|Resolution Could Honor Little-Known Revolutionary War History|
February 23, 2011, News & Messenger (VA) by Kipp Hanley
The average American might not know that a teenaged James Monroe participated in the Battle of Trenton in the Revolutionary War – more than 40 years before he became president.
Probably even fewer know that a biracial man from Prince William County named John Sidebottom helped carry the injured Monroe from the battlefield, likely saving his life.
Bravery like this from the black populace in the Revolutionary War has largely gone unnoticed until recent years. Former Manassas area resident Maurice Barboza hopes that some of these folks that called Prince William their home are recognized for their efforts in the nation’s struggle for independence from England.
|National Park Service Records Castle Pinckney with High-Tech Equipment|
February 23, 2011, The Post and Courier (SC) by Robert Behre
The toaster-oven-size machine whirred quietly atop the tripod as its laser recorded up to 40,000 data points a second.
National Park Service architects brought it here Tuesday, and by Thursday, they expect to have collected between 150 million and 200 million electronic measurements of one of Charleston's most neglected historic sites.
Castle Pinckney has stood guard on this island for two centuries -- and the brick fortification looks every year its age.
|Jefferson's Books Found in U.S. University Library|
February 22, 2011, The Associated Press by Staff
Dozens of Thomas Jefferson's books have been found in the rare books collection at Washington University in St. Louis.
Scholars are now poring through the 28 titles and 74 volumes, searching for the occasional handwritten note from the nation's third president. And librarians say it's possible more of Jefferson's books will be found in the school's collection.
|Burial Ground of Bunyan, Defoe and Blake Earns Protected Status|
February 22, 2011, The Guardian (UK) by Maev Kennedy
Bunhill Fields, the London cemetery where some of the most radical figures in history lie quietly side by side in unhallowed ground, will today be declared a Grade I park by the government, with separate listings for scores of its monuments.
The cemetery, founded in the 1660s as a burial ground for nonconformists, radicals and dissenters, holds the remains of John Bunyan, author of The Pilgrim's Progress, Daniel Defoe, who wrote Robinson Crusoe, and the poet and artist William Blake, among thousands of others.
In the 19th century, when it had already become a place of pilgrimage for nonconformists and radical reformers, the poet Robert Southey called it the Campo Santo (holy ground) of the dissenters. By the time it was finally declared full and closed in 1853, at least 120,000 people had been interred in the four acres.
|Brother Washington’s Apron: a Masonic Mystery (part 1 of 3)|
February 22, 2011, National Museum of American History by Tim Winkle
any of us have the Antiques Roadshow fantasy. You know the one. Some object or work of art, inherited or bought on the cheap (then relegated for years to the back of your attic or bottom of the closet) is revealed to have a connection to someone famous (wow) or worth thousands of dollars (WOW). That pencil sketch on a napkin that you found cleaning out Aunt Edna’s apartment after she died? A genuine Picasso. The pocket knife you bought at a yard sale for a dollar? Turns out it belonged to Buffalo Bill Cody. But there is a flipside to this phenomenon. Your family has a treasured relic that has passed from generation to generation, a piece of history that has become the focus of family pride, of local lore and legend. But what if the story is too good to be true?
Curators here at the National Museum of American History are regularly offered objects associated with famous celebrities or historical figures from America’s past. There is an obligation on our part to do what we can to confirm the connections to important persons before we consider acquiring such donations. From the standpoint of American history, they don’t come much bigger than George Washington and recently the Museum was offered the chance to acquire a true rarity – a Masonic apron that was said to belong to the First President. The first question –- was this fact or fiction?
|Archaeology Team Tells Queen, "We Want to Dig up Henry VIII"|
February 21, 2011, Gadling by Sean McLachlan
Two American archaeologists have asked the Queen of England for permission to dig up Henry VIII and use the latest techniques to reconstruct his face. Bioarchaeologist Catrina Whitley and anthropologist Kyra Kramer popped the question because they're interested in seeing how accurate the royal portraits of the famous king really are. They also want to perform DNA tests to see if he suffered from a rare illness that might have driven him insane.
|Catholic Temples Built on Teocallis Give Account of Prehispanic Urban Planning|
February 21, 2011, Art Daily by Staff
During the Conquest period between 1524 and 1529, Spaniards constructed 68 churches on sacred Prehispanic buildings of Tenochtitlan and Tlatelolco.
The specialist from the Seminar of Indigenous Historiography at UNAM remarked that "such Colonial constructions present an outlook of how neighborhoods were integrated, the architectural crossbreeding and the reuse made by Spaniards of these areas for the Catholic cult, which remains until now".
|A Founding Father’s Books Turn Up|
February 21, 2011, The New York Times by Sam Roberts
A literary detective story that began 18 months ago and was advanced through a chance reading of an 1880 edition of The Harvard Register has led researchers from the Jefferson Library at Monticello to a trove of books that were among the last ones that Thomas Jefferson, the nation’s most bibliophilic president, collected and read in the decade before he died.
