Name of source: NYT
Inspired by a pillar of antiquity, the Library of Alexandria, Brewster Kahle has a grand vision for the Internet Archive, the giant aggregator and digitizer of data, which he founded and leads.
“We want to collect all the books, music and video that has ever been produced by humans,” Mr. Kahle said.
As of Tuesday, the archive’s online collection will include every morsel of news produced in the last three years by 20 different channels, encompassing more than 1,000 news series that have generated more than 350,000 separate programs devoted to news....
Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - 09:53
MERIDIAN, Miss. — Across the street from a barbershop and upstairs from a post office sits a big empty room where Mississippi once began to face up to itself.
Even on a steamy humdrum Thursday afternoon, this city’s stately federal courtroom looks like the kind of place where momentous things could happen, as they once did. The legal campaign to integrate the University of Mississippi got under way here in May 1961, and it was here that a local posse of Klansmen who murdered three civil rights workers faced justice at the hands of their neighbors, the first time that had happened in Mississippi.
The court has remained in use over the decades since, though with a lower profile. Soon, however, it will be shut down for good, a victim of its quietness and the fiscal urgencies of Washington....
Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - 09:52
A historian of early Christianity at Harvard Divinity School has identified a scrap of papyrus that she says was written in Coptic in the fourth century and contains a phrase never seen in any piece of Scripture: “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife ...’ ”
The faded papyrus fragment is smaller than a business card, with eight lines on one side, in black ink legible under a magnifying glass. Just below the line about Jesus having a wife, the papyrus includes a second provocative clause that purportedly says, “she will be able to be my disciple.”
The finding was made public in Rome on Tuesday at the International Congress of Coptic Studies by Karen L. King, a historian who has published several books about new Gospel discoveries and is the first woman to hold the nation’s oldest endowed chair, the Hollis professor of divinity.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - 23:45
KETRZYN, Poland — For nearly three years, Hitler commanded the Third Reich from a vast network of bunkers and buildings hidden in the forest here, guiding his genocidal war effort from an encampment called the Wolf’s Lair.
But while Poland went to great lengths to preserve the memory of Nazi death camps like Birkenau, the significance of this historic outpost was largely lost. Under lease to a private company, the Wolf’s Lair was transformed into a place to take pottery lessons and play paintball. Although most people still come here for the historic value, there is little in the way of educational materials, and at least one nod to the past is more kitschy than thoughtful: visitors can pose for photos wearing Nazi uniforms.
Now, however, the Polish government has decided that the Wolf’s Lair holds valuable history lessons that need to be preserved, especially amid signs that right-wing ideologies of hate and blame are taking root in corners of Europe. As a requirement of issuing a new lease, the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage has demanded that the company running the site transform it into a historical and educational destination with detailed outdoor exhibits and a museum....
Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - 15:02
Ancient Egyptians did not speak to posterity only through hieroglyphs. Those elaborate pictographs were the elite script for recording the lives and triumphs of pharaohs in their tombs and on the monumental stones along the Nile. But almost from the beginning, people in everyday life spoke a different language and wrote a different script, a simpler one that evolved from the earliest hieroglyphs.
These were the words of love and family, the law and commerce, private letters and texts on science, religion and literature. For at least 1,000 years, roughly from 500 B.C. to A.D. 500, both the language and the distinctive cursive script were known as Demotic Egyptian, a name given it by the Greeks to mean the tongue of the demos, or the common people.
Demotic was one of the three scripts inscribed on the Rosetta stone, along with Greek and hieroglyphs, enabling European scholars to decipher the royal language in the early 19th century and thus read the top-down version of a great civilization’s long history....
Monday, September 17, 2012 - 23:13
This time, there were no presidents reading psalms, no sounds of Yo-Yo Ma’s cello echoing across the plaza, no national outpouring of decade-later reflections.
This time, the faces on the stage were almost all those of the 200 readers listing the dead, one by one, the names of cousins, brothers, mothers and husbands sounding for almost four hours over the twin reflecting pools that stand where the towers fell 11 years ago.
Other elements of the annual Sept. 11 ceremony at ground zero remained the same: a chorus of children’s voices, an honor guard carrying a battered flag salvaged from the World Trade Center, six moments of silence to mark the impact of planes crashing and buildings hitting the ground, three trumpeters closing the day’s commemoration with the haunting sound of taps. Outside the site, however, many places across the country had shrunk their anniversary ceremonies or chosen not to hold them at all....
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - 09:43
...The cultural divide that opened that school year on California campuses forever changed some young men. The new Stanford student president, David Harris, was later imprisoned for refusing military service. Some freshmen in Mr. Romney’s dormitory, Rinconada Hall, joined an antiwar commune or fought the draft as conscientious objectors.
