America is about to pay final respects to two of its fallen heroes more than a century after they lost their lives. But we can't tell you who they were and we may never know.
It is a solemn fact that the remains of Americans killed in conflicts dating back to World War II keep coming home from distant battlefields.
But Thursday was different, as flag draped caskets held unidentified sailors from the Civil War.
"Two human beings buried under there for 140 years or so," explained Joe Hoyt. He was one of the divers who discovered the remains in 240 feet of water off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, where they had gone down with one of the Navy's most famous ships -- the USS Monitor.
Friday, March 8, 2013 - 01:03
For decades, iconoclastic Seattle artist Charles Krafft has made references to Nazis in his highly acclaimed, sometimes shocking pieces of art that most critics and art lovers brand as simple, ironic satire pushing the boundaries.
He crafted a ceramic Hitler-bust teapot now in a San Francisco art museum, and put swastikas on other pieces of art, even on a ceramic wedding cake. He made a ceramic Uzi assault rifle, hand grenades and an “assassin’s kit” – a gun and dagger.
Now, the 65-year-old hippie-turned-artist is at the center of a growing controversy following a published report detailing evidence — including his own words — that suggests he is a white nationalist who believes the Holocaust is a myth.
Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 22:45
Thanks largely to his portrayal in Shakespeare’s eponymous play, Richard III is generally remembered as a murderous, hunchbacked villain who killed his nephews to gain the throne. But now that his remains, found beneath a parking lot in Leicester, England, have been positively identified, researchers at the University of Leicester now say the 15th century monarch was no bloodthirsty psychopath — just a control freak in need of some security.
In findings presented this past weekend, Psychologist Mark Lansdale and forensic psychologist Julian Boon suggest that there is no evidence supporting Shakespeare’s depiction of the last Plantagenet king. After going through historians’ consensus on Richard’s experiences and actions, they found that the king exhibited little sign of the traits used to identify psychopaths today — including narcissism, deviousness, callousness, recklessness and lack of empathy in close relationships....
Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 17:16
(VATICAN CITY) — He slipped it in at the end of his speech, and said it so quickly and softly it almost sounded like an afterthought.
But in pledging his “unconditional reverence and obedience” to the next pope, Benedict XVI took a critical step toward ensuring that his decision to break with 600 years of tradition and retire as pope doesn’t create a schism within the church.
It was also a very personal expression of one of the tenets of Christian tradition that dates back to Jesus’ crucifixion: obedience to a higher authority....
Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 17:10
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” reads the opening words of the King James bible. According to new research, those words might be considered a slice of creation-angled bread in ametaphorical sandwich — one with a rather morbid filling.
Using a free online analytics tool dubbed “Search Visualizer” that transforms text queries into color-coded visual charts, researchers at Keele University in the U.K. and Amridge University in the U.S. have reportedly discovered an ancient literary trick in the Judeo-Christian Bible’s famous foundational book. That trick, known as inclusio or “bracketing,” involves placing similar material at the beginning and end of something; in Genesis’ cases, the writers appear to have enclosed a midsection thematically dominated by “death” with intro and outro passages devoted to “life.”...
The researchers call this the “Genesis Death Sandwich,” reports Science Daily. (It’s also not a bad way to draw attention to your research.)...
Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 17:08
For almost a century, Lincoln Motor Company paid homage to our 16th president in name only – hoping the mere mention of the man who saved the Union and abolished slavery would somehow cast an aura of prestige and integrity over their product and resonate with potential car buyers.
In December, however, the automaker began using Lincoln’s likeness in its advertising for the first time. The motor company says the move was not tied to the release of Steven Spielberg’s epic film Lincoln – even though parts of the ad for the new MKZ, in which the president’s likeness emerges dramatically from layers of fog, look as if they could’ve been pulled from the cutting room floor.
Instead, the automaker told The New York Times, it’s trying to connect its vehicles to Lincoln’s “fortitude and elegant thinking” — and that the timing with the film’s release was just good luck....
Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 17:06
Oregon State University President Ed Ray flinched when a stranger confronted him to say his daughter had just graduated from the school with a degree in philosophy.
“I thought, ‘Oh my God,’” says Ray, who expected he would have to fend off yet another diatribe about the questionable value, in a weak employment market, of majoring in philosophy and other humanities subjects.
In fact, the man wanted to thank him, Ray says. His daughter, he said, had just gotten a good job as an ethicist at a hospital.
Ray’s anxiety was understandable. As rising tuition and mounting student debt makes prospective income a bigger part of choosing a major, humanities disciplines such as philosophy and history are under attack in favor of such fields as engineering and business, which are more likely to lead to jobs and salaries that justify the cost of four-year college education....
Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 17:04
(MONROE, Mich.) — Most of the menu read like a typical buffet, with soup, salad, turkey, pork and potatoes. But the first offering at the annual Muskrat Dinner in Michigan was distinctive: a pot of the rodent’s meat mixed with creamed corn.
“Most beginners are a little hesitant to dive in, especially when they see the carcass laid out on the plate,” said Ralph Naveaux, who helped organize the event. “But those of us that have been raised on it, we just adore them. It’s almost an addiction.”
Members of the Algonquin Club of Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, and other muskrat aficionados — about 80 in all — made their way to the Monroe Boat Club, 40 miles south of Detroit, for the recent event....
Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 16:51
Devotees of Sherlock Holmes are a famously obsessive bunch, and in the 126 years since Arthur Conan Doyle introduced his coolheaded detective they have certainly had plenty of real-world intrigues to ponder alongside fictional ones like “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle.”...
But when the Baker Street Irregulars, an invitation-only literary club, gathered for their annual weekend in New York in January, few had any inkling they would soon be embroiled in a distinctly 21st-century case that might be called “The Adventure of the Social Media-Driven Copyright Debate, With Annotations on Sherlockian Sexism and the True Nature of Literary Devotion.”
A few weeks later, after a leading Holmes scholar and longtime Irregular filed a legal complaint against the Conan Doyle estate arguing that Sherlock Holmes and the basic elements of his world were in the public domain, various online Sherlockian conclaves exploded....
Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 14:54
WACO, Texas — The 20th anniversary of the disastrous raid on the Branch Davidians compound near Waco passed quietly Thursday, as colleagues of the four agents who died gathered in private and local officials made no plans to mark the day.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives held a ceremony in Waco to honor agents Conway LeBleu, Todd McKeehan, Robert John Williams and Steven Willis, the four agents who died in the Feb. 28, 1993 raid. Six Davidian members also died in that raid, which began a 51-day standoff that ended with the compound burning and the deaths of about 80 more sect members, including two dozen children.
The incident cast an international spotlight on Waco and Central Texas, as well as the ATF, which was criticized in a later government review for not calling off the raid after sect members found out about it....
Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 14:33
March 10, 2013, will mark the 100th anniversary of the death of Harriet Tubman, a fearless conductor on the Underground Railroad. She is greatly admired for her bravery in guiding slaves to freedom and for her generous spirit. But for many years, her story was in danger of being forgotten.
When Harriet was a slave in Maryland, her owner hired her out at 7 years old to do housework. She later worked on a farm plowing fields and chopping wood. But she was determined to be free. One night, when she was 27, she escaped — traveling north to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, mostly by walking at night. During the day, she would sleep in the woods on a bed of pine needles.
Between 1850 and 1860, Harriet helped other slaves, including family and friends, escape north to freedom. She had to disguise her identity and take enormous risks, but she was never captured....
Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 14:28
CONCORD, N.H. — When 20 slaves petitioned New Hampshire two centuries ago seeking their freedom, lawmakers decided the time wasn’t right and delayed action.
Now, 233 years later, legislators in one of the nation’s whitest states have decided the time is right to consider the request. A Senate committee on Wednesday unanimously recommended the full body posthumously emancipate the 14 petitioners who never were granted freedom.
