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(1757-1827) An English painter and poet. Largely unrecognized during his lifetime, he is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. Although he lived in London almost his entire life, he produced a diverse and symbolically rich oeuvre, which embraced the imagination as "the body of God or human existence itself.

Reverent of the Bible but hostile to the Church of England he was influenced by the ideals and ambitions of the French and American Revolutions. Though later he rejected many of these political beliefs, he maintained an amiable relationship with the political activist Thomas Paine.

His epic poem 'Milton' features John Milton, who returns from Heaven and unites with Blake to explore the relationship between living writers and their predecessors, and to undergo a mystical journey to correct his own spiritual errors.

Excerpt from his poem 'The Tyger'

When the stars threw down their spears
And water'd heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

For the casual reader, the poem is about the question that most of us asked when we first heard about God as the benevolent creator of nature. "Why is there bloodshed and pain and horror?" "The Tyger", which actually finishes without an answer, is about your own experience of not getting a completely satisfactory answer to this essential question of faith.

Excerpt from 'Jerusalem' -short poem in the preface to Milton

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On England's pleasan pastures seen!
A German monk, Catholic priest, professor of theology and seminal figure of the 16th-century movement in Christianity known later as the Protestant Reformation. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel, a Dominican friar, with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517. His refusal to retract all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521 resulted in his excommunication by the Pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the Emperor.

He taught that salvation and subsequently eternity in heaven is not earned by good deeds but is received only as a free gift of God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ as redeemer from sin. His theology challenged the authority of the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church by teaching that the Bible is the only source of divinely revealed knowledge from God.

His translation of the Bible into the vernacular (instead of Latin) made it more accessible, which had a tremendous impact on the church and on German culture. It fostered the development of a standard version of the German language, added several principles to the art of translation, and influenced the writing of an English translation, the Tyndale Bible. His marriage to Katharina von Bora set a model for the practice of clerical marriage, allowing Protestant priests to marry.

In two of his later works, Luther expressed antagonistic views toward Jews, writing that Jewish synagogues and homes should be destroyed, their money confiscated, and liberty curtailed. These statements and their influence on antisemitism have contributed to his controversial status.
A King of Sweden from 1771 until his death in 1792. He was the eldest son of King Adolph Frederick and Queen Louise Ulrika, who was a sister of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia.

He was a vocal opponent of what he saw as abuses by the nobility of a permissiveness established by parliamentarian reforms that had been worked out since the death of Charles XII. He seized power from the government in a coup d'état in 1772, ending the Age of Liberty and venturing into a campaign to restore royal autocracy. This was completed by the Union and Security Act in 1789, sweeping away most of the last pretences of Riksdag rule. As a bulwark of enlightened despotism, he spent considerable public funds on cultural ventures: this contributed among his critics to controversy about his reign. Attempts to seize Norway with Russian assistance, and then to recapture the Baltic provinces by a war against Russia, were unsuccessful, although much of Sweden's former military might was restored. An admirer of Voltaire, Gustav legalized Catholic and Jewish presence in the realm and enacted wide-ranging reforms aimed at economic liberalism, social reform and the abolition, in many cases, of torture and capital punishment.

Following the French Revolution, he pursued an alliance of monarchs aimed at crushing the insurrection and reinstating his French counterpart, Louis XVI, offering Swedish assistance to the royal cause in France under his leadership. Gustav's immense powers were placed in the hands of a regency under his brother, Duke Carl until his son Gustav IV Adolf assumed the throne in 1796. The Gustavian autocracy hence survived until 1809, when it perished in another coup.

A patron of the arts and benefactor of arts and literature, Gustav founded several academies, among them the Swedish Academy, created a national costume and had the Royal Swedish Opera built.
The King of Sweden from 1611 to 1632 he is credited as the founder of Sweden as a Great Power. He led Sweden to military supremacy during the Thirty Years War, helping to determine the political as well as the religious balance of power in Europe.

He is often regarded as one of the greatest military commanders of all time, with innovative use of combined arms. His most notable military victory was the Battle of Breitenfeld. With a superb military machine with good weapons, excellent training, and effective field artillery, backed by an efficient government which could provide necessary funds, he was poised to make himself a major European leader, but he was killed at the Battle of Lützen in 1632. He was ably assisted in his efforts by Count Axel Oxenstierna, the Lord High Chancellor of Sweden, who also acted as regent after his death.