Mr. Romney, though, stayed true to his chinos and the Vietnam War, even joining a counterprotest against the occupation of the office of the university president, Wallace Sterling. Forty-six years later, some classmates remember his pro-war stand as principled and heartfelt; others say he merely championed the worldview of his father, George Romney, then Michigan’s governor, a war supporter and a future contender for the 1968 Republican presidential nomination. Still others say he sailed through the most schismatic moral and political issue of that time — and perhaps of any period since in the United States — with neither much angst nor introspection.
On his own for the first time, Mr. Romney finished his freshman year as he began it: conventionally patriotic and faithful to the traditional values of the time. “He was loyal to his family beliefs, his church beliefs and his country’s beliefs without trying, really, to understand what qualifications they had,” said Karl Drake, another Rinconada freshman and an antiwar activist who sometimes clashed with Mr. Romney....
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - 09:42
The Greek government has appointed a panel to determine whether Germany might still owe Greece money in reparations for Nazi war crimes, a move that indicates the extent to which the shaky coalition government in Athens is trying to appease lawmakers from the extreme right and left.
Christos Staikouras, a deputy finance minister, on Monday signed a decision appointing four members of the State Audit Council to scour historical archives “in relation to German reparations” and to issue a verdict by year-end.
The move comes as the so-called troika of Greece’s foreign creditors are scrutinizing the government’s books to determine whether the country will receive the next installment of rescue loans it needs to stay solvent.
Part of the challenge for the coalition government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is to get his two restive coalition partners to approve a package of austerity measures worth €11.5 billion, or about $15 billion, that the foreign creditors are demanding, and appease vehement opposition to the measures from the other parties in Parliament.
The issue of reparations is a longstanding one for Greece, where thousands died at the hands of Nazi troops. Recently, it has been broached by lawmakers from parties of the ascendant far right and extreme left, which made big gains in the June general elections after campaigning on anti-austerity platforms...
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - 20:39
The moments of silence. The musical interludes. The honor guards of policemen and firefighters, colleagues of those who died rescuing others on Sept. 11, 2001. And the reading of names, whether to honor the three victims from Nutley, N.J., or the nearly 3,000 others from around the world who died in the attacks.
Across the country, the elements of a Sept. 11 anniversary commemoration have become familiar, from the World Trade Center site in Manhattan to the Pennsylvania field where United Flight 93 crashed to the dozens of New Jersey towns with neighbors to mourn. After the commemorations reached a peak of sorts for last year’s 10th anniversary, a sprinkling of communities have decided to scale back — prompted, they say, by a growing feeling that it may be time to move on.
Nearly every ceremony will be smaller this year, even at the epicenter of the attacks. In a move that has drawn some controversy, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has stripped the New York ceremony of its presidents, governors and other politicians, who have in the past read literary or religious passages. Instead of Yo-Yo Ma, James Taylor and Paul Simon, bagpipers and a youth chorus will provide the music....
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - 15:23
THE September day when the brutal hurricane of 1938 hit the East End started out warm and sunny, but it ended up leaving behind a wasteland of uprooted trees, ruined houses and smashed cars. All that destruction, and more, is chronicled in an exhibition in East Hampton, “The Long Island Express: Rare Photographs of East Hampton Town After the 1938 Hurricane.” The Long Island Express is one of several names by which the hurricane came to be remembered.
The story behind the exhibition, which is on display in the East Hampton Historical Society’s Clinton Academy, began about a year ago, said Richard Barons, the society’s director, when Camilla Jewett, who lives down the street from the museum and who recently turned 101, invited him to tea, as she often does....
Sunday, September 9, 2012 - 09:32
A dispute between Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo over the $1 billion museum at ground zero has dragged on for so long that the museum will not open in time for the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks — or even for the next one.
Aides to Mr. Bloomberg and Mr. Cuomo have so far been unable to resolve their differences over which government agencies will pay the operating costs of the museum, which is intended to document the terrorist attacks of 2001 and honor the nearly 3,000 victims. The two sides also remain at odds over who will have oversight of the museum and the surrounding memorial.
The negotiations are further complicated because Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey must sign off on any agreement before it can take effect. Mr. Cuomo and Mr. Christie together control the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the World Trade Center site. Mr. Bloomberg is chairman of the Sept. 11 foundation, which controls the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, and oversees commemorative events at the site....
Sunday, September 9, 2012 - 08:53
The instructions from the Israeli government were clear in the hours after Palestinian terrorists killed two Israeli athletes at the Munich Summer Olympics in 1972, took nine others hostage and demanded the release of more than 200 Arab prisoners.
“The Israeli government does not negotiate with terrorists,” read the urgent cable, marked classified and sent to the Israeli ambassador in Bonn, the capital of what was then West Germany, on Sept. 5, 1972. “The government expects the German authorities to do everything in their power to rescue the hostages.”…
Now for the first time, these and dozens more classified documents relating to the killing of the athletes have been made public after four decades left sitting in cardboard boxes in the Israel State Archives, the repository of the country’s collective memory and many of its secrets. Their publication last week was timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Munich massacre.
