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Escape tunnel found at Lithuanian massacre site

Vilnius, today the capital of Lithuania, and environs were occupied by the Soviets in 1939 and 1940. The USSR and Germany were allies at the time, and Soviet troops occupied areas of Eastern Europe in concert with Germany’s invasion of Poland. In 1940, the Soviet army began to dig pits for oil storage tanks in [...]

Here Comes the General

From the diary of Pvt. James Stevens of Andover, camped on the north side of the siege lines around Boston in 1775.Saterday July the 1 I wos releived of a gard about nine a Clok I went on to Chil [probably Charlestown] to see the fort...Show More Summary

Celebrate Independence Day at a battlefield

Several Civil War battlefields are offering a Fourth of July celebration with choices of activities, including concerts, fireworks, military displays and demonstrations, old-fashioned children’s games and more. Some occur on Saturday, July 2. Show More Summary

Teaching the Digital Humanities through Topic Modeling

By Sarah Goldberg While some teachers might have heard of topic modeling technology in the context of cutting-edge digital humanities research, few have considered how these exciting new tools might find a place in the history classroom. However, a topic-modeling project offers an ideal introduction to the dynamic world of digital historical methodology. Perhaps best […]

Untold Stories from Little Compton, Rhode Island

On Friday, 1 July, the Little Compton Historical Society will host a preview party for its new exhibit “If Jane Should Want to Be Sold: Stories of Enslavement, Indenture & Freedom in Little Compton, Rhode Island.”The society’s webpage...Show More Summary

Altenberg Abbey treasures reunited after 200 years

More than two centuries after they were scattered, a medieval altarpiece, reliquaries and art works from the Premonstratensian convent of Altenberg in central Germany have been reunited at Frankfurt’s Städel Museum. Heaven on Display. The Altenberg Altar and Its Imagery brings together 37 precious devotional objects from the late 13th and early 14th centuries that [...]

Adorable Midcentury Posters Teaching Kids How to Use the Library

Here are eight sweet posters from a 32-poster book, first published in 1965, Using Your Library: 32 Posters for Classroom and Library, by Mary Joan Egan and Cynthia Amrice. The posters guide baby-boomer children through the processes...Show More Summary

Watching the Course of Human Events

I’m pleased to see that the Course of Human Events blog has started to post more frequently about the Declaration of Independence.This blog is part of Declaration Resources Project, started by Harvard political science professor Danielle...Show More Summary

The Confederate Melting Pot

This visual meme that I found on Facebook yesterday beautifully captures the broader story that I tell in the final chapter of my book on the myth of the black Confederate soldier. While the first signs of this narrative in the late 1970s was in response to the emergence of stories of black Union soldiers […]

Viking power couple buried in death house

In 2012, highway construction in Hårup, southwest Denmark, unearthed an unusual grave. It’s a Viking tomb of a type known as a death house, a palisade structure similar to the simple roofed post-in-ground structures that would evolve into stave churches. This is the first death house found in Denmark. It measures four by thirteen meters [...]

Stonewall’s ‘Good ol Boys’

Just a few days ago President Obama announced the creation of the Stonewall National Monument as the newest addition to America’s National Park System. The police raid and community response that took place at the Stonewall Inn on this day, June 28, 1969, is often credited as sparking the modern LGBT civil rights movement in […]

Original ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ poster for sale

Before it was an inescapable meme of infinite variety plastered on every crappy consumer product ever cranked out by Chinese industry, the “Keep Calm and Carry On” slogan graced a British Ministry of Information poster printed, but never used, in the early days of World War II. It was one of three poster designs in [...]

Revisiting Castle William through the Commonwealth Museum

This summer the Commonwealth Museum at the Massachusetts Archives is featuring a small exhibit titled “Castle Island: A Storied History.”It features documents from the government’s collection related to the harbor island first fortified in the 1630s. Show More Summary

“My Dearest Friend” Opera in Quincy, 2 July

On Saturday, 2 July, Adams National Historical Park will host a free performance of Patricia Leonard’s opera My Dearest Friend.These songs will feature soprano Wendy Bryn Harmer as Abigail Adams and baritone Charles Taylor as John Adams. Show More Summary

Review of Free State of Jones

I went to see Free State of Jones on Friday and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s not a perfect movie by a long shot, but it is an important movie when placed in the context of the ongoing backlash against Confederate iconography and the gradual erosion of the Lost Cause narrative of the war that we’ve […]

Teapot is Smithsonian’s millionth digitized object

A teapot made by 19th century silversmith Peter Bentzon is the one millionth object digitized by the Smithsonian’s Mass Digitization Program. There are 154 million objects in the many collections of the Smithsonian Institute, so just 153 million more to go. Peter Bentzon was born on the island of St Thomas in the Danish West [...]

Following the Money after the Phillips-Woodbridge Duel

As I prepared yesterday’s posting about the duel between Henry Phillips and Benjamin Woodbridge, I noticed there’s a considerable literature about it. Samuel G. Drake wrote about the event in 1856. The Massachusetts Historical Society heard a paper on the topic in 1861 and another in 1904. Show More Summary

Another Samnite tomb, skeletons, gold coins found in Pompeii

Last year, the international and interdisciplinary archaeological team from the Jean Bérard Center of Naples excavating the Porta Ercolano are outside Pompeii’s northwest gate made headlines when they discovered a rare intact 4th century B.C. Samnite tomb. Now the same team has found another Samnite tomb from the same period, plus the skeletal remains of [...]

The First Fatal Duel on Boston Common

In 1719 Massachusetts enacted a law against dueling, establishing the punishment as a fine of up to £100, imprisonment for up to six months, and/or corporal punishment “not extending to member or pillory.” (I think “member” refers to...Show More Summary

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