Friday, May 22, 2015

HTHS Weekly: History from the Interweb #37

HTHS Weekly: History from the Interweb is a round-up of brand spankin' new history articles, selected by yours truly. Click on the link to be directed to the home site where you can read a professional being professional in their entirety.

The only way to avoid the curse is to leave the theatre, walk around it three times, spit over your left shoulder and curse. (seriously)

Documents that were declassified on Wednesday shed new light on the mindset of Al-Qaeda's founder, his debates over tactics, his anxiety over Western spying and his fixation with the group's media image.

A code-cracking botanist claims to have identified this image of a man with “film star good looks” as the only contemporary portrait of the Bard. In a five-year quest with echoes of Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, Mark Griffiths is convinced he has made “the literary discovery of the century”.

In 400 words or less, History Extra wants you to tell them about your favorite historical place and why your chosen location is so special. The winner will see their entry published in the December 2015 issue of BBC History Magazine, and a whole lotta other goodies.

The roughly-hewn stones, which are around 3.3 million years old, have been hailed by scientists as a “new beginning to the known archaeological record” and push back the dawn of culture by 700,000 years.

On May 19, 1780, New Englanders awoke to find a murky haze drifting over the morning sun. An early twilight descended over the next few hours, and by noon, the skies had turned as black as midnight. It would be centuries before scientists finally determined the cause of the otherworldly darkness, but at the time, many bewildered Americans feared that nothing less than the biblical “end of days” was at hand.

Much of the world is looking on with horror as ISIS storms the ancient city of Palmyra. Smugglers who trade in the booming black market of Syrian antiquities, though, say they sense a lucrative opportunity. The overrunning of the ancient city has triggered a torrent of lament for its priceless remnants of history.

The intermittent struggle beginning on May 22, 1455 resulted in the capture, disappearance or death of scores of English nobles and would-be kings, and eventually gave rise to a new royal dynasty that ruled for more than a century. Five hundred sixty years after it began, learn nine key facts about the bloody feud that permanently altered the course of British history.

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