Pedro II (1825–1891) was the second and last ruler of the Empire of
Brazil, reigning for over 58 years. Born in Rio de Janeiro, he was the
seventh child of Emperor Dom Pedro I of Brazil and Empress Maria
Leopoldina and thus a member of the Brazilian branch of the House of
Braganza. His father's abrupt abdication and flight to Europe in 1831
left a five-year-old Pedro as Emperor and led to a grim and lonely
childhood and adolescence. Obliged to spend his time studying in
preparation for rule, he knew only brief moments of happiness and
encountered few friends of his age. His experiences with court
intrigues and political disputes during this period greatly affected
his later character. Pedro II grew into a man with a strong sense of
duty and devotion toward his country and his people. On the other hand,
he increasingly resented his role as monarch. Inheriting an empire on
the verge of disintegration, Pedro II turned Brazil into an emerging
power. The nation grew to be distinguished from its Hispanic neighbors
on account of its political stability, zealously-guarded freedom of
speech, respect for civil rights, vibrant economic growth and
especially for its form of government: a functional, representative
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Today's selected anniversaries:
The Touro Synagogue, the oldest surviving Jewish synagogue building in
North America, was formally dedicated.
The coronation of Napoleon I of France was held at Notre Dame
Cathedral in Paris.
U.S. President James Monroe issued the Monroe Doctrine, a proclamation
of opposition to European colonialism in the New World.
Cuban Revolution: The yacht Granma, carrying Fidel Castro, Che Guevara
and 80 other members of the 26th of July Movement, reached the shores
Thai political crisis: The Constitutional Court of Thailand dissolved
three political parties, including the governing People's Power Party,
leading to the resignation of Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. (obsolete) Full of meaning.
2. Using as few words as possible; pithy and concise.
3. Tending to
use aphorisms, especially given to trite moralizing
Wikiquote quote of the day:
I do think that if I had to choose one word to which hope can be tied
it is hospitality. A practice of hospitality— recovering threshold,
table, patience, listening, and from there generating seedbeds for
virtue and friendship on the one hand — on the other hand radiating out
for possible community, for rebirth of community.