In an era characterized by almost endless warfare, he led his armies as king from 1611 until his death in battle in 1632 while leading a charge—as Sweden rose from the status of a mere regional power and run-of-the-mill kingdom to one of the great powers of Europe and a model of early modern era government. Within only a few years of his accession, Sweden had become the largest nation in Europe after Russia and Spain. Some have called him the "father of modern warfare", or the first great modern general. Under his tutelage, Sweden and the Protestant cause developed a number of excellent commanders, such as Lennart Torstensson, who would go on to defeat Sweden's enemies and expand the boundaries and the power of the empire long after Gustavus Adolphus' death in battle.

He was known by the epithets "The Golden King" and "The Lion of the North" by neighboring sovereigns. He is commemorated today with city squares in major Swedish cities like Stockholm, Gothenburg and Helsingborg.
an English short-story writer, poet, and novelist. He wrote tales and poems of British soldiers in India and stories for children. He was born in Bombay and was taken by his family to England when he was five years old. His works of fiction include The Jungle Book (a collection of stories which includes "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi"), the Just So Stories (1902), Kim (1901), and many short stories, including "The Man Who Would Be King" (1888);[3] and his poems include "Mandalay" (1890), "Gunga Din" (1890), and "The White Man's Burden" (1899), He is regarded as a major innovator in the art of the short story.

He was one of the most popular writers in England, in both prose and verse, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1907, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, making him the first English-language writer to receive the prize, and to date he remains its youngest recipient. Among other honours, he was sounded out for the British Poet Laureateship and on several occasions for a knighthood, all of which he declined.

George Orwell called him a "prophet of British imperialism". He was an incomparable, if controversial, interpreter of how empire was experienced.

"If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be TIRED by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!"
― Rudyard Kipling, If: A Father's Advice to His Son
An Italian physicist, mathematician, engineer, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role in the scientific revolution. His achievements include improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations and support for Copernicanism. He has been called the "father of modern observational astronomy" the "father of modern physics", the "father of science", and "the Father of Modern Science".

His contributions to observational astronomy include the telescopic confirmation of the phases of Venus, the discovery of the four largest satellites of Jupiter (named the ____ moons in his honour), and the observation and analysis of sunspots. He also worked in applied science and technology, inventing an improved military compass and other instruments.

His championing of heliocentrism was controversial within his lifetime, a time when most subscribed to either geocentrism or the Tychonic system. He met with opposition from astronomers, who doubted heliocentrism due to the absence of an observed stellar parallax. The matter was investigated by the Roman Inquisition in 1615, which concluded that heliocentrism was false and contrary to scripture, placing works advocating the Copernican system on the index of banned books and forbidding him from advocating heliocentrism. Galileo later defended his views in Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, which appeared to attack Pope Urban VIII, thus alienating not only the Pope but also the Jesuits, both of whom had supported Galileo up until this point. He was tried by the Holy Office, then found "vehemently suspect of heresy", was forced to recant, and spent the rest of his life under house arrest. It was while Galileo was under house arrest that he wrote one of his finest works, Two New Sciences, in which he summarized the work he had done some forty years earlier, on the two sciences now called kinematics and strength of materials.
A Russian politician and the first President of the Russian Federation, serving from 1991 to 1999.

Originally a supporter of Mikhail Gorbachev, he emerged under the perestroika reforms as one of Gorbachev's most powerful political opponents. On 29 May 1990 he was elected the chairman of the Russian Supreme Soviet. On 12 June 1991 he was elected by popular vote to the newly created post of President of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (SFSR), at that time one of the 15 constituent republics of the Soviet Union. Upon the resignation of Mikhail Gorbachev and the final dissolution of the Soviet Union on 25 December 1991, he remained in office as the President of the Russian Federation, the USSR's successor state. He was reelected in the 1996 election.

He vowed to transform Russia's socialist command economy into a free market economy and implemented economic shock therapy, price liberalization and privatization programs. Due to the method of privatization, a good deal of the national wealth fell into the hands of a small group of oligarchs. Much of the era was marked by widespread corruption, inflation, economic collapse and enormous political and social problems that affected Russia and the other former states of the USSR.

