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History News Network
Updated: 16 weeks 2 days ago
IT WAS one of Scotland’s most catastrophic defeats, a battle that robbed the country of its king and countless lairds.
Now, in the run-up to the 500th anniversary of the battle of Flodden, an expert has blamed the defeat on the Scottish army’s inability to master their weapon of choice: an unwieldy, 18ft pike.
The forces of James IV were destroyed by the English troops of Henry VIII because they were unable to use their long pikes properly and did not have enough time to get used to them, according to military archaeologist Dr Tony Pollard, of Glasgow University....Source: The Scotsman (UK) Source URL: http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/heritage/scots-army-defeat-at-flodden-blamed-on-18ft-weapon-1-3037373 Date: 8-9-13
An Ottawa historian’s discovery of a 19th-century manuscript previously unseen by scholars has shed new light on the 1867 unearthing of “Champlain’s Astrolabe,” the navigational instrument famously — though controversially — believed to have been lost by French explorer Samuel de Champlain during his pioneering journey up the Ottawa River exactly four centuries ago this year.
The 13-centimetre-wide, 629-gram circle of brass, repatriated from a U.S. collection in 1989 for $250,000 by the Canadian Museum of Civilization, is widely considered one of country’s most important and evocative historical artifacts — though there is no direct proof it ever actually belonged to Champlain, the 17th-century founder of New France.
And Carleton University historian Bruce Elliott’s discovery of an 1893 document penned by Capt. Daniel Cowley — an Ottawa Valley steamboat entrepreneur who had been a key part of the astrolabe saga when it was found 26 years earlier — appears to strengthen the case against Champlain’s ownership of the object....Source: National Post (Canada) Source URL: http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/08/08/19th-century-manuscript-sheds-new-light-on-champlains-astrolobe-thought-lost-by-french-explorer/ Date: 8-8-13
The 17th-century Hôtel de Savoie on the Rue des Grands Augustins in the chic 6th arrondissement of Paris is one of the grand mansions for which the French capital is famous.
A greying plaque next to the building's wrought iron gates, however, reveals added historic value. "Pablo Picasso lived in this building between 1936 and 1955. It is in this studio he painted Guernica in 1937", it proclaims.
Today, the Hôtel de Savoie has seen better days. However, the studio, which Honoré de Balzac – whose name is also noted on the plaque – described as "so large that the skylight fails to illuminate the corners" and which is reached via an impressive entrance hall and spiral staircase, is recognisable from photos showing Picasso at work here....Source: Guardian (UK) Source URL: http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/aug/08/picasso-paris-studio-bitter-tussle Date: 8-8-13
The FBI has reopened an investigation into the disappearance of a newborn boy stolen from a Chicago hospital in 1964.
It comes after DNA tests showed that the child who was returned to the missing boy's parents is not their son.
Paul Fronczak, 49, was raised by Chester and Dora Fronczak after detectives found him abandoned in New Jersey in 1965....Source: BBC News Source URL: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-23620072 Date: 8-8-13
Locals believe that the Spanish town of Aielo de Malferit is where Coca-Cola originated -- and that the factory which developed the formula that inspired the world's best-selling soda has been cheated of its rightful place in history. Not to mention profits.
It's allegedly the birthplace of the world's best-known soft drink, but these days, it's looking a little run-down. Lined with houses that are for sale, the streets of Aielo de Malferit in the province of Valencia are deserted. With the younger generation escaping chronic unemployment and moving to major cities such as Valencia, Barcelona and Madrid, only the elderly still live here.
Gray-haired and bespectacled, 74-year-old Juan Micó wears a white lab coat as he pours a brown liquid into a thin glass tube. Shards of pale sunlight filter through the grimy windows of his factory, and a smell of damp wood pervades the air. "The grated kola nut and herbs blended with alcohol mature in a clay jug for a month," he explains. "What happens then is a secret." ...Source: Der Spiegel Source URL: http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/locals-say-coca-cola-originated-in-aielo-de-malferit-in-spain-a-915371.html#ref=nl-international Date: 8-8-13
Rare evidence that humans lived on the River Thames 9,000 years ago has been discovered by archaeologists working on the Crossrail project.
A Mesolithic tool-making factory featuring 150 pieces of flint was found at the tunnelling worksite in Woolwich.
Archaeologists said prehistoric Londoners were using the site to prepare river cobbles which were then made into flint tools.
Gold has also been discovered at its site in Liverpool Street....Source: BBC News Source URL: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-23609994 Date: 8-8-13
The only original building left intact at Sutter's Fort is getting an upgrade.
For the past month, California State Parks employees have been working to seismically stabilize and reshingle the roof of the historic Central Building at Sutter's Fort Historic Park.
When originally constructed in 1840, the 6,500-square-foot building was the largest in the region, and it has since served alternatively as an office space, an entertainment hub, an Army headquarters and a miners dormitory....Source: Sacramento Bee Source URL: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/08/08/5632547/original-sutters-fort-building.html Date: 8-8-13
Margaret Pellegrini, 89, who played the flowerpot Munchkin in the 1939 movie, died Wednesday, a spokesman for the Munchkins told news outlets, including CNN.
