Name of source: Washington Examiner
Policing the History Channel now appears to be a pet project for Congress — with bipartisan support. After months of Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, tweeting his fury with the cable channel over its “lack of history,” Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., has taken up the mantle.
Connolly tells Yeas & Nays that he has been “bitterly disappointed” in the History Channel’s programming. “I only got cable television a few years ago,” he said. “One of the great draws was that I could watch this channel called the History Channel.” A self-described history buff who says he reads a history book a week, Connolly has watched in dismay as the channel moved into reality TV territory....
Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 16:14
Name of source: HLNTV
Investigators from the Los Angeles Police Department will now be able to examine some audio tapes that they say could link Charles Manson followers to other murders.
A bankruptcy judge has released hours of recorded conversations Manson’s right-hand man Tex Watson had with his attorney in 1969.
"The LAPD has information that Mr. Watson discussed additional unsolved murders committed by followers of Charles Manson," said a letter signed by Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck and Lt. Yana Horvatich, acting commanding officer of the robbery-homicide division....
Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 16:02
Name of source: Jezebel
On the season finale of NBC's Who Do You Think You Are, Paula Deen discovered that her great great great great-grandfather, John Batts, was a slave owner. Deen, who was born, raised and still lives in Georgia, found that Batts, a politician and plantation owner, was very wealthy — and a hefty portion of his assets were slaves.
Dr. Bob Wilson, a professor of history at Georgia College, showed Deen a document showing that Batts was part of a movement trying to get Georgia to support Democratic candidate John Breckenridge for president. Breckenridge was running on a pro-slavery platform; whereas Abraham Lincoln, the Republican candidate, was against the expansion of slavery. Dr. Wilson showed Deen 1860 census records, showing that Batts was incredibly rich for his time. Deen also perused a Slave Inhabitants document, which detailed how many slaves John Batts owned: Thirty-five, some of them 8 and 11-year-old children....
Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 15:08
Name of source: The Grio
Emory University has secured one of the largest photo libraries of black history ever assembled. The collection holds over 10,000 photographs of intimate moments of African-American life dating back to the late 19th century. The anthology contains photos of several notable black Americans, such as William Monroe Trotter, Marcus Garvey, and sculptor Selma Burke, but the uniqueness of this collection lies in the photos that capture rare moments in the lives of everyday black Americans.
A number of photographs in the collection were taken by African-American photographers themselves and range in subject matter from shots of cabaret life to pictures chronicling the civil rights movement. Emory University Provost Earl Lewis, who is also a professor of history and African-American studies, is very proud to have a collection of this magnitude at Emory....
Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 14:40
Name of source: Newsbusters
Comparing conservatives to Hitler is old-and-busted. The new hotness, if you ask Martin Bashir, is comparing them to Stalin.
A few months ago, you may recall, Bashir compared Rick Santorum to the long-dead Soviet dictator. Now it's the state of Florida, more specifically, the conservative Republican Rick Scott, who is getting the honors. "Why is the Sunshine State in the midst of a purge that even Josef Stalin would admire?" Bashir rhetorically asked on the way out to an ad break on today's program. The "purge," by the way, is one admitted by a Democratic official in Broward County, Florida, to be "very, very microscopic" in nature....
Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 13:45
Name of source: NPR
...Which presidential election in American history most resembles the coming election between President Obama and Mitt Romney — and why?
1936: Franklin Delano Roosevelt vs. Alf Landon, says Alison Dagnes, who teaches political science at Shippensburg University. "The Republicans tried to attack FDR for his New Deal programs, saying they were too expensive and moved the country toward socialism — sound familiar?"...
1980: Jimmy Carter vs. Ronald Reagan, says Andrew Smith, director of the University of New Hampshire Survey Center. He cites the similarities: "Young, unknown president is elected after an unpopular administration — Nixon/Ford, Bush — economy in the doldrums, problems with Iran, sense of malaise."...
2004: George W. Bush vs. John Kerry. "Definitely 2004," says Alan Abramowitz, a political science professor at Emory University. "This year, just as in 2004, you have an incumbent president running for re-election in a polarized and closely divided electorate."...
Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 13:05
Name of source: NYT
The family of Dwight D. Eisenhower on Wednesday said it welcomed some aspects of a modified design for a memorial to honor the former president on the National Mall, but still has reservations about other components.
The architect Frank Gehry changed the design in response to concerns raised by the family and others. The family had primarily objected to Mr. Gehry’s sculptural depiction of Eisenhower as a young man, a characterization inspired by a speech the returning general made upon his return from World War II in which he recalled his days as a “barefoot boy.” But the family said the focus on youth had diminished Eisenhower’s other accomplishments.
Under the redesign, several statues depicting Eisenhower at various stages of his career were added and the family made no mention of that issue on Wednesday except to call many of the changes “positive and welcomed.”...
Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 11:49
LEIDSCHENDAM, the Netherlands — Charles G. Taylor, the former president of Liberia and a once-powerful warlord, was sentenced on Wednesday to 50 years in prison for his role in atrocities committed in Sierra Leone during its civil war in the 1990s.
In what was viewed as a watershed case for modern human rights law, Mr. Taylor was the first former head of state convicted by an international tribunal since the Nuremberg trials in Germany after World War II.
Mr. Taylor was found guilty of “aiding and abetting, as well as planning, some of the most heinous and brutal crimes recorded in human history,” said Richard Lussick, the judge who presided over the sentencing here in an international criminal court near The Hague. He said the lengthy prison term underscored Mr. Taylor’s position as a government’s leader during the time the crimes were committed....
Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 11:33
JOHANNESBURG — To the artist and a gallery director, it was a scathing piece of satire — a riff on Soviet-style propaganda aimed at a powerful president with a controversial sexual history who presides over a liberation movement-turned-political party that many here feel has lost its revolutionary appeal.
But to that party, the African National Congress; many black South Africans; and, most of all, the man it depicted, President Jacob Zuma, the painting — which portrayed Mr. Zuma in a Leninesque pose with his genitals exposed — was a reminder of the pain and humiliation frequently visited on black bodies by white hands under apartheid.
On Wednesday, both sides agreed to disagree on the merits of the painting, “The Spear,” by the Cape Town artist Brett Murray, which was part of an exhibit at the Goodman Gallery here. But they agreed on one thing: It would no longer be on display. In exchange for the A.N.C.’s agreeing to drop a lawsuit, the gallery agreed to remove the work, which had already been vandalized, from the exhibition....
Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 11:33
In hillside caves of southwestern Germany, archaeologists in recent years have uncovered the beginnings of music and art by early modern humans migrating into Europe from Africa. New dating evidence shows that these oldest known musical instruments in the world, flutes made of bird bone and mammoth ivory, are even older than first thought.
Scientists led by Thomas Higham of the University of Oxford in England reported last week that improved radiocarbon tests determined that animal bones found with the flutes were 42,000 to 43,000 years old. This is close to the time when the first anatomically modern humans were spreading into Central Europe, presumably along the Danube River valley....
Wednesday, May 30, 2012 - 11:06
The custom of strewing flowers on the graves of fallen soldiers has innumerable founders, going back perhaps beyond the horizon of recorded history, perhaps as far as war itself. But there is the ancient practice and there is Memorial Day, the specific holiday, arising from an order for the annual decoration of graves that was delivered in 1868 by Maj. Gen. John A. Logan, the commander in chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, a group made up of Union veterans of the Civil War.
According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, roughly two dozen places claim to be the primary source of the holiday, an assertion found on plaques, on Web sites and in the dogged avowals of local historians across the country.
Yet each town seems to have different criteria: whether its ceremony was in fact the earliest to honor Civil War dead, or the first one that General Logan heard about, or the first one that conceived of a national, recurring day.
Sunday, May 27, 2012 - 14:17
FLORENCE -- The decision to suspend Greece from the common currency became inevitable when it emerged that Athens had fiddled with the accounts yet again amid chronic economic weakness, forfeiting what credibility in the international arena it still had left.
That was in 1908.
