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Today

Today

Bob Hope (1903)
Famous for his "ski-jump" nose, superb timing, and irreverent attitude, Hope was an immensely popular American comedian. He debuted in vaudeville in the 1920s and later performed on radio, television, stage, and in more than 50 films. He hosted the Oscars a record-breaking 17 times over 38 years. A master of comic monologues and mildly bawdy one-liners, he was a tireless entertainer of US troops overseas. When asked on his deathbed at age 100 where he wanted to be buried, how did he respond? Discuss

Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz (1807)
Agassiz was a Swiss-born naturalist and geologist. Noticing the presence of huge alpine boulders in areas of Switzerland where there are no glaciers, he hypothesized that glaciers had, at one time, been widespread in the area and had dragged the boulders there. This lent credence to his theory of a recent ice age. He was also a renowned teacher and did notable work with fossils. Agassiz was a lifelong opponent, on religious grounds, of what now-accepted scientific theory?

Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794)
Cornelius was the patriarch of the famous Vanderbilt family. As a youth, he ferried freight and passengers in New York Harbor. As an adult, he gained control of most of the ferry lines around New York City and quickly expanded up and down the coast. He had similar success in the railroad business and died with an estate worth more than $100 million, the largest personal fortune accumulated in the US to that date. Why did Vanderbilt, who had 13 children, leave nearly everything to just one son?