Name of source: BBC
The earliest unambiguous evidence for modern human behaviour has been discovered by an international team of researchers in a South African cave.
The finds provide early evidence for the origin of modern human behaviour 44,000 years ago, over 20,000 years before other findings.
The artefacts are near identical to modern-day tools of the indigenous African San bush people.
The research was published yesterday in PNAS.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - 20:39
Name of source: Guardian
The ancient Colosseum in Rome is slanting about 40cm lower on the south side than on the north, and authorities are investigating whether it needs urgent repairs.
Experts first noticed the incline about a year ago and have been monitoring it for the past few months, Rossella Rea, director at the 2,000-year-old monument, said in the Italian daily Corriere della Sera.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa, another of Italy's most popular attractions, was reopened in 2001 after being shut for more than a decade as engineers worked to prevent it from falling over and to make it safe for visitors.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - 00:45
Name of source: Yahoo News
A British beach has been closed as Army bomb disposal experts deal with nearly 1000 bombs and rockets littering the sand after storms uncovered the remnants of a World War II bombing range.
The deadly arsenal cascaded on to Mappleton beach near Hornsea after being dislodged from cliffs by the bad weather.
Army experts have already blown up at least 15 of the old bombs.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - 00:20
Name of source: CBS News
There are museums dedicated to barbed wire and Spam, hobos and yo-yos -- even trash. Yet there is no major museum for the treasures of the American Revolution. But there are plans to right that wrong -- with a museum to be built with public and private funds in the city where America was born.
In a secret location in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Scott Stephenson has been cataloging artifacts form the Revolutionary War.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - 00:02
The White House's case arguing President Obama never returned a bust of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill turned out to be somewhat of a bust itself.
The British Embassy on Friday confirmed to Mediaite.com that despite caustic pushback from an Obama administration official, conservative Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer was correct when he wrote in his column this week that Mr. Obama "started his presidency by returning to the British Embassy the bust of Winston Churchill that had graced the Oval Office."
A photo showing the president and British Prime Minister David Cameron leaning over a Churchill bust outside the Treaty Room was posted to the White House blog Friday in an effort by Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer to debunk what he called the "patently false" claim by Krauthammer. But according to the Embassy, the bust in the photo is just a copy of the original.
Saturday, July 28, 2012 - 20:28
(CBS News) EDGEWATER, N.J. -- An auto repair shop owner was shocked to find out that a Mercedes-Benz he purchased over the Internet for a customer has strong ties to Adolf Hitler.
"He was surprised," Zenop Tuncer, owner of Euro Tech Motors, told CBSNews.com in recalling his conversation with the customer. "We were all surprised!"
Tuncer, whose shop specializes in classic cars, got a request from real estate developer Fred Daibes to find a Mercedes-Benz 540K. However, Tuncer could only procure a 1942 Mercedes 320 Cabriolet D convertible, which Daibes agreed to buy.
Tuncer said he should have been tipped off because the car looked like a military car....
Friday, July 20, 2012 - 10:09
Name of source: Daily Mail
A feud has broken out between members of the Wagner opera family in Germany as the leader of the clan threatens legal action unless they co-operate with a 'moral house cleaning' aimed at de-Nazifying the world's leading opera festival.
Katharina Wagner, who now directs the annual Bayreuth Festival of Richard Wagner's operas, wants family members to turn over every document they have in a bid to exorcise the ghosts of the Third Reich - including 'potentially explosive' letters penned by Hitler to Winifred Wagner, the Englishwoman who became head of the family in wartime.
Katharina Wagner, 34, said silence on the part of her family will not be tolerated as the links that the festival had during the 12 year lifespan of the Third Reich with the Nazi hierarchy, including Hitler, are probed.
Monday, July 30, 2012 - 18:03
Name of source: National Park Service
Today, the National Park Service officially launched the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail with a ceremony in the Fell's Point neighborhood of Baltimore, MD. Partners from all nine regions along the trail were recognized for their hard work to develop the trail in their local areas.
"The launch of the Star Spangled Banner Trail is a key part of our nation's bicentennial celebration of the War of 1812," said U.S. Senator Ben Cardin. "It will provide Marylanders and visitors with a way to access and appreciate the sites engaged in our nation's Second War of Independence. Highlighted by kiosks, wayside signs, and highway markers, the trail will offer a unique combination of land and water-based sites and give visitors a unique understanding of Maryland's role in the war that helped shaped our nation."
With help from regional partners, important sites along the trail are now ready for visitors in southern Maryland, the Upper Bay, Maryland's Eastern Shore, Prince George's County, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City and Baltimore County, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
"The launch of the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail is a proud moment for all Marylanders," said Congressman John Sarbanes, who authored legislation to create the trail. "As we commemorate the War of 1812 Bicentennial, the Trail will help bring to life historic events that unfolded in our own backyard and changed the course of our nation's history. I hope it will help visitors, students and others to learn more about our state's critical role in the 'second war of independence' and how the United States' victory set the stage for the spread of democracy around the world."