After diluting the gold content in its coins, Greece left the Latin Monetary Union, whose founding members included France, Italy, Belgium and Switzerland. More than a century later, history may repeat itself, albeit in vastly different circumstances.
From the dual currency economy of 14th-century Florence to the monetary union of Austria-Hungary and Argentina's abandoned dollar peg, the past is littered with examples of countries' weighing the costs and benefits of different monetary regimes....
Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 15:37
Two delegations of Japanese officials visited Palisades Park, N.J., this month with a request that took local administrators by surprise: The Japanese wanted a small monument removed from a public park.
The monument, a brass plaque on a block of stone, was dedicated in 2010 to the memory of so-called comfort women, tens of thousands of women and girls, many Korean, who were forced into sexual slavery by Japanese soldiers during World War II.
But the Japanese lobbying to remove the monument seems to have backfired — and deepened animosity between Japan and South Korea over the issue of comfort women, a longstanding irritant in their relations....
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 08:11
WHEN and how did the first people arrive in the Americas?
For many decades, archaeologists have agreed on an explanation known as the Clovis model. The theory holds that about 13,500 years ago, bands of big-game hunters in Asia followed their prey across an exposed ribbon of land linking Siberia and Alaska and found themselves on a vast, unexplored continent. The route back was later blocked by rising sea levels that swamped the land bridge. Those pioneers were the first Americans....
In the past five years, however, a number of discoveries have posed major challenges to the Clovis model. Taken together, they are turning our understanding of American prehistory on its head.
Sunday, May 20, 2012 - 16:53
Name of source: ThinkProgress
At a campaign rally in Las Vegas yesterday, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney touted the idea of making anyone who does not have a business background as ineligible for the White House as if they had been born in Kenya....
Romney’s amendment would come as quite a shock to the last person to earn the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) graduated from the Naval Academy in 1958 and served more than two decades in the United States Navy, including more than five years as an prisoner of war. After retiring from the Navy at the rank of captain, McCain turned to politics and was elected to the House in 1983 and to the Senate in 1987. Because McCain devoted his life to serving his country, rather than to working in business, the Romney amendment would disqualify him from the White House.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower would likely suffer a similar fate. Like McCain, Eisenhower was a career officer before entering politics, graduating from West Point in 1915 and eventually commanding the Allied victory over Nazi Germany. It’s not clear whether Romney’s amendment would count the time Eisenhower spent as President of Columbia University as “working in business,” and Eisenhower did work two years supervising the night shift at a creamery before entering college. Unless Romney would allow Eisenhower to count his time in academia as business experience, however, Eisenhower lacked the three years required to become president under the Romney amendment. Saving human civilization from Adolf Hitler is not a sufficient qualification....
Wednesday, May 30, 2012 - 16:03
Name of source: Star Tribune
The CARE package, a national icon after World War II, has come out of retirement -- retooled for the 21st century.
The cardboard boxes stuffed with lard, egg powder, canned meat and other food essentials were a critical part of U.S. humanitarian aid to war-ravaged Europeans in the 1940s. Similar boxes were part of the war against hunger in Korea, Vietnam and other nations. But in 1967, the official CARE packages ended.
Now the CARE package has been resurrected to mark its 65th anniversary. This time, however, it's a virtual package that funds modern tools to fight global poverty, such as education and health care....
Wednesday, May 30, 2012 - 11:12
Name of source: Irish Times
Germany: A Nazi war criminal who escaped from a Dutch jail and lived as a fugitive in Germany for 60 years has died at the age of 90, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre has said.
Klaas Carel Faber, number two on the centre’s list of most wanted Nazi criminals, was sentenced to death in 1947 in the Netherlands for the killings of at least 11 people at a staging post for Dutch Jews being taken to concentration camps....
Wednesday, May 30, 2012 - 10:33
Name of source: AFP
The White House tried to head off a diplomatic spat with Poland after President Barack Obama mistakenly called a Nazi facility used to process Jews for execution as a "Polish death camp."
The linguistic faux pas overshadowed Obama's posthumous award of America's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to Jan Karski, a former Polish underground officer who provided early eyewitness accounts of the Nazi purge against Jews.
