proved a popular tourist attraction but provoked aesthetic and political controversy, and there were frequent calls for it to be removed, or replaced with a memorial to an Irish hero. Nevertheless it remained, even after Ireland became a republic in 1948. Although influential literary figures defended the Pillar on historical and cultural grounds, its destruction just before the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising was, on the whole, well received by the Irish public. The police could not identify those responsible; when in 2010 a former republican activist admitted planting the explosives, he was not charged. The Pillar was finally replaced in 2003 with the Spire of Dublin. Relics of the Pillar are found in various Dublin locations, and its memory is preserved in numerous works of Irish literature.