History

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Can an amateur craftsman, on the floor of his unheated home, duplicate a world-famous violin? That's the central question of the 'Strad Style' doc

He started playing at age 2½ and had his debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra when he was 10. So when film director Stefan Avalos says “I’ve never not known the violin,” he is not being hyperbolic.<p>But even Avalos had never met anyone like Danny Houck, the violin-obsessed subject of his …

A Nightmare Disease Haunted Ships During Age of Discovery

Scurvy killed more people than the American Civil War.<p>The great voyages of discovery, when seafarers such as Magellan and Cook conquered the world’s oceans, brought immense wealth and knowledge to Europe. But they came at a high price. More sailors died of scurvy—more than three times as many—as …

Hubble Space Telescope

Ancient Sundial Shaped Like Ham Was Roman Pocket Watch

A new 3-D model of a portable sundial found near Pompeii is helping researchers understand how to operate the "pork clock."<p>While excavating an ancient Roman villa buried in volcanic ash, 18th-century workers found an unusual lump of metal small enough to fit in a coffee mug. Cleaning it revealed …

Archaeology

Doctors confirm 200-year-old diagnosis

<b>Doctors have confirmed a diagnosis made more than 200 years ago by one of medicine's most influential surgeons.</b><p>John Hunter had diagnosed a patient in 1786 with a "tumour as hard as bone".<p>Royal Marsden Hospital doctors analysed patient samples and case notes, which were preserved at the museum named …

Medicine

Saving Cambodia's Ancient Silk Legacy

Japanese textile expert Kikuo Morimoto almost single-handedly revived the art of handwoven silks in wartorn Cambodia.<p>Cambodia’s ancient handwoven silk industry, once among the world’s finest, was fading into oblivion before Japanese textiles expert Kikuo Morimoto came along.<p>In a country racked by …

Asia

Winter Solstice Is Coming—Year’s Shortest Day Explained

From astronomy to cultural influences, get the facts about this annual phenomenon.<p>The Northern Hemisphere's procession of dwindling days is about to reach its nadir. The winter solstice is the year's shortest day, but the start of winter also launches the sun's steady climb toward the long, warm …

Astronomy

Who Betrayed Anne Frank? A New Study Suggests Nobody Did

For decades, historians have debated who betrayed Anne Frank and her family.<p>After spending two years eluding Nazi capture while in hiding in …

History

Standing on the Shoulders of My Ancestors: My Journey through the National Museum of African American History and Culture

On opening day of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., I crossed the threshold of this …

What Makes Today’s America Different From the Country That Incarcerated the Japanese?

A conversation with a historian about the slow creep of discrimination, from the U.S. government to church groups<p>When Donald Trump and other Republican legislators proposed a ban on Muslim immigration to the United States last November, many commentators turned to history. My colleague Matt Ford …

Theology

18th Century Books Stolen in the Late '50s Found in a Locked Wardrobe

The London Library is getting some long-overdue books back. Several of the library’s historic books dating back to the 18th century or older were …

Woman In Iconic 'Afghan Girl' Photo Deported Back To Afghanistan

The green-eyed Afghan woman who famously appeared on the cover of <i>National Geographic</i> is back in her native country after being deported from Pakistan, where she had resided for more than three decades.<p>Afghanistan's president, Ashraf Ghani, welcomed the return of Sharbat Gula at a ceremony held at …

Pakistan

Four of History’s Worst Political Predictions

How people got it wrong on Churchill, Roosevelt, and more.<p>It certainly has been a year of unpredictable elections.<p>This summer, the United Kingdom shocked the world with its vote to leave the European Union (aka “Brexit”). And on Tuesday, the United States elected Donald Trump as its president, …

Elections

Schindler’s Factory Will Be Restored Into a Holocaust Museum

A Czech foundation plans to restore the disused factory where German industrialist Oskar Schindler saved more than a thousand Jews, giving it new …

European History

3,000-Year-Old Cooking Fail Found At A Danish Dig Site

Denmark currently holds the title of world's happiest country. But we could imagine at least one Norseman back in time who, after a failed cooking attempt, probably felt little of the famed Danish hygge.<p>In a hilly wetland north of Silkeborg, archaeologists have unearthed a wholly intact Bronze Age …