Saturday, September 8, 2012 - 11:07
Name of source: Fox News
The first ever Etruscan pyramids have been located underneath a wine cellar in the city of Orvieto in central Italy, according to a team of U.S. and Italian archaeologists.
Carved into the rock of the tufa plateau -- a sedimentary area that is a result of volcanic activity -- on which the city stands, the subterranean structures were largely filled. Only the top-most modern layer was visible.
"Within this upper section, which had been modified in modern times and was used as a wine cellar, we noticed a series of ancient stairs carved into the wall. They were clearly of Etruscan construction," David B. George of the Department of Classics at Saint Anselm, told Discovery News....
Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - 09:42
Bob Dylan says the stigma of slavery ruined America and he doubts the country can get rid of the shame because it was "founded on the backs of slaves."
The veteran musician tells Rolling Stone that in America "people (are) at each other's throats just because they are of a different color," adding that "it will hold any nation back." He also says blacks know that some whites "didn't want to give up slavery."...
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - 08:44
Name of source: LiveScience
Archaeologists say they've identified the oldest known Roman military fortress in Germany, likely built to house thousands of troops during Julius Caesar's conquest of Gaul in the late 50s B.C. Broken bits of Roman soldiers' sandals helped lead to the discovery.
Researchers knew about the large site — close to the German town of Hermeskeil, near the French border — since the 19th century but lacked solid evidence about what it was. Parts of the fort also had been covered up or destroyed by agricultural development.
"Some remains of the wall are still preserved in the forest, but it hadn't been possible to prove that this was indeed a Roman military camp as archaeologists and local historians had long suspected," researcher Sabine Hornung, of Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz (JGU), said in a statement....
Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - 10:10
A giant poolside mosaic featuring intricate geometric patterns has been unearthed in southern Turkey, revealing the far-reaching influence of the Roman Empire at its peak.
The mosaic, which once decorated the floor of a bath complex, abuts a 25-foot (7-meter)-long pool, which would have been open to the air, said Michael Hoff, a University of Nebraska, Lincoln art historian and director of the mosaic excavation. The find likely dates to the third or fourth century, Hoff said. The mosaic itself is an astonishing 1,600 square feet (149 square meters) — the size of a modest family home.
"To be honest, I was completely bowled over that the mosaic is that big," Hoff told LiveScience. [See Photos of the Roman Mosaic]
The first hint that something stunning lay underground in southern Turkey came in 2002, when Purdue University classics professor Nick Rauh walked through a freshly-plowed farmer's field near the ancient city of Antiochia ad Cragum. The plow had churned up bits of mosaic tile, Hoff said. Rauh consulted other archaeologists, including experts at the local museum in Alanya, Turkey. The museum did not have funds to excavate more than a sliver of the mosaic, so archaeologists left the site alone....
Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - 10:09
The search for the grave of English King Richard III has uncovered a garden said to hold a memorial to the medieval monarch.
University of Leicester archaeologists announced today (Sept. 7) that they have found paving stones that may belong to the garden of Robert Herrick, a mayor of Leicester who built a mansion and garden over the church where Richard III was buried. In 1612, a man named Christopher Wren visited Herrick and reported that the garden contained a 3-foot (1-meter) tall stone pillar inscribed, "Here lies the body of Richard III sometime King of England."
"This is an astonishing discovery and a huge step forward in the search for King Richard's grave," Philippa Langley, a representative of the Richard III society, said in a statement. "Herrick is incredibly important in the story of Richard's grave, and in potentially helping us get a little bit closer to locating it."...
Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - 10:08
Name of source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
A new museum celebrating the history of blacks in Minnesota failed to open as scheduled last weekend, the third time in the past year it has missed its own deadline for opening to the public.
The doors were locked Monday at the Minnesota African American Museum and Cultural Center at 1700 3rd Ave. S. in Minneapolis on Monday, and construction work had stopped. Inside, wires were hanging from wall outlets....
Mahmoud El-Kati, professor emeritus at Macalester College and a member of the museum board, said he was aware the museum was not going to open last Saturday. But El-Kati said he was not privy to information about negotiations between the museum and the bank that holds the museum's mortgage....
Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - 07:22
Name of source: AP
Hundreds on Monday marked the 150th anniversary of the Civil War Battle of Antietam amid patriotic music and cannon fire, recalling the mind-boggling carnage and an ensuing Confederate retreat that Abraham Lincoln considered divine approval for abolishing slavery.
Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation five days after the 1862 battle in Maryland, "a decision that transformed and redefined the purpose of the Civil War and ignited the modern Civil Rights movement," National Park Service Associate Director Stephanie Toothman said at the commemoration.
More than 23,000 men were reported killed, wounded or missing in the dawn-to-dusk clash at Antietam, making the battle of Sept. 17, 1862, the bloodiest day of combat on U.S. soil....
Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - 00:05
The earliest movies known to be shot in color have been revived by film archivists, who on Wednesday gave an audience at London's Science Museum a glimpse at cinema's first attempts to show us the world as we see it.
