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History News Network

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2004 2-March to May

Week of 5-31-04

D-Day: D-Day and other World War II books salute the 60th anniversary of the Normandy invasion.

“Pop” D-Day: In Delaware, a NASCAR driver races a car with a World War II warplane paint job. In Oklahoma, 3,000 paintball enthusiasts re-enact the battle with splotches of pigment and homemade tanks. And all over the land, countless kids gun down virtual Nazis in D-day video games.

D-Day: How will Allied invasion’s legacy live on?

D-Day’s Lessons: On D-Day's 60th anniversary, [George W. Bush and Jacques Chirac] will honor the thousands of American and other Allied soldiers who gave their lives there in 1944. As Americans remember their war heroes, they should also seize this opportunity to break from their go-it-alone approach to world affairs. The parochial lessons that Americans have drawn from World War II paved the way for the dangerously unilateral policies now causing so much trouble in Iraq.

Ronald Reagan: Ronald Reagan will be memorialized at the first presidential state funeral in more than three decades, a ritual rich in traditions from the country's earliest days.

Bilderberg: The Bilderberg group, an elite coterie of Western thinkers and power-brokers, has been accused of fixing the fate of the world behind closed doors. As the organisation marks its 50th anniversary, rumours are more rife than ever.

Ronald Reagan: Ronald Reagan, the cheerful crusader who devoted his presidency to winning the Cold War, trying to scale back government and making people believe it was"morning again in America," died Saturday after a long twilight struggle with Alzheimer's disease. He was 93.

D-Day: The exploits of D-Day have long been legend: the storming of the beaches, parachute drops into enemy territory. But 60 years later, the number of dead is still unclear.

Richard Nixon: For Father's Day, the Richard Nixon Library is offering a"one-of-a-kind collector's item" ... personal checks signed by President Nixon. These historic gems come sealed in a special oak frame with a certificate of authenticity.

History Budgets: A powerful House subcommittee has declined to approve President Bush's proposed big increase in the budget of the We the People history project.

Soviet History: A century after the birth of Soviet Nobel laureate Mikhail Sholokhov, author of"And Quiet Flows The Don," opinions on the writer's legacy are as divided as ever.

The D-Day After: President Bush and other leaders gathering on the beaches of Normandy this weekend will celebrate the heroism and ingenuity of June 6, 1944. But some scholars are paying closer attention to what followed as the victors settled in — black market trade, armed robbery, looting and rape.

D-Day: This year's onslaught of D-Day hype—a continuous barrage of World War II nostalgia stretching from Memorial Day weekend through George Bush's trip to Europe these next few days—has already exhausted all but the most diehard buffs.

D-Day: British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill called Operation Overlord, or the D-Day invasion of Normandy as we know it today,"The most difficult and complicated operation ever to take place."

D-Day: As World Marks D-Day, Russian Veterans Say Their Sacrifices Have Been Overlooked.

Plimoth Plantation: In a new twist on making history come to life, visitors to Plimoth Plantation will now have a chance to pick up similar tools and help reconstruct two houses used in the filming of the public television program"Colonial House." The immediate thing we´re trying to get people to learn is the past is a very different place," said Stuart Bolton, an interpretive artisan at Plimoth Plantation."It´s not just us in funny clothes. It´s also a very complex story."

Iraqi Heritage Sites: Global Heritage Fund (GHF) and the The World Bank will partner with Iraq’s Minister of Culture and State Board of Antiquities to conduct a 8-day workshop for thirty leading Iraqi site directors and conservators June 15-22nd in Petra, Jordan. The mission of the Iraq Heritage Congress is to develop world-class master conservation plans over the coming year for protection and preservation of the priceless historical and cultural sites in Iraq.

D-Day: The 60th anniversary of D-Day will be commemorated this weekend around the beaches of Normandy, France. It will be a sacred and somber remembrance and a counterweight to strained relations between the United States and France over the Iraq war.

Black History: It's a gesture that is 200 years past due. But, at least for York's soul, the deed is finally happening. York is the slave who was forced to travel on the Lewis and Clark expedition. Today he will finally receive what he was rightfully owed — his freedom and the rank of sergeant.

House Detectives: Curious about your castle? Many homeowners hire researchers to uncover their houses' histories.

Royal Funeral at Last: The heart of the 10-year-old heir to France's throne was cut from his body when he died in prison, pickled, stolen, returned, and DNA-tested two centuries later.

Teacher of the Year: Aspen High School history teacher Karen Green beat out every other nominated educator in Colorado to win the Preserve America History Teacher of the Year Award.

