Saturday, December 31, 2016

HTHS: 2016 Retrospective

It's that time of the year again. Here are HTHS's 2016 Superlatives: a look back at this year's major historical happenings. Happy New Year.

Best Story: The House Sit-In
Image source: NPR
To hear Democrats tell it, the “historic” sit-in in the House this year was a noble effort to bar terrorists from buying guns, on par with the suffragette movement, the heroic defiance of the civil rights movement, and the valiant efforts of Father Lankester Merrin to save the soul of Regan MacNeil in The Exorcist, all rolled into one.

Least Surprising Story: We Have Nazis Now
Image source: The Atlantic

After reading Telegraph's The warnings of the Holocaust have never been more relevant in Britain 
which discusses the rise of hate crime incidents following the Brexit result, it was no surprise that the United States would produce a similar story once Trump won the election.

Best Nickname: Nasty Woman
GIF source: Giphy
This New York Times article describes why it was the nickname Hillary Clinton was waiting for, why it was a rallying cry for her supporters, and how it will probably live on.

Image source: National Geographic

This October, for the first time in centuries, scientists exposed the original surface of what is traditionally considered the tomb of Jesus Christ. Located in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City of Jerusalem, the tomb has been covered by marble cladding since at least 1555 A.D., and most likely centuries earlier.

Image source: Seeker
Melanesians (people native to Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, West Papua and the Maluku Islands) could carry DNA from a now-extinct human ancestor that is so far unknown in the fossil record.

Class *Evil* Clown: These two motherfuckers
Image source: Metro UK


Nigel Farage and Donald Trump

Most Hopeful 2017 Discovery: Amelia Earhart
Image source: Huffington Post

The momentum to find Earhart is stronger than ever. Follow TIGHAR.org for the latest information.

New research has proved that Gaëtan Dugas, a French-Canadian flight attendant who was dubbed "patient zero," did not spread HIV to the United States. What a change in legacy.

Image source: Wall Street Journal

King, activist, environmentalist, musician I guess. Arthur is the gift who keeps giving. And this time, it's with Reverb Nation, an online platform for musicians to upload their music and connect with other artists.

Most School Spirited: Hamilton
Image source: ZAM

2016 was Hamilton's year. The hit broadway show, a hip-hop musical about the life of American founding father Alexander Hamilton and the American revolution, has sold out its whole run, won the Pulitzer Prize for drama, and was nominated for a record-breaking 16 Tony awards, eventually winning 11.

Cutest Couple: Adam and Eve
Image source: Seeker

Eve was not made from one of Adam's ribs, but was instead created using a bone in his penis, a Biblical scholar has claimed causing much controversy this year. Ziony Zevit, a distinguished professor of Biblical Literature, argues the Biblical story has been wrongly interpreted.

Image source: NY Times

Franco may have ruled Spain for almost four decades, but an equestrian statue of the dictator — headless from an earlier act of vandalism — that went up at a Barcelona cultural center lasted just a few days.

Image source: Telegraph

Women were allowed to take part in jousting at English Heritage events for the first time this year, as they abandoned strict historical accuracy for gender equality.

Best Smile: Hillary Clinton

Because headlines like these are bullshit.

Best History Movie: 13th
Image source: Shadow and Act

This was my favorite history movie of the year, and I'm not so sure it even qualifies. The Netflix film connects the dots between American slavery and mass incarceration. 
"History is not just stuff that happens by accident. We are the products of the history that our ancestors chose, if we’re white. If we are black, we are products of the history that our ancestors most likely did not choose. Yet here we all are together, the products of that set of choices. And we have to understand that in order to escape from it."
Worst History Movie: Bridge of Spies
Image source: LA Review of Books

Technically 2015, but dominated the 2016 award season. Based on the 1960 U-2 spy plane incident during the Cold War, the movie is two hours of "we have your guy," "you have our guy," "cool. let's trade." And then two guys walk across a bridge. fuck this.

And some other notable stories from 2016 that were just too good to be left behind:
Hillary Clinton made history as the first woman to receive the presidential nomination from a major political party. 

Building for Egypt's First Female Pharaoh Discovered
People tried like hell to erase Hatshepsut from Egypt's collective memory. Whenever a piece of Hatshepsut's existence is discovered, it's a big deal.

Never-before-seen Shakespeare play discovered
A discovery that researchers say could redefine the scope of Shakespeare scholarship, the 206-page play was discovered in January but has been kept under wraps while a specially commissioned team of historians and literary scholars conduct rigorous examinations to certify its veracity.

New Study Confirms Ancient Maya Codex is Genuine
The Grolier Codex is in fact the real thing: a Maya text written in the early 12th century that represents the oldest document to survive from the Americas.

Researchers confirm location of Salem witch trial hangings behind a Walgreens
The team used historical documents and modern archaeological techniques to determine that Proctor’s Ledge is where 19 people were hanged in 1692.

Onwards to 2017 y'all.

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