Woullard Lett, a member of the Manchester NAACP, said it’s never too late to right a wrong....
Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 14:25
WASHINGTON — The filibuster — used this week by Republican Sen. Rand Paul to oppose John Brennan’s nomination as CIA director — is a parliamentary tactic used to block or delay legislative action.
Using a filibuster, a senator can essentially hold the floor to prevent a bill from coming to a vote.
Filibusters — from the Dutch word for “pirate” — were popularized in the 1850s and continue today in the Senate on the thinking that any senator should be able to speak as long as necessary on an issue, according to Senate historians. Paul’s filibuster lasted nearly 13 hours, ending early Thursday....
Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 14:24
BELLPORT, N.Y. — Works by an obscure Armenian-American abstract impressionist discovered in a New York cottage have been appraised at $30 million.
In 2007, the new owner of a bungalow in Bellport, on Long Island, found thousands of paintings, drawings and journals by Arthur Pinajian in a garage and attic. News 12 Long Island says Peter Hastings Falk valued the works. He once appraised art from the Andy Warhol estate.
Some pieces already have sold for $500,000. Fifty of his landscapes are currently on exhibit at Manhattan’s Fuller Building....
Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 14:08
A Dutch researcher who interviewed a group of Muslim immigrant teenage boys from Turkey was shocked at their repeated response to questions about the Holocaust: Hitler should have finished the job, they suggested.
“As far as I’m concerned, Hitler should have killed all Jews,” one said on the video, which aired on Nederland 2 TV last month and is now available with English subtitles, The Blaze reported.
And another: “On the one hand, I’m satisfied with what Hitler did with the Jews. I am being really honest.” His friends agreed, The Blaze reported.
That line of thought is echoed throughout the boys’ school, they said....
Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 09:48
Back in 1965, Bill Plante covered the civil rights movement for CBS News. Now Bill has brought a new story that has roots in that era -- about a father's legacy of racial hatred, and a daughter's personal march toward redemption....
Peggy Kennedy Wallace is now writing a book about the impact of her father's politics on his family and speaking to students and others about her personal journey.
"I received a lot of criticism, a lot of hurtful criticism," she said. "But I just moved on, and I just would like for my children to not remember where my father stood, but where I am standing now."
Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 01:01
In 1592, a British ship sank near the island of Alderney in the English Channel carrying an odd piece of cargo: a small, angular crystal. Though cloudy and scuffed up from 4 centuries at the bottom of the sea, its precise geometry and proximity to the ship's navigation equipment caught the eye of a diver exploring the wreckage. Once it was brought back to land, a few European scientists began to suspect the mysterious object might be a calcite crystal, which they believe Vikings and other European seafarers used to navigate before the introduction of the magnetic compass....
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 15:53
A former Red Army soldier who went missing in action (MIA) in 1980 during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan has been found alive almost 33 years after he was rescued by Afghan tribesmen.
Now living under the name of Sheikh Abdullah and working as a traditional healer in the Shinand District of Afghanistan, the former Soviet soldier Bakhredtin Khakimov, an ethnic Uzbek, was tracked down by a team from Warriors-Internationalists Affairs Committee, a nonprofit, Moscow-based organization that leads the search for the former Soviet Union's MIAs in Afghanistan....
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 15:13
In the second century, an ethnically Greek Roman named Galen became doctor to the gladiators. His glimpses into the human body via these warriors' wounds, combined with much more systematic dissections of animals, became the basis of Islamic and European medicine for centuries.
Galen's texts wouldn't be challenged for anatomical supremacy until the Renaissance, when human dissections — often in public — surged in popularity. But doctors in medieval Europe weren't as idle as it may seem, as a new analysis of the oldest-known preserved human dissection in Europe reveals....
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 18:20
CARACAS, Venezuela — President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela died Tuesday afternoon after a long battle with cancer, the government announced, leaving behind a bitterly divided nation in the grip of a political crisis that grew more acute as he languished for weeks, silent and out of sight in hospitals in Havana and Caracas.
