The sixth king of Babylonia, Hammurabi founded an empire that was eventually destroyed by raids from Asia Minor. He is best remembered for his code of laws, which addresses issues like business and family relations, labor, private property, and personal injuries. Though generally humanitarian, Hammurabi's Code relies on the retributive "eye for an eye" theory of punishment. A nearly complete version of the code, carved on a diorite column, was recovered in 1902. Where can you visit it today?
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Back in the day
In 1925, Tennessee biology teacher John Scopes was tried for violating the Butler Act, a law enacted earlier that year banning the teaching of evolution. He was found guilty and fined $100, but the verdict was later reversed. The "Monkey Trial," as it came to be known, served as a flashpoint for debate among religious scholars, scientists, and the public, but despite the outcry stemming from the case, the Butler Act was not repealed until 1967. What surprising witness did the defense question?
Born on a day like today
Hemingway worked as a journalist before becoming one of the most influential authors of the 20th century. His fiction usually focuses on people living essential, dangerous lives—soldiers, fishermen, athletes, bullfighters—who meet the pain and difficulty of their existence with stoic courage. His celebrated literary style, influenced by Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein, is direct and terse, yet particularly suited to his elemental subject matter. Which of his works earned him the Pulitzer Prize?