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Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park is an American national park located in the state of Maine, southwest of Bar Harbor. The park preserves about half of Mount Desert Island, many adjacent smaller islands, part of the Schoodic Peninsula on the coast of Maine. Acadia was designated Sieur de Monts National Monument by proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson in 1916. Sieur de Monts was renamed and redesignated Lafayette National Park by Congress in 1919—the first national park in the United States east of the Mississippi River and the only one in the Northeastern United States; the park was renamed Acadia National Park in 1929. More than 3.5 million people visited the park in 2018. Native Americans of the Algonquian nations have inhabited the area called Acadia for at least 12,000 years, they traded furs for European goods when French and Dutch ships began arriving in the early 17th century. The Wabanaki Confederacy has held an annual Native American Festival in Bar Harbor since 1989. Samuel de Champlain named the island Isle des Monts Deserts in 1604.

The island was granted to Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac by Louis XIV of France in 1688 ceded to England in 1713. Summer visitors, nicknamed rusticators, arrived in 1855, followed by wealthy families, nicknamed cottagers as their large houses were quaintly called cottages. Charles Eliot is credited with the idea for the park. George B. Dorr, the "Father of Acadia National Park," along with Eliot's father Charles W. Eliot, supported the idea through donations of land, advocacy at the state and federal levels. John D. Rockefeller Jr. financed the construction of carriage roads from 1915 to 1940. A wildfire in 1947 burned much of the park and destroyed 237 houses, including 67 of the millionaires’ cottages; the park includes mountains, an ocean coastline and deciduous woodlands, lakes and wetlands encompassing a total of 49,075 acres as of 2017. Key sites on Mount Desert Island include Cadillac Mountain—the tallest mountain on the eastern coastline and one of the first places in the United States where one can watch the sunrise—a rocky coast featuring Thunder Hole where waves crash loudly into a crevasse around high tides, a sandy swimming beach called Sand Beach, numerous lakes and ponds.

Jordan Pond features the glacially rounded North and South Bubbles at its northern end, while Echo Lake has the only freshwater swimming beach in the park. Somes Sound is a five-mile long fjard formed during a glacial period that reshaped the entire island to its present form, including the U-shaped valleys containing the many ponds and lakes; the Bass Harbor Head Light is situated above a steep, rocky headland on the southwest coast—the only lighthouse on the island. The park protects the habitats of 37 mammalian species including black bears and white-tailed deer, seven reptilian species including milk snakes and snapping turtles, eleven amphibian species including wood frogs and spotted salamanders, 33 fish species including rainbow smelt and brook trout, as many as 331 birds including various species of raptors and waterfowl. In 1991, peregrine falcons had a successful nesting in Acadia for the first time since 1956. Falcon chicks are banded to study migration, habitat use, longevity; some trails may be early summer to avoid disturbance to falcon nesting areas.

Recreational activities from spring through autumn include car and bus touring along the park's paved loop road. Winter activities include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing. Two campgrounds are located on Mount Desert Island, another campground is on the Schoodic Peninsula, five lean-to sites are on Isle au Haut; the main visitor center is at Hulls Cove, northwest of Bar Harbor. Native Americans have inhabited the area called Acadia for at least 12,000 years, including the coastal areas of Maine and adjacent islands; the Wabanaki Confederacy consists of five related Algonquian nations—the Maliseet, Mi'kmaq, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot. Some of the nations call Mount Desert Island Pemetic, which has remained at the center of the Wabanaki traditional ancestral homeland and territory of traditional stewardship responsibility to the present day; the etymology of the park's name begins with the Mi'kmaq term akadie, rendered as l'Acadie by French explorers, translated into English as Acadia.

The Wabanaki traveled to the island in birch bark canoes to hunt, gather berries, harvest clams and basket-making resources like sweetgrass, to trade with other Wabanakis. They camped near places like Somes Sound. In the early 17th century, Asticou was the chieftain of the greater Mount Desert Island area, one district of an intertribal confederacy known as Mawooshen led by the grandchief Bashaba. Castine was the grandchief's favored rendezvous site for the Wabanaki tribes; the site is located just west of Mount Desert Island at the mouth of the Bagaduce River in eastern Penobscot Bay. From 1615, Castine developed into a major fur trading post where French and Dutch traders all fought for control. Sealskins, moose hides, furs were traded by the Wabanakis for European commodities. By the early 1620s, warfare and introduced diseases, including smallpox and influenza, had decimated the tribes from Mount Desert Island southward to Cape Cod, leaving about 10 percent of the original population

The Old Curiosity Shop (1934 film)

The Old Curiosity Shop is a 1934 British drama film directed by Thomas Bentley and starring Elaine Benson, Ben Webster and Hay Petrie. It is an adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel The Old Curiosity Shop; the film was produced by British International Pictures, one of the two most prominent British film studios of the time, at its base at Elstree Studios. Bentley was a well-established director who worked on several of the company's presigous historical films during the decade, he had directed a number of Dickens adaptations during the silent era, but this was his only Dickens talkie. The film sought to achieve a "painterly" effect in its interpretation of the original work; the recreation of the grotesque elements of Dickens' novel has led to it being described as an "expressionist nightmare". Elaine Benson - Nell Ben Webster - The Grandfather Hay Petrie - Quilp Beatrix Thomson - Quilp's Wife Gibb McLaughlin - Sampson Brass Lily Long - Sally Brass Reginald Purdell - Dick Swiveller Polly Ward - The Marchioness James Harcourt - The Single Gentleman J. Fisher White - The Schoolmaster Dick Tubb - Codin Roddy Hughes - Short Amy Veness - Mrs. Jarley Peter Penrose - Kit Vic Filmer - Tom Scott Harper, Sue.

Picturing the Past: The Rise and Fall of the British Costume Film. British Film Institute, 1994; the Old Curiosity Shop on IMDb

Siege of Sofia

The Siege of Sofia took place in 1382 or 1385 during the course of the Bulgarian-Ottoman Wars. Unable to defend his country from the Ottomans, in 1373 the Bulgarian emperor Ivan Shishman agreed to become an Ottoman vassal and to marry his sister Kera Tamara to their sultan Murad I, while the Ottomans were to return some conquered fortresses. Despite the peace, in the beginning of the 1380s the Ottomans resumed their campaigns and besieged the important city of Sofia which controlled major communication routes to Serbia and Macedonia. There are little records about the siege. After the futile attempts to storm the city, the Ottoman commander Lala Shahin Pasha considered to abandon the siege. However, a Bulgarian renegate managed to lure the city governor ban Yanuka out of the fortress to hunt and the Turks captured him. Leaderless, the Bulgarians surrendered; the city walls were destroyed and an Ottoman garrison was installed. With the way to the north-west cleared, the Ottomans pressed further and captured Pirot and Niš in 1386, thus wedging between Bulgaria and Serbia.

Андреев, Йордан. Българските ханове и царе. Велико Търново: Абагар. ISBN 954-427-216-X