Kerala is a state on the southwestern tropical Malabar Coast of India.
To its east and northeast, Kerala borders Tamil Nadu and Karnataka; to
its west and south lie the Indian Ocean islands of Lakshadweep and the
Maldives, respectively. Kerala also envelops Mahé, a coastal exclave
of the Union Territory of Pondicherry. In prehistory, Kerala's
rainforests and wetlands — then thick with malaria-bearing mosquitoes
and man-eating tigers — were largely avoided by Neolithic humans. More
than a millennium of overseas contact and trade culminated in four
centuries of struggle between and among multiple colonial powers and
native Keralite states. Kerala was granted statehood on November 1,
1956. Radical social reforms begun in the 19th century by the kingdoms
of Kochi and Travancore — and spurred by such leaders as Narayana Guru
and Chattampi Swamikal — were continued by post-Independence
governments, making Kerala among the Third World's longest-lived,
healthiest, and most literate regions. Kerala's 31.8 million people
now live under a stable democratic socialist political system and
exhibit unusually equitable gender relations.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that captive Africans who seized control
of La Amistad, the trans-Atlantic slave-trading ship carrying them,
had been taken into slavery illegally.
Ironclad warships USS Monitor and CSS Virginia fought to a draw in the
Battle of Hampton Roads.
Eamon de Valera of Fianna Fáil became President of the Executive
Council of the Irish Free State, succeeding W.T. Cosgrave of Cumann na
A bomb raid on Tokyo started a firestorm, killing 100,000.
Barbie, the world's best-selling doll, debuted at the American
International Toy Fair in New York City.
Wikiquote of the day:
"Some choices will choose you. How you face these choices, these
turns in the road, with what kind of attitude, more than the choices
themselves, is what will define the context of your life." -- Dana