Archive for the ‘history’ Category

Why knights fought snails in medieval art

September 21, 2017

Knights fought snails in medieval art. WTF? Phil Edwards investigates.

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How Martin Luther Went Viral

September 6, 2017

How Martin Luther Went Viral

500 years ago a disgruntled Catholic priest named Martin Luther is said to have nailed his handwritten 95 Theses to a church door in Wittenberg. Well, maybe he did, but that 1517 parchment blog post, with the clickbait title Disputatio pro declaratione virtutis indulgentiarum, was picked up by the cool kids of the day, nerds who translated it from Latin to German, coded it into moveable type and spread it across Europe with their newfangled printing presses.

More:

“How Technology Helped Martin Luther Change Christianity,” Tom Gjelten, NPR

“Long Before Twitter, Martin Luther Was a Media Pioneer,” New York Times

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Image (“Martin Luther with His iPad, after Lucas Cranach the Elder”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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What Those Monuments Are About

August 30, 2017

Video by Carlos Waters, Vox. Mona Lalwani, story editor.

More:

“Whose Heritage? Public Symbols of the Confederacy,” Southern Poverty Law Center

“Confederate Monuments Are Propaganda — Not History,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

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A Century of Animation

June 24, 2017

Historic animation highlights 1833 – 1990, courtesy of The Solomon Society.

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Juneteenth

June 19, 2017

Juneteenth
(General Orders, Department of Texas, June 19, 1865)

On June 19, 1865 Union general Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston and issued General Order Number 3, which began: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.” This ended the legal institution of chattel slavery in the United States, two years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

More:

“Juneteenth: Our Other Independence Day,” Kenneth C. Davis, Smithsonian.com

“Juneteenth,” Teresa Palomo Acosta, Handbook of Texas Online

“Juneteenth,” Stephanie Hall, Folklife Today

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The First City

May 30, 2017

Jonathan F. P. Rose explains how the first city was started in Turkey, 12,000 years ago.

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Two Centuries of US Immigration

May 15, 2017

“From 1820 to 2013, 79 million people obtained lawful permanent resident status in the United States. This map visualizes all of them based on their prior country of residence. The brightness of a country corresponds to its total migration to the U.S. at the given time.”

1 dot = 10,000 people

As a percentage of total US population, today’s immigration rates are far below those of the 1920s and before.

Written, narrated, and produced by Bryce Plank. Video editing and animation by Robin West. See more at Metrocosm.

Related:

“The Accidents of History That Shaped Global Migration,” James Watkins, Ozy

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Why ‘The First 100 Days’?

April 28, 2017

Why are new presidents judged by their accomplishments during the first 100 days of their term? Ron Elving explains.

More:

“Trump has fulfilled only 10 of 38 promises in first 100 days,” Jill Colvin and Calvin Woodward, AP via Chicago Tribune

“Trump’s first 100 days according to the group that matters most: ‘Many people,’” Phillip Bump, Washington Post

“What did Trump tweet in his first 100 days?” Jessica Estepa, USA Today

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Detective X

April 6, 2017

CSI 1930: Wilmer Souder of the National Bureau of Standards was the first Federal official to use rigorous scientific standards in the investigation of crime. Alexandre Lacassagne had used a similar approach in France in the 1880s, but science and technology had progressed in the intervening 50 years.

More:

“Why Nobody Remembers the Forefather of Forensic Science,” Erin Blakemore, Smithsonian

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Livery Stable Blues

April 1, 2017

“Livery Stable Blues” by Original Dixieland Jazz Band, 1917.  Dominic “Nick” James LaRocca (cornet), Larry Shields (clarinet), Edwin “Eddie” Branford Edwards (trombone), Harry W. Ragas (piano), and drummer Anthony “Tony” Sbarbaro (drums). Arguably the first jazz recording.

More:

“The First Jazz Recording Was Made by a Group of White Guys?” John Edward Hasse, Smithsonian Magazine.

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