"Before one trip across enemy lines, resistance fighters told him that Jews were being murdered on a massive scale, and smuggled him into the Warsaw Ghetto and a Polish death camp to see for himself," Obama said....
Wednesday, May 30, 2012 - 10:32
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
Once known as the wickedest city in the world when it was the playground of British buccaneers and explorers in the 17th century, little now remains of Port Royal....
However, a campaign supported by the Jamaican government was launched this week to secure Unesco world heritage status for the sunken city to put it firmly back on the map.
A seven-mile spit of golden sand arcs around Kingston bay protecting the capital. At the far end of the spit lies the small fishing village of Port Royal, which was once a bustling city and key British outpost in the 1600s.
The port, which boasted a population of 7,000 and was comparable to Boston during the same period, was a playground for buccaneers like Henry Morgan, who docked in search of rum, women and boat repairs....
Wednesday, May 30, 2012 - 10:31
A renowned French forensic scientist has launched an investigation into the death of Richard the Lionheart, examining a tiny sample of the 12th century monarch's heart to try to understand what germ killed him.
Richard I died from an infection at the age of 42 after being poorly treated for a crossbow wound during a siege of a French castle.
Philippe Charlier, who previously helped dispel claims that Napoleon was poisoned to death by his British captors, has been given exclusive access to a tiny sample of the heart of the crusading English king
King Richard, famed for his bravery, brutality and bad temper, ruled England from 1189 to his death in 1199.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - 17:28
The notion of “Queen’s English” is usually applied to our pronunciation. Taking the term at its most literal, our monarch’s own sounds are enlightening when it comes to language change during her reign. Phoneticians have noted subtle but distinct changes in Her Majesty’s voice over the past 60 years, amounting to a more democratic style of pronunciation. Evidence from a detailed acoustic analysis of royal Christmas broadcasts suggests that Estuary English, a term coined in the Eighties to describe the apparent spread of London’s sound patterns to counties adjoining the river, might well have had an influence on Her Majesty’s vowels.
If in 1952 the royal complaint may have been “I’ve lorst thet bleck het”, then today those o’s and a’s would undoubtedly be more rounded. In the same way, “orf” was left behind and “off” ushered in, “veddy” became “very”, and a y sound no longer followed the s in such words as super. Such conservative sounds, once the norm, are almost never heard these days, except in caricatures of formal old-fashioned speech. It is the Queen’s English that even the Queen no longer speaks....
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 10:05
Name of source: Daily Mail (UK)
They married in secret a few days before he went to war.
Frank Fearing had no idea if he would ever see young Helen again, but he made her a solemn promise. Everywhere the American GI went with his unit, he would carve their names into a tree.
The first was on Salisbury Plain, where he was stationed before joining the push towards Berlin in the wake of the D-Day invasion. The rest were spread across France and Germany, carved whenever time allowed.
Helen Fearing never knew if it was just a romantic bluff, or if he had simply made up the story to impress her.
But they clearly didn’t reckon on the determination of British student Chantel Summerfield and her remarkable archaeological quest....
Wednesday, May 30, 2012 - 10:22
The mystery of how a U.S. World War 2 fighter pilot met his grisly end after crashing in a South Pacific island jungle has been revealed - after 31 years of painstaking work.
Lt Moszek Murray Zanger was initially believed to have been shot and killed immediately after being captured by the Japanese following his 4,000ft parachuting out of his Corsair.
He had collided midair with his wingman while out on patrol over Rabaul, Papua New Guinea.
But a dogged forensic investigation has discovered he was in fact beaten, tried to flee in an inflatable dinghy and was captured by a Japanese Navy patrol boat....
Wednesday, May 30, 2012 - 10:20
A leather-bound religious text, thought to date from the fifth century but discovered only 12 years ago, will cause the collapse of Christianity worldwide, claims Iran.
The book, written on animal hide, apparently states that Jesus was never crucified and that he himself predicted the coming of the Prophet Muhammad, according to the the Iranian press.
Written in Syriac, a dialect of Aramaic, the gospel even predicts the coming of the last Islamic messiah, the report adds....
Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - 17:46
Jesus died on Friday, April 3, 33AD, according to an investigation which matches his death to an earthquake.
The investigation, from the International Geology Review, looked at earthquake activity around the Dead Sea, which is around 13 miles from Jerusalem.
The Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 27, says that as Jesus lay dying on the cross, an earthquake shook the area, scattering graves and making the sky go dark....
Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - 17:44
Name of source: Yahoo News
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Two Roman-era shipwrecks have been found in deep water off a western Greek island, challenging the conventional theory that ancient shipmasters stuck to coastal routes rather than risking the open sea, an official said Tuesday.
Greece's culture ministry said the two third-century wrecks were discovered earlier this month during a survey of an area where a Greek-Italian gas pipeline is to be sunk. They lay between 1.2 and 1.4 kilometers (0.7-0.9 miles) deep in the sea between Corfu and Italy.
That would place them among the deepest known ancient wrecks in the Mediterranean, apart from remains found in 1999 of an older vessel some 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) deep off Cyprus....
Wednesday, May 30, 2012 - 10:18
Name of source: Fox News
Nothing James Browne learned in flight school prepared him for “The Hump,” a perilous, Himalayan no-man’s land that became a graveyard for hundreds of fearless WWII-era fliers who battled Japanese fighters, impossible weather and a supply route from hell.
Somewhere high above the Himalayas, the aircraft’s wings iced over. The best guess is that it stalled out and dropped like a rock, landing in the rugged mountain jungle, its location a mystery that would endure for more than 70 years. Browne, who grew up in the Chicago suburb of Winnetka, Capt. John Dean, the pilot and a veteran of the legendary Flying Tigers, and a Chinese crewman were listed as missing in action.
The plane was one of hundreds to go down in the rugged and remote mountain region fliers dubbed “The Hump” by American fliers who dodged Japanese fighter planes, steering their unarmed and rickety aircraft for 20-hour stretches with unreliable instruments in winds that could reach 200 mph. Experts believe more than 700 planes crashed trying to surmount the Hump, making the Himalayan region an inaccessible tomb of legendary fliers and rusted fuselages....
Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - 17:48
The final resting places for many of the men and women who fought America’s wars have fallen into shocking disrepair, with neglect, theft and vandalism prompting veterans groups to question the nation's commitment to honoring its dead soldiers.
Advocates say smaller federal, state, county and private cemeteries that contain the graves of service members are often poorly kept, marked by crumbling headstones, overgrown with weeds and littered with debris. Perhaps even worse, many veterans' gravesites have been targets of vandalism and theft.
“It’s a pattern that you’re seeing across the country right now," said Tim Tetz, national legislative director for the American Legion. "You have cemeteries being expanded or added to with less or the same number of people caring for the grounds.”...
Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 12:31
Name of source: CNN.com
Belfast, Northern Ireland (CNN) -- Audio recordings locked inside a college library in the United States might help solve a decades-old murder mystery, but the release of those tapes could damage the fragile peace in Northern Ireland.
In December 1972, the widow Jean McConville was taken from her home in Belfast and her 10 children.
"They came about tea time and they dragged her out of the bathroom and dragged her out," remembers McConville's daughter, Helen McKendry, who was then a teenager....
Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - 17:42
Name of source: CNN
Washington (CNN) – After sitting in storage for nearly a decade, George Washington’s signature statement on religious liberty will go on display this summer in the city where freedom of religion was enshrined in the Constitution: Philadelphia.
America’s first president wrote the letter to a Jewish congregation in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1790, assuring American Jews that their freedom of religion would be protected. The document will go on display this summer for the first time since 2002 in an exhibition at Philadelphia’s National Museum of American Jewish History.
For nine years, the letter has been kept out of public view, in storage at a sterile Maryland office park a few hundred feet from FedEx Field, where the Washington Redskins play. CNN took an inside look at the document in September.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - 17:41
Name of source: AP
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- For years, varied and sometimes wild claims have been made about the origins of a group of dark-skinned Appalachian residents once known derisively as the Melungeons. Some speculated they were descended from Portuguese explorers, or perhaps from Turkish slaves or Gypsies.