Ongoing confrontations with the Supreme Soviet climaxed in the October 1993 Russian constitutional crisis in which he illegally ordered the dissolution of the parliament, which then attempted to remove him from office. The military eventually sided with him and besieged and shelled the Russian White House, resulting in the deaths of 187 people. He then scrapped the existing constitution, temporarily banned political opposition and deepened his economic experimentation. He introduced a new constitution with stronger presidential power and it was approved by referendum on 12 December 1993 with 58.5% of voters in favour.

On 31 December 1999, he made a surprise announcement of his resignation, leaving the presidency in the hands of his chosen successor, then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. He left office widely unpopular with the Russian population. By some estimates, his approval ratings when leaving office were as low as 2%.
A Soviet politician and diplomat, an Old Bolshevik, and a leading figure in the Soviet government from the 1920s, when he rose to power as a protégé of Joseph Stalin. He served as Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars (Premier) from 1930 to 1941, and as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1939 to 1949 and from 1953 to 1956. He served as First Deputy Premier from 1942 to 1957, when he was dismissed from the Presidium of the Central Committee by Nikita Khrushchev. He retired in 1961 after several years of obscurity.

He was the principal Soviet signatory of the Nazi-Soviet non-aggression pact of 1939, whose most important provisions were added in the form of a secret protocol that stipulated an invasion of Poland and partition of its territory between Germany and the Soviet Union. This effectively sealed the beginning of World War II and made the Soviet Union an unofficial ally of Nazi Germany in the period from 1939 until the German invasion in 1941. Following the end of World War II, Molotov was involved in negotiations with the Western Allies, where he became noted for his diplomatic skills. He kept his place as a leading Soviet diplomat and politician until 1949. In March 1949, after losing Stalin's favour, he lost the foreign affairs ministry leadership. However, after Stalin's death in 1953, he defended the policies and legacy of Stalin until his death in 1986, and harshly criticised Stalin's successors, especially Nikita Khrushchev.

The name "________ cocktail" was coined by the Finns during the Winter War. The name is an insulting reference to him for being responsible for the setting of "spheres of interest" in Eastern Europe under the Non-Aggression Pact in August 1939. The pact with the Nazis bearing his name, which secretly stated the Soviet intention to invade Finland in November 1939, was widely mocked by the Finns, as well as much of the propaganda he produced to accompany it, including his declaration on Soviet state radio that bombing missions over Finland were actually airborne humanitarian food deliveries for their starving neighbours. The Finns, far from starving and engaged in a bitter war for national survival with the Soviet forces, sarcastically dubbed the Soviet cluster bombs "______ bread baskets" in reference to his propaganda broadcasts. When the hand-held bottle firebomb was developed to attack Soviet tanks, the Finns called it the "______ cocktail", as "a drink to go with the food".
The last Emperor of Russia, Grand Duke of Finland, and titular King of Poland. Like other Russian Emperors he is commonly known by the monarchical title Tsar (though Russia formally ended the Tsardom in 1721).

He ruled from 1 November 1894 until his forced abdication on 15 March 1917. His reign saw Imperial Russia go from being one of the foremost great powers of the world to economic and military collapse. Enemies nicknamed him _____ the Bloody because of the Khodynka Tragedy, the anti-Semitic pogroms, Bloody Sunday, his violent suppression of the 1905 Revolution, his execution of political opponents, and his pursuit of military campaigns on an unprecedented scale.

Under his rule, Russia was humiliatingly defeated in the Russo-Japanese War, which saw the almost total annihilation of the Russian Baltic Fleet at the Battle of Tsushima. As head of state, he approved the Russian mobilization of August 1914, which marked the beginning of Russia's involvement in the First World War, a war in which 3.3 million Russians were killed. The Imperial Army's severe losses and the High Command's incompetent handling of the war, along with other policies are often cited as the leading causes of the fall of the Romanov dynasty.

He abdicated following the February Revolution of 1917 during which he and his family were imprisoned. In the spring of 1918, he was handed over to the local Ural soviet by commissar. His wife, Alexandra Feodorovna; his son, Alexei Nikolaevich; his four daughters, Olga Nikolaevna, Tatiana Nikolaevna, Maria Nikolaevna and Anastasia Nikolaevna, his personal staff and he were executed in the same room by the Bolsheviks on the night of 16/17 July 1918. This led to the canonization of him and his wife by the Russian Orthodox Church.
The youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, the last sovereign of Imperial Russia, and his wife, Tsarina Alexandra Fyodorovna.