The obscure film segments were long considered failed prototypes, blurry flickers of color seen by no more than a handful of people before being consigned to an archive. But the National Media Museum in the northern England city of Bradford said digitization had effectively rescued the footage, unlocking remarkably modern-looking images created more than a century ago...
Experts have dated the movie segments back to 1901 or 1902, when cinema was still in its infancy and inventors on both sides of the Atlantic were racing to produce ever-more realistic films. American inventor Thomas Edison led the way with peep-show-like Kinetoscope; the Lumiere brothers had wowed French audiences with moving images projected onto screens in 1895. The next challenge was to shoot a film in color...
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - 13:31
The world will soon get its first good look at the wreckage of the only U.S. Navy ship sunk in combat in the Gulf of Mexico during the Civil War, thanks to sophisticated 3-D sonar images that divers have been collecting this week in the Gulf's murky depths.
The USS Hatteras, an iron-hulled 210-foot ship that sank about 20 miles off the coast of Galveston, Texas, in January 1863, has sat mostly undisturbed and unnoticed since its wreckage was found in the early 1970s. But recent storm-caused shifts in the seabed where the Hatteras rests 57 feet below the surface have exposed more of it to inspection, and researchers are rushing to get as complete an image of the ship as possible before the sand and silt shifts back....
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - 19:11
DENVER - A former University of Colorado professor who compared some Sept. 11 victims with a Nazi has lost his appeal to get his job back.
The Colorado Supreme Court on Monday upheld a lower court decision against Ward Churchill....
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - 09:02
WARSAW, Poland – The American POWs sent secret coded messages to Washington with news of a Soviet atrocity: In 1943 they saw rows of corpses in an advanced state of decay in the Katyn forest, on the western edge of Russia, proof that the killers could not have been the Nazis who had only recently occupied the area.
The testimony about the infamous massacre of Polish officers might have lessened the tragic fate that befell Poland under the Soviets, some scholars believe. Instead, it mysteriously vanished into the heart of American power. The long-held suspicion is that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt didn't want to anger Josef Stalin, an ally whom the Americans were counting on to defeat Germany and Japan during World War II.
Documents released Monday and seen in advance by The Associated Press lend weight to the belief that suppression within the highest levels of the U.S. government helped cover up Soviet guilt in the killing of some 22,000 Polish officers and other prisoners in the Katyn forest and other locations in 1940.
The evidence is among about 1,000 pages of newly declassified documents that the United States National Archives is releasing Monday and putting online. Historians who saw the material days before the official release describe it as important and shared some highlights with the AP. The most dramatic revelation so far is the evidence of the secret codes sent by the two American POWs — something historians were unaware of and which adds to evidence that the Roosevelt administration knew of the Soviet atrocity relatively early on....
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - 08:59
The Obama administration is opposing a Jewish group's bid to have civil fines levied against Russia for failing to obey a court order to return its historic books and documents - a dispute that has halted the loan of Russian art works for exhibit in the United States.
In a recent court filing, the Justice Department argued that judicial sanctions against Russia in this case would be contrary to U.S. foreign policy interests and inconsistent with U.S. law.
The Jewish group, Chabad-Lubavitch, based in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, has already convinced Chief Judge Royce Lamberth of the U.S. District Court here that it has a valid claim to the tens of thousands of religious books and manuscripts, some up to 500 years old, which record the group's core teachings and traditions....
Monday, September 10, 2012 - 13:59
A group of survivors from the Hiroshima atomic bomb attack have held a protest in Jerusalem calling for the end of nuclear weapons.
The group visited Jerusalem holy sites on Monday and held signs reading "Nuclear Abolition" in Japanese.
The visit comes amid growing tensions between Israel and Iran over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program. Israel and much of the West believe Iran is seeking nuclear weapons, a charge that Tehran denies....
Monday, September 10, 2012 - 13:27
Name of source: CS Monitor
They lay undetected for more than a century, a hidden legacy of the highest, most forbidding battlefield of World War I.
But last month, as Italy sweltered through one of the hottest summers on record, a cache of more than 200 rusted explosives emerged from beneath a melting sheet of ice in the Dolomite range in the country’s north....
...The explosives – probably stored in an ammunition dump carved into what was once a massive glacier – were discovered by mountain-rescue experts during a routine border-police patrol.
They emerged from the 3,200 meter (10,500 ft.) high Ago di Nardis glacier in the Trentino region of northern Italy, which during the First World War was bitterly contested by Italian troops fighting the opposing forces of the Austro-Hungarian empire....
Monday, September 17, 2012 - 23:48
An 1869 ruling used by a Pennsylvania state judge in August to uphold a tough new voter ID law is providing some new and startling historical context to deliberations by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, as it mulls whether to block the controversial law before the Nov. 6 presidential election.