Now a new DNA study in the Journal of Genetic Genealogy attempts to separate truth from oral tradition and wishful thinking. The study found the truth to be somewhat less exotic: Genetic evidence shows that the families historically called Melungeons are the offspring of sub-Saharan African men and white women of northern or central European origin.
And that report, which was published in April in the peer-reviewed journal, doesn't sit comfortably with some people who claim Melungeon ancestry.
"There were a whole lot of people upset by this study," lead researcher Roberta Estes said. "They just knew they were Portuguese, or Native American."...
Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - 17:37
LONDON (AP) — A Channel Islands auction house says it's selling a vial that allegedly contains blood residue from Ronald Reagan — a move denounced Tuesday by the late U.S. president's family and his foundation.
The vial being auctioned online was used by the laboratory that tested Reagan's blood when he was hospitalized after a 1981 assassination attempt in Washington, the PFCAuctions house said.
Reagan's son Michael condemned the auction but said he was confident it was not his father's blood....
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 17:52
Pity the War of 1812. Its bicentennial is at hand and events are planned for all over North America, from Canada and the Great Lakes to the Mid-Atlantic and the South. But good luck finding someone who can explain in 10 words or less what the war was about.
Some historians see the war as a last gasp by England to control its former colonies, and it's sometimes called the Second War of Independence. At the time, Americans viewed the war "as an opportunity for us to throw off Britain once and for all," said Troy Bickham, author of a new book out in June called "The Weight of Vengeance: The United States, the British Empire and the War of 1812."
But in Canada, the War of 1812 is seen as an attempted land grab by the U.S. The U.S. invaded Canada and at one point controlled Toronto, but the British, seeking control of the Great Lakes, won Detroit and other important ports....
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 10:07
Name of source: LiveScience
The mysterious fall of the largest of the world's earliest urban civilizations nearly 4,000 years ago in what is now India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh now appears to have a key culprit — ancient climate change, researchers say.
Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia may be the best known of the first great urban cultures, but the largest was the Indus or Harappan civilization. This culture once extended over more than 386,000 square miles (1 million square kilometers) across the plains of the Indus River from the Arabian Sea to the Ganges, and at its peak may have accounted for 10 percent of the world population. The civilization developed about 5,200 years ago, and slowly disintegrated between 3,900 and 3,000 years ago — populations largely abandoned cities, migrating toward the east.
"Antiquity knew about Egypt and Mesopotamia, but the Indus civilization, which was bigger than these two, was completely forgotten until the 1920s," said researcher Liviu Giosan, a geologist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts. "There are still many things we don't know about them." [Photos: Life and Death of Ancient Urbanites]...
Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - 14:47
Name of source: Chronicle of Higher Ed
The University of Missouri will soon be without a university press. The university announced last week that it would phase out its press, beginning in July. The news was made public in a larger statement about the university's shifting strategic priorities.
Such announcements about other university presses have often spurred protests and attempts to save them, but so far at least, the news about the Missouri press has been greeted quietly.
One close observer of scholarly publishing, Peter Brantley of the Internet Archive, noted in a blog post for Publishers Weekly that "the impact of such closures is mediated by how the academic community handles the larger transformations in publishing." He wrote that while closing university presses might lead to "a diminution of the number of outlets for scholarly work, it could just as easily be a more positive bellwether for a healthy shift in emphasis from one model of scholarly publishing to another."...
Saturday, May 26, 2012 - 07:42
Name of source: Russia Today
A World War II-era Soviet submarine has been found on the bottom of the Tallinn Bay by an Estonian hydrographical ship.
“The object was marked on the sea maps as an unidentified obstacle,” said the press service of the Water Transport Department. “The expedition discovered it was actually a submarine.”
The scientists took beautiful photos of the sub that helped identify it as a Soviet Malyutka type submarine, said Estonian underwater archaeologist Vello Mäss....
Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 15:44
Name of source: WaPo
CARROLLTON, Ark. — On the wildflower-studded slopes of the Ozarks, where memories run long and family ties run thick, a little-known and long-ago chapter of history still simmers.
