Wikipedia:Today's featured article/June 2017

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June 1
Monnow Bridge, Monmouth

Monnow Bridge (Welsh: Pont Trefynwy) in Monmouth, Wales, is the only remaining fortified river bridge in Great Britain with its gate tower standing on the bridge. It crosses the River Monnow 500 metres (1,600 ft) above its confluence with the River Wye. According to tradition, construction of Monnow Bridge began in 1272 to replace a Norman timber bridge. Through the medieval era, the English Civil War, and the Chartist uprising, the bridge played a significant role in defending Monmouth. It also served as a toll gate, a gaol, a munitions store, a lodge, an advertising hoarding, and a focus for celebrations. Built predominantly of Old Red Sandstone, the bridge was significantly reconstructed in the 18th and 19th centuries. It then also became a popular subject for artists such as Turner. In the 20th century, it suffered damage from accidents and heavy traffic. After a new road bridge was built downstream in 2004, use of the Monnow Bridge was restricted to pedestrians. Its historical and architectural importance are reflected in its status as a Scheduled Monument and a Grade I listed building. (Full article...)


June 2
R. V. C. Bodley, c. 1914

R. V. C. Bodley (1892–1970) was a British Army officer, author and journalist. After studying at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Bodley was commissioned into the King's Royal Rifle Corps. He served with them during the First World War, where he was given the rank of lieutenant colonel and command of a battalion. After witnessing the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, he grew disillusioned with the military and at the suggestion of T. E. Lawrence, went to live in the Sahara as a nomad for seven years. In 1927 he wrote a successful book on his travels, Algeria From Within, the first of his 18 books. After leaving the Sahara he traveled Asia, and was one of few Westerners allowed access to Japan's South Pacific Mandates during the 1930s. Bodley moved to the United States in 1935, where he worked as a screenwriter, and was hired by Charlie Chaplin in 1936. He re-enlisted in the British Army at the outbreak of the Second World War and was sent to Paris to work for the Ministry of Information. He later returned to the United States, where he was an advisor to the Arabic desk of the United States Office of War Information. (Full article...)


June 3
Avery Hopwood

The Demi-Virgin is a three-act play written by Avery Hopwood (pictured). Producer Albert H. Woods staged it on Broadway, where it was one of the most successful plays of the 1921–22 season. The play is a bedroom farce about former couple Gloria Graham and Wally Deane, both movie actors, whose marriage was so brief that the press speculated about whether Gloria was still a virgin. Because it contained suggestive dialog and the female cast wore revealing clothes, the production was considered highly risqué at the time. The script alluded to a contemporary scandal involving actor Fatty Arbuckle, and one scene featured actresses stripping as part of a card game. Reviewers generally panned the play as unfunny and vulgar. A magistrate ruled the play was obscene, and obscenity charges were brought against Woods, but a grand jury declined to indict him. Woods promoted the controversy to increase ticket sales. The play had no long-term literary impact and was never published, but it did stimulate arguments over censorship of theatrical performances. (Full article...)


June 4
Jean Sibelius, the composer of The Oceanides

The Oceanides (Aallottaret), Op. 73, is a single-movement tone poem for orchestra by the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. The piece, which refers to the nymphs in Greek mythology who inhabited the Mediterranean Sea, premiered on 4 June 1914 at the Norfolk Music Festival in Connecticut with Sibelius conducting. Praised upon its premiere as "the finest evocation of the sea ... ever ... produced in music", the tone poem, in D major, consists of two subjects, said to represent the playful activity of the nymphs and the majesty of the ocean. Sibelius gradually develops this material over three informal stages: a placid ocean, then a gathering storm, with a climactic thunderous wave-crash. As the tempest subsides, a final chord sounds, symbolizing the mighty power and limitless expanse of the sea. Stylistically, many commentators have described The Oceanides as impressionistic. It is one of Sibelius's most revised works. A derived suite and the early "Yale" version were both performed for the first time in 2002, by Osmo Vänskä and the Lahti Symphony Orchestra. (Full article...)


June 5
Max Wolf, the discoverer of the first trojan

The Jupiter trojans are a large group of asteroids that share the orbit of the planet Jupiter around the Sun. They are clustered near Jupiter's two stable Lagrangian points: L4, lying 60° ahead of the planet in its orbit, and L5, 60° behind. The trojans are distributed in two elongated, curved regions around these points with an average semi-major axis of about 5.2 astronomical units. The first one discovered, 588 Achilles, was spotted in 1906 by German astronomer Max Wolf. By convention they are each named after a mythological figure from the Trojan War. Around 1 million of them are larger than 1 km in diameter. No firm evidence of any specific compound on their surface has been obtained, but it is thought that they are coated in tholins, organic polymers formed by the Sun's radiation. Jupiter trojans are thought to have been drawn into their orbits during or before the early migration of the giant planets. Mars and Neptune also have trojans, and the first Earth trojan was discovered in 2010. (Full article...)


June 6
Australian 1956 4×100-metre freestyle relay team; Sandra Morgan is at left

Sandra Anne Morgan (born 6 June 1942) is a former Australian freestyle swimmer who won gold in the 4×100-metre freestyle relay at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, in world-record time for the team. At the age of 14 years and 6 months, she became the youngest Australian to win an Olympic gold medal, a record that still stands. Morgan's selection for the race raised controversy because of her inexperience in top-level racing and her history of false starts. In her only individual event, she came sixth in the 400-metre freestyle. In 1957, she won the 110-, 220-, and 440-yard treble at the Australian Championships in the absence of her main rivals. She was selected in the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games purely as a relay swimmer, winning gold in the event. Since her retirement from competitive swimming in 1960, she has taught disabled children to swim and participated in Olympic educational programs and torch relays. She is also an ambassador for Australia Day and has appeared on television as part of her work with Christian groups. (Full article...)


June 7
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June 8
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June 9
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June 10
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June 11
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June 12
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June 13
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June 14
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June 15
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June 16
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June 17
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June 18
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June 19
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June 20
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June 21
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June 22
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June 23
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June 24
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June 25
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June 26
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June 27
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June 28
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June 29
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June 30
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