|Milledgeville to remember visit of Revolutionary War hero|
March 23, 2015, The Associated Press by Liz Fabian
Revolutionary War hero Marquis de Lafayette of France was nearly moved to tears by the Southern hospitality he enjoyed in Milledgeville in 1825.
His secretary noted in his diary that Lafayette was shown so many kindnesses at a ball in his honor that “the general forgot that Georgia was a new acquaintance.”
Lafayette was hailed an international celebrity across the nation 190 years ago during a nationwide farewell tour at the invitation of President James Monroe.
|Monday Is OK Day|
March 20, 2015, The Chronicle of Higher Education by Allan Metcalf
Monday is the anniversary of the birth of the expression OK, 176 years ago, on the second page of the Boston Morning Post for Saturday, March 23, 1839. OK began as a joke, a deliberately misspelled abbreviation of “all correct.” And it remained a joke for the better part of a century, even as it was being put to serious use in OK-ing documents, train departures and arrivals, and wholesome products like Pyle’s O.K. Soap.
But that’s not the most important reason for celebrating OK. In all seriousness, OK contributes to making the world a better place, or at least more tolerable.
|16th century temple discovered in Krishna|
March 18, 2015, The Hindu (IN) by M. Srinivas
The Archaeology and Museums Department has discovered an ancient Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple at Dwaraka Nagar of Chandarlapadu mandal in Krishna district.
The temple, dating to the 16th century A.D., was found when a team led by Assistant Director of Archaeology and Museums Department S. Bangaraiah went to inspect Sri Someswara Swamy temple atop a hill abutting Krishna River at Gudimetla village of Chandarlapadu in Nandigama. “While visiting the Sri Someswara Swamy temple, we noticed a small structure on a hillock and went there only to find an ancient Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple,” said Mr. Bangaraiah.
|Archaeologists unearth silver treasure in Falster|
March 17, 2015, The Copenhagen Post (DK) by Christian Wenande
Wielding metal detectors, three amateur archaeologists have unearthed a significant find of 75 large silver coins dating back to the turn of the 17th century, along with fragments of a silver belt, near Orenæs, Falster, in southeastern Denmark.
Michael Märcher, a museum inspector and coin expert with the National Museum of Denmark, was impressed by the many coins. In total, they weighed two kilos.
|Spain finds Don Quixote writer Cervantes' tomb in Madrid|
March 17, 2015, BBC (SP) by Camila Ruz
Forensic scientists say they have found the tomb of Spain's much-loved giant of literature, Miguel de Cervantes, nearly 400 years after his death.
They believe they have found the bones of Cervantes, his wife and others recorded as buried with him in Madrid's Convent of the Barefoot Trinitarians.
Separating and identifying his badly damaged bones from the other fragments will be difficult, researchers say.
The Don Quixote author was buried in 1616 but his coffin was later lost.
|16 Fun Facts for James Madison’s Birthday|
March 16, 2015, Mental Floss by Mark Mancini
At 5 feet 4 inches, Madison was America’s shortest commander-in-chief—but he left behind a towering legacy. To honor his 264th birthday, we’ve dug up some lesser-known details about this “Father of the U.S. Constitution” and the colorful life he led. Did you know...
|Historians ponder future of Revolutionary War relic|
March 14, 2015, The Associated Press by Wilson Ring
When it was built late in 1776 the gunboat Spitfire wasn't meant to be the pride of the American fleet. It was built to fight and fight it did, helping slow down the larger British fleet that sailed south out of Canada onto Lake Champlain as part of an effort to crush the colonial rebellion.
The 54-foot Spitfire sank a day after the critical Oct. 11 Battle of Valcour Island, settling into deep water where it went unseen for more than 200 years.
|Iran, Tom Cotton and the Bizarre History of the Logan Act|
March 12, 2015, Politico by Josh Zeitz
It’s been over 200 years since members of Congress wore white silk stockings and silver shoe buckles on the House floor, but if you read Tom Cotton’s letter to the leaders of Iran, you wouldn’t necessarily know it.
On March 9th, 47 Republican members of the United States Senate appeared to violate the Logan Act—a law dating to 1799 prohibiting unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments during a dispute with the United States.
The law was a response to the actions of George Logan, a physician and zealous Republican from Pennsylvania, who undertook a lone voyage to Paris in an effort to negotiate an end to the Quasi-War with France. Logan had no official standing or stature, and his private diplomacy stoked Federalist fears of a widespread plot among Republicans (as members of the Jeffersonian party, also known as the Democratic-Republican party, called themselves) to subvert the elected government in Philadelphia.
|George Washington was the last US president to face an all-out foreign policy uprising|
March 11, 2015, Quartz by Steve LeVine
Turns out there’s a close precedent for the spectacle of a poisonously contrary opposing party urging Americans and foreigners alike to ignore the sitting US president. But we must reach back all the way to George Washington and the 1790s, says a leading scholar.