Anti-Semitism Alleged: Estonia has been accused of fuelling anti-Semitism and glorifying Nazism after a memorial was erected there to a colonel in the Waffen SS--Alfons Rebane, an Estonian volunteer--who is alleged to have the blood of thousands of people on his hands.

Obituary: Viktor Danilov, bold historian and champion of the Russian peasantry, has died at age 79.

Michelangelo: The artist Michelangelo may have had the condition Asperger's Syndrome, according to researchers. Two experts in Asperger's, a milder form of autism, say the artist had many of the traits linked with the condition which causes social problems.

Historian Sentenced to Death: Iran's Supreme Court has, for the second time, overturned a death sentence on a history professor convicted of apostasy for attacking clerical rule. Hashem Aghajari, who is a faculty member at a teacher-training college in Tehran, was sentenced to death for a 2002 speech in which he said Iranians"should not blindly follow" the clerics. The sentence prompted the largest student protests in several years. After Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, took the rare step of ordering the judiciary to reconsider the verdict, the Supreme Court overturned the death sentence, and an appeals court later struck down other parts of the sentence. Last month, however, the regional court that handed down the original death sentence reaffirmed it. But now the Supreme Court has once again overturned the sentence. Mr. Aghajari remains in prison. (Subscribers only.)

Bill Clinton: Former President Bill Clinton, whose autobiography My Life hits book stores June 22, talks exclusively to CBS' Dan Rather on 60 Minutes June 20. For one hour.

D-Day: Twelve military historians have contributed to a new book, The D-Day Companion, commemorating the 60th anniversary of the largest and most successful amphibious assault in history.

D-Day: A local veteran prepares to go back to Normandy, France, for the first time since he approached Omaha Beach's 80-foot bluffs on June 6, 1944.

Iraq: Israel looks set to pursue a compensation claim on behalf of Jews who left Iraq over 50 years ago, despite no such similar consideration for Palestinian refugees.

Texas History: On a tapered clearing in the woods just northeast of Rowlett lies the tranquil Cottonwood Cemetery, resting place for some of the area's earliest pioneers.

Obituary: Historian William Manchester dies at 82.

Abu Ghraib: Since the end of April, the entire world has known what many of us have suspected for more than two years: The United States is turning a blind eye to the 1949 Geneva Convention, treating its prisoners of war (POWs) in whatever manner it sees as expedient.

National Archives: It's no secret that the Bush administration has a fetish for secrecy. Whether it's keeping the records of Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force concealed or denying the 9/11 commission key documents, the administration regularly displays disdain for open government. But does that contempt extend even to the office of the national archivist?

D-Day: The names of 12,000 war heroes decorated for bravery during the Second World War will soon be searchable online.

Hollywood vs History: Mel Gibson is guaranteed a panning for his forthcoming film on Britain’s warrior queen Boudicca, experts say - either from the feminists who have turned her into an icon, or from the historians for whom she remains an enigma.

War Casualties: With more than 800 U.S. military personnel killed and more than 4,600 wounded, U.S. casualties in Iraq over the past 14 months now compare to those of several of the smaller wars in the nation's history.

War of 1812: The historians know the secret: Between the revolution that created this country and the Civil War that nearly destroyed it, are sandwiched"fourscore" forgotten years. And smack in the middle of them, looms the deadly rematch between the Americans and their sore-loser foes, the British.

World War II: On the eve of June 6, the entrance of the National D-Day Museum will become like a portal to the same day 60 years earlier, when American troops prepared to storm the seaside cliffs of Normandy, France. Looking like a uniformed military officer and standing before an enlarged map of the Norman coast, an historian will conduct about a dozen tactical briefings much like those delivered during the build-up to during the invasion.

Obituary: Archibald Cox, Watergate prosecutor, is dead at age 92.

Obituary: Sam Dash, Watergate lawyer, is dead at age 79.

Great Depression: Next month Harry N. Abrams Inc., working in conjunction with archivists at the Library of Congress, will publish Bound for Glory, America in Color 1939-43, a collection of 175 of the most compelling color images from the archives. The photos had ben lost to history because a bureaucrat had misfiled them.

Obituary: Martin Plamondon II, a cartographer who spent 30 years mapping the 7,400-mile route of the Lewis and Clark expedition, died Wednesday at his home in Minnehaha, a Vancouver suburb. He was 58.