Anastasia was a younger sister of Grand Duchess Olga, Grand Duchess Tatiana, and Grand Duchess Maria, and was an elder sister of Alexei Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of Russia. She was executed with her family in an extrajudicial killing by members of the Cheka, the Bolshevik secret police, on July 17, 1918.

Persistent rumors of her possible escape circulated after her death, fueled by the fact that the location of her burial was unknown during the decades of Communist rule. The mass grave near Yekaterinburg which held the remains of the Tsar, his wife, and three of their daughters was revealed in 1991, and the bodies of Alexei Nikolaevich and the remaining daughter—either ____ or her older sister Maria—were discovered in 2007.

Her possible survival has been conclusively disproved. Forensic analysis and DNA testing confirmed that the remains are those of the imperial family, showing that all four grand duchesses were killed in 1918. Several women have falsely claimed to have been ____; the best known impostor is Anna Anderson. Anderson's body was cremated upon her death in 1984, but DNA testing in 1994 on available pieces of Anderson's tissue and hair showed no relation to the DNA of the imperial family.

During her life she and her siblings had a controversial relationship with Grigori Rasputin. She and her siblings were taught to view Rasputin as "Our Friend" and to share confidences with him. She wrote to him, "My dear, precious, only friend, how much I should like to see you again. You appeared to me today in a dream. I am always asking Mama when you will come ... I think of you always, my dear, because you are so good to me." This and other letters circulated throughout society fueling rumors of a sexual relationship.
The leader of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953. Among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who took part in the Russian Revolution of 1917, he was appointed general secretary of the party's Central Committee in 1922. He subsequently managed to consolidate power following the 1924 death of Vladimir Lenin through suppressing Lenin's criticisms and expanding the functions of his role, all the while eliminating any opposition. By the late 1920s, he was the unchallenged leader of the Soviet Union.

Under his rule, the concept of "socialism in one country" became a central tenet of Soviet society. He replaced the New Economic Policy introduced by Lenin in the early 1920s with a highly centralised command economy, launching a period of industrialization and collectivization that resulted in the rapid transformation of the USSR from an agrarian society into an industrial power. In a period that lasted from 1936 to 1939, he instituted the Great Purge, in which hundreds of thousands of political opponents were executed. Major figures in the Communist Party, such as the old Bolsheviks, Leon Trotsky, and most of the Red Army generals, were killed after being convicted of plotting to overthrow the government. He imprisoned 14 million over 20 years in the 'Gulag' prisons/forced labor camps.

In August 1939, he entered into a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany that divided their influence and territory within Eastern Europe, resulting in their invasion of Poland in September of that year, but Germany later violated the agreement and launched a massive invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941. Despite heavy human and territorial losses, Soviet forces managed to halt the Nazi incursion after the decisive Battles of Moscow and Stalingrad. After defeating the Axis powers on the Eastern Front, the Red Army captured Berlin in May 1945, effectively ending the war in Europe for the Allies. The Yalta and Potsdam conferences established communist governments loyal to the Soviet Union in the Eastern Bloc countries as buffer states. He also fostered close relations with Mao Zedong in China and Kim Il-sung in North Korea.

He led the Soviet Union through its post-war reconstruction phase, which saw a significant rise in tension with the Western world that would later be known as the Cold War.
A Russian politician who led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964. He was responsible for the de-Stalinization of the Soviet Union, for backing the progress of the early Soviet space program, and for several relatively liberal reforms in areas of domestic policy. His party colleagues removed him from power in 1964, replacing him with Leonid Brezhnev as First Secretary and Alexei Kosygin as Premier.

He supported Joseph Stalin's purges, and approved thousands of arrests. In 1939, Stalin sent him to govern Ukraine, and he continued the purges there. After the war, he was recalled to Moscow as one of Stalin's close advisers.

In the power struggle triggered by Stalin's death in 1953, he, after several years, emerged victorious. On February 25, 1956, at the 20th Party Congress, he delivered the "Secret Speech," denouncing Stalin's purges and ushering in a less repressive era in the Soviet Union. His domestic policies, aimed at bettering the lives of ordinary citizens, were often ineffective, especially in the area of agriculture. Hoping eventually to rely on missiles for national defense, he ordered major cuts in conventional forces. Despite the cuts, Khrushchev's rule saw the tensest years of the Cold War, culminating in the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The Soviet Union sought to install medium range nuclear missiles in Cuba, about 90 miles from the U.S. coast. Two days later, he agreed to withdraw the missiles in exchange for a U.S. promise not to invade Cuba and a promise that the U.S. would withdraw missiles from Turkey, near the Soviet heartland. As the last term was not publicly announced at the request of the U.S., and was not known until just before Khrushchev's death in 1971, the resolution was seen as a great defeat for the Soviets, and contributed to Khrushchev's fall less than two years later.
The tenth and current Prime Minister of Russia. He previously served as the third President of Russia, from 2008 to 2012. When he took office at the age of 42, he was the youngest of the three Russian Presidents who have served.