In his day, Washington was branded senile by his opponents—the precursors to today’s Democrats but back then called Republicans—one of whom wished for his early death, according to Joseph Ellis, a Pulitzer Prize-winning US revolutionary-era scholar. Calling Washington a traitor, the Republicans, led by Thomas Jefferson, tried to defund a treaty he had negotiated with the British.
|Tea Tuesdays: The Scottish Spy Who Stole China's Tea Empire|
March 10, 2015, NPR by Staff
In the mid-19th century, Britain was an almost unchallenged empire. It controlled about a fifth of the world's surface, and yet its weakness had everything to do with tiny leaves soaked in hot water: tea. By 1800, it was easily the most popular drink among Britons.
The problem? All the tea in the world came from China, and Britain couldn't control the quality or the price. So around 1850, a group of British businessmen set out to create a tea industry in a place they did control: India.
|London rail work unearths thousands of skeletons from Bedlam|
March 09, 2015, PhysOrg by Jill Lawless
They came from every parish of London, and from all walks of life, and ended up in a burial ground called Bedlam. Now scientists hope their centuries-old skeletons can reveal new information about how long-ago Londoners lived—and about the bubonic plague that often killed them.
Archaeologists announced Monday that they have begun excavating the bones of some 3,000 people interred in the 16th and 17th centuries, who now lie in the path of the Crossrail transit line. They will be pored over by scientists before being reburied elsewhere.
|Vatican: Michelangelo letter drew ransom demand|
March 08, 2015, BBC (UK) by Staff
The Vatican says it has received a ransom demand for the return of a stolen letter by Renaissance artist Michelangelo.
The request for money, made to the cardinal in charge of St Peter's Basilica, was refused, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said.
The letter was among several that went missing from Vatican archives in 1997.
|Treasure chests and old artefacts from 18th century pirates hidden in the Seychelles - rare discoveries according to hotel owner on Praslin island|
March 08, 2015, Seychelles News Agency by Sharon Meriton Jean and Hajira Amla
Historians from Seychelles and Europe believe that hundreds of years ago, the Seychelles archipelago of 115 islands were used as a pirate hideaway, and legends of buried treasures still make a good yarn among the islands’ 90,000 inhabitants.
A few locals and foreign nationals have even chosen to make the pursuit of these treasures their lifetime quests.
The attraction of finding famous hidden treasures is understandable, including that of ‘La Buse’ (The Buzzard), also known as Olivier Levasseur, which is now estimated to be worth up to a billion dollars.
|Bacon's Castle celebrates 350th anniversary with intriguing name, rich history|
March 07, 2015, Richmond Times-Dispatch (VA) by Bill Lohmann
As names of famous places go, Bacon’s Castle might not seem the most precise, but considering the alternative appellation for this stately home was Arthur Allen’s Brick House, it’s no wonder something with a little more pizazz caught on.
As far as anyone knows, Nathaniel Bacon, who led an uprising against Colonial governor Sir William Berkeley in 1676, never actually set foot on this onetime plantation, and the structure doesn’t fulfill the modern expectations of a castle, but Bacon’s Castle is what it has been called for at least two centuries, which means the house is attached to a great story, so there you have it.
|Carbon-14 results soon to shed light on Mona Lisa's identity|
March 05, 2015, La Gazzetta del Mezzo Giorno (IT) by Staff
Carbon-14 results on the remains of three people exhumed from Florence's Sant'Orsola convent will soon reveal whether they include those of a woman thought to have sat for Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa painting, researcher Silvano Vinceti said Thursday. Vinceti, who chairs Italy's National Committee for the valorisation of historic, cultural and environmental heritage, said the tests will be ready in 15 days to a month, at the latest.
|The East India Company: The original corporate raiders|
March 04, 2015, The Guardian (UK) by William Dalrymple
One of the very first Indian words to enter the English language was the Hindustani slang for plunder: “loot”. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, this word was rarely heard outside the plains of north India until the late 18th century, when it suddenly became a common term across Britain. To understand how and why it took root and flourished in so distant a landscape, one need only visit Powis Castle.
The last hereditary Welsh prince, Owain Gruffydd ap Gwenwynwyn, built Powis castle as a craggy fort in the 13th century; the estate was his reward for abandoning Wales to the rule of the English monarchy. But its most spectacular treasures date from a much later period of English conquest and appropriation: Powis is simply awash with loot from India, room after room of imperial plunder, extracted by the East India Company in the 18th century.
|Planned pipeline threatens Revolutionary War battlefield in Georgia|
February 27, 2015, WRDW-TV News 12 (GA) by Staff
Construction on a new 360 mile long pipeline could start in just a couple of months. The 'Palmetto Project' pipeline would run from Jacksonville, Florida up through North Augusta to Belton, South Carolina.