The 28 titles in 74 volumes were discovered recently in the collection of Washington University in St. Louis, immediately elevating its library to the third largest repository of books belonging to Jefferson after the Library of Congress and the University of Virginia.
|Controversy Over 'Negro Mountain' Reveals Urban-Rural Divide |
February 20, 2011, The Baltimore Sun (MD) by Julie Bykowicz
Bryant Bunch, who came from Prince George's County to attend college here at the far end of the Maryland panhandle, first saw the sign on Interstate 68 while traveling with a carload of friends a few years back.
He remembers their reaction: Does that say what we think it says?
...Those disparate reactions to "Negro Mountain," the name that 18th-century settlers gave to the Garrett County landmark, have found their echo in Annapolis, where a Senate panel will begin debate this week on whether it should be changed.
|Shhhh, it’s been Quiet in Chetham's Library for 350 Years|
February 19, 2011, The Daily Mail (UK) by Staff
When it was founded in 1653, it aimed to rival the college libraries of Oxbridge and provide a place for independent study in the north of England.
Today, Chetham's Library is the oldest surviving public library in Britain, housed in the centre of Manchester in a medieval sandstone building which used to be a prison and arsenal.
It was created at the behest of Humphrey Chetham, a successful cloth merchant, whose will stipulated that the Library should be 'for the use of schollars and others well affected', and instructed the librarian 'to require nothing of any man that cometh into the library'.
|How 'OK' Took Over the World|
February 18, 2011, BBC (UK) by Allan Metcalf
"OK" is one of the most frequently used and recognised words in the world.
It is also one of the oddest expressions ever invented. But this oddity may in large measure account for its popularity.
...On 23 March 1839, OK was introduced to the world on the second page of the Boston Morning Post, in the midst of a long paragraph, as "o.k. (all correct)".
|Caravaggio's Crimes Exposed in Rome's Police Files|
February 18, 2011, BBC (UK) by David Willey
An exhibition of documents at Rome's State Archives throws vivid light on his tumultuous life here at the end of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th centuries.
Caravaggio's friendships, daily life and frequent brawls - including the one which brought him a death sentence from Pope Paul V - are described in handwritten police logs, legal and court parchments all bound together in heavy tomes - and carefully preserved in this unique repository of Rome's history during the Renaissance and after.
|The Greatest Massacre in Irish And British History: The Truth Comes Out|
February 18, 2011, ArchNews (UK) by Staff
The stories behind the eye witness accounts of one of the bloodiest episodes in Ireland’s history he 1641 massacre of Protestant settlers by Catholics have been brought to life through a major research project employing new technology and advanced techniques in forensic linguistics.
Some time during the winter of 1641 duing the Irish revolt , Anne Butler a protestant settler in Co. Carlow, found her house and family under attacked by groups of armed men. During the raid in which the house was ransacked and robbed, she was told that they had been targeted because her family “were rank puritan Protestants”.
|Public Weighs in on Battle of Camden Park|
February 17, 2011, The State (SC) by Joey Holleman
The long process for deciding whether the Battle of Camden Site and Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site are worthy of becoming a National Park Service unit took a step forward with public meetings on Wednesday.
About 75 people packed the afternoon meeting room at the Historic Robert Mills Courthouse, and a second meeting was planned in the evening.
The enthusiastic turnout in favor of the proposal prompted Tom Thomas, who is coordinating the Battle of Camden Special Resource Study, to say he feels confident Camden will meet one of the criteria — local public support.
|The New East India Company|
February 16, 2011, Global Post by Jason Overdorf
Once upon a time, the East India Company toppled governments, enslaved peoples and staffed a private army and navy to rule the world of commerce — then dominated by tea, coffee and exotic spices.
Now Sanjiv Mehta, a 48-year-old British Indian businessman, believes it's time for the ultimate symbol of colonial oppression to make a comeback — you guessed it, as a luxury brand.
|Mary Rose Anniversary Marked by New £2 Coin|
February 16, 2011, BBC (UK) by Staff
A special £2 coin is being issued to mark the 500th anniversary of the launch of Henry VIII's flagship, the Mary Rose.
The limited edition coin will enter circulation later this year. Special commemorative versions will be struck in gold and silver.
The ship sank while leading an attack on a French invasion fleet in 1545, and was raised from the sea bed in 1982.
|Excavations may Bring Old Sacramento's Long-Lost History Alive|
February 16, 2011, The Sacramento Bee by Tony Bizjak
Buried beneath a grassy slope in Old Sacramento, picks and shovels lie frozen in time in the ruins of a hardware store, as if waiting to be grabbed by gold miners headed to the hills in search of fortune.
...Despite Sacramento's well-chronicled role as the epicenter of the California Gold Rush, the Old Sacramento park and historic district today displays little of authentic nature from the boom days between 1848 and 1855.
|Archeologists Uncover Large Slave Village Near Washington DC|
February 15, 2011, Voice of America by Kavitha Cardoza
Archeologists in Frederick, Maryland are digging up the past, trying to piece together what the lives of slaves might have been like. French refugee farmers from Haiti kept slaves there in the early 1800s, and the National Park Service says the largest slave village in the Washington region is buried on the grounds.
