This Day in History

USSR Expelled from the League of Nations (1939)
The League of Nations was an international confederation of countries created after World War I and disbanded following World War II when many of its functions were transferred to the United Nations. The League collapsed when faced with threats to international peace from all sides in the 1930s, including the Spanish civil war, Japan's resumption of war against China, and the appeasement of Adolf Hitler at Munich. Its last important act was to expel the Soviet Union in 1939 for doing what? Discuss

Council of Trent Convened (1545)
The Council of Trent made sweeping reforms to the Catholic Church over 18 years, eliminating many abuses criticized in the Protestant Reformation. Convened by Pope Paul III at Trento, Italy—28 years after Martin Luther issued his 95 Theses—the council fixed the canon of the Old and New Testaments, set the number of sacraments at seven, defined the nature of original sin, and confirmed the doctrine of transubstantiation. How many years was it until the next ecumenical council?

Clapham Junction Rail Crash (1988)
Near London on the morning of December 12, 1988, the driver of the 7:18 train from Basingstoke to Waterloo saw a signal in front of him abruptly change from green to red. He stopped his train and called the signalman, who told him to proceed. Before he could, however, the 6:14 from Poole rammed into his train's rear at about 40 mph (64 km/h). Then, an empty train traveling in the opposite direction hit the wreckage. The crashes killed 35 and injured hundreds more. What caused the signal failure?

Today

George VI, King of Great Britain and Ireland (1895)
The subject of the Academy Award-winning 2010 film The King's Speech, George VI became king of the United Kingdom following the abdication of his brother, Edward VIII. George was an important symbolic leader of the British people during World War II, supporting the wartime leadership of Winston Churchill and visiting armies on the battlefield. He earned the respect of his people by scrupulously observing the responsibilities of a constitutional monarch and by overcoming what disability? Discuss

Emily Carr (1871)
Now considered an icon of Canadian art, Carr did not receive widespread recognition for her work until later in life. She primarily painted indigenous-themed or landscape scenes, and she was relatively unknown until her work was featured in a 1927 exhibition at the National Gallery, when she was in her 50s. Carr continued to paint thereafter but had to reduce her artistic output in her 70s due to health concerns. Instead, Carr began to pursue what other talent for which she is also remembered?

Helen Frankenthaler (1928)
A member of abstract expressionism's second generation, Frankenthaler was greatly influenced by Jackson Pollock. Inspired by his way of working on a canvas laid on the floor rather than mounted upright, Frankenthaler developed a technique for staining unprimed canvases with thinned pigments that she poured. Her work gave rise to the color-field movement of the late 50s. An appointee to the National Endowment for the Arts, she controversially opposed government grants to artists on what grounds?