It would pump up to 167,000 barrels of petroleum products across the two state every day, but folks in Screven county say it would destroy a national treasure.
|Building the First Slavery Museum in America|
February 26, 2015, Science Daily by David Amsden
Louisiana’s River Road runs northwest from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, its two lanes snaking some 100 miles along the Mississippi and through a contradictory stretch of America. Flat and fertile, with oaks webbed in Spanish moss, the landscape stands in defiance of the numerous oil refineries and petrochemical plants that threaten its natural splendor. In the rust-scabbed towns of clapboard homes, you are reminded that Louisiana is the eighth-poorest state in the nation. Yet in the lush sugar plantations that crop up every couple of miles, you can glimpse the excess that defined the region before the Civil War. Some are still active, with expansive fields yielding 13 million tons of sugar cane a year. Others stand in states of elegant rot. But most conspicuous are those that have been restored for tourists, transporting them into a world of bygone Southern grandeur — one in which mint juleps, manicured gardens and hoop skirts are emphasized over the fact that such grandeur was made possible by the enslavement of black human beings.
|Centuries-old DNA helps identify origins of slave skeletons found in Caribbean|
February 26, 2015, The Associated Press by Chris Carola
His words grace New Hampshire’s license plates - “Live Free or Die” - yet most people outside New England would be hard-pressed to identify Gen. John Stark, despite his heroics in two 18th century wars, including key roles in some of the American Revolution’s most significant battles.
Two brothers hope to enlighten readers with their new book on the Granite State’s favorite son, who did most of his soldiering in New York while serving in the forerunner of today’s U.S. Army Rangers and, two decades later, leading troops in the nation’s fight for independence.
|How Was The Revolutionary War Paid For?|
February 23, 2015, Journal Of The American Revolution by John L. Smith, Jr.
It’s one thing to make speeches about declaring independence, or to assemble militias and discuss battle tactics against the enemy.
It’s quite another thing to pay for it all.
So how do you pay for a war that no one expected to last eight years?
|Cambridgeshire church plague graffiti reveals 'heartbreaking' find|
February 20, 2015, BBC (UK) by Staff
"Heartbreaking" graffiti uncovered in a Cambridgeshire church has revealed how three sisters from one family died in a plague outbreak in 1515.
The names Cateryn, Jane and Amee Maddyngley and the date were inscribed on stonework in Kingston parish church.
It was found by Norfolk and Suffolk Medieval Graffiti Survey volunteers.
|Storm washes Armada wreckage on to Sligo beach|
February 20, 2015, The Irish Times by Marese McDonagh
Fears have been expressed for the security of the three Spanish Armada shipwrecks off the coast of Co Sligo, following the discovery of two separate remnants, apparently washed up on Streedagh beach by recent storms.
Donal Gilroy from the Grange and Armada Development Association (GADA) said the discoveries underlined the fragility of the wrecks, described by one expert as “the best archaeological site for this time of maritime archaeology in the world”.
The National Museum and the heritage office at Sligo County Council were notified yesterday about the finds, which follow the discovery last year of part of a 20ft rudder from one of the vessels on the beach.
|Getting to know George Washington, America's 'conservative revolutionary'|
February 18, 2015, The Virginia Gazette by Mitchell B. Reiss
As we approach George Washington's birthday this coming Sunday, Feb. 22, it is appropriate for us to look past the mattress and car sales invoking his name and pause to reflect on his many contributions to our country. From the distance of more than two centuries, how should we assess his impact on the United States? And what relevance does his life have for us in 2015?
|Confronting political extremism through debate itself|
February 17, 2015, Richmond Times-Dispatch (VA) by Michael Signer
Today, our commonwealth and the country at large are being poisoned by a toxic brew of extremism, gridlock and cynicism about leadership itself. Congress is both historically unpopular and unproductive. President Barack Obama has been stymied in his quest to bring hope and unity to a country divided between red and blue. And here in Richmond, many leaders of both parties can barely speak to each other, let alone compromise, on issues ranging from Medicaid expansion to nonpartisan redistricting.
...For a model, our political leaders today should look further back in time — to James Madison. In researching young James Madison’s rise over the past four years, I was struck by how Madison challenged extremism through the politically unlikely but powerful force of debate.
|I, Tituba: Working as a Historical Reenactor in Salem|
February 10, 2015, The Toast by Dianca London Potts
I was Tituba. Or at least, everyone thought I was. During my freshman year at a small liberal arts Christian college in Wenham, Massachusetts, my lifelong fascination with the Salem Witch Trials and an empty bank account prompted me to apply for a job as a historical reenactor. For nine dolllars an hour, I dressed in heavy cloaks, long skirts, and leather boots with golden buckles. I revived the past as a member of the street cast for Cry Innocent, a dramatized play recounting the trail of Bridget Bishop, the first citizen of Salem to be executed as a witch. Somewhere between the excitement of make-believe and a steady paycheck, I forgot the historical implications of something I couldn’t change: the color of my skin.