Archeologist Joy Beasley walks across the land now known as Best Farm. But approximately 200 years ago, it was a 300-hectare plantation called L'Hermitage, owned by the Vincendieres, French farmers from Haiti. Their stone home and outbuildings still stand. The National Park Service archeologist says her team discovered evidence of six other homes on the property where slaves were kept. The Vincendieres owned 90 slaves.
|Restored Machu Picchu Terraces will Open for Tourists in June|
February 15, 2011, Living in Peru by Staff
Several ancient terraces have been recently restored at Machu Picchu, El Comercio reports. The terraces are located in the eastern part of the archaeological complex over an area encompassing four hectares, and have been divided into five groups for the purposes of restoration. To date, work has been completed on the first four groups.
...Piedad Champi, archaeologist in charge of the restorations, reported that the terraces were constructed between 1470 and 1530. Their presence means that construction of the complex was still ongoing at the time of its abandonment.
|Evidence of Slave Life Found at Eastern Shore Estate|
February 14, 2011, The Washington Post by Michael E. Ruane
One day more than two centuries ago, a Maryland slave of West African descent took a smooth stone he had probably found in a plowed field and slid it between the bricks of a furnace he was building.
The slave might have believed, as West Africa's Yoruba culture held, that such stones had connections to Eshu-Elegba, the deity of fortune, and were left behind like mystical calling cards after a lightning strike.
The bond servant sealed the stone into the brickwork, where it would stay for generations, an artifact of the enslaved man as much as the god whose favor he sought.
|Slaves Hid Charms in Colonial Greenhouse|
February 14, 2011, Discovery News by Emily Sohn
In his eloquent autobiographies, abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass described the cruelty he experienced as an African-American slave in Maryland during the early 19th century. But Douglass' descriptions may have been missing some important details about the richness of slave culture at the time.
In a greenhouse on a centuries-old estate where Douglass lived as a young boy, archaeologists have dug up a variety of both mundane objects and strategically placed symbols of spirituality. These artifacts show for the first time that slaves lived in the greenhouse and that they sustained African religious traditions, even as they probably outwardly practiced Christianity.
|A Nationwide Day for Honoring Charles Darwin, but Handled With Caution|
February 14, 2011, The New York Times by Amy Harmon
There was trepidation on both sides when a squadron of biologists set out to celebrate Darwin Day in rural America during the weekend.
The National Evolutionary Synthesis Center in Durham, N.C., which instigated the road trip in the name of scientific outreach, first held a workshop where seven of its Ph.D.’s staged role-playing games and practiced debunking misconceptions about evolution without sounding confrontational.
The group’s small-town hosts took their own precautions. A high school principal in Ringgold, Va., sent out permission slips so parents could opt out of sending their children to the event (two did). A museum vice president in Putnam, Iowa, publicized the festivities only to teachers, rather than risk riling members of her conservative Christian community.
Darwin Day, conceived as a way to promote science on the 202nd anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth — he was born Feb. 12, 1809 — had until this time been commemorated mostly by those inclined to science, at natural history museums, by secular humanist groups and in university biology departments.
|Jewish Ritual Bath Found in Baltimore may be Oldest in U.S.|
February 13, 2011, The Baltimore Sun (MD) by Frank D. Roylance
Archaeologists peeling back layers of history beneath the historic Lloyd Street Synagogue in East Baltimore have uncovered what is believed to be the oldest Jewish ritual bath complex in the United States.
Hints of the presence of the 1845 bath, or "mikveh," were first detected during excavations in 2001. But further digging this winter has revealed about a quarter of a five-foot-deep wooden tub, and linked it to a related cistern found in 2008, and to remains of a brick hearth once used to warm the bath's water.
|Church Authorities and ASI Tussle over Heritage Complex|
February 12, 2011, Indo-Asian News Service by Staff
It houses the remains of Spanish missionary St Francis Xavier and attracts lakhs of tourists and the faithful. But the 16th century Old Goa Church complex is at the centre of a war of words between the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and church authorities over allegations of irregularities and vandalism.
A senior ASI official has accused the church in Goa of tampering with protected structures housed in the Old Goa Church complex, a Unesco recognised world heritage site. The ASI official has also blamed the state chief secretary of not acting against the vandalism committed by a priest and a mob that ransacked their premises on January 24 despite complaints.
|No ‘Moby-Dick’: A Real Captain, Twice Doomed|
February 11, 2011, The New York Times by Jesse Mckinley
In the annals of the sea, there were few sailors whose luck was worse than George Pollard Jr.’s.
Pollard, you see, was the captain of the Essex, the doomed Nantucket whaler whose demise, in 1820, came in a most unbelievable fashion: it was attacked and sunk by an angry sperm whale, an event that inspired Herman Melville to write “Moby-Dick.”
Unlike the tale of Ahab and Ishmael, however, Pollard’s story didn’t end there: After the Essex sank, Pollard and his crew floated through the Pacific for three months, a journey punctuated by death, starvation, madness and, in the end, cannibalism. (Pollard, alas, ate his cousin.)