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41) In 1912, what did a Paris orphanage give away as prizes when it held a raffle to raise money?

In 1912, a Paris orphanage held a raffle to raise money--the prizes were live babies. The proceeds of the raffle were divided among several charitable institutions. An investigation of the winners was made, of course, to determine their desirability as foster parents.

42) How many Punic Wars were there?

The Punic Wars were a series of three wars fought between Rome and Carthage from 264 BC to 146 BC. At the time, they were probably the largest wars that had ever taken place.

43) What mathematician spent his life calculating the value of pi to 707 decimal places?

Schoolmaster and amateur mathematician William Shanks (1812-82) spent the greater part of his life calculating the value of pi to 707 decimal places. 60 years after his death, mathematician D.F. Ferguson used a mechanical calculator to show that he had got the last 180 of these decimal places wrong.

44) What charter did a group of English barons force King John to sign in 1215 at Runnymede?

First drafted by the Archbishop of Canterbury to make peace between King John and a group of rebel barons, the Magna Carta promised the protection of church rights, protection for the barons from illegal imprisonment, access to swift justice, and limitations on feudal payments to the Crown.

45) What did Princeton researchers Ernest Wever and Charles Bray do in 1929?

Wever and Bray removed the skull and most of the brain of a live cat and connected its auditory nerve to an electrode. When one researcher spoke in the cat's ear, the sound was seemingly converted, among the cat's neurons, into an electrical signal that was transmitted through the electrode and a connecting wire to a telephone in a separate room.

46) Who is generally considered the "father of history"?

Herodotus of Halicarnassus (484 BC - c. 425 BC) was the first writer to make a conscious attempt to discover and explain past events. He is generally considered the "father of history". However, his contemporary Thucydides (c. 460 BC - c. 400 BC) is credited with having first approached history with a well-developed historical method in his work the History of the Peloponnesian War.

47) Who was the first European to discover New Zealand?

The first European explorer to discover New Zealand was Abel Janszoon Tasman on 13 December 1642. Captain James Cook, who reached New Zealand in October 1769 on the first of his three voyages, was the first European to circumnavigate and map New Zealand.

48) Who was the first Hawaiian king to venture off the islands?

Kamehameha II was the first Hawaiian king to venture off of the islands. In 1823, he and Queen Kamamalu made their first and only official state visit to England, where they both contracted measles and died shortly thereafter.

49) Which of the following happened in 1453?

The fall of Constantinople followed a 53-day siege that had begun on 6 April 1453. Almost 500 years of Turkish domination of the Eastern Mediterranean, North Africa and the Middle East would follow.

50) What famous writer was born in 1564?

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon and baptized there on April 26, 1564. His actual date of birth remains unknown, but is traditionally observed on April 23.