Looking specifically at the tumult and vagrancy of 19th century city life in Philadelphia, the so-called 1869 Patterson v. Barlow decision, which in part allowed election officials to consider a voter’s “virtue” before being allowed to cast a ballot, formed the backbone of Judge Robert Simpson’s decision last month that the new law was constitutional and could go into effect immediately. The original Patterson ruling was written by state Supreme Court justices, whose legal descendants are now weighing the voter ID law.
The ruling was more of a legal side note in the actual hearing Thursday. But citation of the ruling, which used what today would be considered by many to be bigoted language to justify early curbs on the franchise, has hit a nerve among critics who say Judge Simpson’s reliance on the ruling ties modern day critiques of voter ID laws directly, and shockingly, to a historical narrative of “anachronism and … outright prejudice,” according to one legal brief filed in the case....
Monday, September 17, 2012 - 00:23
Almost nine decades ago, the Democrats got together in New York City and tore themselves apart.
They fought over civil rights and the Ku Klux Klan. They fought over religion. They fought over legalizing liquor. And they did it for more than two whole weeks while botching everything from the music to the celebratory fire sirens.
The Democratic National Convention of 1924 remains the most destructive of all time. "During its 16 days and 103 ballots, the party virtually committed suicide," writes historian Robert K. Murray.
The players included a future president who'd lose that November, a Catholic governor, a KKK sympathizer and the ultimate nominee, a man who described the chaos, in a bit of understatement, as "a three-ring circus with two stages and a few trapeze acts."...
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - 17:25
Name of source: Smithsonian Magazine
On January 5, 1960, just three days after announcing that he would run for president, Senator John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline, held a small dinner party in Washington, D.C. Their guests included Ben Bradlee, then Newsweek’s Washington bureau chief, and his then-wife, Tony, and Newsweek correspondent James M. Cannon. Cannon taped the conversation for research on a book he was writing. After he died, in September 2011, the tapes became part of the collection of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston; a transcript is published for the first time in the new book Listening In: The Secret White House Recordings of John F. Kennedy, edited by Ted Widmer. In this exclusive excerpt, the candidate muses on the sources and purpose of power.
JFK: This is on? Can it get me from there?
Bradlee: [unclear] How come? Was it Joe’s death that started the . . . ?
Cannon: Why did you get started in politics? Why were you ever interested in it?
JFK: In the thirties, when I was home from school, the conversation was always about politics. Want a cigar?
Cannon: It’s all right. Talk loud.
JFK: Not in the sense of sort of being emotionally stirred about great issues, but really, just about the whole interest of my father was [unclear] in politics, in the Roosevelt administration....
Monday, September 17, 2012 - 20:43
Name of source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
A firestorm has erupted over the state’s decision to sharply curtail public access to the Georgia Archives.
The announcement late Thursday quickly became a cause celebre for academics and family genealogists alike as thousands signed online petitions and Facebook pages through the weekend.
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp said even he was unhappy — and it was his decision.
“To reduce public access to the historical records of this state was not arrived at without great consternation,” Kemp said. “I will fight during this legislative session [starting in January] to have this cut restored so the people will have a place to meet, research and review the historical records of Georgia.”...
Monday, September 17, 2012 - 10:17
Name of source: Foreign Policy
Presidential Decision Directive 59 -- presented here on Foreign Policy's National Security channel and on the National Security Archive's website for the first time -- was one of the most controversial nuclear policy documents of the Cold War, yet until now it's never been made public in its entirety.
Signed by President Jimmy Carter on July 25, 1980, the directive (titled "Nuclear Weapons Employment Policy") aimed to give presidents more flexibility in planning for and executing a nuclear war -- that is, options beyond a massive strike. Leaks of the document's Top Secret contents, within weeks of its approval, gave rise to front-page stories in the New York Times and the Washington Post, alleging that its changes to U.S. strategy lowered the threshold of a decision to go nuclear.
With other recently declassified material, PD-59 shows that the United States was indeed preparing to fight a nuclear war, with the hope of enduring. To do this, it sought a nuclear force posture that ensured a "high degree of flexibility, enduring survivability, and adequate performance in the face of enemy actions." If deterrence failed, the United States "must be capable of fighting successfully so that the adversary would not achieve his war aims and would suffer costs that are unacceptable."...
Monday, September 17, 2012 - 09:47
Name of source: WaPo
It is true, Justice Clarence Thomas acknowledged the other night, that the “we the people” extolled in the Constitution 225 years ago did not include people who looked like him.
But the Declaration of Independence did, he contended, and that was something that a black kid growing up in Savannah, Ga., was told early on.
“There was always this underlying belief that we were entitled to be a full participant in ‘we the people,’ ” Thomas told a crowd at the National Archives last week.
“That’s the way we grew up. It was the way the nuns, who were all immigrants, would explain it to us — that we were entitled, as citizens of this country, to be full participants. There was never any doubt that we were inherently equal. It said so in the Declaration of Independence.”...
Monday, September 17, 2012 - 09:31
When Lin Biao, China’s then heir apparent, died in an air crash more than 40 years ago, it took the Communist Party two months to inform the public.
