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TODAY IN CONTEXT,
JUNE 14, 2021
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History’s Great Mysteries
Britannica can answer many of your burning questions, but there are some mysteries that have yet to be solved.
Where is D.B. Cooper?
After hijacking a plane in 1971, he parachuted out of the aircraft with the ransom money and disappeared.
What happened to Malaysia Airlines flight 370?
While it seems incredible that a passenger jet could go missing, that’s exactly what happened in 2014.
Who was Jack the Ripper?
The identity of the man who brutally killed at least five women in 1888 has obsessed detectives and armchair sleuths for decades.
Did Edgar Allan Poe die from rabies?
While that’s one theory, we don’t really know. The cause of his death is one of literature’s great unsolved mysteries—fitting for the man who created the genre of detective fiction.
Where is Jimmy Hoffa?
Read our list of nine mysterious disappearances of people, including the controversial labor leader who went missing in 1975.
Swastikas on the Arc de Triomphe
On June 14, 1940, the French army evacuated Paris, and the Nazis occupied the city just hours later. Two days earlier, Paris had been declared to be an open city, meaning that no resistance would be offered to the invaders. In doing so, the French government hoped the City of Lights would be spared the widespread destruction that the Nazis had inflicted upon Rotterdam with aerial bombings.
Paris Falls
ARTICLE / WORLD HISTORY
National Archives, Washington, D.C.
Test Your Knowledge of World War II
QUIZ / WORLD HISTORY
Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
What Was Vichy France?
ARTICLE / WORLD HISTORY
Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
Trending Quizzes See All Quizzes
How well do you know animals with names that start with the letter A? Take this quiz and find out.
QUIZ / SCIENCE
What is the earliest known urban culture of the Indian subcontinent? The name of which archaeological site is reputed...
QUIZ / WORLD HISTORY
Can you identify the world’s national capitals? In this quiz you’ll be shown the names of 195 countries, and you’ll need...
QUIZ / GEOGRAPHY & TRAVEL
What insect was used as a source of tannic acid to create an intense black dye? What is the color of the larger violins produced...
QUIZ / VISUAL ARTS
Delhi lies on which river? How many countries border India? In what state is Bengaluru? Explore India’s vibrant geography...
QUIZ / GEOGRAPHY & TRAVEL
Which fermented fish sauce was a favorite in ancient Rome? Which drink is fermented with honey and water? Test your knowledge....
QUIZ / WORLD HISTORY
What makes a planet a dwarf planet? How many miles are in a light-year? What exactly is a quasar? Launch into other worlds...
QUIZ / SCIENCE
How well do you know the dates of the 12 astrological signs of the zodiac? This quiz will show you one of the signs; you’ll...
QUIZ / PHILOSOPHY & RELIGION
Which fish is known as a living fossil? What is the name for the scientific study of fish? Test your knowledge. Take this...
QUIZ / SCIENCE
Who was the original Edsel? When did a U.S. president first appear on TV? Go back in time for the all-American answers.
QUIZ / WORLD HISTORY
Take this VaxFacts quiz, created by HealthGuard...
QUIZ / HEALTH & MEDICINE
What was the first African American newspaper in the United States? Who was the first African American politician to...
QUIZ / POLITICS, LAW & GOVERNMENT
Featured Games See All Games
How well do you know the masters of science fiction who published major literary works in the 1950s? Test your knowledge...
GAME / LITERATURE
We use a variety of weights and measures to communicate how long something is, how much energy is needed to perform a task,...
GAME / SCIENCE
First and last names are fair game in this puzzle, which asks you to identify 26 famous and notable people from A to Z.
GAME / WORLD HISTORY
Take a stab at this puzzle of things that may (or may actually not) poke, prod, and impale.
GAME / SCIENCE
A toothy crossword to chew on.
GAME / SCIENCE
The 2020 UEFA European Football Championship kicks off on June 11, after a year-long delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic....
GAME / SPORTS & RECREATION
Play this puzzle by completing the literary or film quote—and see how much you really know about the classics.
GAME / ENTERTAINMENT & POP CULTURE
American children's books have been honored by the American Library Association for a century. Find out whether your favorites...
GAME / LITERATURE
Some of the most popular board games in the world can trace their origins back thousands of years. They use dice, cards,...
GAME / SPORTS & RECREATION
Read it and weep...or just play this puzzle instead. It's time to use this crossword to match these famous works of literature...
GAME / LITERATURE
Some words mimic the sound they make in the world. See how many examples of onomatopoeia can you identify in this crossword...
GAME / LITERATURE
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Podcasts See All Shows And Podcasts
Botanize!