His departure from a country he dominated for 14 years casts into doubt the future of his socialist revolution. It alters the political balance in Venezuela, the fourth-largest foreign oil supplier to the United States, and in Latin America, where Mr. Chávez led a group of nations intent on reducing American influence in the region.
Mr. Chávez changed Venezuela in fundamental ways, empowering and energizing millions of poor people who had felt marginalized and excluded.
But Mr. Chávez’s rule also widened society’s divisions. His death is sure to bring more changes and vast uncertainty as the nation tries to find its way without its central figure....
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 18:18
...In the last month, racist, anti-Semitic and antigay messages have been left around [Oberlin College], a jarring incongruity in a place with the liberal political leanings and traditions of Oberlin, a school of 2,800 students in Ohio, about 30 miles southwest of Cleveland. Guides to colleges routinely list it as among the most progressive, activist and gay-friendly schools in the country.
The incidents included slurs written on Black History Month posters, drawings of swastikas and the message “Whites Only” scrawled above a water fountain. After midnight on Sunday, someone reported seeing a person dressed in a white robe and hood near the Afrikan Heritage House. Mr. Krislov and three deans announced the sighting in a community-wide e-mail early Monday morning....
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 16:53
A hat which belonged to South Korea’s most revered monarch King Sejong has been recovered more than 500 years after it was looted by Japanese invaders, a senior scholar said Wednesday.
Apart from its intrinsic value as an historical relic, the discovery has thrilled scholars after documents were found stitched inside the hat carrying explanations of King Sejong’s greatest legacy — the Hangeul alphabet....
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 16:43
Even with its glistening emerald-green glass, the boxy 1960s-era Zalco Building in downtown Silver Spring is hardly noticed by many passersby, let alone thought of as a historic structure.
The very idea makes John Cranston, the building’s engineer, chuckle. “I don’t think George Washington slept here or anything,” he said.
But to Clare Lise Kelly, a historic-preservation planner for Montgomery County, and to other architectural experts, the office building at Georgia Avenue and Cameron Street is a shining example of International style. It’s time, they say, for it and other “mid-century modern” buildings and homes — those with sleek, boxy designs from the 1950s and 1960s — to be considered for historic preservation....
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 15:40
GETTYSBURG, Pa. — The National Park Service says federal budget cuts won’t derail the events planned for the Battle of Gettysburg’s 150th anniversary.
Bob Kirby, the superintendent of Gettysburg National Military Park, says Friday that an extensive series of special programs will take place as planned this summer, though the budget cuts will have some impacts.
Kirby says the non-profit Gettysburg Foundation is also providing some extra support this year....
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 15:37
Amid all the fevered speculation about who might succeed Pope Benedict XVI, one possibility seems particularly tantalizing: that the conclave could elect an African to be the first black pontiff in the nearly 2,000-year history of the papacy.
But in all that time has there really never been a black pope? Or an African pope? It depends on what you mean by “black” and by “African,” and answering those questions requires a bit of ancient history and some modern context....
“North Africa was the Bible belt of early Christianity,” said Christopher Bellitto, a church historian at Kean University in New Jersey. “Carthage was the buckle,” he added, referring to the city located in modern-day Tunisia....
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 15:36
WARSAW, Poland — Nearby the big city rumbles, but one feels almost transported to a quiet forest village when standing amid a colony of Finnish wooden houses in Warsaw’s government district.
The homes, erected as temporary housing in the destroyed capital just after World War II, have dwindled over the years from 90 to about 25. Now the surviving structures have become a point of contention between their inhabitants and a city government keen on tearing them down to make way for new developments.
It’s a story being played out in various ways in Warsaw these days, as the Polish capital undergoes a building boom that makes new constructions lucrative for developers and attractive to city officials eager to put their mark on the city. But such change often comes at the cost of old buildings of historical or sentimental value to others....