Over 100 partners, friends, and tourism professionals showed their support at the trail's launch today. NPS Superintendent John Maounis said, "The hard work and dedication of our partners throughout the region results today in a trail that is open and ready to receive visitors. Families can tour the trail, visit historic places, ride their bikes or visit by boat. The NPS Chesapeake Bay Office will continue to work with our partners to offer additional opportunities for education and recreation."
"The trail connects the multitude of sites significant to our national heritage," said Bill Pencek, Executive Director of the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission, and chair of the trail's Advisory Council. "The trail is also a vital economic resource, attracting the "touring traveler" who spends more, takes longer trips, and travels with more people than typical visitors to Maryland."
The Maryland State Highway Administration has begun installing highway markers in the southern Maryland region of the trail. "The State Highway Administration is proud to partner in support of creating scenic and historic byways and trails throughout Maryland," said SHA Deputy Administrator Doug Simmons. They carry residents as well as visitors along paths that highlight our history, reflect our common heritage and welcome everyone to explore Maryland again and again."
New services and materials to help visitors explore the trail include:
- the trail's history and travel pocket guide
- interpretive kiosks at 25 trail locations
- highway markers on Maryland roads
- the trail's Junior Ranger program
- new mobile application and website
- the Virtual Resource Center for educators
- illustrated history and travel guide In Full Glory Reflected: Discovering the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake, a collaboration of the National Park Service, the Maryland Historical Trust, the Maryland Historical Society, and the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission.
# # #
About the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail:
The trail commemorates the War of 1812 and its legacy in the Chesapeake region. Over 560 miles of land and water routes in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia follow movements of British and American troops during a period of political and social turmoil that forever changed a young democratic nation. The National Park Service, in cooperation with state government, local jurisdictions and hundreds of nonprofit organizations, is working to preserve and develop sites and places along the trail to provide interpretation of the causes, events, and outcomes of the War and improve water access and recreation opportunities for visitors and residents. For more information, visit www.starspangledtrail.net.
Monday, July 30, 2012 - 16:56
Name of source: NYT
President Obama’s biography — son of a black father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas — has long suggested that unlike most African-Americans, his roots did not include slavery.
Now a team of genealogists is upending that thinking, saying that Mr. Obama’s mother had, in addition to her European ancestors, at least one African forebear and that the president is most likely descended from one of the first documented African slaves in the United States.
The findings are scheduled to be announced on Monday by Ancestry.com, a genealogy company based in Provo, Utah. Its team, while lacking definitive proof, said it had evidence that “strongly suggests” Mr. Obama’s family tree — on his mother’s side — stretches back nearly four centuries to a slave in colonial Virginia named John Punch.
In 1640, Mr. Punch, then an indentured servant, escaped from Virginia and went to Maryland. He was captured there and, along with two white servants who had also escaped, was put on trial. His punishment — servitude for life — was harsher than what the white servants received, and it has led some historians to regard him as the first African to be legally sanctioned as a slave, years before Virginia adopted laws allowing slavery.
Monday, July 30, 2012 - 12:45
PARIS — Early on a Thursday morning in July 1942, more than 4,000 police officers set out in pairs through the streets of occupied Paris, carrying arrest orders for scores of Jewish men, women and children. Within days, 13,152 people had been rounded up for deportation to death camps. No more than 100 would survive.
The mass arrests, the largest in wartime France, were planned and carried out not by the Nazi occupiers but by the French. That difficult reality, for years denied, obscured, willfully ignored or forgotten, is now increasingly accepted here, historians and French officials say, part of a broader reckoning with France’s uncomfortable wartime past.
Sunday, July 29, 2012 - 14:59
Madonna defended her decision to use a swastika in a video during her current tour, saying it is a fit image for her message about “the intolerance that we human beings have for one another.”
The Nazi symbol is superimposed on the forehead of the French National Front leader Marine Le Pen during a video that Madonna has been playing while she sings “Nobody Knows Me” at her concerts during a world tour. Last week, the far-right party said it would sue Madonna after a concert in Paris and accused her of cynically insulting Ms. Le Pen to gain publicity....
Friday, July 27, 2012 - 16:21
WASHINGTON — Scott Lilly was a young member of Senator George McGovern’s presidential campaign staff in the summer of 1972, and he remembers the satisfaction he felt when Mr. McGovern chose Mr. Lilly’s home-state senator to be the Democratic Party’s vice-presidential candidate.
But a few days after the convention that nominated Mr. McGovern and his running mate, Senator Thomas F. Eagleton of Missouri, Mr. Lilly said, he came to a realization. “It suddenly struck me out of the blue that they didn’t know,” he said, that the decision to pick Mr. Eagleton had been made without some crucial facts.