This week’s unexplained disappearance of Xi Jinping, China’s leader-in-waiting, who has not been seen in public for 11 days, shows that, despite the country’s economic transformation, when it comes to its leaders, Beijing is as secretive now as it was in 1971, when Lin Biao died and Mao Zedong was still in power.
According to Beijing’s official version, Lin had been plotting a coup against Mao and decided to flee to the Soviet Union with his family after learning that he had been found out. His flight crashed in Mongolia, killing everyone on board. While Russian forensic evidence confirmed that he died in the crash, foreign historians continue to doubt Beijing’s explanation of a coup....
Thursday, September 13, 2012 - 16:50
Mitt Romney: “It’s disgraceful that the Obama Administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”
..[B]ecause Republicans have frequently likened President Obama to Jimmy Carter, we were curious to learn how candidate Ronald Reagan responded to the worst foreign policy disaster on Carter’s watch — the failed mission to rescue U.S. diplomats in Iran, resulting in the deaths of eight servicemen.
In April 1980, Reagan was still battling George H.W. Bush for the GOP nomination, while Sen. Edward M. Kennedy was challenging Carter for the Democratic nomination. This is excerpted from The Washington Post reporting on the political fallout:
Carter's presidential rivals were charitable. Republican George Bush supported the president's actions without reservation. Ronald Reagan and Edward Kennedy offered sympathy to the families of the dead troopers and called for national "unity."...
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - 14:44
The Virginia woman eyed the box of kitsch at the West Virginia flea market and figured she’d discovered a true steal. Surely, she calculated, she could resell that brown leather Paul Bunyan doll to folk art enthusiasts for a tiny profit. As for the rest of the box’s items, she loved the plastic cow. The cow would get displayed in her living room.
But the third item, a painting — with swirls of green and pink, carrying a plaque emblazoned with the word RENOIR — did not excite her so much. She liked only its golden frame and assumed the thing was a fake.
So the woman forked over $7. She drove home. She stuck the box in a shed.
Now, about two years after her random trip to a flea market on Route 340, the woman is selling the painting through the Alexandria-based Potomack Co. auction house, which determined that the piece is a bona fide work by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, the renowned French impressionist. Potomack thinks the painting could fetch as much as $100,000, if not more, when it goes on the auction block Sept. 29....
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - 10:00
Name of source: National Archives
Washington, DC. . . As part of the celebration of the document’s 225th anniversary, the National Archives will for the first time exhibit the so-called “Fifth Page” of the Constitution of the United States. It will be on display from Friday, September 14, through Wednesday, September 19, 2012, in the East Rotunda Gallery in the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. Museum hours are 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. daily, but the museum will open late at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, September 17 (Constitution Day).
The fifth page is also known as the transmittal page of the Constitution and the Resolutions of the Constitutional Convention. This document, signed by George Washington, who presided over the Constitutional Convention, describes how the Constitution was to be ratified and put into effect.
An Inside the Vaults video short, “US Constitution – ‘The Fifth Page’ (Transmittal Page),” discusses the conservation treatment and re-encasement of the document. Chief of the Preservation Laboratory MaryLynn Ritzenthaler and Supervisory Conservator Kitty Nicholson recount their role in the project. The 3:35 minute video is part of the ongoing “Inside the Vaults”series and can be viewed on the National Archives YouTube channel: http://tiny.cc/FifthPage.
The other four pages of the Constitution are on permanent display in the Rotunda, along with the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. Together they are known as the Charters of Freedom. Early in the last decade, all seven pages – including the transmittal page – were placed in new, state-of-the-art encasements after undergoing conservation treatment. The National Archives Building is located just off the National Mall at Constitution Avenue and 7th Street, NW. Metro accessible on the Yellow and Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial/Penn Quarter station.
Background on “Inside the Vaults”
“Inside the Vaults” is part of the ongoing effort by the National Archives to make its collections, stories, and accomplishments more accessible to the public. “Inside the Vaults” gives voice to Archives staff and users, highlights new and exciting finds at the Archives, and reports on complicated and technical subjects in easily understandable presentations. Earlier topics include the conservation of the original Declaration of Independence, and the 1297 Magna Carta, the transfer to the National Archives of the Nuremberg Laws, and the 100th Anniversary of the Titanic disaster. The film series is free to view and distribute on our YouTube channel at http://tiny.cc/Vaults
Created by a former broadcast network news producer, the "Inside the Vaults" video shorts series presents “behind the scenes” exclusives and offer surprising glimpses of the National Archives treasures. These videos are in the public domain and not subject to any copyright restrictions. The National Archives encourages the free distribution of them.
Saturday, September 15, 2012 - 11:34
Name of source: CBS News
(CBS News) Movies usually get teased with a trailer and introduced at a premiere.
But in the case of Steven Spielberg's upcoming film "Lincoln," the full-length trailer received an online premiere Thursday, teased by a short trailer released earlier this week.