On Sept. 11, 1857, a wagon train from this part of Arkansas met with a gruesome fate in Utah, where most of the travelers were slaughtered by a Mormon militia in an episode known as the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Hundreds of the victims’ descendants still populate these hills and commemorate the killings, which they have come to call “the first 9/11.”
Many of the locals grew up hearing denunciations of Mormonism from the pulpit on Sundays, and tales of the massacre from older relatives who considered Mormons “evil.”...
There aren’t many places in America more likely to be suspicious of Mormonism — and potentially more problematic for Mitt Romney, who is seeking to become the country’s first Mormon president. Not only do many here retain a personal antipathy toward the religion and its followers, but they also tend to be Christian evangelicals, many of whom view Mormonism as a cult....
Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 15:42
More than 65 years after it was suppressed by the Army, a powerful and controversial John Huston documentary about soldiers suffering from the psychological wounds of war has been restored by the National Archives and debuts Thursday on the Web.
“Let There Be Light” portrays GIs just back from the battlefields of Europe and the Pacific — trembling, stuttering, hollow-eyed and crying. Using a noir style, Huston filmed dozens of soldiers in unscripted scenes from their arrival at an Army psychiatric hospital on Long Island through weeks of often successful treatment, culminating in their release to go home.
The restoration “reveals the film’s full force,” said Scott Simmon, a film historian and English department chairman at the University of California, Davis....
Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 12:33
The smashed bullet that killed Lt. Henry H. Waite of the 6th Maine regiment is there. So is the one that claimed Pvt. James Bainham of the 125th New York. And the one that killed Abraham Lincoln, president of the United States.
Scores of deformed slugs pulled from the flesh of the Civil War’s victims sit like grimy jewels in these glass cases, not far from trays of splintered bones and punctured skulls damaged in the conflict.
There’s more than war in the Defense Department’s refreshed and relocated National Museum of Health and Medicine, which will celebrate its grand reopening in Silver Spring on Monday.
The arthritic skeleton of Peter Cluckey sits in its wooden chair, as it has for decades, a macabre but longtime feature of the 150-year-old museum of medical oddities and scientific history....
Jeffrey S. Reznick: Remember the Army Medical Library and Discover the National Library of Medicine
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 12:25
Name of source: PBS Newshour
↵ Use original player
The Golden Gate Bridge opened to traffic on May 27, 1937. This weekend, 75 years later, San Francisco plans to celebrate while honoring the engineer whose contributions to the design were purposefully obliterated: Charles Ellis. Spencer Michels delves into Ellis' story, and into the man who did get the credit -- Joseph Strauss.
Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 15:33
Name of source: Boston Globe
NATICK — Frank Rines Jr. sat in a studio at the Morse Institute Library. Lights glared and the camera rolled. Questions flowed, and soon Rines, better known by his buddies as Bud, was in a time machine, transported across oceans and decades.
Wearing a sweater and jacket, Rines, 92, a chief radio officer in the US Merchant Marine during World War II, looked quite comfortable, considering the task.
He was being asked, as one of the recent contributors to the Natick Veterans Oral History Project, to recall the details of his service over some 22 voyages, including about 15 “lucky crossings’’ of the Atlantic Ocean when it was infested with German U-boats....
Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 15:30
Name of source: allAfrica
Robert Mugabe has reportedly blamed Zimbabwe's current problems on historical influences, in a meeting Wednesday with the visiting United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay.
The UN Human Rights chief met with Mugabe at his state house offices and told reporters the ZANU PF leader had admitted the country currently faces problems. But he blamed historical influences for the ongoing political and economic crisis .
Pillay was invited by government for a week-long mission to assess the human rights situation in the country. She had already met with civil society groups and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvngirai on Tuesday....
Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 15:29
Name of source: History.com
Politician, printer, inventor, diplomat, author, scientist—Benjamin Franklin will forever be remembered as a man of many talents. But not everyone knows the founding father was also a volunteer firefighter who at age 30 established Philadelphia’s first fire department. Tom Lingenfelter, president of the Heritage Collectors’ Society in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, recently announced his discovery of a relic from this fascinating phase of Franklin’s career: a document listing his name and those of the Union Fire Company’s other members, thought to date to 1736.
