Böll, Heinrich (1917–85), German author and winner of the Nobel Prize for literature in 1972.
21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Black haw to Boulez, Pierre
B'nai B'rith, Jewish service organization founded in New York in 1843.
Blücher, Gebhard Leberecht von (1742–1819), Prussian general, made a field marshal after helping to defeat Napoleon in the Battle of Leipzig (1813).
Blériot, Louis (1872–1936), French pioneer aviator and inventor.
Black haw, small tree or shrub (Viburnumprunifolium) of the eastern and southern United States.
Black Hawk (1767–1838), Native American leader of the Sauk tribe, who opposed the movement of European settlers westward to Illinois.
Black Hills, mountain range in South Dakota and Wyoming, famous for the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
Black hole, according to current astrophysical theory, the final stage of evolution for very massive stars following complete gravitational collapse.
Black Hole of Calcutta, prison cell in which 146 British captives were incarcerated on the night of June 20, 1756, after a battle between British and Indian troops during which the Indian forces captured a British fort.
Black Kettle (1803?–68), Cheyenne chief known for his efforts to live peacefully with European settlers.
Black lung, disease caused by inhaled dust which collects in the lungs and may eventually destroy them.
Black market, illicit dealing in scarce commodities or currencies, in defiance of rules for rationing and price restrictions.
Black Mountains, range of the Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina and highest of the Appalachians.
Black Muslims, popular name of a U.S. black nationalist movement (originally called the Nation of Islam) founded in Detroit in 1930 by Wali Farad, who rejected racial integration and advocated thrift, hard work, and cleanliness. Under Elijah Muhammad (1934–75), the Black Muslims became a major force in the African-American community, demanding the formation of an independent Black nation in…
Black Panther Party, U.S. black political movement founded in Oakland, Calif, in 1966, advocating self-defense of the African-American community and revolutionary change in the United States.
Black Power, slogan coined in the mid-1960s by militant black activists, particularly Stokely Carmichael of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), to give voice to and inspire a growing black pride and aspiration for political power.
Black Prince See: Edward the Black Prince.
Black Sea, tideless island sea between Europe and Asia, bordered by Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Russian Federation and Georgia and linked to the Sea of Azov and (via the Bosporus) to the Mediterranean.
Black September, name applied to various armed groups within the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Black Shirts, nickname given to Fascist Party activists in Italy.
Black Sox Scandal, ironic name for 1919–20 baseball scandal that led to radical reorganization in the administration of the sport.
Black studies, in U.S. education, program of study of the culture, history, and literature of African Americans, initiated to correct the omission of such information from traditional scholastic disciplines.
Black widow, poisonous spider (genus Latrodectus) of the Americas.
Blackhead See: Acne; Pore.
Blacklist, list of persons, companies, or organizations who are disapproved of and are to be boycotted.
Blackmun, Harry Andrew (1908– ), U.S. lawyer named to the U.S.
Blacksnake (Coluber constrictor), nonvenomous snake common in almost every part of the United States.
Blackstone, Sir William (1723–80), English jurist, author of Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765–69).
Blackwell, Antoinette Brown (1825–1921), U.S. social reformer and Congregationalist minister.
Blackwell, Elizabeth (1821–1910), English-born U.S. physician, first woman to be granted a medical degree in the United States.
Bladder, muscular sac in the lower abdomen of all mammals that stores urine produced by the kidneys.
Bladder, gall See: Gall bladder.
Bladderwort, aquatic plant (genus Utricularia) found in tropical and temperate zones that traps insects, larvae, small worms, and protozoa in air-filled sacs attached to its stems and roots.
Blaine, James Gillespie (1830–93), U.S. politician.
Blair, U.S. family influential in 19th-century politics and the formation of the Republican Party.
Blair, Eric See: Orwell, George.
Blair, Henry (19th-century), U.S. slave and inventor.
Blair House, official guest house of the U.S. government, on Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, D.C.
Blair, John (1732–1800), U.S. jurist who served on the committee that drafted Virginia's constitution (1776).
Blake, Eubie (James Hubert Blake; 1883–1983), African-American ragtime pianist and composer of the Broadway musical Shuffle Along (1921) and the songs “I'm Just Wild About Harry” and “Memories of You.” He was still performing publicly in his 90s.
Blake, William (1757–1827), English poet and painter.
Blakelock, Ralph Albert (1847–1919), U.S. painter associated with the Hudson River School and known for his moonlit landscapes (Brook by Moonlight).