Spokesman Ted Bulthaup said that Pellegrini, one of the Sleepy Head kids in the film, suffered a stroke at her Phoeniz area home on Monday....
Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/08/08/4396713/margaret-pellegrini-one-of-last.html#storylink=cpy.. Source: Kansas City Star Source URL: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/08/08/4396713/margaret-pellegrini-one-of-last.html Date: 8-8-13
Art Burton listened intently as the old man on the other end of the phone cleared his throat and began telling him a story. Burton had only been researching the life of Bass Reeves for a short while but that afternoon what Reverend Haskell James Shoeboot, the 98-year-old part-Cherokee Indian, was about to tell him would persuade Burton he had stumbled upon one of the greatest stories never told.
Born in 1838, Bass Reeves was a former slave-turned-lawman who served with the U.S. Marshals Service for 32 years at the turn of the 20th century in part of eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas known as Indian Territory. Though he was illiterate, Reeves became an expert tracker and detective – a man who, in Burton’s words, “walked in the valley of death every day for 35 years and brought in some of the worst outlaws from that period”....
It reaffirmed what Burton had suspected: that (Armie Hammer’s caucasian portrayal aside in the movie The Lone Ranger) Bass Reeves — perhaps the first black commissioned deputy marshal west of the Mississippi — could well have been one of the greatest lawmen of the Wild West. But most people hadn’t heard of him. Over the next 20 years, Reeves would become an obsession for Burton, culminating in a very interesting hypothesis, which he puts forward in his book Black Gun, Silver Star....Source: National Post (Canada) Source URL: http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/08/06/was-bass-reeves-a-former-slave-turned-deputy-u-s-marshal-the-real-lone-ranger/ Date: 8-6-13
Crossrail archaeologists have unearthed the remains of patients from the infamous Bedlam Hospital, the world's first psychiatric asylum.
The skeletons, unearthed in the UK's largest archaeological site, belonged to a few of the 20,000 people interred in a burial ground established adjacent to the psychiatric asylum.
Crossrail's lead archaeologist Jay Carver said: "we've got a sixteenth century burial ground existing right below our feet in the road here, about two metres from where we're standing are the skeletons of perhaps up to four thousand people who live and died in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries."...Source: Telegraph (UK) Source URL: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/10229782/Remains-of-16th-century-Londoners-found-in-Bedlam-burial-ground.html Date: 8-7-13
Humans originated in Africa. But what route did they take as they began to disperse around the world 60,000 years ago? A new professor at the University of Huddersfield has played a key role in finding the answer to one of the most fundamental questions in the history of mankind.
Professor Richards, who moved to Huddersfield from the University of Leeds, is a pioneer in the field -- one of just two professors of archaeogenetics in the world. He uses DNA evidence to study human origins, comparing data from modern samples across the world and occasionally to that which can be obtained from ancient sources such as skeletal remains and fossilised teeth. It leads to a vivid picture of the migration patterns of humankind and the origins of civilisation....Source: Eurekalert Source URL: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-08/uoh-shf081213.php Date: 8-8-13
Second World War bomber veterans are calling for the Bomber Command clasp to be extended to dozens of surviving aircrew who risked their lives on raids in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Far East.
After years of campaigning by veterans, the Government announced in February that the Bomber Command Clasp would be awarded to aircrew in recognition of their bravery and service.
But aircrew who undertook perilous bombing raids over Italy, Africa, the Middle East and the Far East have been told they are not eligible for the new award, which only applies to those who flew with Bomber Command over Western Europe.
The Bomber Command Association has now backed the veterans and an MP is calling for the Ministry of Defence to reconsider the qualifying rules for the decoration....Source: Telegraph (UK) Source URL: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/raf-bomber-command/10225585/Dozens-of-Second-World-War-veterans-denied-Bomber-Command-clasp.html Date: 8-6-13
Bobbing on the port captain's launch off the coast of Gibraltar on Tuesday there was no evidence of how this calm stretch of sea could have caused such an international storm. A handful of craft fishermen cast their nets, seemingly oblivious to the fact that 10 metres below their dinghies lay the unlikely catalyst for a political row that has embroiled David Cameron in the UK's bitterest battle with Spain over "the Rock" since Franco.
Here, late last month, Gibraltar dumped an artificial reef on a fishing ground favoured by Spanish scallop dredgers. Now the ripples from those dozens of concrete blocks are rocking a 300 year old British enclave that for some is an emblematic imperial redoubt and for others an awkward colonial hangover.
On Tuesday Gibraltar said it was preparing for legal action against Madrid over its retaliation for the reef, which has taken the form of a frontier control go-slow that has caused residents to queue for up to six hours in scorching summer temperatures. Gibraltar has accused Spain of inhumane behaviour and is gathering evidence that could be used at the European Court of Human Rights....Source: Guardian (UK) Source URL: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/06/gibraltar-locals-united-frustration-politics?INTCMP=SRCH Date: 8-6-13
Ofcom has been drawn into the controversy over Bauer Media's publication of the German magazine Der Landser, which has been accused of whitewashing the history of the Waffen-SS, the Nazi party's armed wing.
