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Archive for July, 2008

11 July

New York: Meat Packing District


For today’s dose of history check out The Bowery Boys latest podcast…

High fashion dangles from hangars where slabs of meat once hung from hooks.

10 July



In 1863…

The only witchcraft trial in the province of Pennsylvania occurred before the Council, previous to the organization of the Provincial Court, on December 27, 1683. Only one of two old women, both of them Swedes, seems to have been tried. Margaret Mattson lived on her husband’s plantation on the Delaware River, near Crum Creek, in Ridley township.

Be sure to stop by History of American Women to see the ‘Accused of Witchcraft’ Etching and read the rest of this article.

09 July

History of Yahoo!


This seems like a good one for today since Yahoo! has been in the news a lot lately.  Was very happy to find this site and will be checking it in the future.

The two founders of Yahoo!, David Filo and Jerry Yang, Ph.D. candidates in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University started their guide in a campus trailer in February 1994 as a way to keep track of their personal interests on the Internet. At this time who would ever guessed that this humble beginning would evolve into a global brand.

Read the rest at: History of Business blog.

08 July

Roman Battering Ram Found


Great article from The History Blog

It’s a rostrum. The Romans used to affix them to the prow of their ship to batter the sides of enemy vessels.  This particular rostrum was found off the coast of Sicily and seems to have been used in the last naval battle of the First Punic War against Carthage. (The first one was the one without Hannibal and his elephants.)

07 July

Happy Birthday to Speaking of History… Podcast!


Sunday was the three year celebration of the creation of Speaking of History podcast.  A great podcast produced by a history teacher in Missouri by the name of Eric Langhorst.  Eric is doing an amazing job with his podcast.  If you are a professor or just a history enthusist like me you will enjoy his podcast.  Check it out!

03 July

7 Stunning Castles


I am lucky enough to have seen a few of these amazing castles.  Each entry has some great pictures and a link to wikipedia where you can learn about crazy ol’ Ludwig for example.  An interesting history indeed.  Thanks for the tip Dee!

From the fairytales, princes, princesses and Disney movies of childhood and even as we get older, the appeal of the castle remains at least partly because they so regularly serve as backdrops in video games, movies and books.

02 July

Grisly Human Sacrifice Discovered in Northeastern Syria


The ancient city of Nagar has some strange skeletle remains:

“It’s the skeletons of the humans that are strange because they were not ‘buried’ in the usual sense of below ground level, and the heads were missing,” said Oates, of Cambridge University’s McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.   “They were simply lying on a surface, on which the outline of the body itself was still visible — that is, they were not buried, but the room was rapidly filled in after their deposition,” she added.

Read the rest of the article at Discovery News.

01 July

History Questions


I received this email recently and thought I would post on the site in hopes that the readers of the blog/site can help out Mike. Please leave you answers in the comments. Thank you!


I have listened to and enjoyed many of your podcasts. Here are two historical issues I’m curious about.

Why, after WWII, didn’t the Allies occupy Italy as they did Japan and Germany? Fascism began in Italy, after all. Is this because Italy was conquered first, and many Italians then rebelled against Musollini? Was it because the Italians weren’t taken very seriously as a military force?

also, I live in Bogota, Colombia. This country is, obviously, named for Christopher Columbus. But this is a Spanish-speaking region, and in Spanish Columbus is Cristobal Colon. So, why in the world would they have used the English version of the man’s name instead of the Spanish one, which might have given us a nation named ‘Colonia.’ (That, of course, would have been strange, since it’s the word for colony.)

Best and thanks,

Mike C.

Update:  I posted the questions on the Historum forums in hopes of more answers and we got some…

Lucius writes:

Hi historypodcast,

Why is München Munich? Why is Venezia Venice? I guess we just don’t like furriners that much, so we change their names to suit us. Either that or we’re too dumb. Or both.

and HistoryBuff7 says:

Italy surrendered after the allies invaded and Victor Emmanuel III dismissed Mussolini because by 1943 the Italian people lost their faith in Mussolini and were tired of the war.

and Pedro has maybe the best answer about Colombia…

Cristóbal Colón was Italian and his Italian name was Cristoforo Colombo. Yes, just like the detective on TV. The ‘ia’ of course is a common suffix and rules of orthography dictate dropping the ‘o’ and adding ‘ia’.
Why they chose the Italian spelling over the Spanish I can only guess. Tradition? To honor? Sounds better than Colonium or any other Spanish option?