And he was right. The information he had felt obligated to share with a top campaign aide several weeks before — that Mr. Eagleton had been hospitalized for mental health issues — had never been passed on. Mr. Lilly’s tip “did not register,” the aide, Frank Mankiewicz, said in an interview this year. “It was a very hectic time. I must have had not two things on my mind, but maybe 80.”...
Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 12:53
The Bayreuth Festival has a new Dutchman, this one presumably minus a swastika tattooed on his chest. The bass-baritone Samuel Youn will take over the title role in Wagner’s “Flying Dutchman,” which opens on Wednesday, news reports said. Mr. Youn is replacing Evgeny Nikitin, who withdrew from the performances over the weekend after German news media reported that he had acquired a swastika tattoo in his youth, when he played in a Russian heavy metal band. Images show another tattoo partially covering the swastika....
Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 12:26
A $2.2 million expedition that hoped to find wreckage from Amelia Earhart’s final flight is on its way back to Hawaii without the conclusive plane images searchers were hoping to attain. But the president of the group leading the search, the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, said it still believes Earhart and her navigator crashed onto a reef off a remote island in the Pacific 75 years ago this month. The president, Pat Thrasher, said Monday that the group has a significant amount of video and sonar data that searchers will pore over on the return voyage to Hawaii this week and afterward to look for things that may be tough to see at first glance....
Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 11:28
...The Obama administration does worry publicly about manufacturing, a first cousin of craftsmanship. When the Ford Motor Company, for example, recently announced that it was bringing some production home, the White House cheered. “When you see things like Ford moving new production from Mexico to Detroit, instead of the other way around, you know things are changing,” says Gene B. Sperling, director of the National Economic Council....
Traditional vocational training in public high schools is gradually declining, stranding thousands of young people who seek training for a craft without going to college. Colleges, for their part, have since 1985 graduated fewer chemical, mechanical, industrial and metallurgical engineers, partly in response to the reduced role of manufacturing, a big employer of them.
The decline started in the 1950s, when manufacturing generated a hefty 28 percent of the national income, or gross domestic product, and employed one-third of the work force. Today, factory output generates just 12 percent of G.D.P. and employs barely 9 percent of the nation’s workers....
Monday, July 23, 2012 - 08:02
Some of the thousands of people who gathered in Cooperstown, N.Y., on Sunday for the annual induction ceremony into the National Baseball Hall of Fame no doubt visited the attached museum to gaze at items connected to memorable moments or the greats of the game.
But one display, near the center of an exhibit called “Today’s Game,” may have surprised some visitors because of its ties to the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Inside a glass case was a white jersey with flowing blue lettering and a blue hat that might seem vaguely familiar to Brooklynites of a certain vintage. The team name, however, was the Tax Dodgers; the hat displayed a 1 percent logo.
The items, which were donated by a satirical street theater group tied to Occupy Wall Street, have been included in the Hall of Fame Museum not because of their political content but because they reflect baseball’s prominent place in the national landscape, said Tom Shieber, senior curator at the museum....
Monday, July 23, 2012 - 07:57
MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan — The atrocities of the Afghan civil war in the 1990s are still recounted in whispers here — tales of horror born out of a scorched-earth ethnic and factional conflict in which civilians and captured combatants were frequently slaughtered en masse.
Stark evidence of such killings are held in the mass graves that still litter the Afghan countryside. One such site is outside Mazar-i-Sharif, in the north. It lies only half-excavated, with bones and the remains of clothing partially obscured by water and mud from recent flooding. Experts say at least 16 victims are here, and each skull that lies exposed is uniformly punctured by a single bullet-entry hole at the back.
The powerful men accused of responsibility for these deaths and tens of thousands of others — some said to be directly at their orders, others carried out by men in their chain of command — are named in the pages of a monumental 800-page report on human rights abuses in Afghanistan from the Soviet era in the ’80s to the fall of the Taliban in 2001, according to researchers and officials who helped compile the study over the past six years....
Monday, July 23, 2012 - 07:44
SIMI VALLEY, Calif. — The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library sits on top of the world here, a majestic tribute to a former president filled with testimonials to his life: the Air Force One that flew him around the globe, the gowns that Nancy Reagan wore to inaugural balls, a video re-enactment of his near assassination, movie clips from his Hollywood days and memorabilia from his campaigns for California governor.
But the other afternoon, hundreds of people lined up outside the door waiting to view a most unlikely addition to this presidential library: Mickey Mouse.
In an unusual collaboration of presidential scholarship and mass-market entertainment — featuring two men who, truth be told, were never particularly close — the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and the Walt Disney Company have joined together to open a sprawling, nine-month exhibition drawn from the Disney archives....