Balkans: A proposed American Embassy on Gradiste hill overlooking Skopje, Macedonia's capital, has created controversy. Macedonians regard Gradiste as one of their most important historical sites.

Civil Rights Movement: The Mississippi town where Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner and James Chaney were killed has yet to officially acknowledge what happened 40 years ago this June.

Immigration: Closed for renovation for seven months, the old barracks at the historic Immigration Station at Angel Island, where thousands of immigrants were detained between 1910 and 1940, is reopen. More than 1 million immigrants were processed at Angel Island, called the"Ellis Island of the West."

Week of 5-24-04

Chinese Censorship: China has banned a Swedish-made computer game accused of"distorting history and damaging China's sovereignty," by showing Manchuria, Tibet and Xinjiang as independent nations, state press said.

Indian History: Some members of the Cahuilla tribe object to the new Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, in LA, saying the 100,000-square-foot museum will stick out"like a sore thumb" on the landscape and put their culture"in a box."

World War II: The Washington Post, in connection with Memorial Day, has published on the Internet a stunning history of the war, complete with photos. (Turn off pop-up blogger to watch.)

Paul Revere: Residents of Connecticut are rallying to champion the importance of their own version of Paul Revere: sixteen year old Sibyl Ludington. Sibyl fans are planning to create films, novels,"education items" and maybe even a TV series based on the teenager's derring do.

Plagiarism Denied: The BBC has apologised to TV historian Marc Morris after phrases he used in a script for a Channel 4 documentary were repeated in another script shown on a rival show. The BBC denies it was guilty of plagiarism, saying the blunder was just the result of an"unfortunate editorial error."

Boston History Museum: A group working to create a major Boston history museum and visitors center yesterday unveiled a unique design -- symbolic of Boston's rich maritime past -- that would combine a raised building in the shape of a ship's hull with slooping parks linking pieces of the Rose Kennedy Greenway.

U.S. Diplomacy: Roger Morris, a diplomat who quit the Nixon administration to protest the invasion of Cambodia, asks U.S. diplomats to resign en masse to protest the Bush administration's diplomacy.

JFK Movie: There is a second movie about John F. Kennedy and his famous torpedo patrol boat, PT-109, heading toward production, and it promises to be different from the 1963 hagio-pic"PT 109." Based on Edward Renehan's book, The Kennedys at War, the movie producers say:"We've tried to bring out that the sinking of PT-109 was a scandal at the time."

Obituary: David Dellinger, whose commitment to nonviolent direct action against the federal government placed him at the forefront of American radical pacifism in the 20th century and led, most famously, to a courtroom in Chicago where he became a leading defendant in the raucous political conspiracy trial of the Chicago Seven, died Tuesday in a retirement home in Montpelier, Vt. He was 88.

Kissinger: Kissinger Tapes Describe Crises, War and Stark Photos of Abuse.

Kissinger: Tapes Show Kissinger During Watergate.

Kissinger: New Transcripts Point to U.S. Role in Chile Coup

Teaching History: Muzzy Lane Software thinks teaching the"What Ifs" of history could help high school and college students learn about history and develop thinking skills. To that end, Muzzy Lane is getting ready to introduce schools to a technology that is already familiar to most of today's students: a video game, but one that is custom-designed for the classroom.

Napoleon: A WAR crimes trial opens today in Italy with one of the country's top prosecutors leading the case against a"ruthless demagogue" charged with perpetrating a massacre. The alleged war criminal in question, however, is not Saddam Hussein, Slobodan Milosevic or Pol Pot, but Napoleon Bonaparte. The trial is being held at the medieval and Renaissance town of Pavia, which Napoleon occupied in 1796 as commander of the French revolutionary army in Italy, using conquered Italian territory as a base for attacks on Austria.

Raphael: Unknown pocket Raphael sketch stuns art world. It had apparently spent most of the 20th century tucked in a cardboard folder with the other drawings in a drawer in a private house in London.

Historic Preservation: More than 2,000 Russians have launched a campaign to prevent Moscow's mayor from demolishing one of the city's best-loved buildings. The Neo-Classical Manezh, nestling under the walls of the Kremlin, was built in the ruins of the city after Napoleon's withdrawal in 1812. It was damaged during a recent fire where arson is suspected.

Incest: A New Zealand historian, Peter Munz, has caused a stir with his suggestion that parliament repeal the laws agaionst incest. He had been asked to come to Parliament because of his interest in historical reasons for prohibitions against incest. For 10 years, he had been working on a book on the evolution of culture. Munz told MPs the worldwide taboo against incest was an inheritance from paleolithic society."In each tribe or society, women must not be available for consumption, so to speak, at home."

