|Interns follow Donner Party path through Utah|
July 13, 2014, The Associated Press by Staff
A group of U.S. Bureau of Land Management interns trekked three days this week across a blistering stretch of Utah desert, recreating part of the 1846 path of the ill-fated Donner Party.
The path across Utah's Great Salt Lake Desert en route to California delayed the Donner Party, leading to starvation, deaths and cannibalism when they became stranded in the Sierra Nevada later than expected.
|Researchers explore cursed 450-year-old shipwreck at the bottom of the Baltic Sea|
July 11, 2014, Fox News by Staff
Researchers have begun exploring the wreckage of the Mars, a Swedish war ship that sank during a naval battle in 1564.
Johan Rönnby, professor of maritime archeology at Södertörn University in Sweden, was recently awarded a grant from the National Geographic Society for his project, "The Maritime Battlefield of Mars (1964)."
|Little-remembered Revolutionary War hero a step closer to citizenship|
July 10, 2014, The Los Angeles Times (CA) by Richard Simon
Honorary U.S. citizens: Lafayette, Winston Churchill, Mother Teresa. And soon, perhaps, Bernardo de Galvez.
Legislation to make the Spanish hero of the American Revolution an honorary U.S. citizen cleared the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, even though some of its members said they had never heard of him.
|The atlas of King George|
July 05, 2014, The Economist by Staff
WHEN King George III proclaimed in 1763 that Canada’s indigenous peoples had rights to their ancestral lands, it bought peace with the locals who outnumbered and sometimes outfought the British colonists. But as the balance of inhabitants shifted—indigenous people now account for only 4.3% of the population—governments took an increasingly narrow view of that promise. In some cases they ignored it completely. On June 26th the Supreme Court of Canada provided a sharp reminder that King George’s word is still law.
|What If America Had Lost the Revolutionary War?|
July 04, 2014, The Atlantic by Uri Friedman
The Fourth of July—a time we Americans set aside to celebrate our independence and mark the war we waged to achieve it, along with the battles that followed. There was the War of 1812, the War of 1833, the First Ohio-Virginia War, the Three States' War, the First Black Insurrection, the Great War, the Second Black Insurrection, the Atlantic War, the Florida Intervention.
Confused? These are actually conflicts invented for the novel The Disunited States of America by Harry Turtledove, a prolific (and sometimes-pseudonymous) author of alternate histories with a Ph.D. in Byzantine history. The book is set in the 2090s in an alternate United States that is far from united. In fact, the states, having failed to ratify a constitution following the American Revolution, are separate countries that oscillate between cooperating and warring with one another, as in Europe.
|The Price They Paid|
July 03, 2014, Snopes by Staff
Claim: Essay outlines the fates of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
Status: Mixture Of True And False Information
|Are We Reading One of the Declaration of Independence’s Most Iconic Lines Wrong?|
July 03, 2014, The Blaze by Liz Klimas
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
It is that period in the official transcript and on the 1823 engraving held by the National Archives and Records Administration that is being called into question on the Declaration of Independence, drafted by Thomas Jefferson and signed on July 4, 1776, by the Second Continental Congress.
|Phil Collins gives collection of Alamo artefacts to Texas|
June 26, 2014, The Guardian (UK) by Tom Dart
Phil Collins, the British pop star, is in the limelight again for donating his private collection of about 200 artefacts from the Texas revolution and the Battle of the Alamo to the state of Texas so they can be stored and displayed at the historic site of the Alamo in San Antonio.
|The Bizarre Mechanical Messiah of John Murray Spear|
June 24, 2014, Mysterious Universe by Micah Hanks
Clergyman, abolitionist, secret-society founder, 1850's women’s rights and free-love advocate… and eventually a steam-punk “godsmith” seeking to create a kind of holier-than-holy, copper-bound mecha-messiah.
Needless to say, John Murray Spear must have been a sight to be held in his day.
|Long-lost shipwreck found in Lake Michigan, explorer says|
June 24, 2014, The Associated Press by Staff
A debris field at the bottom of Lake Michigan may be the remains of the long-lost Griffin, a vessel commanded by a 17th-century French explorer, said a shipwreck hunter who has sought the wreckage for decades.