Blanc, Mont, highest peak (15,771 ft/4,807 m) in the European Alps, in southeastern France on the border with Italy.
Blanchard, Jean Pierre François (1753–1809), French balloonist who made the first aeronautical crossing of the English Channel (1785) and the first balloon ascent in America (1793).
Bland, James A. (1854–1911), African-American composer.
Blank verse, unrhymed verse in iambic pentameter (lines consisting of 5 short-long feet, totaling 10 syllables).
Blarney stone, stone of Blarney Castle, Ireland.
Blasco Ibáñez, Vicente (1867–1928), Spanish antimonarchist politician and novelist.
Blatch, Harriot Eaton Stanton (1856–1940), U.S. suffragist; daughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Henry B.
Blazing star, or gay feather, any of about 30 species of perennial North American wildflowers of the family Asteraceae, found in prairies and woodlands.
Bleaching, the process of whitening materials, usually with chemicals that reduce or oxidize color.
Bleeding heart, garden plant (Dicentra spectabilis) with drooping, heart-shaped flowers, native to China and Japan.
Blenheim, Battle of, decisive battle in the War of Spanish Succession.
Bligh, William (1754–1817), reputedly cruel British naval officer, captain of the Bounty at the time of the now-famous mutiny (1789).
Blindness, partial or complete loss of vision, caused by injury to the eyes, congenital defects, or diseases such as cataracts, diabetes, glaucoma, and hypertension.
Blindworm, legless European lizard (Anguis fragilis), found in meadows and woodlands.
Blitzkrieg (German, “lightning war”), originally used to describe the sudden German mechanized warfare attacks on Poland and France in World War II, now applied to any rapid, forceful military advance, such as the 1944 sweep through France by the U.S.
Blitzstein, Marc (1905–64), U.S. composer and librettist.
Blixen-Finecke, Karen See: Dinesen, Isak.
Blizzard, snowstorm with high velocity winds, temperatures well below freezing, and visibility less than 500 ft (152.4 m).
Bloch, Ernest (1880–1959), Swiss-American classical composer.
Bloch, Konrad Emil (1912– ), U.S. biochemist.
Block, Herbert Lawrence (1909– ), U.S. political cartoonist.
Blockade, maneuver normally imposed by means of seapower, designed to cut an enemy's supply routes and force a surrender.
Blockhouse, small log or stone fortification, usually temporary and built to defend newly won territory.
Bloemfontein, capital of the Orange Free State and judicial capital of South Africa.
Blood, thick red fluid pumped by the heart and flowing throughout the body in the blood vessels of the circulatory system. The blood serves many functions in the body, but principally it carries nutrients to and waste away from individual cells and helps regulate the body's metabolism. It carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues, and carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs. It tran…
Blood count, number of blood cells found in a standard volume of blood; also, the test used to determine that number.
Blood poisoning, or septicemia, invasion of the bloodstream by toxic microorganisms from a local infection.
Blood pressure, pressure of the blood upon the walls of the arteries as it is pumped from the heart.
Blood transfusion, transfer of blood or components of blood from one person or animal to another.
Blood type, classification of an individual's blood by group—A, B, AB, or O—and Rh-factor (negative or positive).
Blood vessel See: Artery; Blood; Capillary; Vein.
Bloodhound, breed of dog of European origin, often used for tracking because of its acute sense of smell.
Bloodless Revolution See: Glorious Revolution.
Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), spring-flowering North American perennial.
Bloodsucker See: Leech.
Bloody Sunday See: Lenin, V.I.; Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
Bloomer, Amelia Jenks (1818–94), U.S. social reformer.
Bloomfield, Leonard (1887–1949), U.S. linguist whose book Language (1933) was the chief text of the structuralist school of linguistics, the scientific study of the form and pattern of language.
Bloomsbury group, influential coterie of writers and artists who met in Bloomsbury Square, London, in the early 20th century.
Bloor, Mother (Ella Reeve Bloor; 1862–1951), U.S. radical activist.
Blount, William (1749–1800), U.S. politician and a signer of the Constitution.
Blow fly, any of various flies of the family Calliphoridae.
Blue baby, infant with a blueness of skin usually caused by a congenital heart defect leading to a mixture of venous and arterial blood.
Blue crab, any of several edible, soft-shell crabs (Callinectes sapidus and C. hastatus) that inhabit Atlantic coastal shores and estuaries.
Blue jay, crested bird (Cyanocitta cristata) widespread in the eastern half of the United States and Canada.