In November 1999, he was hired in the Russian presidential administration, where he worked as deputy chief of staff. In the 2000 Presidential elections, he was Putin's campaign manager. On 10 December 2007, he was informally endorsed as a candidate for the forthcoming presidential elections by four political parties. His candidacy was backed by the popular outgoing President Vladimir Putin, giving a significant boost to his popularity. Although he did not run for a second term as President, he was appointed Prime Minister by Putin, who won the 2012 presidential election.

Widely regarded as more liberal than his predecessor, his top agenda as President was a wide-ranging modernisation programme, aiming at modernising Russia's economy and society, and lessening the country's reliance on oil and gas. During his tenure, Russia emerged victorious in the Russo-Georgian War and recovered from the Great Recession. Recognising corruption as one of Russia's most severe problems, he has launched an anti-corruption campaign and initiated a substantial law enforcement reform. In foreign policy, his main achievements include the signing of the New START treaty, a "reset" of Russia-United States relations, which were severely strained following Russia's war with Georgia, as well as increasing Russia's cooperation with the BRICS-countries, and gaining Russia's admission into the WTO in 2011.
(1823-1878) An American politician most notable for being the "boss" of Tammany Hall, the Democratic Party political machine that played a major role in the politics of 19th century New York City and State. At the height of his influence, he was the third-largest landowner in New York City, a director of the Erie Railroad, the Tenth National Bank, and the New-York Printing Company, as well as proprietor of the Metropolitan Hotel.

He was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1852 and the New York County Board of Supervisors in 1858, the year he became the head of the Tammany Hall political machine. He was also elected to the New York State Senate in 1867, but his greatest influence came from being an appointed member of a number of boards and commissions, his control over political patronage in New York City through Tammany, and his ability to ensure the loyalty of voters through jobs he could create and dispense on city-related projects.

His ring at its height was an 'engineering marvel', strategically deployed to control key power points: the courts, the legislature, the treasury and the ballot box. Its frauds had a grandeur of scale and an elegance of structure: money-laundering, profit sharing and organization.

He convicted for stealing an amount estimated by an aldermen's committee in 1877 at between $25 million and $45 million from New York City taxpayers through political corruption, although later estimates ranged as high as $200 million. Unable to make bail, he escaped from jail once, but was returned to custody. He died in the Ludlow Street Jail.
A king of the Greek kingdom of Macedon (356-323 BC). Succeeded his father, Philip II, to the throne at the age of twenty. He spent most of his ruling years on an unprecedented military campaign through Asia and northeast Africa, until by the age of thirty he had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from Greece to Egypt and into present-day Pakistan. He was undefeated in battle and is considered one of history's most successful commanders.

During his youth, he was tutored by the philosopher Aristotle until the age of 16. When he succeeded his father to the throne in 336 BC, after Philip was assassinated, Alexander inherited a strong kingdom and an experienced army. He broke the power of Persia in a series of decisive battles, most notably the battles of Issus and Gaugamela. He subsequently overthrew the Persian King Darius III and conquered the entirety of the Persian Empire. At that point, his empire stretched from the Adriatic Sea to the Indus River.

Seeking to reach the "ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea", he invaded India in 326 BC, but was eventually forced to turn back at the demand of his troops. He died in Babylon in 323 BC, the city he planned to establish as his capital, without executing a series of planned campaigns that would have begun with an invasion of Arabia. In the years following his death, a series of civil wars tore his empire apart, resulting in several states ruled by the Diadochi, Alexander's surviving generals and heirs.

His legacy includes the cultural diffusion his conquests engendered. He founded some twenty cities that bore his name.
A prominent Greek statesman and orator of ancient Athens (384-322 BC).