The trailer premiered during a Google+ hangout with the film's director, Spielberg, and cast member Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
"Lincoln" stars Daniel Day-Lewis and chronicles the last few months of the president's life, as he works to end the Civil War and abolish slavery.
The film also stars Sally Field, David Strathairn , James Spader, Hal Holbrook and Tommy Lee Jones. The screenplay, written by Tony Kushner, is based on the book "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln" by Doris Kearns Goodwin....
Friday, September 14, 2012 - 15:22
Name of source: Yahoo News
A family in Guatemala has discovered an ancient Mayan mural on the walls of its home.
National Geographic explains that Lucas Asicona Ramírez made the discovery while renovating his home five years ago in the village of Chajul.
The painting has been uncovered for the first time in centuries, and archaeologists are scrambling to document the images, which are fading quickly after exposure to air and light.
"We don't get a lot of this type of artwork; it's not commonly preserved in the New World," said Boston University archaeologist William Saturno."It'd be neat to see who the folks were who painted on the wall and why."...
Friday, September 14, 2012 - 10:29
Name of source: WSAV (GA)
Official statement from the state:
"The Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget has instructed the Office of the Secretary of State to further reduce its budget for AFY13 and FY14 by 3% ($732,626). As it has been for the past two years, these cuts do not eliminate excess in the agency, but require the agency to further reduce services to the citizens of Georgia. As an agency that returns over three times what is appropriated back to the general fund, budget cuts present very challenging decisions. We have tried to protect the services that the agency provides in support of putting people to work, starting small businesses, and providing public safety.
To meet the required cuts, it is with great remorse that I have to announce, effective November 1, 2012, the Georgia State Archives located in Morrow, GA will be closed to the public. The decision to reduce public access to the historical records of this state was not arrived at without great consternation. To my knowledge, Georgia will be the only state in the country that will not have a central location in which the public can visit to research and review the historical records of their government and state. The staff that currently works to catalog, restore, and provide reference to the state of Georgia’s permanent historical records will be reduced. The employees that will be let go through this process are assets to the state of Georgia and will be missed. After November 1st, the public will only be allowed to access the building by appointment; however, the number of appointments could be limited based on the schedule of the remaining employees.
Since FY08, the Office of the Secretary of State has been required to absorb many budget reductions, often above the minimum, while being responsible for more work. I believe that transparency and open access to records are necessary for the public to educate themselves on the issues of our government. I will fight during this legislative session to have this cut restored so the people will have a place to meet, research, and review the historical records of Georgia."
Thursday, September 13, 2012 - 18:18
Name of source: BBC News
A memorial for the first man on the Moon, astronaut Neil Armstrong, has been held in Washington, DC.
The public memorial was held at the National Cathedral, with fellow Apollo 11 astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins among the hundreds attending.
Armstrong died in August, aged 82, from complications after heart surgery.
Nasa administrator Charles Bolden, a former astronaut, said Armstrong's humility and courage "lifted him above the stars"
A private funeral for family and friends was held earlier in Ohio, Armstrong's home state....
Thursday, September 13, 2012 - 13:56
Name of source: NY Curbed
New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman really likes Louis Kahn's FDR Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island. He praises the 4-acre memorial, calling it "a belated and monumental triumph for New York and for everyone who cares about architecture and public space." He says the boxy "room" at the tip of the park is a "stroke of genius" because the 36-ton granite blocks are spaced one inch apart to let light shine through and create a heightened awareness in the viewer. He really doesn't hold back:
It gives New York nothing less than a new spiritual heart. That's to say it creates an exalted, austere public space, at once like the prow of a ship and a retreat for meditation. It's a memorial, perhaps naïvely optimistic but uplifting and confident, unlike the one at ground zero. It is as solemn as the Roosevelt wartime speech it honors, a call to safeguard the freedoms of speech and worship and the freedoms from want and fear....
Thursday, September 13, 2012 - 11:00
Name of source: Io9.com
Antiquity was the pits. For every advancement in philosophy or mathematics, you had half a dozen crazed aristocrats high on mercury potions trying to remove your limbs in bold new ways. Here are five particularly egregious ways to kick it centuries ago — they involve (among many things) honey, wine, eels, and inappropriate touching.
1. Death by eels
Ah Rome, a cultured place where the entire animal kingdom was itching to tear you to bits. According to historical accounts of 1st century BC Rome, the aristocrat Vedius Pollio would chuck unlucky victims into — as the historian Dio recalls:
[...] reservoirs [of] huge [morays] that had been trained to eat men, and he was accustomed to throw to them such of his slaves as he desired to put to death.
It's worth mentioning that some descriptions of Pollio's prized pool toss lampreys instead into the hungry depths, but such a death by jawless sea sausages comes across as improbable.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - 17:25
Name of source: West Cork Times
THE controversial killing of 13 protestants in and around Dunmanway in 1922 were not, as has been portrayed, an act of sectarian violence but an act of self-defence.