Blue law, U.S. state law regulating public and private behavior in accordance with criteria of “public morality.” The term, derived from the blue paper on which some were printed, was first used to describe 17th-century laws of the New Haven Colony that prohibited dancing, card playing, and drunkenness and were particularly restrictive concerning activities that could be engaged in on Sundays.
Blue Nile See: Nile River.
Blue Ridge Mountains, eastern range of the Appalachians extending south-west 600 mi (960 km) from Pennsylvania to northern Georgia.
Blue thistle See: Viper's bugloss.
Blue vitriol See: Sulfate.
Blue whale, member (Balaenoptera musculus) of the rorqual family of baleen whales.
Bluebeard, villain of a traditional tale in which a rich man's seventh wife disobeys him and finds the murdered bodies of former wives.
Bluebell, any of various wild perennial plants with blue bell-shaped flowers.
Blueberry, any of several hardy deciduous shrubs (genus Vaccinium) bearing a blue-black fruit, many species of which are found in North America.
Bluebird, any of several species (genus Sialia) of migratory songbirds of the thrush family, related to the robin but with blue above a red breast.
Bluebonnet (Lupinus subcarnosus), annually blooming, low-growing lupine (with edible, bean-like seeds).
Bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix), voracious fish of the family Pomatomidae, found in the Atlantic and Indian oceans and the Mediterranean Sea.
Bluegrass, traditional, instrumental country music, played on unamplified string instruments (banjo, fiddle, mandolin, and guitar).
Bluegrass State See: Kentucky.
Blues, U.S. musical form derived from the work songs, spirituals, and “field hollers” of African Americans of the South, characterized by the use of flattened “blue notes.” The blues, which came to be the principal basis of the jazz idiom, has the characteristic pattern of a 12-bar structure, with distinctive harmonies, most probably of African origin.
Bluet, North American wildfower (Houstonia caerula) having 4 bluish lobes with a yellow center.
Bluford, Guion Stewart, Jr. (1942– ), U.S. astronaut.
Blum, Léon (1872–1950), creator of the modern French Socialist party, and the first socialist and the first Jewish person to become premier of France.
Blume, Judy (1938– ), U.S. author.
Blushing, sudden, brief redness to the face and neck that occurs when capillaries, tiny blood vessels in the skin, swell with blood.
Bly, Nellie (Elizabeth Cochrane; 1867–1922), U.S. reporter.
Bly, Robert (1926– ), U.S. poet and translator whose works deal with American themes.
Boötes, constellation of the Northern Hemisphere, easily recognizable because it contains Arcturus, one of the brightest orange stars in the sky.
Bo tree, or bodhi tree, Asian fig (Ficus religiosa), sacred to Buddhists as the tree under which Buddha received enlightenment.
Boa constrictor (Constrictor constrictor), nonpoisonous snake of the family Boidae (which includes pythons and anacondas), mostly found in the tropics of the Americas.
Boadicea, or Boudicca (d.
Boar, wild, either of 2 species of wild pig, the Eurasian Sus scrofa and the Indian S. cristatus.
Boas, Franz (1858–1942), German-born U.S. anthropologist and ethnologist, leader in establishing the cultural-relativist school of anthropology in the English-speaking world.
Boat See: Boating; Ship.
Boating, popular pastime using waterborne craft for pleasure.
Bobcat (Lynx rufus), ferocious North American spotted lynx (wild cat), named for its short (6 in/15.2 cm) tail.
Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus), North American migratory songbird.
Bobsledding, winter sport pitting 2- or 4-person sleds against each other down a steep incline.
Bobwhite, any of several North American gamebirds (genus Colinus)of the pheasant family, often called quail or partridge.
Boccaccio, Giovanni (1313–75), Italian writer and humanist, whose work had a lasting influence on European literature and was used as a source by such writers as Chaucer and Shakespeare.
Boccherini, Luigi (1743–1805), Italian composer and cellist, noted for his chamber music.
Boccioni, Umberto (1882–1916), Italian painter and sculptor.
Bode's law, or Titius-Bode law, a statement of the relative mean distances of the planets from the sun.
Bodhi tree See: Bo tree; Buddha, Gautama.
Bodhisattva, in Mahayana Buddhism, spiritual being on the path to enlightenment.
Bodin, Jean (1530?–96), French political philosopher who argued that stable government required a moderate absolutism founded on divine right but subject to divine and natural law.
Bodleian Library, the library of Oxford University in Britain.
Bodoni, Giambattista (1740–1813), Italian printer.