Steve Libert told the Associated Press that his crew found the debris this month about 120 feet from the spot where they removed a wooden slab a year ago that was protruding from the lake bottom. Libert believes that timber was the bowsprit of Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle's ship, although scientists who joined the 2013 expedition say the slab more likely was an abandoned fishing net stake.
|Haiti: UNESCO to send experts to examine possible wreck of 'Santa Maria'|
June 23, 2014, UN News Centre by Staff
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced today that it will provide technical assistance requested by the Government of Haiti and send a mission to the site of an underwater shipwreck, which may be that of the Santa Maria, the flagship of Christopher Columbus’s first voyage to America.
In a letter dated 12 June, Haitian Culture Minister Monique Rocourt asked for the support of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Body of UNESCO’s 2001 Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage, requesting that a mission of experts be sent to the site.
|'Turn' Renewed for Season Two by AMC|
June 23, 2014, zap2it by Sara Bibel
AMC today announced that it has ordered a second season of its Revolutionary War drama, “TURN,” which attracted a passionate core audience averaging 2 million viewers a week over its initial 10-episode run. “TURN” will return to AMC with 10 new episodes next spring. The network is also pairing encores of the entire first season of “TURN” with “Hell On Wheels” on Saturday nights this summer, to give new viewers a chance to discover and connect with the show.
|The mystery of where Plymouth got its start|
June 21, 2014, The Boston Globe (MA) by David Filipov
Every American schoolchild knows the story of the Pilgrims’ settlement of Plymouth. But even the most exacting US historian cannot say for sure precisely where that settlement stood.
Now, a team of archeologists is digging through the sand at the bottom of Burial Hill in Plymouth center, their hopes set on unlocking a mystery that has intrigued researchers for generations: the location of the early 17th-century palisades that would define the original borders of the town that calls itself America’s Hometown.
|Power company clashes with US history in Virginia|
June 21, 2014, The Associated Press by Steve Szkotak
A power company's plan to build high-rise transmission towers within sight of Jamestown Island has stirred opposition from historic preservationists who say they'll be a visual blight from the swampy shore where America sprouted.
Dominion Virginia Power is awaiting permits from the Army Corps of Engineers to construct 17 towers across 4 miles of the James River. The towers would rise above the river to a height ranging from 160 feet to 295 feet, nearly the same height of the Statue of Liberty.
|The Gory New York City Riot that Shaped American Medicine|
June 17, 2014, Smithsonian by Bess Lovejoy
For most Americans, being a physician is a respectable profession, held in high esteem and relatively untarnished by the constant health care debates. But that wasn’t always the case, and one of the first major riots in the post-revolution United States was caused by popular anger against doctors. The so-called “Doctors’ Riot,” which began on April 16, 1788, and killed as many as 20 people, influenced both the perception of American medicine and the way it was carried out for decades to come, even though it has been mostly forgotten today
|Fly Found With Da Vinci Princess Spurs Mystery|
June 14, 2014, Discover News by Rossella Lorenzi
A fly larva discovered among the remains of an Italian Renaissance princess -- often credited to be the true Mona Lisa -- has a produced a zoological puzzle, raising questions about the origins of the insect.
Widely believed to be a native of the Americas, the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) thrives on decaying organic material. It was thought to have first reached Europe in the early 1900s.
|Washington’s flag awaits museum’s 2016 opening|
June 13, 2014, The Associated Press by Kathy Matheson
Even as Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as the nation’s official flag in 1777, another American banner was making history on Revolutionary War battlefields.
The plain blue standard with 13 white, six-pointed stars traveled with George Washington to denote his presence as commander in chief of the Continental Army.
|Vermeer's paintings might be 350 year-old color photographs|
June 10, 2014, BoingBoing by Tim Jenison
I was sitting in the bathtub in 2008 when I thought of a simple way Johannes Vermeer (Girl with a Pearl Earring) might have painted his photorealistic pictures 350 years ago, long before the invention of photography. Vermeer's paintings are legendary for their realism, and many have speculated that he must have used some sort of optical technology, like the camera obscura, to get that result.
