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History News Network

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2003 3-June to December

Week of 12-29-03

Iran vows to rebuild the citadel in Bam.

A strange sixteenth-century book may be cunningly crafted nonsense, says a computer scientist. Gordon Rugg has used the techniques of Elizabethan espionage to recreate the Voynich manuscript, which has stumped code-breakers and linguists for nearly a century.

Haiti marks bittersweet 200th anniversary on independence.

The Nixon administration seriously contemplated using military force to seize oil fields in the Middle East during the Arab oil embargo 30 years ago, according to a declassified British government document.

An Israeli archaeologist has found what he says are the oldest remains of a leprosy victim to be uncovered in the Middle East--2000 years old--buried in a biblical valley whose name became a synonym for Hell.

Cuban authorities have launched an inquiry into how the official newspaper of the Communist party ran a front page photograph of Fidel Castro which appeared to have been doctored to make him look like Adolf Hitler.

Discovery of Indian burial ground holding up quarter billion dollar construction project by the Washington State DOT.

Former first lady Hillary Clinton tops current one in admired list.

Move afoot to change yet another school named after a Confederate leader.

Historian finds evidence that invalidates the claim to sovereignty of the most famous of English monarchs, from Elizabeth I to Charles II to Victoria and the Georges.

Emperor Akihito makes an unprecedented acknowledgement of Japan's history of violent expansionism in the 1930s.

New memorial to open in Belzec, site of a forgotten Nazi camp in Poland.

Week of 12-22-03

2 months after the Toledo Blade exposed an atrocity in Vietnam, NYT covers the story.

Souvenir-hunting thieves have stolen part of an ancient fresco from the Israeli archaeological site of Masada; The thieves removed a 15 cm (6 inch) square section of a fresco that decorated the ancient Roman headquarters at Masada.

Historians brace for possible fight as they seek to tell the story of the slave market in Natchez.

NPR celebrates 30th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act.

3 of the people who gave blurbs for Conrad Black's bio of FDR--Kissinger, George Will & Wm. F. Buckley--were on his payroll in the past.

Week of 12-15-03

TV celebrities like Bill Cosby and Montel Williams turn out for charity gala raising money for the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History and Culture in Baltimore.

Washington Post: Rumsfeld went to Baghdad in March 1984 with instructions to deliver a private message about wmd: that US public criticism of Iraq for using chemical weapons would not derail Washington's attempts to forge a better relationship.

Jesuit leader says priest's Kennedy diary is private and should not be released to the public; diary disclosed that Jackie was suicidal after JFK's death.

The 100 most endangered historic sites on earth.

PLANS to honour the suffragette leader Sylvia Pankhurst with a memorial statue at Westminster have been blocked by a Tory-led committee of peers (subscribers only).

German Archaeologists have discovered a complex system of passages, doors and levers under the Roman Colosseum used to release wild animals.

Pepys' diary to be transformed into a"historical weblog" and placed on the Internet for easy reading over the next 10 years; may start a trend.

Government officially announces that a historian has discovered the blueprints for the USS Alligator, the navy's first submarine; a search may now be undertaken to find the vessel.

Secret Service is airbrushing aerial photos of the Congress and White House (but not the Supreme Court) that were previously released by U.S. Geological Survey.

Three small ivory carvings found at Hohle Fels Cave in southwestern Germany suggest a high level of artistic skill among craftspeople living between 30,000 and 35,000 years ago.

Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) George J. Tenet has personally intervened on behalf of his agency to prevent the partial declassification of a 1968 issue of the President's Daily Brief (PDF). For the first time, his action overrules an interagency panel's decision that had ordered release of the document.

Results in on the NARA poll of the most important documents in US history; Declaration of Independence beats out the Constitution for first place; Social Security Act comes in 10th.

Organizers of the National Slavery Museum in Fredericksburg held a" ceremonial groundbreaking" this month -- a year before construction is to begin, and not at the actual site -- in an effort to show that the project is on track.

Smithsonian Institution paid to restore part of Manassas National Battlefield Park to make up for the wetlands disturbed to build the annex for the new Air and Space Museum.

IN AN attempt to unravel the secrets of one of the most powerful dynasties Europe has known, scientists in Florence are to exhume 50 corpses of members of the Medici family and analyse their DNA and"hereditary traits."

Documents show that the U.S. government notified the families of at least three U.S.