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 15:34
MOSCOW — Devotees of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, whose brutal purges killed millions of innocent citizens and made his name a byword for totalitarian terror, flocked to the Kremlin to praise him for making his country a world power Tuesday, while experts and politicians puzzled and despaired over his enduring popularity.
Communist Party chief Gennady Zyuganov led some 1,000 zealots who laid carnations at Stalin’s grave by the Kremlin wall in Moscow, praising him as a symbol of the nation’s “great victories” and saying that Russia needs to rely on this “unique experience” to overcome its problems....
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 15:32
The accident on May 6, 1937 that killed 36 people took place as the huge airship was preparing to land at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey and prompted several theories as to the cause.
British aeronautical engineer Jem Stansfield and a team of researchers based in San Antonio, Texas, told the Daily Mail that the airship ignited when the ground crew ran to take the landing ropes, effectively earthing the ship and causing a spark.
Stansfield and his team said the goal of their experiments, which are the subject of a British Channel 4 documentary to be aired on Thursday, was to rule out theories ranging from a planted bomb to explosive properties in the paint used on the Hindenburg....
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 15:25
SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea vowed Tuesday to cancel the 1953 cease-fire that ended the Korean War, citing a U.S.-led push for punishing U.N. sanctions over its recent nuclear test and ongoing U.S.-South Korean joint military drills.
Without elaborating, the Korean People's Army Supreme Command warned of "surgical strikes" meant to unify the divided Korean Peninsula and of an indigenous, "precision nuclear striking tool." The statement came amid reports that Washington and North Korean ally Beijing have approved a draft of a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for sanctions in response to North Korea's Feb. 12 nuclear test. The draft is expected to be circulated at the U.N. this week.
Such heated military rhetoric and threats are common from North Korea as tensions rise on the Korean Peninsula, and Pyongyang's recent nuclear test and rocket launches, and the push for U.N. punishment that have followed, have increased already high animosity between the North and Washington and ally Seoul....
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 15:24
Two Navy sailors slated for heroes’ burials at Arlington National Cemetery have waited a century and a half for the honor.
The men were among the crew members who perished aboard the legendary Union battleship the USS Monitor, which fought an epic Civil War battle with Confederate vessel The Merrimack in the first battle between two ironclad ships in the Battle of Hampton Roads, on March 9, 1862.
Nine months later, the Monitor sank in rough seas off of Cape Hatteras, where it was discovered in 1973. Two skeletons and the tattered remains of their uniforms were discovered in the rusted hulk of the Union ironclad in 2002, when its 150-ton turret was brought to the surface. The Navy spent most of a decade trying to determine the identity of the remains through DNA testing....
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 15:21
GETTYSBURG, Pa. (AP) — Demolition work has begun on the Cyclorama building at the Gettysburg National Military Park that used to house the 377-foot painting depicting a pivotal moment in the Civil War battle.
Workers began tearing down the building last week, and park superintendent Bob Kirby told The (Hanover) Evening Sun that the demolition is scheduled to be completed by the end of April.
The park service has planned to tear down the building since 1999 but the architect’s son and a preservation group opposed the decision, and a court battle ensued that lasted more than three times the length of the Civil War. A court-ordered study last year concluded that demolition was the best course of action....
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 15:18
The place is rich in legend, and now it’s safe for future generations.
The Central Virginia Battlefields Trust has acquired 81 acres along State Route 3 in Spotsylvania where doctors tried to save Lt. Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, wounded by his troops in a “friendly fire” mishap.
Dr. Hunter McGuire (the namesake of today’s Veterans Administration hospital in Richmond) amputated the Confederate leader’s left arm, hit in two places.
“It all happened right here,” says Jerry H. Brent of Fredericksburg, the trust’s executive director. “This was part of the Wilderness Tavern site, on both sides of the road. With the corps’ field hospital in operation, there were hundreds of soldiers in tents or milling about, and wagons coming and going.”...
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 15:17
A theatrical show at Moscow's Andrei Sakharov Museum about Joseph Stalin — who died 60 years ago today — has sparked criticism from relatives of those who died in the Communist leader's prison camps.