It's common knowledge that you can trace the images projected on the screen of a camera obscura, which is basically a black box with a lens mounted on one side. This helps you get the size and shapes of things established on the canvas. Intuitively it seems that you could paint colors right on the projected image and get a photoreal result.
|Interior chief: Jamestown at risk from rising seas|
June 05, 2014, The Associated Press by Steve Szkotak
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell got a firsthand look Thursday at the effect of climate change on ever-receding Jamestown island, concluding that America's first permanent European settlement is clearly vulnerable to rising seas.
Led by National Park Service rangers, Jewell trekked around the island, where some sections now lie beneath the James River, and heard of the devastation in 2003 when Hurricane Isabel raked the low-lying landscape. The storm left many parts of the island underwater and destroyed thousands of artifacts retrieved from archaeological digs. Many are still being restored.
|Reader warning: Harvard experts say book is bound with human skin|
June 05, 2014, CNN by Jethro Mullen
It's reading matter not for the faint of heart.
Experts at Harvard said this week that they have confirmed that a 19th-century book housed in one of the university's libraries is bound in human skin.
|Ohio Millstones Have French Origins|
June 04, 2014, The Cleveland Museum of Natural History by Glenda Bogar
A geologist studied fossils to confirm that stones used in 19th century Ohio grain mills originated from France. Fossils embedded in these millstones were analyzed to determine that stones known as French buhr were imported from regions near Paris, France, to Ohio in the United States. Dr. Joseph Hannibal, curator of invertebrate paleontology at The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, was lead author on research published in the Society for Sedimentary Geology journal PALAIOS.
The study documents a technique that uses fossils to definitively distinguish French buhr from similar-looking Ohio chert (also known as flint). The most revealing fossil is a one-millimeter wide reproductive structure of a charophyte (a type of algae also known as a stonewort) that occurs in the rocks of the Paris Basin, a geological province centered around Paris, France.
|The Ice King Cometh|
May 30, 2014, Now I Know by Dan Lewis
The 2013 movie Frozen (which you probably should watch if you haven’t) opens with an squadron of men, armed with sharp objects, transversing the ice and snow in frigid, remote areas. While plunder is on their minds, in a sense, they aren’t going to war. They’re going to a lake. Their goal: to harvest as much ice as possible and carry it back with them to their kingdom.
In modern times, this seems kind of strange. We have things called freezers which, when furnished with a tray filled with water, can provide us with enough cubes of ice to make any drink invitingly cold. Some refrigerators even come with ice makers which can provide ice almost on command. But that wasn’t always the case, and in the 1800s, a man named Frederic Tudor skated his way to riches because of it.
|How A Cryptoanalyst Discovered The Identity Of The Man In The Iron Mask|
May 26, 2014, IO9 by Esther Inglis-Arkell
For those of you who have only seen the Leonardo DiCaprio movie, the Man in the Iron Mask was an actual historical figure. He was a mysterious prisoner in the time of Louis XIV. Two centuries later, a cryptoanalyst finally discovered his probable identity.
In 1698, the Man in the Iron Mask had gained quite a reputation for himself (some said herself) when he had been in a prison in Savoy. In Paris, he was the subject of so much gossip that he became a legend for centuries to come. Theorists tried to work out his identity. Some, most famously, Alexandre Dumas, made up an identity, and spun a tale in which the Man in the Iron Mask was the secret twin of Louis XIV. Twins were a threat to orderly succession, but no one could kill a prince of royal blood, so the second twin was masked and imprisoned.
|New exhibit on Revolutionary War in SC opening|
May 24, 2014, The Associated Press by Staff
A new exhibit chronicling the American Revolution is opening at the South Carolina State Museum.
The exhibit opens at the museum in Columbia on Saturday and runs through Aug. 17.
|Plas Newydd: Heat from the sea to warm historic house|
May 22, 2014, BBC News )UK) by Roger Harrabin
One of the finest old mansions in Wales is making history with a new technology that sucks heat from sea water.
Plas Newydd, with spectacular views of Snowdon from Anglesey, will in future have its collection of past military uniforms warmed by a heat pump.