Sunday, July 22, 2012 - 15:05
Even before “Civic Virtue” was unveiled in 1922, there were protests against it. The immense statue, installed in City Hall Park, featured a naked, hulking man representing virtue, standing atop nude female figures, representing vice.
Women’s groups protested the symbolism. Later, art critics lamented the inelegance of the work. Time healed no wounds. Politicians, most prominently Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia, griped about being mooned each day on the way to work.
For years, there were efforts to exile the sculpture: the Bronx, Brooklyn and Randalls Island were all considered. But the piece was finally carted off to Kew Gardens, Queens, where it has decayed outside Borough Hall for the past 70 years, enduring, every few decades, another bout of criticism that it was ugly and sexist.
Now this little-loved statue seems on the verge of yet another exile — this time to Brooklyn. Appropriately enough, its next and perhaps final resting place there, according to city leaders, may be in a graveyard.
Sunday, July 22, 2012 - 13:37
Name of source: AP
Gray's Store in Adamsville village brought in customers for years with its old-fashioned marble soda fountain, cigar and tobacco cases, and Rhode Island johnny cakes.
The 224-year-old business may be the oldest operating general store in America, although others have staked similar claims. The Rhode Island store near the Massachusetts line opened in 1788. Now owners say this year is its last.
Sunday, July 29, 2012 - 23:40
Elderly North Korean veterans pledged loyalty to their 20-something leader in Pyongyang during Korean War armistice commemorations Friday that were being closely watched after Kim Jong Un reshuffled the military and revealed he's married.
Over the last two weeks, Kim has taken on the title of marshal and replaced his army chief - once a key mentor. Both moves were seen as an effort to build loyalty among the million-man armed forces and solidify his credentials as commander.
North Korea also revealed Wednesday that the stylish woman at Kim's side in some public appearances this month is his wife. Images of her walking with Kim were choreographed to show the leader as modern, mature and down-to-earth, analysts said, and contrast sharply to his intensely private father, Kim Jong Il, who ruled for 17 years before his death in December.
Kim Jong Un and his wife weren't at Friday's event. Hundreds of aging veterans were shown on state television in a huge auditorium as Choe Ryong Hae, the military's top political officer, stood beneath giant portraits of Kim Jong Il and North Korea founder Kim Il Sung and urged the crowd to "follow the leadership of Marshal Kim Jong Un and win 100 out of 100 battles."...
Friday, July 27, 2012 - 18:54
The towering, white mausoleum in downtown Caracas is for many Venezuelans a lot like Hugo Chavez, only in architectural terms: disproportionately larger-than-life, flamboyant and self-important.
And no, the grand tomb was not built for Venezuela's socialist president, who has grappled with his own mortality in his recent battle with cancer and is running for re-election.
It will cradle the remains of South American independence leader Simon Bolivar, who Chavez daily, rapturously and exhaustively exalts as the spiritual father of his own self-styled revolution....
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - 00:34
The 1912 Boston Red Sox World Series trophy presented to team manager Jake Stahl is going on the auction block.
The sterling silver trophy will be auctioned Aug. 2 at Camden Yards in Baltimore during a national sports collectors convention.
The trophy's current owner is Red Sox fan Robert Fraser. He says several companies wanted to auction it off for the 100th anniversaries of the team's World Series win against the New York Giants and the opening of Fenway Park...
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - 00:34
Some of the loudest cheers Saturday at San Diego's gay pride parade were for active-duty troops marching in military dress, the first time that U.S. service members participated in such an event while in full uniform.
Dozens of soldiers, sailors, and Marines marched alongside an old Army truck decorated with a "Freedom to Serve" banner and a rainbow flag. They were joined by dozens more military personnel in civilian clothes, but the uniforms stood out among the flower-bedecked floats and scantily clad revelers.
Spectators waved signs reading, "Thank you for your service." A woman held a placard that said: "My gay son is a Naval officer."
"Today is so important," said Navy Lt. Brian McKinney, who marched with his civilian partner, Hunter Hammonds. "It's about putting on my uniform and taking pride in my service, my fellow service-members, my family and myself. It's something I'm incredibly thankful for."
In a memorandum sent to all its branches this year, the Defense Department said it was making the allowance for the San Diego event even though its policy generally bars troops from marching in uniform in parades.
The Defense Department said Thursday it did so because organizers had encouraged military personnel to march in their uniform and the parade was getting national attention....
Sunday, July 22, 2012 - 05:33
Japanese authorities are investigating subcontractors on suspicion that they forced workers at the tsunami-hit nuclear plant to underreport the amount of radiation they were exposed to so they could stay on the job longer.
Labor officials said Sunday that an investigation had begun over the weekend following media reports of a cover-up at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, which suffered multiple meltdowns following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami disasters.
A subcontractor of plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co., or TEPCO, acknowledged having nine workers cover their dosimeters with lead plates late last year so the instrument would indicate a lower level of radiation exposure.