Cold War: Nearly two miles to the east of the new WW II memorial, on the other side of the Capitol, there soon may rise a memorial that marks the price of tyranny -- specifically, the 100 million people said to have died during the Cold War. If a federal planning board approves the site in July, the Victims of Communism Memorial finally may have a home at the intersection of Constitution and Maryland Avenues, NE.

Kissinger: Five years after the National Security Archive initiated legal action to compel the State Department and the National Archives to recover the transcripts of Henry Kissinger's telephone calls from his"private" collection at the Library of Congress, the National Archives today released approximately 20,000 declassified pages (10 cubic feet) of these historic records, spanning Kissinger's tenure from 1969 to August 1974 as national security adviser and then secretary of state to President Nixon.

World War II: Color images of D-Day never released before have been compiled from archives in America, Britain, Canada and France to create a new documentary on the 1944 landings. D-Day in Colour will be shown in Britain.

World War II: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the basketball player, has written a history of an all-black tank unit that fought under Patton during WW II.

World War II: Newly published KGB and Stasi files indicate Peter the Great's Amber Room may have been destroyed by the Red Army rather than the Nazis during the Second World War.

Black History Museum: Detroit's Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History must raise approximately $500,000 by June 30, 2004, in order to keep its doors open.

World War II: The designer of the WW II memorial on the Mall says that as a native Austrian whose parents were apolitical and repulsed by Nazi brutality, he was especially stung by comparisons of his work to Nazi architecture, calling them"deliberate distortions" to derail the project.

New York Times Admission: In a remarkably candid note to readers, the editors of the NYT have admitted that they unintentionally misled readers over the past year about the Iraq war, putting credence in reports about WMD which have turned out not to be true.

Supreme Court: A full dozen members of the US House of Representatives have cosponsored legislation, H.R. 3920, which, if passed, would allow Congress to overturn US Supreme Court decisions by a 2/3rds vote. The bill would only apply to"judgments[s]" that" concern an Act of Congress."

Michelangelo's David: Michelangelo's"David" was unveiled on Monday after eight months of cleaning to proud claims that this 14-foot-high marble statue looked little different."An invisible cleaning," Antonio Paolucci, the superintendent of Florentine art, said reassuringly,"like washing the face of a child."

History Channel: The History Channel has joined up with a game maker to recreate battles from the era of Rome. According to the program's producers,"Rome: Total War's" ability to generate thousands of individual soldiers is an ideal tool to show how Carthaginian general Hannibal pulled off his upset victory.

Most Endangered Historic Sites: The National Trust for Historic Preservation's 2004 list of the most endangered historic places in the United States and the threats they face has been published. Top of the list: Vermont: The state appeared on 1993 list because it faced onslaught of retail development. The National Trust said the threat is worse than ever, with Wal-Mart planning several new superstores that could spur sprawl.

Death Records: Researchers at the University of Michigan and the University of Massachusetts are combing through the death records of some 50,000 people in two Massachusetts communities, Holyoke and Northampton, from the medically revolutionary years of 1850 through 1912 to find out how Americans took care of themselves.

Philip Zelikow: Historian Philip Zelikow is taken to task for arranging that W.W. Norton--a publisher of many of his books--gets a contract to publish the proceeedings of the 9-11 commission in July. Some commissioners indicate that they never knew about his relationship with Norton.

Bush Poll Numbers: A new poll by CBS News said 41 percent of those surveyed approved of the job Bush was doing as president, while 52 percent disapproved. No recent president has been re-elected with such numbers this close to the November elections, but a Gallup Poll gave Harry Truman, who ascended to the office from the vice presidency, a 39 percent approval rating in June 1948, and he went on to squeak out a victory over Thomas Dewey.

Week of 5-17-04

William Manchester: Historian William Manchester will finish the third volume of his biography of Winston Churchill with help from a Florida newspaper feature writer. Paul Reid, a feature writer at The Palm Beach Post, has been chosen to work with Manchester on"The Last Lion, Volume III," the final book in Manchester's biography of Britain's World War II leader.

George McGovern: A library to honor George McGovern is planned for his hometown in South Dakota.

OAH: To help reduce the cost of renting a room at upcoming conventions in DC (2006) and NYC (2008), the Organization of American Historians will shift the schedule of its annual meetings from Wed-Sun to Fri-Mon.

