This Day in History

Mayan Long Count Calendar Begins (3114 BCE)
The Long Count is one of the various ancient Mayan calendars that maintained complicated, cyclical measurements of time. It was intended to provide an accurate record of historical events and counts the days elapsed from a fixed starting point—calculated as August 11, 3114 BCE, the date of creation according to the Maya. Some believe that the calendar predicts the world's end on December 21, 2012, but scholars have widely rejected this claim. What was the significance of that date to the Maya? Discuss

Magellan Space Probe Reaches Venus (1990)
The first planetary spacecraft to be launched from a space shuttle, Magellan took 15 months to reach its destination, arriving in orbit around the second planet from the Sun in August 1990. It was then put to work generating high-resolution maps of Venus's surface and measuring the planet's gravity. Four years later, with its mission complete, Magellan plunged into Venus's tremendously dense atmosphere and disintegrated. What do Magellan's images reveal about the planet?

Singapore Is Expelled from Malaysia (1965)
After more than a century of British rule, Singapore gained independence in 1959. Four years later, it joined with nearby territories to form Malaysia. However, racial and economic tensions arose, and two years later, the Malaysian parliament unanimously voted to expel Singapore. Despite being left unexpectedly autonomous with few defenses or natural resources, Singapore rapidly developed into an economic powerhouse. Still, it remains dependent on Malaysia for what one critical thing?