That’s according to Cork history teacher Barry Keane and he says he has the evidence to prove it.
Thirteen Protestants were killed, was it retaliation for the killing of Commandant Michael O’Neill and the pogroms in Belfast?
Did British agents attempt to provoke a re-occupation of West Cork by the Essex regiment?
Was it an attempt ‘to exterminate and drive out all Protestants from the area’ as historian Peter Hart claimed?...
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - 17:24
Name of source: Lower Hudson Journel News
The leaders of Rye made historic preservation a top priority back in 1927, when they commemorated a set of milestones as relics from 1763.
The engraved stones measured each mile from New York to Boston, and legend has it that Ben Franklin himself set them to determine the postal rates. Rye officials fought to reclaim one of the stones from publisher George Palmer Putnam, who had built it into his front porch.
But the Boston Post Road milestones, such as they are today, demonstrate how difficult that task can be....
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - 17:17
Name of source: CNN
The budgetary dispute that has delayed the opening of the National September 11 Memorial Museum has been resolved, according to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The museum was scheduled to open on the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, but disagreements over funding, financing and oversight of the museum between the 9/11 Memorial and Museum Foundation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey have halted construction. The foundation controls the memorial and museum; the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey owns the World Trade Center site.
Late Monday, all parties entered into a "memorandum of understanding," an agreement that allows them to restart construction on the stalled museum project....
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - 12:28
Name of source: Daily Mail (UK)
A rare medieval book gives an insight into the bizarre medical practices used 500 years ago.
It has gone on display for the first time at the University of Aberdeen.
The De Hortus Sanitatis, which translates as the Garden of Health, shows some of the medical methods practiced in Scotland five centuries ago and is one of the earliest European medical texts.
The book, first printed in Mainz, Germany, in 1491, is a fusion of late medieval science and folklore....
Meanwhile, detailed illustrations reveal how physicians used to study the colour of urine to make diagnoses....
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - 09:09
Name of source: Takepart.com
Earlier this week, TakePart reported on the record lows recorded in the Earth’s dwindling Arctic ice cap coverage. The dire implications of reaching that kind of planetary milestone are obvious, but there is one consequence that could actually prove helpful to us.
BBC reports that a 500-year old Alaskan Eskimo settlement was recently discovered eroding from under the permafrost, and it’s giving researchers the ability to study a culture that went through its own dramatic climate change centuries ago.
Researchers report that under the frozen site are the ancient ruins belonging to the Yup’ik Eskimo society. The Yup'ik―which are still represented in Alaska today―were one of the last Eskimo societies to be contacted, and in their heyday, were among the Arctic’s most powerful and well-represented cultures....
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - 09:01
Name of source: NC Department of Cultural Resources
WARRENTON- The illegal nighttime dumping of liquid contaminated with PCB (polychlorinated biphenyls) in 14 rural North Carolina counties led to the creation of a landfill 30 years ago. The choice of the site in rural Warren County sparked protests that gave birth to the environmental justice movement in America. A N.C. Highway Historical Marker will be dedicated to that protest movement on Saturday, Sept. 15, at 8 a.m. at Coley Springs Missionary Baptist Church at 224 Parktown Rd in Warrenton.
The PCB contaminated liquid had been discharged along 240 miles of roads by a trucking company paid by Ward Transformer Company in the summer of 1978. The state of North Carolina was responsible for the clean-up and bought land from a financially distressed Warren County farm for the landfill, which opened in 1982. The inexpensive land happened to be in one of the poorest counties in the state, and the county with the state's highest percentage of African American residents.
Local residents formed the Warren County Citizens Concerned About PCBs in response to the landfill proposal. That group was joined by the United Church of Christ's Commission for Racial Justice, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and other prominent groups and individuals to protest the landfill. In September 1982, approximately 500 protesters were arrested while trying to stop the trucks from delivering the PCB contaminated soil. It was the first time opponents of a hazardous waste facility had been arrested for civil disobedience....
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - 08:46
Name of source: Washington Times
A Texas congressman who abandoned efforts this summer to “nationalize” the District of Columbia World War I Memorial on the Mall has crafted a revamped bill that would honor Americans who fought and died in the Great War on a site north of the Reflecting Pool.
The House Natural Resources subcommittee on national parks, forests and public lands on Tuesday will hear testimony on the proposal by Rep. Ted Poe, Texas Republican, whose draft legislation now proposes a National World War I Memorial in Constitution Gardens, a shaded section of the federal parkland marked by a large pond just south of Constitution Avenue.
While there is broad consensus that heroes of the conflict from 1914 to 1918 deserve a fitting memorial, the location has been a sticking point for local officials and advocates in the District. City lawmakers and other advocates have pushed for a memorial in Pershing Park, located on Pennsylvania Avenue about a block from the White House....
Monday, September 10, 2012 - 08:59
Name of source: Nowsourcing
Friday, September 7, 2012 - 20:23