It was on this date, January 20, 1953, that the “Piltdown Man” fossils — found in the village of Piltdown, near the Sussex town of Lewes — were admitted to be a hoax. Touted by its discoverer, Charles Dawson, and its chief defender, paleontologist Sir Arthur Keith, as the long-sought “missing link” between ancient and modern hominids, Piltdown turned out to be a small hoax that took on a life of its own – for 45 years – because the chief hoaxer died before he could confess!
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Originally published January 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.
Guy de Maupassant (1850) It was on this date, August 5, 1850, that French naturalistic writer Henri René Albert Guy de Maupassant was born, probably in Château de Miromesniel, Dieppe. His maternal grandfather was Gustave Flaubert's godfather, and Guy de Maupassant became friends with Flaubert, as well as with Émile Zola, sharing their religious skepticism. […]