Botanize!, hosted by Melissa Petruzzello, is a podcast that will introduce you to some of the world’s most remarkable plants, fungi, and algae. These overlooked organisms have fascinating evolutionary stories to tell about survival, exploitation, adaptation, and general scrappiness, and every episode will pique your curiosity. From parasitic plants to kelp forests, Botanize! aims to showcase some of Earth’s finest nonanimal life-forms and their brilliant ecologies.
Listen Now: Episode 1
Postcards from the 6th Mass Extinction
So far there have been five notable mass extinctions on Earth. A growing number of scientists argue that we’re now in the midst of a sixth. Postcards from the 6th Mass Extinction is a podcast hosted by John P. Rafferty that attempts to personalize extinction, emphasizing the survival challenges that familiar forms of life currently face, while at the same time considering the pivotal roles they play in their own ecosystems.
Listen Now: Episode 1
On This Day
Hear the stories that propelled us to the present day through insights that lend perspective to our world with a nod to our own humanity. Britannica media editor Kurt Heintz, together with Emily Goldstein and Meg Matthias, is on a mission to spotlight poignant and noteworthy events for every day of the year.
Listen Now: Episode 1
Dwarf Planets

Pluto
For more than 75 years, Pluto was regarded as the ninth planet. In 2006 its size, icy composition, and eccentric orbit led astronomers to reclassify it as a dwarf planet. This resulted in an outcry from the public, who became protective of a ball of ice located some 3.7 billion miles from the Sun.

Eris
Named for the Greek goddess of discord, this dwarf planet certainly caused a hubbub when its discovery was announced in 2005. It was so close to Pluto in size that it led the International Astronomical Union to reconsider and eventually revoke Pluto’s status as the ninth planet.
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Browse by Category
Entertainment & Pop Culture
Entertainment and leisure activities have been a part of all cultures in one form or another since the ancient times, whether the activity in question involved participating in a dance performance, attending a Broadway show, going to a music festival, or watching a movie.
FEATURED
Musical performance
10 Filmmakers of Cult Status
One of us! One of us!
8 Funny Females of Saturday Night Live History
You might not know some of your favorites got their...
Geography & Travel
Planet Earth contains some extraordinarily diverse environments, some of which are easily habitable and some not so much. In different areas of Earth, one might find sweltering deserts, dense tropical rainforests, or bone-chilling tundras. Each biome and habitat comes with its own selection of flora and fauna, and it may include physical features such as canyons, volcanoes, rivers, or caves. Human beings have built homes in many different environments, settling the area and organizing it into units such as cities, states, regions, and countries, each with its own points of interest. Shifting trends in human migration have resulted in a human geography that is profoundly different from that of centuries ago.
FEATURED
Africa
continent
Flags That Look Alike
Figure out which flag to wave.
Jerusalem
Do you think you know the history of this ancient city?...
Health & Medicine
The study of the human mind and body, how these function, and how they interact—not only with each other but also with their environment—has been of utmost importance in ensuring human well-being. Research on potential treatments and preventive medicine has expanded greatly with the development of modern medicine, and a network of disciplines, including such fields as genetics, psychology, and nutrition, aims to facilitate the betterment of our health.
FEATURED
Antibiotic resistance
Can You Really Sweat Out Toxins?
Maybe you should turn down the heat.
How Fast Is the World’s Fastest Human?
Significantly slower than a speeding bullet, it turns...
Lifestyles & Social Issues
It's easy enough to agree that human beings all around the world have certain basic requirements that must be fulfilled in order to ensure their individual and collective well-being. History has shown us, however, that it's not so easy to form societies or communities that fulfill these requirements for all members. The fight over human and civil rights has persisted for hundreds of years and remains alive today, both within the borders of nations and on an international scale. It has led to large-scale social movements and reforms concerning issues such as suffrage, slavery, women's rights, racial discrimination, environmentalism, gay rights, and more.
FEATURED
Urban planning
Cruel and Unusual Punishments: 15 Types of Torture
Be glad these aren’t in use anymore. Well, most of...
9 Noteworthy Bog Bodies (And What They Tell Us)
What lies beneath?
Literature
With the development of language, the human imagination has found a way to create and communicate through the written word. A literary work can transport us into a fictional, fantastic new world, describe a fleeting feeling, or simply give us a picture of the past through novels, poems, tragedies, epic works, and other genres. Through literature, communication becomes an art, and it can bridge and bond people and cultures of different languages and backgrounds.
FEATURED
American literature
What’s In A Name?
Who wrote Things Fall Apart? From Sherlock...
A Study of Poetry
If roses are red and violets blue, in poetry, what...