Boehmeria, any of about 100 species of perennial plants of the nettle family.
Boeing, William Edward (1881–1956), U.S. industrialist and founder of the Boeing Aircraft Company, a firm specializing in large commercial and military aircraft.
Boeotia, region of ancient Greece, north of the Gulf of Corinth in central Greece.
Boer War, or South African War, fought between the British and the Boers (settlers of Dutch descent) from 1899 to 1902.
Boers (Dutch, “farmers”), term applied to South African inhabitants of Dutch, German, and French Huguenot descent who settled in the region beginning in 1652.
Boethius, Anicius Manlius Severinus (c.480–525), Roman philosopher and statesman whose works profoundly influenced medieval thought.
Bog, spongy, waterlogged ground composed chiefly of decaying vegetation.
Bogart, Humphrey DeForest (1899–1957), U.S. film actor, famous for his screen image as the cool, tough anti-hero.
Bogotá (pop. 5,026,000), capital and largest city of Colombia.
Bohemia, historic region in central Europe.
Bohr, Niels Henrik David (1885–1962), Danish physicist who proposed a model of the atom in 1913, suggesting that the hydrogen atom consisted of a single electron orbiting around a central proton (the nucleus), and that the electron could carry only certain well-defined quantities of energy.
Boileau-Despréaux, Nicolas (1636–1711), French poet, satirist, and critic.
Boiler, device for heating water to produce steam.
Boise (pop. 205,775), largest city and capital of the state of Idaho, located in the lower Boise River valley.
Boito, Arrigo (1842–1918), Italian poet and composer.
Bok, Edward William (1863–1930), Dutch-born U.S. editor.
Bolívar, Simón (1783–1830), South American soldier and statesman responsible for several liberation movements against Spanish authority.
Bola (Spanish, “ball”), weapon used for hunting by native South American tribes.
Bolero, type of Spanish folk dance and the music that accompanies it.
Boleyn, Anne (1507–36), second wife of Henry VIII and mother of Elizabeth I.
Bolingbroke, Henry St.
Bolivia, landlocked South American republic, bordered by Brazil in the north and east, Paraguay in the southeast, Argentina in the south, and Peru and Chile in the west. The 3 distinct regions of Bolivia are the Oriente (east), the Montañas (center), and the Altiplano (west). The Oriente is a low alluvial plain containing tropical forest and extensive swamps. The Montañas consists of…
Boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis), most damaging cotton pest in the United States.
Bologna (pop. 401,300), Italian city 51 mi (82 km) north of Florence at the foot of the Apennines.
Bolometer, in physics, instrument used to measure minute differences of radiant energy by changes in the electrical resistance of a thermistor, a form of conductor exposed to the energy.
Bolsheviks, proponents of the wing of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (RSDLP) led by Lenin.
Bolshoi Ballet, the foremost ballet company of the former USSR.
Bolshoi Theater, Russian theater, ballet, and opera house, with one of the largest stages in the world.
Boltzmann, Ludwig (1844–1906), Austrian physicist who made fundamental contributions to thermodynamics, classical statistical mechanics, and kinetic theory.
Bomb, in computer technology, major failure in a program.
Bomb, explosive weapon that injures and kills on detonation.
Bombay (pop. 9,925,900), large seaport in western India, capital of Maharashtra state, on the Arabian Sea.
Bonaparte, family name of the Emperor Napoleon I.
Bonaparte, Napoleon See: Napoleon I.
Bonaventure, Saint (1221–74), Italian medieval scholastic philosopher and theologian.
Bond, chemical, link that holds atoms together in compounds.
Bond, Julian (1940– ), U.S. civil rights leader, Democratic member of the Georgia House of Representatives 1965–75, and state senator 1975–87.
Bone, hard tissue that forms the skeleton.
Bonefish, or ladyfish, herringlike fish (Elops saurus) named for the large numbers of fine bones that make it tedious to eat.
Boneset, perennial plant (Eupatorium perfoliatum) with hairy leaves, native to wet areas of the United States.
Bonheur, Rosa (1822–99), French artist famous for paintings of animals.
Bonhoeffer, Dietrich (1906–45), German Lutheran pastor and theologian, author of many books on Christianity in a secular world.
Bonhomme Richard See: Jones, John Paul.
Bonifácio, José See: Andrada é Silva, José Bonifácio de.
Boniface, Saint (c.672–754?), English missionary, called the Apostle of Germany.
Boniface VIII (1235–1303), pope 1294–1303.