He devoted his most productive years to opposing Macedon's expansion. He idealized his city and strove throughout his life to restore Athens's supremacy and motivate his compatriots against Philip II of Macedon. He sought to preserve his city's freedom and to establish an alliance against Macedon, in an unsuccessful attempt to impede Philip's plans to expand his influence southward by conquering all the other Greek states. After Philip's death, Demosthenes played a leading part in his city's uprising against the new King of Macedonia, Alexander the Great. However, his efforts failed and the revolt was met with a harsh Macedonian reaction. To prevent a similar revolt against his own rule, Alexander's successor in this region, Antipater, sent his men to track him down. Demosthenes took his own life, in order to avoid being arrested.

In modern history, orators such as Henry Clay would mimic his technique. His ideas and principles survived, influencing prominent politicians and movements of our times. Hence, he constituted a source of inspiration for the authors of the Federalist Papers and for the major orators of the French Revolution. French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau was among those who idealized and wrote a book about him. For his part, Friedrich Nietzsche often composed his sentences according to the paradigms of Demosthenes, whose style he admired.

"Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises."

"Beware lest in your anxiety to avoid war you obtain a master."
An American economist at the Brookings Institution who served two terms as Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the central bank of the United States from 2006 to 2014 (appointed by Bush 43). During his tenure as chairman, he oversaw the Federal Reserve's response to the late-2000s financial crisis.

After an unexpected market collapse in 2008 he stabilized markets and restored a large measure of investor and public confidence. In his effort to stabilize the economy, he took the central bank into unprecedented territory.

At the beginning of his term he followed the advice of Paul Krugman to promote a housing bubble to offset the dot-com crash.

As Fed transcripts show, he was the board's intellectual leader in its decision to cut the fed-funds rate to 1% in June 2003 and keep it there for a year. This was despite a rapidly accelerating economy (3.8% growth in 2004) and soaring commodity and real-estate prices. The Fed's multiyear policy of negative real interest rates produced a credit mania that led to the housing bubble and bust.

From the safe distance of hindsight, it's easy to forget how rapid and widespread the financial panic was. The Fed had to offset the collapse in the velocity of money with an increase in its supply, and it did so with force and dispatch. One can disagree with the Fed's special guarantee programs, but we weren't sitting in the financial polar vortex at the time.

Which brings us to the Fed's performance since the panic ended and "recovery" began in mid-2009. These include his unprecedented bond-buying, the huge expansion in the Fed's balance sheet, and the near-zero interest rate policy now into its 62nd month.

All of this flowed from his belief, as a student of the Great depression, that the Fed's foremost goal was avoiding any premature tightening after a financial meltdown. His defenders say he has done so without the inflation that some of his critics predicted.
A man from Mecca who unified Arabia into a single religious polity under Islam. Believed by Muslims and Bahá'ís to be a messenger and prophet of God, he is almost universally considered by Muslims as the last prophet sent by God to mankind. While non-Muslims regard him as the founder of Islam, Muslims consider him to have restored the unaltered original monotheistic faith of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets.

Born in about 570 in the Arabian city of Mecca, he was orphaned at an early age; he was raised under the care of his paternal uncle Abu Talib. After his childhood he primarily worked as a merchant. At age 40, he reported that he was visited by Gabriel and received his first revelation from God. Three years after this event he started preaching these revelations publicly, proclaiming that "God is One", that complete "surrender" to Him is the only way acceptable to God, and that he was a prophet and messenger of God, in the same vein as other Islamic prophets.

He gained few followers early on, and met hostility from some Meccan tribes. To escape persecution, he and his followers in Mecca migrated to Medina in the year 622. This event, the Hijra, marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar, also known as the Hijri Calendar. In Medina, he united the tribes under the Constitution of Medina. After eight years of fighting with the Meccan tribes, he gathered an army of 10,000 Muslim converts and marched on the city of Mecca. The attack went largely uncontested and he took over the city with little bloodshed. He destroyed the pagan idols in the city and sent his followers out to destroy all remaining pagan temples in Eastern Arabia. In 632, he fell ill and died. Before his death, most of the Arabian Peninsula had converted to Islam, and he had united Arabia into a single Muslim religious polity.

The revelations which he reported receiving until his death form the verses of the Quran, regarded by Muslims as the "Word of God" and around which the religion is based. Besides the Quran, his teachings and practices (sunnah), found in the Hadith and sira literature, are also upheld by Muslims and used as sources of Islamic law.
A former United States Army psychiatrist and Medical Corps officer (Major) who fatally shot 13 people and injured more than 30 others in the Fort Hood mass shooting on November 5, 2009. At his court-martial in 2013, he admitted to the shootings, and was unanimously recommended for the death sentence.