Born in Boston in 1706, Franklin left home and moved to Philadelphia at age 17. His adoptive hometown still bears numerous traces of his extraordinary legacy, from the University of Pennsylvania to America’s first lending library, the Library Company of Philadelphia. One of the city’s most central and successful public figures from a very young age, Franklin cofounded the Union Fire Company, an all-volunteer brigade, in 1736....
Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 12:38
Name of source: New Haven Register
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Harvard University’s alumni association says it regrets including the Unabomber’s references to his convictions in a directory for his 50th class reunion this week.
Ted Kaczynski graduated in 1962 and is in prison for killing three people and injuring 23 others during a nationwide bombing spree between 1978 and 1995. He lists his occupation as “prisoner” and his awards as “eight life sentences.”...
Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 12:37
Name of source: CBS News
Every year, the Library of Congress designates 25 sound recordings "cultural and historic treasures" and it preserves the best available copy for future generations. This year's choices, announced Wednesday, include an 1888 hand-cranked recording of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star"; Prince's "Purple rain," "A Charlie Brown Christmas"; and one that caught our ears….
Edward R. Murrow was the narrator for "I Can Hear It Now," a Columbia Records recording that was selected by the Library of Congress as a cultural and historical treasure, announced May 23, 2012.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 23:43
Name of source: BBC News
A Worcestershire woman is campaigning for the restoration of eight memorials throughout the county.
Amateur historian Sandra Taylor has spent the past 13 years researching more than 10,000 names on local war memorials, many of which are decaying.
Ms Taylor is part of a group that is trying to fund restoration work in time for the centenary of the outbreak of World War I in two years time....
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 17:11
A stone discovered by chance on the Isle of Canna is Scotland's first known example of a bullaun "cursing stone", experts have revealed.
Dating from about 800 AD, the stones are associated with early Christian crosses - of which there is one on the isle.
It was found in an old graveyard by a National Trust for Scotland (NTS) farm manager.
The stone is about 25cm in diameter and engraved with an early Christian cross....
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 10:12
Name of source: Discovery News
A powerful quake hit northern Italy on Sunday, killing seven people, injuring dozens, and leaving at least 5,000 homeless.
The magnitude 6.0 quake to hit the country since 2009, when a tremor in the Abruzzo region killed nearly 300 people, the magnitude-6.0 earthquake was followed by more than 100 aftershocks in 24 hours.
The quake struck at around 4 a.m. local time in the flatlands of the Emilia Romagna region, hitting an area between the historic cities of Bologna, Modena and Ferrara, a Unesco World Heritage site....
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 10:20
On May 21, 1965, NASA released the Gemini 4 press kit. It opened with the standard mission description, in this case for a four-day orbital flight that would send commander Jim McDivitt and pilot Ed White around the Earth 62 times to evaluate "the effects of extended spaceflight on crew performance and physical condition."
Then there was an intriguing page that hinted at something bigger: "No decision has been made whether in the Gemini 4 mission the crew will engage in extravehicular activity... A decision to undertake the extravehicular test can be made as late as the day before the launch." The possibility of an EVA on Gemini 4 came as a surprise not only the American people that day, but to many within NASA as well.
EVAs, colloquially known as spacewalks, were one of the three main program goals for NASA's Gemini program designed to support the Apollo program. If NASA was going to send men all the way to the moon, there was no point in having them sit inside and look out the window. They were going outside....
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 10:14
A Bronze Age version of Facebook has emerged from granite rocks in Russia and northern Sweden, revealing a thousands-of-years-old timeline filled with an archaic version of the Facebook "like."
Using computer modeling, Mark Sapwell, a Ph.D. archaeology student at Cambridge University, analyzed some 3,500 rock art images from Nämforsen in Northern Sweden and Zalavruga in Western Russia.
"Although this rock art has been documented from the early 1900s, the modeling has allowed a unique look at the interesting way these images have been arranged and accumulated over time," Sapwell told Discovery News....
Sunday, May 20, 2012 - 11:54