The investigation marks the first time the government has looked into the case, believed to be part of a widespread practice at the plant since it was hit by the worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl....
Sunday, July 22, 2012 - 05:29
A revolutionary discovery is rewriting the history of underwear: Some 600 years ago, women wore bras.
The University of Innsbruck said Wednesday that archeologists found four linen bras dating from the Middle Ages in an Austrian castle. Fashion experts describe the find as surprising because the bra had commonly been thought to be only little more than 100 years old as women abandoned the tight corset.
Instead, it appears the bra came first, followed by the corset, followed by the reinvented bra.
One specimen in particular "looks exactly like a (modern) brassiere," says Hilary Davidson, fashion curator for the London Museum. "These are amazing finds."
Although the linen garments were unearthed in 2008, they did not make news until now says Beatrix Nutz, the archaeologist responsible for the discovery....
Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - 23:09
Name of source: ABC News Radio
London's Olympic Stadium became a vast meadow in an opening ceremony that evoked the history of the United Kingdom to kick off the 2012 Olympics.
In the ceremony, choreographed by director Danny Boyle, London took the drama in the opposite direction from that taken by Beijing's Olympic organizers in 2008. In the shadow of Beijing's $40 million ceremony, the most expensive in history, Boyle decided not to try to use his $15 million budget to outdo the Chinese in a time of British fiscal restraint....
As the music picked up, the Industrial Revolution replaced the tree with half a dozen smokestacks that dramatically rose out of the grass, towering over toiling laborers and gilded men in suits and top hats smoking cigars.
After historic scenes such as the celebration of female suffrage, the scene paused as a subtle melody floated in the air. The drums then picked up, and soon men wearing costumes inspired by the album cover of the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper" joined in to represent the counterculture of the 1960s.
Saturday, July 28, 2012 - 20:25
Name of source: Boston Globe
In April 1944, a German submarine prowling the waters off Nantucket torpedoed an American tanker caught straggling behind its convoy. The U-boat took cover beneath the sinking ship to avoid detection, but the flagship USS Joyce closed in and delivered a punishing depth charge attack that forced the damaged vessel to the surface.
Under fierce attack, U-550 sank stern first. There it lay, its final resting place an enduring mystery for nearly 70 years.
But earlier this week, after years of research and days of painstaking searches of the ocean floor, a crew discovered the elusive craft about 70 miles south of Nantucket. Crew members said the submarine was among the last undiscovered German warships along the eastern seaboard, where it once attacked merchant ships and forced blackouts in coastal cities.
Friday, July 27, 2012 - 23:55
Name of source: CNN
It's the white whale of American elections: elusive, mythical and never realized. But could it finally happen this year?
The likelihood that President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will each net 269 electoral votes in November, instead of the 270 needed to win, is actually not so farfetched -- and for close observers of the Electoral College system, a tie would set off a wave of constitutional and political mayhem that would make the 2000 Florida recount seem like a tidy affair.
Friday, July 27, 2012 - 21:20
Name of source: National Library of Medicine
The National Library of Medicine (NLM), the world's largest medical library and a component of the National Institutes of Health, and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) are forming a new partnership. They will collaborate to develop initiatives that bring together scholars, scientists, librarians, doctors and cultural heritage professionals from the humanities and biomedical communities in order to share expertise and develop new research agendas.
Representatives from the NLM and the NEH signed a memorandum of understanding that outlines their partnership and recognizes their shared interest in advancing health and medical education, training and information dissemination for research, teaching and learning by the humanities and biomedical communities.
As initial efforts, the partners will work together to:
Explore areas of mutual interest for research, particularly in the fields of digital humanities and the history of medicine;
Develop and participate in curricula and courses, training and internship opportunities, and other educational initiatives; and
Develop initiatives to increase access to careers in medicine and health, with a particular interest in reaching students who are under-represented in the fields
About the partner institutions:
The National Endowment for the Humanities is an executive-branch, independent grant-making agency of the United States of America dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities and in those social sciences that use humanistic methods. NEH accomplishes this mission by providing grants for high-quality humanities projects to cultural institutions, such as museums, archives, libraries, colleges, universities, public television and radio stations, and to individual scholars.
Since its founding in 1836, theNational Library of Medicine has played a pivotal role in translating biomedical research into practice. NLM, part of the National Institutes of Health, is the world's largest medical library with more than 17 million items in its collection. A leader in information innovation, it is the developer of electronic information services used by scientists, health professionals and the public around the world. NLM makes its information services known and available with the help of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, which consists of 5,600 member institutions, including eight Regional Medical Libraries. NLM conducts and supports research that applies computer and information science to meet the information needs of clinicians, public health administrators, biomedical researchers and consumers.
Friday, July 27, 2012 - 14:48
The National Library of Medicine, the world's largest medical library and a component of the National Institutes of Health, has acquired a collection of over 200 books and periodical issues related to the literary achievements of the prominent American Civil War surgeon S. Weir Mitchell (1829-1914).
