This Day in History

Discovery of Piltdown Man Announced (1912)
In the early 20th-century, amateur archaeologist Charles Dawson announced that a fossilized skull belonging to a previously unknown species of prehistoric man had been found in Piltdown, England. It took 40 years to definitively determine that the skull was not that of a primitive hominid but rather a fake constructed from a human cranium and the jawbone of an ape. The perpetrator of the hoax has never been identified, though many have fallen under suspicion, including what famous author? Discuss

US Brigadier General James Dozier Kidnapped by Italian Terrorists (1981)
In 1981, US Brigadier General James Dozier was kidnapped from his apartment in Italy by men posing as plumbers. The kidnappers were members of the Red Brigades, an extreme left-wing terrorist organization that sought to undermine the Italian state and pave the way for Marxist upheaval. Dozier, who was serving as deputy chief of staff at NATO's Southern European land forces headquarters in Verona, was the first American general ever abducted by a terrorist group. How long was he held captive?

Last Recorded Eruption of Mount Fuji Begins (1707)
Majestic Mount Fuji, located about 60 mi (100 km) from Tokyo, is the tallest mountain in Japan. The beauty of the snowcapped symmetrical cone, ringed by lakes and virgin forests, has inspired Japanese poets and painters throughout the centuries. Though the volcano is classified as active, its last major eruption began on December 16, 1707, and ended in early 1708. As a sacred mountain, Mount Fuji is a traditional pilgrimage site, but the Aokigahara forest at its base is a popular site for what?