Stalin, who led the Soviet Union from 1924 until his death in 1953, is being remembered in the exhibition, which features testimony by descendants of officials who were part of his regime. The officials' personal, anonymous accounts are read by actors, and identified only by numbers.
"My grandfather was in charge of the construction of the Moscow-Volga Canal," reads number 13, alluding to Stalin's giant project in the 1930s built by Gulag prisoners, tens of thousands of whom died in inhumane conditions.
"It is not good to be a head of a (labour) camp. But my grandfather sincerely believed in his mission . . . In the end, I am not ashamed," the testimony concludes....
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 15:11
For centuries they stood firm against marauding Welsh invaders but now the historic walls of Ludlow are said to be under threat from a new enemy – climate change.
Residents living near one section of the medieval structure were this weekend advised to leave their homes temporarily after engineers found that it was unsafe.
Three other sections of the wall in the picturesque Shropshire town have collapsed in the past fortnight....
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 14:56
NAIROBI, Kenya — Uhuru Kenyatta, a Kenyan politician who has been charged by the International Criminal Court with crimes against humanity, was leading by a wide margin in the Kenya election on Tuesday, with nearly half the votes counted.
Mr. Kenyatta, who comes from one of the richest, most powerful families in Africa and has been accused of bankrolling death squads that killed women and children during the chaos of Kenya’s election five years ago, was leading 54 percent to 42 percent over the second-place candidate, Raila Odinga, Kenya’s prime minister.
But there was a wrinkle.
Kenyan election law says that the winning candidate must secure more than 50 percent of “all the votes cast” and Mr. Odinga’s supporters say that the election commission must consider the more than 300,000 rejected ballots as part of the total. If that is the case, some analysts predicted that Mr. Kenyatta might not clear the 50 percent threshold, prompting a runoff....
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 13:33
Native American hunter-gatherers living more than a thousand years ago in what is now northwestern California ate salmon, acorns and other foods, and now we know they also smoked tobacco—the earliest known usage in the Pacific Northwest, according to a new University of California, Davis, study.
"The study demonstrates that tobacco smoking was part of the northwestern California culture very early ... shortly after the earliest documented Pacific Northwest Coast plank house villages," said the study, published in the Journal of Archaeological Science....
Monday, March 4, 2013 - 16:55
A home in Massachusetts has been in the same family since it was built in the 1600s -- less than 20 years after the Mayflower landed. Though nearly four centuries have passed, one room in the home remains just as it was in the 1600s, with the same hand-hewn floorboards.
There are special -- and more expensive -- historic-home insurance policies to protect houses such as this. But they vary in what they'll pay for. You might be able to replace 1775 windows with something close to the real thing, or just historic look-alikes....
Monday, March 4, 2013 - 16:14
...[T]he group Journey Through Hallowed Ground is keeping their memory alive by planting trees, or dedicating existing trees, to each of those soldiers.
Trees are being planted along a 290-kilometer road from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania - where the most famous battle occurred - to the home in Virginia of Thomas Jefferson, the third U.S. president. Beth Erickson is with the organization.
“Each tree is a life," said Erickson. "As you see these trees one after another, it will truly make an impact.”
The first trees were planted in November on a former plantation called Oatlands in Leesburg, Virginia. Today, the early 19th century home is owned by a historic trust....
The $65 million project is being financed through private contributions, in which individuals can also help by donating $100 for a tree. The trees will be geotagged to allow Smart Phone users to learn the story of a soldier.
“These trees will have a number associated with a person. They can use GPS technology to find out who these people were,” Erickson noted....
Monday, March 4, 2013 - 12:44
Almost everyone is in some way familiar with the epic “1,001 Nights,” we all know the tale of Sultan Shahryar who, heartbroken by his wife’s infidelity, remarries every night only to kill his new bride at sunrise.
This carried on until he married his vizier’s daughter Scheherazade who, gifted with an extraordinary ability to weave exciting stories, manages to save her own life by promising to tell the king a new story every night.