Mitchell obtained his medical degree in 1850 from Jefferson Medical College and spent the following year in Paris, where he studied with noted physiologist Claude Bernard, who invented the concept of blind experiments to ensure objectivity in scientific observations. During the American Civil War, Mitchell was a surgeon at Turner's Lane Hospital in Philadelphia, where he treated many patients with nerve injuries. This work eventually led to his interest in neurology and neuropsychiatry. After the war, Mitchell returned to private practice. In 1870, he was appointed physician-in-charge of the Department for Nervous Diseases of the Philadelphia Orthopedic Hospital, where he would treat patients for over 40 years.
An accomplished surgeon, Mitchell published over 100 scientific articles and monographs during his lifetime. His medical background and experience enabled him to write historical fiction with much psychological insight. He published more than 25 literary titles, many of which are represented in NLM's new acquisition, alongside dozens of volumes signed by Mitchell and various editions which document changes in styles and tastes of American publishing of the period.
Among Mitchell's literary works now held by the NLM is an 1864 monograph entitled The Children's Hour, which he co-wrote with poet Elizabeth Wister Stevenson to aid the Sanitary Commission Fair in Philadelphia. Three years later, he published The Wonderful Stories of Fuz-Buz the Fly and Mother Grabem the Spider, another book for children. His first literary work for adults, which was printed in the July 1866 issue of The Atlantic Monthly, was "The Case of George Dedlow," a fictional account of a Civil War soldier who had lost all of his limbs. Hill of Stones, his first book of poems, was published in 1883, and his first full-length novel, In War Time, followed in 1885. Hugh Wynne, Free Quaker, Sometime Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel on the Staff of His Excellency General Washington, an historical novel set during the Revolutionary War, is the best known and most successful of his novels. However, The Adventures of François, Foundling, Thief, Juggler, and Fencing-Master, During the French Revolution was the author's favorite of his own books, according to scholars of the period.
The S. Weir Mitchell collection of the NLM will be digitized over the next two years as part of NLM's Medicine in the Americas, a digital library project that makes freely available original works demonstrating the evolution of American medicine from colonial frontier outposts of the 17th century to research hospitals of the 20th century. Medicine in the Americas itself is made possible in part through the participation of the NLM in the Medical Heritage Library, a digital curation collaborative supported by The National Endowment for the Humanities, The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and The Open Knowledge Commons.
Friday, July 27, 2012 - 14:47
Name of source: LA Times
Up the street from the old MGM lot, a tale of miracles is playing out at what was once the Culver City courthouse.
Decommissioned in 2005, the low-slung, single-story building is the home of the Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum, a monument to one woman's quest to preserve African American history — from slavery to modern times.
Clayton once said: "If we're not careful, the record of our history in this country can be permanently lost. Right now it's just misplaced."
She spent years tracking it down.
The first miracle is its 2 million items — second only to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York. Those items include 25,000 magazines, 20,000 books, 17,000 photographs, 1,000 pieces of sheet music, 700 films and 300 movie posters....
Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 20:53
French President François Hollande on Sunday made an emotional mea culpa on behalf of his country for its part in the World War II roundup and deportation of more than 13,000 Jews from Paris.
At the 70th anniversary of what is known as the Vel d'Hiv Raids, Hollande admitted the operation carried out by Paris police in 1942 was a "crime committed in France, by France."
Hollande also praised former president and political rival Jacques Chirac who in 1995 became the first French leader to admit the roundup had been "France's fault."
Until then, French presidents including Hollande's Socialist mentor François Mitterrand had contended that the wartime collaborationist Vichy government led by Marshall Philippe Petain did not represent the French Republic....
Monday, July 23, 2012 - 22:17
Name of source: Q13Fox.com
The Washington State History Museum will be opening a special exhibit in August on famous skyjacker D.B. Cooper, who parachuted out of a commercial airliner somewhere between Portland and Seattle with $200,000 in extorted cash in 1971 and was never caught.
The case remains the only unsolved air piracy in American aviation history.
Museum spokesman Margo Helgen said the museum in Tacoma wanted to emphasize the exhibit is not being held to promote a criminal, but to show “the nature of personal safety” and how “hijacking has changed over time and the response to it.”...
Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 20:52
Name of source: USA Today
Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, has died of cancer at age 61, her organization has announced.
On June 18, 1983, Ride was 32 when she launched aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger.
Ride, a physicist, helped develop the shuttle's robotic arm....
Monday, July 23, 2012 - 17:40
Name of source: Winona Daily News (MN)
It was one of the largest gifts of art ever made to a teachers college.
Now much of the collection has been lost.
The Paul Watkins family donated about 600 pieces of artwork collected from around Europe to the Winona Teachers College over the course of a decade or so beginning in the 1920s. That kind of gift was unheard of in its time, and is still the largest art donation in Winona State University history.
