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History News Network
Updated: 15 weeks 6 days ago
Once sentenced to death for war crimes against POWs, Lee Hak-lae was later spared the gallows and is now on a mission of passing on the sorrow of his colleagues who died as war criminals after being forced to work for Japan during World War II.
Lee recently braved the withering summer heat, despite his advanced age, to continue spreading their message as organizer of a Korean POW guards' group seeking an apology and compensation from the Japanese government.
"I do not want the money," Lee, 88, said. "When the people of my homeland were celebrating their liberation from Japanese colonial rule, my colleagues died in execution chambers in a foreign land. Why did they have to die? Who did they die for? It is my mission, as someone who just happened to survive, to clear away the chagrin felt by my friends."...Source: Asahi Shimbum Source URL: http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/people/AJ201308140060 Date: 8-14-13
Andrew Cohen is a contributing editor at The Atlantic, 60 Minutes' first-ever legal analyst, and a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice.
Earlier this summer, the Justice Department released to the public a trove of old Office of Legal Counsel memos. My Atlantic colleague Conor Friedersdorf already has discovered them and written about the eternally regrettable OLC memo justifying the ignoble fate of Japanese Americans in 1942 as well as a 1937 memorandum in which an otherwise forgettable administration lawyer (Golden W. Bell) courageously (and correctly!) told President Franklin Roosevelt that he couldn't censor a foreign speech by the ill-fated Leon Trotsky.
Let me now add my voice to Conor's chorus. These memos are pure gold if you like history, or law, or politics, or some combination of the three. Here's how the Justice Department explained what they are and why they seem so relevant today....Source: The Atlantic Source URL: http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/08/civil-rights-cambodia-and-cuba-memos-that-made-history/278559/ Date: 8-12-13
The wives of Britain's best-known polar explorers inspired them to make their important voyages, a historian has claimed.
Kari Herbert claims that Sir Ernest Shackleton only made his first expedition to impress his lover.
Miss Herbert, the daughter of the Polar explorer Sir Wally Herbert, said Capt Robert Falcon Scott would "absolutely not" have reached the South Pole without the robust encouragement of his wife, Kathleen.
Miss Herbert, who researched the women for her new book Heart of the Hero, said the stories of explorers' wives were "fantastically important" in expeditions to the Antarctic.
"In the case of Scott, absolutely he would not have gone down to the Antarctic again without Kathleen," she said....Source: Telegraph (UK) Source URL: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturenews/10237058/The-women-who-inspired-polar-explorers-Shackleton-and-Scott.html Date: 8-12-13
Even Jerry Lewis admits his unreleased 1970s Holocaust movie is “bad, bad, bad” — no minor fact because the 87-year-old comedian directed, wrote and starred in the film. Now, thanks to some leaked video, people can see how Lewis might have been right.
A seven-minute report from a 1972 Danish television show about the making of “The Day the Clown Cried” surfaced recently, and based on that, the movie looks hammy and self-important at the same time.
Shot more than 40 years ago, the movie stars Lewis, in one of his first serious turns as an actor, as a circus performer arrested by the Gestapo and thrown into a concentration camp. Once there, he starts performing for Jewish children, and reportedly travels with some of them to Auschwitz....Source: LA Times Source URL: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/moviesnow/la-et-mn-jerry-lewis-holocaust-movie-20130812,0,3429223.story Date: 8-13-13
Adding to the accumulating evidence that Neanderthals were more sophisticated than previously thought, scientists in Europe said that they had unearthed strong evidence that the early hominins — often typecast as brutish, club-lugging ape-men — fashioned their own specialized bone tools.
In a report published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, archaeologists described the discovery of four fragments of bone tools known as lissoirs at two Neanderthal sites in southwest France.
The implements are the oldest specialized bone tools found in Europe, said study lead author Marie Soressi, an archaeologist from Leiden University in the Netherlands....Source: LA Times Source URL: http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-neanderthals-tools-20130813,0,6482422.story Date: 8-13-13
Film director Oliver Stone, who is no stranger to controversy, turned from his sharp attacks on the U.S. for the atomic bombings of Japan to criticize his hosts over their attitude to China and other Asian neighbors.
In a speech to foreign correspondents in Tokyo, Mr. Stone said that Japan needs to more completely apologize for its wartime acts, and said it should also resist a shift to relying on military might to deal with security challenges posed by its neighbors such as China and North Korea.
Japan’s leaders have expressed “deep remorse” over the physical damage and psychological pain the country has inflicted on other Asian countries, but repeated visits by cabinet ministers to a controversial war shrine in Tokyo and growing talk of revising the nation’s peace constitution have made other countries skeptical about the intention of these remarks....Source: WSJ Source URL: http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2013/08/13/oliver-stones-advice-to-japan-apologize/?KEYWORDS=history Date: 8-13-13
LITTLE FALLS, N.Y. — State parks officials and history buffs will gather at a historic site in the Mohawk Valley to mark the 100th anniversary of the property's acquisition by New York.
Sunday afternoon's event is being held at the Herkimer Home State Historic site in Little Falls, 60 miles west of Albany.