Philosophy & Religion
Humans have long pondered not only how we came to be but also why we came to be. The earliest Greek philosophers focused their attention upon the origin and nature of the physical world; later philosophers have theorized about the nature of knowledge, truth, good and evil, love, friendship, and much more. Thus, philosophy involves a methodical assessment of any and all aspects of human existence and experience. The realms of philosophy and religion have sometimes intersected in conducting inquiries such as these. As with philosophy, the study of religion underscores how humankind has long speculated about its origins. The possibility of a higher being (or beings) to which livings things owe their existence has long captived human thought. Many religions also offer their own views on the nature of good and evil, and they may prescribe guidelines and judgment on different kinds of human behavior.
FEATURED
Epistemology
philosophy
World Religions & Traditions
Do you believe you know all there is to know about...
Buddha and Buddhism
Founded by one man, this religion now inspires millions....
Politics, Law & Government
The world today is divided territorially into more than 190 countries, each of which possesses a national government that claims to exercise sovereignty and seeks to compel obedience to its will by its citizens. Governments can be classified in any number of ways. For example, they might be classified by the number of rulers, thus distinguishing government by one (as in a monarchy or a tyranny) from government by the few (in an aristocracy or oligarchy) and from government by the many (as in a democracy). Governments can also be classified by mode of succession; for example, ascension to governmental leadership may follow the rules of hereditary succession, or it may be determined through elections or by force. Governments also vary in terms of the laws and rules of conduct that each political entity follows.
FEATURED
Industrial relations
8 Questions About Democracy Answered
Important questions asked and answered, briefly.
A Drachma for Your Thoughts?
Don't be a day late and a dollar short! Find out how...
Science
How can the sky be blue one day and stormy the next? Why do heavy objects tend to fall downwards when dropped? How are birds able to fly (and why can’t I do the same?)? Human beings have long been curious about the world in which we live, striving to identify connections among the phenomenons we witness and to understand how it all works. The field of science has developed over many centuries as a way of studying and understanding the world, beginning with the primitive stage of simply noting important regularities in nature and continuing through the rise of modern science. The modern-day sciences cover a vast range of fields, including biology, chemistry, meteorology, astronomy, physics, and much more.
FEATURED
Mechanics
physics
Insects & Spiders: Fact or Fiction?
Insects and spiders are fascinating, from delicate...
Mammals Quiz
Horses and Hyracotherium and yaks, oh my!...
Sports & Recreation
Physical contests and recreational games have long played a part in human society. In both team and solo sports, the human body has been pushed to its limits in the name of improving athletic performance and to break record upon record. The ancient Olympic Games are an early example of the contests in which humans have engaged to showcase physical prowess. In modern times, sports and games have evolved into a lucrative and competitive industry, while other leisure activities, such as card and video games, can be competitive or can just be a way to unwind or socialize.
FEATURED
baseball
sport
The Olympics
How often are the Olympic Games held? Which swimmer...
Cricket, Anyone?
You may be familiar with the sports of baseball and...
Technology
Humankind has long striven to improve its living conditions through the development of tools, instruments, and transportation and communications systems, all with the goal of making our lives easier, more productive and—why not—more fun, too! Thanks to human curiosity and technological research, many significant inventions have been made throughout history that in turn made a difference in our daily lives.
FEATURED
Invention
technology
Mobile Phones
Hello? Can you hear me now? Test your knowledge of...
Tech Companies
Think yourself a tech aficionado? Test your knowledge...
Visual Arts
These are the arts that meet the eye and evoke an emotion through an expression of skill and imagination. They include the most ancient forms, such as painting and drawing, and the arts that were born thanks to the development of technology, like sculpture, printmaking, photography, and installation art, the latter a combination of multiple creative expressions. Though beauty is in the eye of the beholder, different eras in art history have had their own principles to define beauty, from the richly ornamented taste of the Baroque to the simple, utilitarian style of the Prairie School.
FEATURED
African art
visual arts
Everything in Art and Design (Part Four) Quiz
Want to learn a little about nearly everything in art...
Another Dance Quiz
Who pioneered the serious presentation of dance on...
World History
Does history really repeat itself, or can we learn from the mistakes of those who came before us? History provides a chronological, statistical, and cultural record of the events, people, and movements that have made an impact on humankind and the world at large throughout the ages. Investigating the causes and results of past events is critically important in gaining a full understanding and perspective of present-day issues.
FEATURED
American Revolution
United States history
American Civil War: Who Won Which Battles?
While you probably know the Battles of Gettysburg and...
Robert Mugabe: Fact or Fiction?
How much do you know about one of Africa’s longest-serving...
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