He worked as an intern and resident at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, colleagues and superiors were deeply concerned about his behavior and comments. Two days before the shooting, which occurred less than a month before he was due to deploy to Afghanistan, he gave away many of his belongings to a neighbor.

Prior to the shooting, he had expressed critical views described by colleagues as "anti-American". An investigation conducted by the FBI concluded that his emails with the late Imam Anwar al-Awlaki were related to his authorized professional research and that he was not a threat. The DoD classified the events as "workplace violence". The decision by the Army not to charge him with terrorism was controversial.

His parents emigrated from the West Bank. He joined the United States Army immediately after high school in 1988 and served eight years as an enlisted soldier while attending college. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 1997 with a bachelor's degree in biochemistry. He gained admission through a selective process for medical school at USUHS. After earning his medical degree in 2003, he completed his internship and residency in psychiatry at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He studied for a Master's in Public Health at USUHS with a two-year fellowship in Disaster and Preventive Psychiatry at the Center for Traumatic Stress at USUHS, which he completed in 2009.

During his time in service he listened to many egregious tales from overseas and asked his supervisors and Army legal advisers how to handle reports of soldier's deeds in Afghanistan and Iraq that disturbed him just days before the shooting. He also was the victim of discrimination and even $1,000 in damage to his vehicle on account of his faith and ethnicity.
A British Conservative politician, writer and aristocrat who twice served as Prime Minister. He played a central role in the creation of the modern Conservative Party. He is remembered for his influential voice in world affairs, his political battles with the Liberal leader William Ewart Gladstone, and his one-nation conservatism or "Tory democracy". He made the Conservatives the party most identified with the glory and power of the British Empire. He is as of 2014 the only British Prime Minister of Jewish birth.

His father left Judaism after a dispute at his synagogue; young Benjamin became an Anglican at age 12.

He led the party to a majority in the 1874 election. He maintained a close friendship with Queen Victoria, who in 1876 created him Earl of Beaconsfield. His second term was dominated by the Eastern Question—the slow decay of the Ottoman Empire and the desire of other countries, such as Russia, to gain at its expense. In 1878, faced with Russian victories against the Ottomans, he worked at the Congress of Berlin to maintain peace in the Balkans and made terms favourable to Britain which weakened Russia. This diplomatic victory over Russia established him as one of Europe's leading statesmen.

As successful invasions of India generally came through Afghanistan, the British had observed and sometimes intervened there since the 1830s, hoping to keep the Russians out. In 1878 the Russians sent a mission to Kabul; it was not rejected by the Afghans, as the British had hoped. The British then proposed to send their own mission, insisting that the Russians be sent away. The Viceroy, Lord Lytton, concealed his plans to issue this ultimatum from the Prime Minister but went ahead anyway. When the Afghans made no answer, the British advanced against them in the Second Anglo-Afghan War, and under Lord Roberts easily defeated them. The British installed a new ruler, and left a mission and garrison in Kabul

"Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth."
An American pastor, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs.

A Baptist minister, he became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, serving as its first president. With the SCLC, he led an unsuccessful struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia, in 1962, and organized nonviolent protests in Birmingham, Alabama, that attracted national attention following television news coverage of the brutal police response. He also helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. There, he established his reputation as one of the greatest orators in American history. J. Edgar Hoover considered him a radical and made him an object of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's COINTELPRO for the rest of his life.

On October 14, 1964, he received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolence. In 1965, he and the SCLC helped to organize the Selma to Montgomery marches and the following year, he took the movement north to Chicago to work on segregated housing. In the final years of his life, he expanded his focus to include poverty and the Vietnam War, alienating many of his liberal allies with a 1967 speech titled "Beyond Vietnam".

In 1968, he was planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C., to be called the Poor People's Campaign, when he was assassinated on April 4 in Memphis, Tennessee. His death was followed by riots in many U.S. cities. Allegations that James Earl Ray, the man convicted of killing him, had been framed or acted in concert with government agents persisted for decades after the shooting.

He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. _________ Day was established as a holiday in numerous cities and states beginning in 1971, and as a U.S. federal holiday in 1986. (3rd Monday of January each year - around his birthday)

"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral,
begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.
Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.

Returning violence for violence multiplies violence,
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."