Throughout the 100,1 nights readers remain enthralled and entangled in the stories narrated by Scheherazade.
The Egypt Independent reported on Thursday that a new collection of stories had come to light and been translated, the 101 nights....
Monday, March 4, 2013 - 12:42
New research is beginning into the lives of medieval saints in Wales.
The University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies in Aberystwyth has been awarded a research grant of £750,000 to edit medieval manuscripts, and produce an online digital resource for the public....
Monday, March 4, 2013 - 12:41
- U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a hero of the civil rights movement, was moved to tears by an apology from the Montgomery, Ala., police chief for an incident in 1961.
Lewis, D-Ga., was among the Freedom Riders who arrived in Montgomery for a march in 1961. Their bus was greeted by a white mob that beat the black protesters. Police opted to stand down and effectively let the riot happen.
The apology took place during a weekend of events dubbed a congressional pilgrimage to the civil rights fight.
Monday, March 4, 2013 - 02:22
A century and a half after USS Monitor sank, the interment of two unknown crewmen found in the Civil War ironclad's turret is bringing together people from across the country with distant but powerful ties to those who died aboard.
The ceremony Friday at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington will include Monitor kin who believe the two sailors — whose remains were discovered in 2002 — are their ancestors, despite DNA testing that has failed to make a conclusive link. But the families stress that the interment pays homage to all 16 Union sailors who died when the ship went down, and nearly 100 people from Maine to California are expected to attend.
"When I learned they were going to do a memorial and have the burial at Arlington, it was like, 'I can't miss that,'" said Andy Bryan of Holden, Maine, who will travel with his daughter Margaret to the capital. He said DNA testing found a 50 percent likelihood that Monitor crewman William Bryan, his great-great-great-uncle, was one of the two found in the summer of 2002, when the 150-ton turret was raised from the ocean floor off Cape Hatteras, N.C.
"If it's not William Bryan, I'm OK with that," Bryan said. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing, and I feel like I should be there."...
...Two weeks ago, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said the two would probably be the last Navy personnel from the Civil War to be buried at Arlington. He'll speak at the interment. "It's important we honor these brave men and all they represent as we reflect upon the significant role Monitor and her crew had in setting the course of our modern Navy," he said.
The ceremony is scheduled on the 151st anniversary of the Battle of Hampton Roads, which took place on March 8 and 9, 1862. On the second day, the Brooklyn-made Monitor fought the CSS Virginia in the first battle between two ironclads. The Monitor was the Union's answer to the Confederate Virginia, built on the carcass of the U.S. Navy frigate USS Merrimack. The battle of the ironclads ended in a draw...
Sunday, March 3, 2013 - 04:12
A German property developer has rejected calls to halt work to remove one of the last remaining stretches of the Berlin Wall, despite angry protests against the plan.
Maik Uwe Hinkel says work to move a 22-meter (yard) section of the 1.3 kilometer (3/4 mile) section of the wall will resume next week...
Sunday, March 3, 2013 - 03:48
THIRTEEN years ago, researchers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum began the grim task of documenting all the ghettos, slave labor sites, concentration camps and killing factories that the Nazis set up throughout Europe.
What they have found so far has shocked even scholars steeped in the history of the Holocaust.
The researchers have cataloged some 42,500 Nazi ghettos and camps throughout Europe, spanning German-controlled areas from France to Russia and Germany itself, during Hitler’s reign of brutality from 1933 to 1945….
The maps the researchers have created to identify the camps and ghettos turn wide sections of wartime Europe into black clusters of death, torture and slavery — centered in Germany and Poland, but reaching in all directions.
The lead editors on the project, Geoffrey Megargee and Martin Dean, estimate that 15 million to 20 million people died or were imprisoned in the sites that they have identified as part of a multivolume encyclopedia. (The Holocaust museum has published the first two, with five more planned by 2025.)