Bonin Islands, group of volcanic islands about 500 mi (802 km) southeast of Japan.
Bonington, Richard Parkes (1802–28), English artist noted for his water-color landscapes and genre subjects.
Bonito, 3 types of fish resembling bluefin tuna, but rarely more than 30 in (76 cm) long.
Bonn (pop. 294,300), historic city on the Rhine River in North Rhine-West-phalia, founded in the 1st century A.D. by the Romans.
Bonnard, Pierre (1867–1947), French artist whose style gave sparkling life and color to the sunny interiors he favored (The Breakfast Room).
Bonneville, Benjamin Louis Eulalie de (1796–1878), French-American soldier and pioneer.
Bonneville Dam, large hydroelectric dam spanning the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington.
Bonney, William H.
Bonsai, ancient Oriental art of growing dwarf trees.
Bontemps, Arna Wendell (1902–73), African-American author of more than 30 books on black culture, including biographies, children's stories, history, literary criticism, novels, and poetry.
Bonus Army March See: Hoover, Herbert Clark.
Booby, large fish-eating bird of the Sulidae family, so named because it is unwary and easily captured.
Boogie-woogie See: Jazz.
Book, medium of communication consisting of written, printed, or blank sheets of a material, usually paper, bound together into a volume. Ancient Assyrian and Babylonian clay tablets, incised when wet, then baked until hard, are the earliest form of books. The Egyptians further developed books by changing their materials. From papyrus they made paper, which they inscribed with reed pens and ink. T…
Book of Changes See: I Ching.
Book of Common Prayer, name of the official liturgy of the Church of England, including the services of Morning and Evening Prayer and of Holy Communion, and the Psalter, Gospels, and Epistles.
Book of the Dead, collection of prayers, hymns, and spells brought into the object-laden tombs of the ancient Egyptians, the earliest of which dates to the 16th century B.C.
Book of Hours, collection of prayers to be said at canonical hours, widely used by laymen during the late Middle Ages.
Book of Kells, illuminated manuscript of the Gospels dating from the late 8th or early 9th century, probably produced by monks of Kells in County Meath, Ireland.
Book of Mormon See: Mormons; Smith, Joseph.
Bookbinding, craft of gathering the pages of a book into a volume with a protective cover.
Bookkeeping, systematic recording of financial transactions.
Boomerang, throwing weapon developed in Australia.
Boone, Daniel (1734–1820), American pioneer and hunter.
Boorstin, Daniel Joseph (1914– ), U.S. historian, 12th Librarian of Congress (1975–87).
Booth, Edwin Thomas (1833–92), U.S. actor, famous on the New York and London stage.
Booth, John Wilkes (1838–65), U.S. actor who assassinated Abraham Lincoln.
Bop, or bebop, style of jazz developed toward the end of World War II, so named in imitation of its basic rhythmic feature.
Boracic acid See: Boric acid.
Borax, common name for a hydrated form of sodium borate or sodium tetraborate, a white powder that becomes transparent and glasslike when heated.
Bordeaux (pop. 213,300), city in southwestern France and capital of Gironde department, on the Garonne River.
Borden, Lizzie Andrew (1860–1927), U.S. woman accused of murdering her father and stepmother with an ax on Aug. 4, 1892.
Borden, Sir Robert Laird (1854–1937), Canadian prime minister (1911–20) who helped his country gain an independent voice in world affairs.
Border Patrol, United States, uniformed enforcement agency of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which attempts to prevent the unlawful entry of non-citizens into the United States through coastal areas of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico.
Borg, Björn (1956– ), Swedish tennis player and the only player in modern tennis history to win the men's singles title at the Wimbeldon Championships in five consecutive years, 1976–80.
Borges, Jorge Luis (1899–1986), Argentine poet and prose writer.
Borgia, powerful Italian family descended from the Borjan of Valencia in Spain.
Borglum, Gutzon (1867–1941), U.S. sculptor best remembered for Mt.
Boric acid, white crystalline acid (H3BO3) occurring in nature or prepared from borax and used as a weak antiseptic.
Borlaug, Norman Ernest (1914– ), U.S. agricultural scientist who was awarded the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize for his part in the development of improved varieties of cereal crops that are important in the green revolution in the developing nations of the Third World.
Borman, Frank (1928– ), U.S. astronaut.
Bormann, Martin Ludwig (1900–45), German Nazi politician, Hitler's deputy from 1941.
Born-again Christians, fundamentalist Christians who feel themselves regenerated through the experience of being “born again” (John 3:3).
