|This Is What the Framers Said About the Senate’s Power to Offer Advice and Consent|
April 06, 2015, History News Network by Ray Raphael
Loretta Lynch, President Obama’s choice to succeed Eric Holder as Attorney General, has been awaiting senatorial confirmation for almost five months. The second clause of Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution states that presidential appointments of “public Ministers and Consuls” depend on “the Advice and Consent of the Senate,” and Republicans in the Senate are jealously guarding their power by denying consent.
The same clause also states that presidential treaty-making powers are subject to “the Advice and Consent of the Senate.” Forty-seven Senate Republicans place such stock in their constitutional power that they pointed it out to “The Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” In weeks to come, this corps will be offering President Obama a full dose of advice as it withholds consent for the nuclear deal with Iran.
“Advice and Consent”—what, exactly, did the framers have in mind?
|16 Dating Pointers from Casanova|
April 02, 2015, Mental Floss by Caitlin Schneider
Today is the 290th anniversary of Giacomo Casanova’s birth. Although the legendary lover did all of his womanizing in the 18th century, many of the lessons in his multi-volume autobiography are still useful for men and women alike in the age of Tinder.
|Rare and lost masterpiece of 18th century Mexican Colonial art found under couch|
April 02, 2015, Fox News Latino by Staff
An extremely rare and thought lost masterpiece from the Mexican Colonial era was found in the most unlikely of places.
A painting by Miguel Cabrera, considered the greatest painter of his era, was found neatly rolled up and well-preserved under the couch of retired corporate attorney Christina Jones Janssen, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“My dad always told me it was old and probably from Spain,” she told The Times. “He though it had some mates there. He wanted me to look into it someday.”
|Complete camel skeleton unearthed in Austria|
April 01, 2015, ScienceDaily by Staff
Archaeologists working on a rescue excavation uncovered a complete camel skeleton in Tulln, Lower Austria. The camel, which was dated to the time of the Second Ottoman War in the 17th century, most likely died in the city of Tulln. Genetic analyses showed that the animal was a male hybrid of a dromedary in the maternal line and a Bactrian camel in the paternal line. The find is unique for Central Europe.
|Bearing the Flag|
March 31, 2015, Snopes.com by Staff
Claim: The design of the California state flag was based on a mistake.
|Archaeological dig planned for Glouco site of 1777 battle|
March 31, 2015, The Philadelphia Inquirer (PA) by Edward Colimore
The Hessians were out for blood that autumn day in 1777. They marched 10 miles from Haddonfield to Red Bank, hoping to surprise the American defenders of Fort Mercer on the Delaware River.
Instead, they fell into a trap.
Many of Britain's German allies passed over the abandoned earthen walls topped with pointed logs, and then cheered, thinking they'd breached the fort and were close to victory.
|‘Hamilton’ Puts Politics Onstage and Politicians in Attendance
March 27, 2015, The New York Times by Jennifer Schuessler
The hip-hop musical “Hamilton,” featuring a mainly black and Latino cast playing America’s founding fathers, has drawn a steady stream of boldface names since it began its sold-out run at the Public Theater in January.
The show has also attracted some more rarefied V.I.P.s: political figures with firsthand knowledge of the pressures — and scandals — that come with running the country.
|Colliding stars explain enigmatic 17th century explosion|
March 26, 2015, SpaceDaily by Staff
New observations made with APEX and other telescopes reveal that the star that European astronomers saw appear in the sky in 1670 was not a nova, but a much rarer, violent breed of stellar collision.
It was spectacular enough to be easily seen with the naked eye during its first outburst, but the traces it left were so faint that very careful analysis using submillimetre telescopes was needed before the mystery could finally be unravelled more than 340 years later. The results appear online in the journal Nature on 23 March 2015.
|466-year-old chapel in Malaysia set to undergo restoration|
March 25, 2015, The Star/Asia News Network by R.s.n. Murali
Lent 2015 brought cheer to thousands of Catholics here with news that the ancient Rosary Chapel (Ermida de Rosario) will be restored, ending its days of neglect.
Malacca Museum Corporation (Perzim) has received the go-ahead from the management of St Peter's Church of Malacca to start work on the 466-year-old building and the land it stands on in Jalan Bunga Raya Pantai along Malacca River.
|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.
|Following in Lafayette’s footsteps|
March 13, 2015, France in the US by Staff
The tall ship replica of "l’Hermione" will set sail in April 2015, sailing across the Atlantic from France to America
Since July 1997, the Association Hermione-Lafayette has been working to reconstruct an exact replica of the ship l’Hermione, which brought General Lafayette to the United States in 1780, where he joined American insurgents in their fight for independence.
|Concord's best-kept secret: The Wright Tavern|
March 12, 2015, Wicked Local by Melvin H. Bernstein
No historic building in Concord is more important to the American Revolution than the Wright Tavern. Yet the story of the Wright Tavern is little told, under-appreciated, and largely taken for granted. Although the building is designated a National Historic Landmark, there are no visitor hours posted, no contact person, no information guides you would commonly find at major historic sites.
What makes the Wright Tavern special are two pivotal revolutionary events that took place there in 1774 and 1775. First, the new Provincial Congress of Massachusetts convened in Concord on Oct. 11, 1774 in defiance of the Crown’s authority. Key committees met at the Wright Tavern to hammer out resolutions on the military, safety, and tax collections to prepare for the looming confrontation with the British. The full assembly of the Congress, amounting to nearly 300 representatives, debated the resolutions next door at the town Meeting House.
|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.