Archaeology

Family Heirloom, National Treasure: Rare Photos Show Black Civil War Soldiers

Each of the photos in Capt. William A. Prickitt's album could fit in a locket: headshots of 17 black soldiers who served under the Union Army officer during the Civil War, most of their names handwritten on the mat surrounding the images.<p>At just 2 inches tall, the square, leather-bound album itself …

Black History

100 Years In The Making, Black History And Culture Museum Gets Ready For Reveal

When peals ring out from a 130-year-old church bell at the Sept. 24 dedication ceremony for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, they will signal the end of a long journey.<p>The historic "Freedom Bell" usually hangs in Williamsburg, Va., in the tower of the First Baptist …

Black History

When Jewish Law Met Processed Food

The quest to keep kosher has shaped America’s grocery stores.<p>Roughly 2 percent of Americans are Jewish, and only a small fraction of them keep kosher. Yet between one-third and one-half of all packaged food in an American supermarket has a kosher label on it. How did kosher law become big business? …

Processed Food

Rest in Peace, VCR

An elegy for the machine that let people travel through time—but only by a little<p>The video store, as it is nostalgically remembered, looks like a record shop, or a hookah parlor. Staffed by scruffy burners or neo-hippies who “really know their stuff,” splayed with shelves at all angles, plastered …

Dungeons and Dragons

The Lost 16th-Century Spanish Fort in South Carolina

Archaeologists used remote sensing technology to discover the structure within a Spanish colonial town, the remains of which sit beneath an old military golf course.<p><b>NEWS BRIEF</b> Using remote sensing technologies, U.S. archaeologists have unlocked a lost piece of early North American history—all …

Archaeology

Slaves built the White House, say Obama and historians

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — First lady Michelle Obama declared at the Democratic National Convention that the White House she and President Barack Obama have lived in since 2009 was built by slaves.<p>Mrs. Obama is right, according to historians and authors who have studied the White House.<p>Slaves were used in …

Black History

Yale employee battling for job after smashing stained glass depicting slaves

School says Corey Menafee, a dishwasher in Calhoun College’s dining hall, resigned after incident but lawyer says there was agreement to give back his job<p>As an employee at Yale University’s Calhoun College, Corey Menafee was frustrated by a stained glass panel depicting slaves carrying bales of …

Higher Education

Napoleon Bonaparte's last horse restored to glory

Even in death, the magnificent Arabian stallion Napoleon Bonaparte rode into battle endured some narrow scrapes — and the ignominy of being smuggled into perfidious Albion to be put on display in Manchester.<p>Battered after two centuries of ups and downs, one of the emperor’s favourite horses is now …

Las Vegas collector stumbles on historic copy of Declaration of Independence

A Las Vegas collector is marking the Fourth of July with a rare find he stumbled upon--a copy of the Declaration of Independence produced in the 1830s.<p>An engraver made 201 facsimiles of the original Declaration of Independence in 1823 using a copper plate. Kevin Kostiner recently discovered that he …

History

'Look in your attics': global hunt for 100 missing Gottfried Lindauer paintings

New Zealand art gallery launches search to locate as many works as possible of portrait artist best known for painting Māori chiefs<p>People around the world have been urged to look under their beds and poke through their attics in the search for at least 100 missing paintings by the celebrated 19th …

Artists

The astonishing secret history of the Pope who fought Hitler

Washington D.C., Dec 18, 2016 / 02:36 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Pius XII's secret support for the attempted overthrow of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler …

Auschwitz SS trial: Will Hanning case be Germany’s last?

<b>To sit in the hushed makeshift courtroom where Reinhold Hanning is on trial is to watch Germany confront its past, face to face.</b><p>On Friday the court is expected to deliver its verdict on the former Auschwitz SS guard accused of complicity in the murder of at least 170,000 people.<p>It's hard to imagine …

The Quiet Majesty of America's Public Libraries

Photographs of nearly 700 libraries across 48 states show that we have more in common than not.<p>Public libraries in the U.S. are at a crossroads. On one hand, they remain beloved public resources. Seventy-six percent of Americans say their libraries serve the educational needs of their community …

Archbishop Fulton Sheen's beatification cause could soon be moving forward

Peoria, Ill., Jun 15, 2016 / 10:58 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The stalled beatification cause of Archbishop Fulton Sheen could soon resume, thanks to a …