Ukrainian Actor Parlays TV Role as President into Electoral Victory
April 21, 2019 Volodomyr Zelensky
Life has imitated art, as an actor who plays the Ukrainian president on TV has been elected Ukraine's President. Volodymyr Zelensky has declared victory over the incumbent, Petro Poroshenko, after exit polls showed a wide disparity between the vote totals for the two candidates: Zelensky won 73 percent of the vote, and Poroshenko got 25 percent. It was the second round of elections. The first, which featured 38 candidates, resulted in no one candidate receiving a majority of the vote. Zelensky, with 30 percent, and Poroshenko, with 16 percent, were the top two vote-getters. Zelensky is a political novice who is perhaps most well-known for his role as the Ukrainian president in the TV show Servant of the People. The main character, Vasyl Holoborodko, begins as a schoolteacher with no political experience but emerges as a strong national leader. The show has been on the air for nearly four years and routinely garners an audience of half of the country's population of 42 million. He has also starred in movies, including the Russian-language hit Love in the Big City.

Titanic Letter Describing Early Near-collision Up for Auction
April 21, 2019
Titanic near collision letter A U.K. auction house is selling a letter written by a member of the Titanic crew a few days before the ocean liner's sinking that describes what could have been an even earlier collision. Steward Richard Geddes wrote to his wife, Sarah, on April 11, 1912, the day after the "unsinkable ship" left the port of Southampton. In the letter, Geddes explains how the Titanic and another ship, the SS City of New York, came within a few feet of each other as the Titanic first left. The other ship, Geddes wrote, broke its ropes and the Titanic had to steer clear quickly. Many people onboard interpreted the near-collision as a sign of trouble ahead. They were proved correct on the night of April 14, when the ocean liner hit an iceberg and sank less than three hours later. Geddes, who in the letter said he hoped his wife was not worrying, did not make it out alive.

Blind Sailor Completes Nonstop Pacific Crossing
April 20, 2019 Mitsuhiro Iwamoto
A Japanese sailor who is blind has sailed across the Pacific Ocean without stopping. Mitsuhiro Iwamoto is the first visually impaired person to make the 8,700-mile crossing. Iwamoto, 52, sailed a 40-foot yacht named Dream Weaver from San Diego, California, to Fukushima, Japan. Iwamoto was at the controls, and his navigator, American Doug Smith, relayed wind directions and potential hazards. Iwamoto also used an audio compass and a vocalized GPS. The trip took two months.


The Oklahoma Land Rush
Forced relocation of Native Americans was not an uncommon occurrence in the early 19th Century. One of the prime destinations for the relocated people was the Indian Territory, in what is now Oklahoma. By the 1880s, the U.S. Government had decided to open Indian Territory to white settlement. Native American tribes–among them Apache, Cherokee, Cheyenne, Chickasaw, Commanche, and Creek–had been forced by the Dawes Act in 1887 to restrict their settlements to specific areas of the territory. A large amount of land, nearly 2 million acres, was not owned by any Native American tribe and was known as the Unassigned Lands. The Indian Appropriations Act of 1889 opened Indian Territory to white settlement. President Benjamin Harrison set a date of opening for April 22. At noon on that day, tens of thousands of would-be settlers rushed into what they hoped was their new home lands.

The Mutiny on the Bounty
One of the most famous mutinies in naval history took place on April 28, 1789. This was the famed Mutiny on the Bounty, the English ship captained by Captain William Bligh. Led by First Mate Fletcher Christian, a group of sailors took control of the ship and set Bligh and adrift.
Why did this happen? Stories vary. Some sources have said that Captain Bligh was known for his cruelty. Other sources say that the crew wanted to take more than a few days' break in Tahiti, where Christian fell in love with a local woman. Christian and his crew ended up on Pitcairn Island, the residents of which still call him their ancestor.

Why Is the American Flag Called 'Old Glory'?

It has to do with a ship's captain and his dedication to his own personal flag.

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