World War II: The World War II Memorial, sober and sunk low in a long frame of elms, rests between the two structures that anchor the Mall.The monument to America's first great warrior, George Washington, towers over it on one side. The statue of America's great uniter, Abraham Lincoln, looks on from the other.

Doonesbury Creator Plans Memorial Day Cartoon: The names of U.S. military personnel who have been killed during the war in Iraq will appear in tiny type over six panels in the"Doonesbury" strip. A note beneath the final panel will say,"List as of April 23, 2004 ..." Comic strip historians say it's the first time such a eulogy has been presented in the comics.

World War II: A guide to recruiting spies in the Second World War advised women to concentrate on their secretarial skills rather than sex. A secret document composed by Maxwell Knight, codenamed ‘M’ and head of the MI5 section responsible for training spies, was among 280 declassified files released to the National Archives in Kew.

Titanic: Three collectors of memorabilia connected to the sunken ocean liner Titanic have combined their possessions and will offer more than 250 items at auction next month, an unprecedented sale of material connected to the doomed vessel.

India Textbooks: The Congress-led coalition has yet to announce who will head the human resource development ministry but the minister will not have to wait long for the Left’s wish list. The author of a history textbook junked by the nationalists wants his book restored.

Obituary: Samuel Iwry, 93, a scholar of the Dead Sea Scrolls whose life story could rival the plot of an international adventure novel, died of a stroke May 8 at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore. Mr. Iwry, a professor emeritus at Johns Hopkins University, was one of the world's leading Hebrew scholars.

Korea: For the first time ever, a U.S. middle school history textbook is dealing with Korean history as a separate unit. The new textbook published by Harcourt includes four pages that introduce Korean history. This textbook will be used starting from this summer semester.

Jesus Ossuary: Recent research in Jerusalem has questioned the authenticity of an inscription on an ossuary which reads ‘James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus’. Tests on the ossuary – a box containing bones – reveal it is from the 1st century AD. However, the inscription in Aramaic started speculation that the box contained the bones of James the Just, referred to as the brother of Jesus Christ. The latest tests, published in Elsevier's Journal of Archaeological Science, by a team of Israeli archaeologists and geologists has questioned the authenticity of the writing.

Alexandria Library: Archaeologists have found what they believe to be the site of the Library of Alexandria, often described as the world's first major seat of learning.

Napoleon: A French firm has unveiled a multi-million-euro facelift for the site of the 1815 battle at which the Duke of Wellington defeated Napoleon Bonaparte. In a bid to boost tourism, the local Wallonia government has signed a deal with Paris-based Culture Espaces to transform the rundown battlefield into a world-class heritage site.

National Park Service: This month, the Minute Man park in Concord, MA became the first in the country to offer a cellphone guide. For $5.99, visitors can call up an hourlong take on Paul Revere and the North Bridge.

Politicians: New research from the University of Warwick reveals the celebrities and heroes of 17th century England were politicians, not footballers. The study into ballads of the 1600s reveals that the Duke of Monmouth, James Scot, the illegitimate son of Charles II, was hailed as a true hero in ballads, the equivalent of today’s pop music--despite his flaws.

HNN Bush Poll: A poll conducted by HNN of its members indicates that 81 percent rank the Bush presidency a failure.

Black Death: A medical investigation has concluded humans rather than rats carried the plague epidemics that ravaged medieval Europe. The study of over 100 epidemics, the worst of which were in the mid-14th century, showed that the Black Death was more likely to have been spread by travellers moving between towns and villages rather than rodents.

Nazi Records Released: In the last of the large, focused declassification initiatives of the 1990s, an Interagency Working Group last week announced the release of hundreds of thousands of pages of documents declassified under provisions of the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act of 1996.

Obituary: History professor Reginald Zelnik was killed by a water delivery truck that backed up into him. The accident occurred about 4:20 p.m. on the central campus near Moses Hall. Zelnik, 68, died at the scene. Zelnik joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 1964. He was a widely respected and distinguished historian and teacher of Russian and Soviet history, considered among the best in the country.

English Manor Up for Sale: Do you have a spare fifty million pounds burning a hole in your pocket? If so you could become lord of the manor at one of the region's finest stately homes. Easton Neston House has been put for sale and included in the price tag is an entire village and racecourse.

Dick Morris: Just two weeks after its release, Rewriting History - Dick Morris's insider account rebutting Hillary Clinton's autobiography, Living History - has hit the New York Times best-seller list, debuting next week at #7.