Gen. Nicholas Herkimer completed construction of his Georgian-style mansion after the French and Indian War ended in 1763, when the Mohawk Valley was New York's frontier. During the Revolutionary War, in August 1777, Herkimer was leading hundreds of American militiamen en route to relieve the siege at Fort Stanwix in present-day Rome when they were ambushed at Oriskany by a force British, loyalist and Indians....Source: WSJ Source URL: http://online.wsj.com/article/APa4fd7b8b391044ab9674cc8d82b0c499.html?KEYWORDS=history Date: 8-10-13
NEW YORK — History in the movies has often been seen through white eyes: civil rights-era tales with white protagonists reacting to a changing world.
“I’ve been in some of those movies,” says David Oyelowo, a star in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.” ‘’I was in the ‘The Help.’”
The viewpoint of “The Butler,” though, is refreshingly colorful. In it, Forest Whitaker plays Cecil Gaines, a man born to sharecroppers who’s turned into a domestic servant. After fleeing north, he rises to serve as a butler in the White House for seven successive presidents, spanning from Eisenhower to Reagan, from Jim Crow to Barack Obama....Source: AP Source URL: http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/in-lee-daniels-the-butler-history-told-through-a-black-lens/2013/08/12/1358df98-037f-11e3-bfc5-406b928603b2_story.html Date: 8-13-13
NEW HAVEN — William Howard Taft was not born there; he did not live or even die there. But for a few years, the 27th president did own the house at 111 Whitney Avenue in New Haven, and that association has conferred on the structure a certain historical gravitas.
Now a group of current and former Yale students is betting the building can do the same for the William F. Buckley Jr. Program, which seeks to “expand political discourse on campus and to expose students to often-unvoiced views.” (It is a goal Mr. Buckley himself might have expressed, albeit with more syllables.)
Thanks to $500,000 from a single, unnamed donor, the group will soon move into the William H. Taft Mansion — with a two-year lease and an option to buy — and attempt the transformation from a local undergraduate venture into a conservative policy institute with a presence on the national political landscape....Source: NYT Source URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/12/nyregion/moving-to-the-taft-mansion-a-yale-conservative-group-seeks-a-national-presence.html Date: 8-12-13
LONDON — Not that it is unusual to see shabby old buildings being gutted by construction workers in a rapidly gentrifying area of east London like Hackney Road, but I felt a pang of regret when I spotted them starting work on one last week. I wasn’t concerned about its architecture, which is much the same as that of any of the other 19th-century terraced houses in the neighborhood, but about the signage.
“To all responsible person” is painted in big black letters on the front of the building, and a description of a locksmith and safe maker is engraved on the side wall. “John Tann’s Reliance Locks, Fire & Burglarproof, Safes, Iron Doors,” it begins. Both signs have long outlived their usefulness: like the missing “s” at the end of “person,” Tann’s workshop disappeared decades ago.
Will those signs survive the house’s renovation? I doubt it. The only reason they are still there is because the building has been neglected for so long, and was not deemed to be worth repairing or rebuilding until recently. Yet if the signs are removed, the neighborhood will be the poorer, having lost part of its character and some poignant symbols of its history....Source: NYT Source URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/12/arts/design/sign-by-sign-history-is-told-on-londons-walls.html Date: 8-12-13
For 10 months, the world’s most valuable coin sat wrapped in plastic on a folding chair in a little cagelike compartment behind a bright blue door at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. It was only a step or two away from billions of dollars’ worth of neatly stacked bars of gold bullion.
On Monday, a man in a dark suit stashed the coin in his briefcase and coolly walked out of the Fed’s heavily guarded limestone-and-sandstone building, a couple of blocks from the New York Stock Exchange in Lower Manhattan. He nodded politely to the guards on the front steps of the Fed. They did not stop him.
The man with the briefcase, David N. Redden, an auction-house executive, was not pulling off a heist. He was taking the coin on a 6.7-mile ride to the New-York Historical Society on Central Park West....Source: NYT Source URL: http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/12/a-coin-is-historic-priceless-and-no-longer-in-a-vault/ Date: 8-12-13
BOSTON — James (Whitey) Bulger, the mobster who terrorized South Boston in the 1970s and ‘80s, holding the city in his thrall even after he disappeared, was convicted Monday of a sweeping array of gangland crimes, including 11 murders. He faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life in prison.
The verdict delivers long-delayed justice to Mr. Bulger, 83, who disappeared in the mid-1990s after a corrupt agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation told him he was about to be indicted. He left behind a city that wondered if he would ever be caught — and even if the F.B.I., which had been complicit in many of his crimes and had relied on him as an informer, was really looking for him.
“This was the worst case of corruption in the history of the F.B.I.,” said Michael D. Kendall, a former federal prosecutor who investigated Mr. Bulger’s associates. “It was a multigenerational, systematic alliance with organized crime, where the F.B.I. was actively participating in the murders of government witnesses, or at least allowing them to occur.”...Source: NYT Source URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/13/us/james-whitey-bulger-verdict.html Date: 8-13-13
A MEDIEVAL castle in the Highlands has revealed signs of its bloody past after a musket ball and cannonball were found by archaeologists.