Born, Max (1882–1970), German theoretical physicist active in the development of quantum physics.
Borneo, largest island of the Malay Archipelago and third largest in the world (280,100 sq mi/725,459 sq km).
Borodin, Aleksandr Porfirevich (1833–87), Russian chemist and composer of the group known as the Five.
Boron, chemical element, symbol B; for physical constants see Periodic Table.
Bosch, Hieronymus (c.1450–1516), Dutch painter whose work features grotesque fantasy.
Bosch, Juan See: Dominican Republic.
Bosnia and Hercegovina (Republic of), independent country in southeastern Europe, bordering Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, formerly one of the 6 states of Yugoslavia. The population of over 4,300,000 consists of Serbian Orthodox, Croatian Roman Catholics, and Turkish Muslims. Before the war that ensued independence, the economy was largely based on agriculture, with wheat, maize, …
Boson, one of the 4 major classes of elementary particles (the others being the leptons, mesons, and baryons).
Bosporus, Turkish strait 19 mi (30.6 km) long and about 0.5–2.5 mi (0.8–3.6 km) wide connecting the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara (which is connected to the Aegean arm of the Mediterranean by the Dardanelles strait).
Bossuet, Jacques Bénigne (1627–1704), French prelate and historian renowned for his eloquence as an orator, especially his Funeral Orations (1689).
Boston (pop. 3,200,000), capital and largest city of Massachusetts, seaport on Massachusetts Bay. It is the most populous state capital, New England's largest city, and the nearest major U.S. seaport to Europe. It is also a major commercial, financial, manufacturing, and cultural center. Boston's industries include shipbuilding, electronics, chemicals, plastics, rubber products, and …
Boston Massacre, incident March 5, 1770, in which some 60 Bostonians, enraged by the presence of British soldiers in Boston, harassed a British sentry, and British troops fired on the mob, killing 5 people.
Boston Tea Party, incident at Boston on Dec. 16, 1773, in protest against the tea tax and British import restrictions.
Boswell, James (1740–95), Scottish writer and lawyer, most famous for his Life of Samuel Johnson (1791).
Botany, the study of plants. Botany has several closely related branches. Plant morphology, the study of plant structure, has 2 subdisciplines: (1) plant anatomy deals with the gross structure of the plant—the shapes of the roots, stems, and leaves and the organization of the flowers; (2) plant histology deals with the structure and arrangement of the cells and tissues inside the plant. Pla…
Botfly, family of flies (order Diptera) whose larvae are parasitic in the tissues and cavities of humans and other mammals.
Botha, Pieter Willem (1916– ), South African politician who became the first executive president under a new constitution (1984–89).
Bothwell, James Hepburn, 4th Earl of (1536–78), Scottish nobleman who married Mary Queen of Scots in May 1567, after helping to murder her husband, Lord Darnley.
Botswana (formerly Bechuanaland), landlocked republic in southern Africa, enclosed by Namibia, Zimbabwe, and the Republic of South Africa. Its capital is Gabarone. Botswana is divided into 3 main regions: the Okavango Swamp to the north, the Kalahari Desert in the south and southwest, and the mountainous areas to the east. Most of Botswana is an arid plateau some 3,000 ft (914 m) above sea level, …
Botticelli, Sandro (Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi; c.1444–1510), Florentine Renaissance painter.
Bottle tree, Australian tree (Brachychiton rupestris) of the chocolate family, with a trunk resembling a round bottle.
Botulism, acute type of food poisoning, often fatal, caused by a toxin produced by the anaerobic bacteria Clostridium botulinum and C. parabotulinum, which normally live in soil but may infect poorly canned food.
Boucicault, Dion (1822?–90), Irish-born actor and playwright active in London and New York.
Boudicca See: Boadicea.
Bougainville, largest of the Solomon Islands, a part of the independent nation of Papua-New Guinea.
Bougainvillea, ornamental tropical and subtropical flowering vine (genus Bougainvillaea) named for the French navigator and explorer, Louis Antoine de Bougainville.
Boulder, city in north-central Colorado, 30 mi (48 km) northwest of Denver and the seat of Boulder County.
Boulder Dam See: Hoover Dam.
Boulding, Kenneth Ewart (1910– ), British-born U.S. economist who proposes a social science unifying economics, politics, and sociology.
Boulez, Pierre (1925– ), French composer and conductor, noted for his extension of 12-tone techniques to rhythm and dynamics in such works as Le Marteau sans maître (1951) and Pli selon pli (1960).