Brown Decision Commemorated: President Bush and Senator John Kerry descended on this Kansas city on Monday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling that ended school segregation, with Mr. Kerry warning against persistent racial and economic disparities and Mr. Bush saying the nation"has yet to reach the high calling of its own ideals."

Black Schools: Archivists searching for photographs to document the history of Montgomery County, Virginia's Christiansburg Institute, a school for black children founded in 1866. After Brown it was closed.

Rewriting History Textbooks: India's history books, rewritten by the outgoing Hindu nationalist government, are likely to be revamped again once a new Congress-led government takes power, party leaders have indicated.

TV History Archives: KAKE, the local station in Wichita, Kansas, is using its 50 years of archive films and videos to create a weekly show. Many stations in the United States threw out their archives to save space."We considered ours priceless historical documents."

Black Biographies: The African American National Biography project's first volume,"African American Lives," has been published. The massive compendium, which contains biographies of what editor Henry Louis Gates calls the"all-time greatest hits" of black American history, will be dwarfed by the expected 10 volumes that are planned to follow it.

Martin Luther King: The hearse used to carry Dr Martin Luther King Junior's body to the airport after his assassination is up for sale on E-Bay."For $10,000 someone can own a piece of civil rights history."

Lincoln: Illinois pastor wants to build a 305 foot statue of Abraham Lincoln (the Lincoln Memorial Lincoln is 19 feet). The statue is based on a drawing by late artist Lloyd Ostendorf, showing Lincoln spilling a tin cup of watermelon juice on the ground. It would be built in ... Lincoln, Ill.

Israeli Plot?: Juan Cole has disassociated himself from the allegation made by a former U.S. official that Israel attempted to assassinate an American ambassador to Lebanon in 1979. The official, says Cole, is not credible.

Week of 5-10-04

Rumsfeld Should Be Fired: Max Boot, the conservative historian who rallied support for the war in Iraq, says Donald Rumsfeld should be fired.

Pentagon Medals: you can serve in both Afghanistan and Iraq and end up with a medal recognizing just one war. It's known in military-speak as the GWOT (rhymes with"fought") medal, for the Global War on Terrorism -- created to recognize a war that"includes many diverse campaigns," as Pentagon spokesman Jim Turner told us in a statement."The GWOT medals tie today's global war to yesterday's global war, i.e. WWII. We are fighting across the globe and shall be for a long time. When a WWII veteran looks at a current military member, they will share an equality of awards."

Florence Nightingale: SHE was the founder of modern nursing who worked so long into the night to help injured soldiers in the Crimean War that they came to know her as"the Lady with the Lamp." But she was also later derided as a malingerer and a hypochondriac for taking to her bed on and off for more than 20 years. Now sufferers of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are claiming Florence Nightingale had the condition.

Michelangelo: ART experts have dismissed claims a privately owned wooden statuette of Christ is the work of Michelangelo. The piece, which would be worth a fortune if it were indeed made by the Renaissance master, went on show at the Horne Museum in Florence on Saturday and will be displayed until July.

Brown: The Brown vs. Board of Education National Historic Site opens Monday on the 50th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision that mandated the desegregation of the nation's public schools. The National Park Service site is in the former Monroe Elementary School, one of four segregated schools in Topeka when the case was tried in 1954.

Bush Poll Numbers: Frank Newport of the Gallup Organization pointed out that, in Gallup's surveys, no president since World War II has won reelection after falling below 50 percent approval at this point in an election year."Looking at it in context, Bush is following the trajectory of the three incumbents who ended up losing rather than the trajectory of the five incumbents who won," he said.

Holocaust: U.S. intelligence officials learned within months of the U.S. entry into World War II that Nazi Germany planned mass killings to eliminate Jews, scholars reviewing newly declassified reports. But the U.S. government gave the information low priority in August 1942, the scholars concluded, not acknowledging that Germany had a plan to exterminate Jews until six months later.

Former Nazi Officials: Declassified government documents shed new light on the secret protection and support given to former Nazi officials and Nazi collaborators by U.S. intelligence agencies in the years following World War II, according to a book by historians who have been reviewing the records for the government. According to a chapter by Timothy Naftali of the University of Virginia, former SS officer Otto von Bolschwing was recruited as an agent in 1949 by the CIA, which decided to protect him from war crimes prosecution by claiming falsely that it had no files concerning his past.

Taliban War on Culture: Scholars are appalled as they learn what happened to a museum on outskirts of Kabul after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan."In early 2001 the Taliban spent three months in the museum. They systematically destroyed every object. Don't imagine defacing a Buddha or taking a few hammer whacks