More than 80 years later, only about 250 of the items can still be accounted for, according to inventory and appraisal records collected and provided by WSU....
Monday, July 23, 2012 - 16:00
Name of source: National Geographic
Some 1,600 years ago, the Temple of the Night Sun was a blood-red beacon visible for miles and adorned with giant masks of the Maya sun god as a shark, blood drinker, and jaguar.
Long since lost to the Guatemalan jungle, the temple is finally showing its faces to archaeologists, and revealing new clues about the rivalrous kingdoms of the Maya.
Unlike the relatively centralized Aztec and Inca empires, the Maya civilization—which spanned much of what are now Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico's Yucatán region (Maya map)—was a loose aggregation of city-states. (Read about the rise and fall of the Maya in National Geographic magazine.)...
Monday, July 23, 2012 - 12:06
Name of source: National Post
PARIS — They are among France’s darkest days: Police dragged over 13,000 Jews from their homes, confined them in a Paris cycling stadium with little food or water, and then deported them to their deaths in the concentration camp at Auschwitz. But even in France, one of the most brazen collaborations between authorities and the Nazis during World War II is unknown to many in the younger generation.
Police are hoping to change that, opening up their archives on France’s biggest single deportation of French Jews for the first time to the public on Thursday.
The often chilling records are being exhibited in the Paris Jewish district’s city hall to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the two-day “Vel d’Hiv” roundup, named for the Velodrome d’Hiver, or Winter Velodrome. Many thousands were rounded up on July 16 and 17, 1942, then holed up in miserable conditions in the stadium, just a stone’s throw from the Eiffel Tower, before being bused to the French camp at Drancy and then taken by train to Auschwitz....
Monday, July 23, 2012 - 10:47
Name of source: BBC News
Two conflicting texts - one pro-Nazi, the other pacifist - have been found under a statue at Vienna's main war memorial, Austrian officials say.
Both messages were in a metal capsule left under the statue of the Unknown Soldier in 1935 - three years before Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany.
The pro-Nazi message, by sculptor Wilhelm Frass, hopes for German unity under the Sonnenrad, the swastika.
The anti-war message was signed by sculptor Alfons Riedel....
Monday, July 23, 2012 - 10:46
Name of source: Huffington Post
BUDAPEST, Hungary -- The evidence against a 97-year-old Hungarian man accused of abusing Jews and helping deport thousands during the Holocaust is much stronger than a similar case last year that ended in a high-profile acquittal, experts say.
Laszlo Csatary's role as a police officer and chief of an internment camp from where 12,000 Jews were deported to their deaths in Auschwitz and other Nazi death camps is amply documented and there are strong witness statements about his brutality, they said.
Authorities charged Csatary last week with "unlawful torture of human beings," accusing him of being present in 1944 when trains bound for death camps were loaded and sent on their way, regularly using a dog whip to strike detainees and in one case refusing to cut holes in a train car to allow people to breathe. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison....
Monday, July 23, 2012 - 08:26
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
The East Riding beach of Mappleton, near Hornsea, was used as a practice bombing range during the Second World War - but the bad weather has led to ground movement which exposed one of the biggest arsenals ever uncovered yesterday.
The fins of many of the bombs have been left sticking out of the mud and rock which has fallen onto the beach.
With holiday crowds flooding to the coast, coastguards are warning visitors thinking of grabbing a souvenir that the bombs may be "highly volatile" and capable of causing tragedy.
Coastguards say the odd item of explosives often turn up in dribs and drabs after being embedded in the cliffs for decades in the area....
Sunday, July 22, 2012 - 20:50
The extreme conditions, which eventually claimed the lives of five including Scott himself, were described by Apsley Cherry-Garrard in letters to his mother.
An assistant zoologist, he joined the Terra Nova expedition aged 24 and was eventually part of the search party that found the frozen bodies of his companions after six months.
The letters, which have come to light through a family member 100 years after Scott died, are expected to fetch £80,000 when they are auctioned by Christie's, according to the Guardian.
They chart the ill-fated exploration of the South Pole, which had already been completed by a Norwegian rival before it began in 1910....
Friday, July 20, 2012 - 10:12
The treasure, worth 1.4 million troy ounces of silver, was found on the wreckage three miles beneath the Atlantic.
The operation to retrieve the 1,203 bars from the SS Gairsoppa was the heaviest and deepest underwater mission to remove precious metal from sunken vessels.
It was discovered last September and the metal was reportedly valued at around £155 million in today's prices.
The Gairsoppa, a cargo ship, sank in February 1941, 300 miles south-west of Galway in Ireland....
Friday, July 20, 2012 - 10:10
What was Stalin's key weapon in controlling Eastern Europe? Sausage rolls, according to one student.