The artifacts are the latest discoveries by the team tasked with excavating Mingary Castle in west Ardnamurchan, Lochaber, for the first time.
The castle is thought to be the best preserved 13th-century castle in Scotland.
The musket ball is just under an inch in diameter and has been described as being “extremely heavy” due to having a high lead....Source: The Scotsman (UK) Source URL: http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/heritage/ancient-ammunition-found-at-mingary-castle-1-3043008 Date: 8-13-13
THE Titan crane in Clydebank, the world’s first giant electrically-powered cantilever crane, will today receive the same international heritage honour as held by the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
The 106-year-old former shipyard crane on the River Clyde will be designated as an international historic civil engineering landmark by four leading civil and mechanical engineering institutions.
The crane, which became a visitor attraction in 2007, helped to fit out some of the world’s biggest battleships and liners, such as the Queen Mary, QE2 at the John Brown’s shipyard....Source: The Scotsman (UK) Source URL: http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/heritage/titan-crane-receives-international-heritage-honour-1-3043080 Date: 8-13-13
THE Great Train Robbers ditched a huge haul of cash from their infamous raid because they were Scottish banknotes, it has been claimed.
Gang members were said to be too wary of the “foreign” money snatched in the 1963 robbery, in which they stole £2.6 million (the equivalent of over £40m today) so they left it in their countryside hideout.
But this proved to be one of the key pieces of evidence that led to most of the 15-man gang’s eventual capture.
Author Nick Russell-Pavier, who carried out a series of interviews with mastermind Bruce Reynolds before he died, revealed the gang left behind a large sum in Scottish and Irish banknotes because they were wary of the currency....Source: The Scotsman (UK) Source URL: http://www.scotsman.com/news/transport/great-train-robbers-dumped-foreign-scottish-money-1-3040741 Date: 8-12-13
On 20 May 1609, the publisher Thomas Thorpe stepped off Ludgate Hill into Stationers' Hall, and registered what was to become perhaps the most famous poetic works of all time: Shakespeare's Sonnets. It was a slim volume on publication, containing 154 poems over 67 pages, and the edition is now extremely rare: only 13 copies survive. But its influence has been all-encompassing, providing a template for language, for literature, for love, ever since. Recent years have seen the sonnets disseminated in ways that Shakespeare could never have imagined. "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" is quoted 5m times on the internet. Apps have been created in which famous voices recite the poems, sonnets are tweeted, T-shirts are printed, and poetry that was once said to circulate only among Shakespeare's "private friends" is now stored for ever in the cloud.Source: Guardian (UK) Source URL: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/aug/10/search-shakespeares-dark-lady-florio Date: 8-10-13
The discovery was made by police divers off the coast of Porto Maurizio, Liguria, Il Secolo XIX reported.
At least 50 Roman vases were found in the ship, 50 metres below sea level, which remains completely intact.
“This is an exceptional discovery,” Lieutenant Colonel Francesco Schilardi told the newspaper.
“Now it’s a matter of protecting the ship and keeping the grave...Source: The Local Source URL: http://www.thelocal.it/20130809/2000-year-old-Roman-ship-found-off-Genoa Date: 8-9-13
The search for the wreckage of the ill-fated Franklin expedition in Canada’s Arctic will resume this weekend.
The HMS Erebus and the HMS Terror were lost after an 1845 expedition led by Sir John Franklin disappeared while attempting to find the Northwest Passage through the Arctic Ocean.
Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq says a group of scientists will spend six weeks conducting underwater searches using high-tech equipment, including military-grade sonar and remotely operated vehicles....Source: Toronto Globe and Mail Source URL: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/search-resumes-for-franklin-ships/article13702312/ Date: 8-9-13
Researchers opened a centuries-old Florence tomb on Friday in a search for remains that could confirm the identity of the woman whose enigmatic smile Leonardo da Vinci immortalized in the Mona Lisa, one of the world’s most famous paintings.
A round hole, just big enough for a person to wriggle through, was cut in the stone church floor above the family crypt of Florentine silk merchant Francesco del Giocondo, whose wife, Lisa Gherardini, is thought to have sat for the Renaissance master in the early 16th century....Source: Toronto Globe and Mail Source URL: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/florence-tomb-opened-in-search-for-identity-of-mona-lisa/article13689887/ Date: 8-9-13
ARCHAEOLOGISTS who have published the full analysis of a Scottish Iron Age hill fort first excavated in the 1970s have revealed fragments of “human trophy” bones were discovered on the site.
Broxmouth hill fort in East Lothian, which had first been identified from aerial photographs, was examined before the site was destroyed by a cement works.
It had been known that there had been a community of a couple of hundred people living at the fort for almost 1,000 years before the site was abandoned when the Romans left.Source: The Scotsman (UK) Source URL: http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/heritage/grisly-human-trophies-at-east-lothian-hill-fort-1-3034036 Date: 8-8-13