Saturday, March 2, 2013 - 18:04
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon criticized Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for comments linking Zionism with fascism.
“The secretary-general heard the prime minister’s speech through an interpreter,” Ban Ki-moon’s office said in an e- mailed statement today. “If the comment about Zionism was interpreted correctly, then it was not only wrong but contradicts the very principles on which the Alliance of Civilizations is based.”
Kerry, who’s visiting Ankara, said he raised the comments directly in his meeting with Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu. Such remarks are unhelpful to the search for peace in the Middle East, Kerry told reporters in the Turkish capital. Kerry was headed for a meeting with Erdogan after the press conference.
Turkey’s ties with Israel, once a close military ally, have been strained since Erdogan called Israel’s military operation in Gaza that began in December 2008 “a crime against humanity.” Ties reached a low when nine Turks were killed in an Israeli commando raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship in 2010....
Friday, March 1, 2013 - 15:28
Legislation that would prevent the renaming or moving of war-related monuments in Tennessee passed the state House last night. The bill comes as city officials in Memphis have renamed three Confederate-themed parks.
Democrats tried to get the bill’s sponsor – Republican Steve McDaniel – to admit he was responding to the name changes in Memphis, which he denied.
Rep. Johnnie Turner asked what if Jews hadn’t been allowed to tear down Nazi statues....
Friday, March 1, 2013 - 12:22
WASHINGTON — Four major universities are joining theater companies in Boston, Baltimore, Washington and Atlanta in a project to commission new plays, music and dance compositions about the Civil War and its lasting legacy.
The National Civil War Project announced Thursday in Washington will involve programming over the next two years to mark the 150th anniversary of the war between North and South. Beyond commissioning new works, organizers plan for university faculty to integrate the arts into their academic programs on campus....
Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 18:27
LONDON — He may just be a footnote to history, but Dr. Isachar Zacharie is having a posthumous mini-moment, thanks to the Hollywood-sparked surge of interest in the presidency of Abraham Lincoln.
Zacharie was buried in London’s famed Highgate Cemetery in 1900, but he is only being added to the cemetery guide Friday, joining such notables as communist philosopher Karl Marx, novelist George Eliot and punk pioneer Malcolm McLaren as a likely draw for visitors to the north London landmark.
Zacharie’s claim to fame? He was Lincoln’s foot doctor. And a good one at that, if the president’s signed endorsement can be taken at face value....
Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 18:25
PARIS — King Richard I, the 12th-century warrior whose bravery during the Third Crusade gained him the moniker Lionheart, ended up with a heart full of daisies, as well as myrtle, mint and frankincense.
Those were among the findings of a French study, announced Thursday, which analyzed the embalmed heart of the English king more than 810 years after he died.
The biomedical analysis also uncovered less flowery and spicy elements like creosote, mercury and perhaps lime in the heart, which has been in the western French city of Rouen since his death in 1199.
Despite the embalming ingredients, the heart turned to powder long ago, doubtless because the lead box cradling it wasn’t airtight. It’s so unsightly now that it’s kept from public view....
Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 18:24
VATICAN CITY — In their plumed helmets and striped uniforms, the Swiss Guards are one of the most beloved traditions of the Vatican — and on Thursday take a central role in the pope’s historic resignation. The bodyguards will stand at attention as the pope arrives by helicopter at his summer retreat in his last hours as pontiff. When they walk off duty, it will be one of the few visible signs that Benedict XVI is no longer pope. A look at the Swiss guards and their colorful history.
The corps, which some historians consider the oldest standing army in the world, was founded in 1506 by Pope Giulio II. Tradition has it that he was so impressed by the bravery of Swiss mercenaries that he asked them to defend the Vatican. Ever since, for more than 500 years, Switzerland has been supplying soldiers to the Vatican. The Swiss Guards swear an oath to give up their lives to protect the pope — and in centuries past, they have. In 1527, 147 of them died protecting Pope Clement VII as he fled to safety when the troops of Emperor Charles V sacked Rome....
Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 18:23