Apparently the Russian dictator was not building up a buffer zone in the region after the end of the Second World War, but a "buffet zone".
The blooper is just one of the exam howlers submitted to the Times Higher Education (THE) magazine for its annual competition.
This year's entries reveal how university students have been stumped by historical events, or simply caught out by spelling mistakes.
In a paper on the Cold War, the student for whom Stalin's actions were more along the lines of a street party than a military move wrote: "In 1945, Stalin began to build a buffet zone in Eastern Europe."...
Thursday, July 19, 2012 - 13:56
Name of source: Philadelphia Inquirer
The anger that led Lewis Zuchman and Luvaughn Brown to self-destructive moments as teenagers ultimately fueled their dedication to a movement.
Zuchman grew up white and Jewish in New York. He quit college and served time in jail before he was 19. Brown, an African-American in segregated Mississippi, ran away from an abusive family life and was prone to raise his fists in an instant.
They met as teenage Freedom Riders in the early 1960s, part of an historic non-violent movement that helped force the desegregation of the transportation facilities in the South.
"It was a reasonable way to fight what I wanted to fight all along, but didn't know how," said Brown, now 67.
Brown and Zuchman, 70, reminisced on Saturday at a discussion and film screening about the Freedom Rides at the African American Museum in Philadelphia. The event was part of programming associated with an exhibit of 82 mixed-media portraits of Freedom Riders by New York artist Charlotta Janssen....
Sunday, July 22, 2012 - 05:26
Name of source: Fox News
It's the face that launched a thousand imitations. Now, archaeologists are convinced they've found the body of the real Mona Lisa.
Buried in a crypt beneath a convent in Florence, Italy, archaeologists believe they have uncovered the skeleton belonging to the model who posed for Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece in 1504.
The wife of a rich silk merchant, Lisa Gheradini, is generally accepted by historians to be the woman with the mysterious smile.
Lisa Gheradini, whose married name was Giocondo, became a nun after her husband's death. She was buried in the grounds of the Convent of Saint Ursula where she died in 1542, aged 63....
Friday, July 20, 2012 - 10:14
Name of source: abc news
An American company has made what is being called the heaviest and deepest recovery of precious metals from a shipwreck.
The Tampa, Fla.-based Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. announced Wednesday that it had recovered 48 tons of silver bullion from the SS Gairsoppa, a sunken British cargo ship in three miles of water off the coast of Ireland. Between the Gairsoppa, torpedoed by a German U-boat during World War II, and the SS Mantola, sunk by a German submarine during World War I, Odyssey said in a press release that about 240 tons of silver may be recovered by the end of the operation....
Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - 23:27
Name of source: PBS Newshour
It's one of rock's seminal moments: It's 1965, the scene is the Newport Folk Festival, and Bob Dylan -- the godfather of folk music at the time -- walks on stage and plugs in. He plays an electric guitar for the first time in live performance.
Fans boo their musical hero and Pete Seeger tries to switch off the power on his friend Dylan. And what became of the instrument that Dylan used as he transformed from folk master to rock & roll legend? Well, it went missing.
A New Jersey woman, Dawn Peterson, believes she has the Fender Stratocaster with the sunburst pattern that belonged to Dylan. Turns out her father used to fly him and other famous musicians to and from gigs in his private plane. The guitar was left behind on the plane after the 1965 festival and remained in the family attic for decades, until Dawn started wondering about its origin after her father died....
Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - 11:49
Name of source: Star Tribune
Ron Geshick was 6 years old when a university archeologist showed up on the shores of Nett Lake in northern Minnesota and began digging for American Indian artifacts.
Sixty-four years later, Geshick fought tears as more than 8,000 items unearthed in that dig were returned to the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa by the Minnesota Historical Society.
"It's like having a long-lost relative come home," Geshick, now a 70-year-old tribal elder, said after a spiritual guide led tribal leaders in celebrating the return of the items amid songs, prayers and a pipe ceremony this week. "Very powerful feelings come from these."
The artifacts, some of which are believed to be nearly 3,000 years old, were returned as part of an ongoing effort by the Bois Forte Band and other American Indian communities to reclaim items taken from their lands....
Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - 11:44
Name of source: WaPo
WASHINGTON — Candy maker Mars Inc. is donating $5 million to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History to create a new gallery focused on business and innovation in the United States dating back to the 1700s, the museum announced Wednesday.
The McLean, Va.-based maker of Snickers, M&Ms and pet foods will be the lead sponsor of a planned “American Enterprise” exhibit. The 8,000-square-foot multimedia gallery will trace the nation’s economic development from a small agricultural nation to one of the world’s largest economies.
In announcing the gift, Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough said it will tell a broad story about business for visitors of all ages. The Smithsonian is naming the gallery the Mars Hall of American Business. It is scheduled to open in 2015 after a renovation of the museum’s west wing....
Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - 11:41