A letter has been sent to the broadcasting regulator by the media banker and analyst Bruce Fireman contesting Bauer's acquisition of Absolute Radio (formerly Virgin Radio) from the group that owns the Times Of India.
Fireman contends that Ofcom should refuse permission for Bauer's takeover on the grounds that the company is not a fit and proper person, under terms of the broadcasting acts, to hold a broadcasting licence.
He has set out his reasons in an online article headlined Nazi sympathisers allowed to run UK radio stations? It includes his full letter to Ofcom....Source: Guardian (UK) Source URL: http://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2013/aug/08/ofcom-bauer?INTCMP=SRCH Date: 8-8-13
WASHINGTON—The Justice Department’s World War II effort to punish Chicago Tribune journalists for disclosing naval intelligence was known in 1942.
But the legal analysis behind it, as reported by The Wall Street Journal Wednesday, remained secret until last month, when the Obama administration released a selection of historic opinions dating from the 1930s to the 1970s prepared by the Office of Legal Counsel and its predecessors.
“For us, this volume was truly a labor of love and respect for the history, traditions, and people of this Office and the Department of Justice,” Assistant Attorney General Virginia Seitz and staff attorney Nathan Forrester, who edited the selection, write in the foreword....Source: WSJ Source URL: http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2013/08/07/disclosure-of-world-war-ii-leak-probe-was-a-labor-of-love/?KEYWORDS=history Date: 8-7-13
With just a week to go until Aug. 15, the 68th anniversary of Japan’s World War II surrender, local media have gone on full Yasukuni alert, trying to predict which Cabinet ministers will be heading to the controversial shrine to pay their respects to the country’s war dead.
This annual media circus on an otherwise a solemn day of remembrance is likely to take on an added significance for Japan this year, as China and South Korea increasingly view visits to the shrine as a measure of hawkish Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s commitment–or lack thereof–to face up to Japan’s wartime history.
The Shinto shrine located in central Tokyo honors over two million war dead, including numerous convicted war criminals.
Virtually all of Mr. Abe’s Cabinet ministers were asked about their schedules for next Thursday during their respective post-Cabinet meeting press conferences....Source: WSJ Source URL: http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2013/08/08/yasukuni-watch-whos-going-whos-not-who-wont-say/?KEYWORDS=history Date: 8-8-13
RICHMOND, Va. — A heritage group’s plan to fly a large Confederate flag along Interstate 95 outside Richmond is drawing criticism from the head of the NAACP’s Virginia chapter.
The Virginia Flaggers plans to fly the 10-by-15-foot flag on a 50-foot pole just south of Richmond. It’s tentatively scheduled to go up Sept. 28 and will be visible from the northbound lanes of the interstate, although organizers haven’t said exactly where it will be located.
Virginia NAACP Executive Director King Salim Khalfani told the Richmond Times-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/14iwLLJ ) that the flag would make Richmond look like a “backwater, trailer park, hick town.”...Source: AP Source URL: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/va-naacp-head-criticizes-groups-plan-to-fly-confederate-flag-along-i-95-outside-richmond/2013/08/07/6a28d00a-ff4f-11e2-8294-0ee5075b840d_story.html Date: 8-7-13
CONCORD, N.H. — A New Hampshire auction house is offering a collection of documents from Oskar Schindler, the German industrialist who saved more than 1,000 Jewish workers at his factories during World War II, including a letter he signed that paved the way for the rescue chronicled in the 1993 movie “Schindler’s List.”
The letter, dated Aug. 22, 1944, describes permission to move his enamelware factory, workers included, out of Krakow, Poland, to Czechoslovakia, a move that historians say allowed him to save the workers....Source: AP Source URL: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/nh-auction-offers-schindler-documents-including-letter-paving-way-for-jewish-workers-rescue/2013/08/07/263b9f4e-ff9a-11e2-8294-0ee5075b840d_story.html Date: 8-7-13
NEW YORK — Some 60 years ago, a doctor in Baltimore removed cancer cells from a poor black patient named Henrietta Lacks without her knowledge or consent. Those cells eventually helped lead to a multitude of medical treatments and laid the groundwork for the multibillion-dollar biotech industry.
It’s a saga made famous by the 2010 bestseller “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.”
Now, for the first time, the Lacks family has been given a say over some research involving her cells....Source: AP Source URL: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/nih-family-of-henrietta-lacks-reach-deal-on-access-to-dna-code/2013/08/07/68f3da04-ff8b-11e2-96a8-d3b921c0924a_story.html Date: 8-7-13
NEW YORK — The city has become an archaeological site, with thousands of artifacts such as an 18th-century bone toothbrush with animal hair bristles and wine and champagne bottles corked centuries ago unearthed to prove it.
A copper half-penny and a pair of children’s shoes are some of the other remnants of early New York life workers discovered in lower Manhattan while digging to install new utilities for the growing residential and business South Street Seaport area....Source: AP Source URL: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/nyc-becomes-archaeological-site-18th-century-bone-toothbrush-old-champagne-bottles-unearthed/2013/08/07/53d0ad22-ffc3-11e2-8294-0ee5075b840d_story.html Date: 8-7-13