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Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa

What is the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, COMESA?

“That day at Bunker Hill!”

You may have noticed that yesterday’s posting about Bunker Hill differed from the two that preceded it. It didn’t include any nineteenth-century poetry.This posting corrects that omission. After Sarah Loring Bailey published the story of Pvt. Show More Summary

Cygan is back! Eric will be. What about Kaiser?

The imposing 1950s robot Cygan has been restored to his former dapper rakishness and is going on display next year at the Science Museum in London as part of its Robots exhibition which brings more than 100 historic and contemporary robots to the museum. Cygan is one 12 working robots who will be on display, [...]

“The Regulars sha’n’t have Ben.”

In Historical Sketches of Andover (1880), Sarah Loring Bailey set down this story from the end of the Battle of Bunker Hill:A private, John Barker, seeing his captain and friend, Benjamin Farnum, lying wounded in the path of the retreat,...Show More Summary

Denmark’s heaviest hoard of Viking gold found in Jutland

Three metal detectorists have discovered a group of bangles which add up to the greatest amount of Viking gold ever found in Denmark. Last week Marie Aagaard Larsen, her husband Christian Nedergaard Dreiøe and their friend Poul Nørgaard, aka Team Rainbow Power, were scanning a field in Vejen, south Jutland, where a gold chain from [...]

Francis Merrifield’s Bible

Earlier this spring the Bonhams auction house offered for sale a Bible printed in Edinburgh in 1755. What made this particular Bible so notable were the handwritten inscriptions:[On the reverse of the title page] Cambridge, Jun 17 1775. Show More Summary

Restored 6th c. purple gospels return home

The Codex Purpureus Rossanensis is a 6th century Greek manuscript written in uncial script (upper case script with rounded letters in use from the 4th-8th centuries) that contains the gospel of Matthew, most of the gospel of Mark (verses 14-20 of chapter 16 are missing) and the Epistula ad Carpianum (a letter from Eusebius of [...]

A Visa for Che, the Young Traveler

This printed pink travel visa with an attached passport photo of a brooding Ernesto (Che) Guevara was issued on Sept. 9, 1953—after the trip made famous in The Motorcycle Diaries but before he became a Marxist leader. He was a 25-year-old...Show More Summary

Two Swords from the Battle of Bunker Hill

It’s that time of year, when Boston 1775’s thoughts turn to the anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill on 17 June.Boston Magazine’s website just featured one of the Massachusetts Historical Society’s most striking artifacts of that fight: the crossed swords of Col. Show More Summary

Long-lost Neolithic figurine found in Orkney museum

I don’t know why stories sometimes form little geographical clusters, but it seems to happen fairly regularly. Last month it was Denmark and now it’s Scotland. Today’s Scottish report comes to us from the Stromness Museum which has rediscovered a highly significant Neolithic figurine that was undocumented and unrecognized its collection for almost a century. [...]

The Return of the “Adams,” 17 June

Back in 2014, as I reported, the National Park Service removed the “Adams” cannon from the top of the Bunker Hill Monument for conservation work.On Friday, 17 June, the anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill, the “Adams” will return to that site. Show More Summary

The rediscovery of a Pictish silver hoard

In 1838, a Pictish hoard of silver was unearthed on the grounds of Ley Farm near Fordyce, Aberdeenshire. Two prehistoric stone circles, Gaulcross North and Gaulcross South, were located a few hundred yards from the farmhouse, and the hoard was discovered a few feet south of the north circle. Maybe. Found by labourers clearing the [...]

What Gun Control Advocates Can Learn From Abolitionists

Historical parallelism is a dangerous game. But in the days after the shootings in Orlando, Florida, as we fall into another cycle of fretting over our continued inability to pass effective gun control laws, I’ve found myself thinking about the steep odds abolitionists faced in the years before the Civil War ended slavery. Show More Summary

Southern Baptists Call for Removal of Confederate Flag

Earlier today the members of the Southern Baptist Convention, which is meeting in St. Louis, Missouri, overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling for the removal of the Confederate Battle Flag from public life. It reads in part: … we call on all persons, along with public, governmental, and religious institutions to discontinue the display of the […]

Pierced Roman sling-bullets whistled when hurled

Archaeologists studying Roman artillery at the ancient Roman battle site of Burnswark Hill in Dumfriesshire, southwest Scotland, have discovered that a type of sling-bullet that whistled when thrown. They believe this was a deliberate design intended to instill fear in enemy troops under assault. Burnswark Hill is an Iron Age hillfort embraced by two Roman [...]

The Road to Concord Erratum #1

I’ve been wary of rereading The Road to Concord in published form lest I trigger some version of Gaiman’s Law: Not only will there be a typo or other error in the book you’ve been carefully working on for months, but “it will be on the page that your new book falls open to the first time you pick it up.” Now that first moment has passed, at least. Show More Summary

Interpreting Reconstruction at Historic Sites

Not much going on this week. I am finishing up my presentations for CWI, which kicks off this coming Friday. Here is one of the sessions from a recent symposium on Reconstruction that took place at the Columbia Museum of Art in April. This panel discussion on the ongoing push to find a suitable historic […]

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