Amazon.com Widgets

History on Air

History Podcast and Blog Subscribe via iTunes Podcast RSS Feed Subscribe via Stitcher Blog RSS Feed Follow us on Twitter Friend us on Facebook Watch Us on YouTube

Archive for May, 2009

29 May
0Comments

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Eiffel Tower

Share

It suffers from shrinkage. Not counting its antenna, the iron tower is about 984 feet tall. But on cold days it’s roughly 6 inches shorter. [LA Times via Digg

Nine more facts about the Eiffel Tower when you follow the LA Times link.  Image credit: franz88

Share
28 May
0Comments

We Built This City on Sunken Ships

Share

 

…a large brass plaque embedded in the sidewalk. It said that the spot on which I was standing was once part of the shoreline of the San Francisco Bay. I turned and looked in the direction of the Bay, from which I was now separated by several blocks and quite a few very large buildings. … the ground is made up of landfill. By itself, that’s nothing unusual—especially around here. Since the mid-1800s, the San Francisco Bay as a whole has lost 40% of its area to landfill. But in the northeast corner of San Francisco, the large, semicircular slice of land that was once called Yerba Buena Cove has a rather unusual makeup: it’s composed partly of the remains of hundreds of old ships. [ITOTD.com]

Image Credit:  PhliarShamim

Share
27 May
0Comments

How Did We Get the Term D-Day?

Share

Every June the press carries stories about the invasion of Normandy in 1944. One of the most common questions raised is “what does the term D-Day mean and where does it come from?” The answer to what it means is readily known. They are used for the day and hour on which a combat attack or operation is to be initiated. However, the question of where the U.S. Army got the term has remained a mystery. [HNN]

Image credit: Army.mil

Share
26 May
0Comments

Pirate history podcast from Tank Riot

Share

Pirates! The team discusses the history of piracy and some of their favorite pirates including: Blackbeard (Edward Teach), Bartholomew Roberts, Henry Every, Thomas Tew, William Kidd, Emanuel Wynn, Anne Bonny, Mary Read, Calico Jack Rackham, Jean Lafitte and more. Also, a brief rant on modern (digital) piracy and modern copyright. Issues discussed range from the DMCA, RIAA, MPAA and the book “Free Culture” by Lawrence Lessig. Music is provided by the talented Madison band The Pints. [Pirates via Boing Boing]

Image credit: Nick Humphries

Share
22 May
0Comments

They Like Me, They Really Like Me!

Share

The Smithsonian’s own blog has a recent article linking to our humble history blog!  Specifically the article about Al Capone’s Prison Cell.  Image credit: krossbow.

Share
21 May
0Comments

New Fossil Found: Links Humans and Lemurs?

Share

Could Lemurs be our ancestors?  National Geographic has posted an article which may answer that question.

The fossil, he says, bridges the evolutionary split between higher primates such as monkeys, apes, and humans and their more distant relatives such as lemurs.

In a new book, documentary, and promotional Web site, paleontologist Jorn Hurum, who led the team that analyzed the 47-million-year-old fossil seen above, suggests Ida is a critical missing-link species in primate evolution (interactive guide to human evolution fromNational Geographic magazine).

Explore a National Geographic prehistoric time line.

Image credit:  belgianchocolate

Share
20 May
0Comments

Never Give Up, Never Surrender!

Share

This is a great story found on mental_floss.  Anyone know of any other stories like this?  Please share in the comments!

In 1945, getting the word out to all Japanese soldiers stationed in remote areas that the war was over was not so easy. The soldiers were on guard for treachery and propaganda, and they weren’t inclined to believe the news. Cases of Japanese holdouts trickled in through the 40s, 50s, and 60s. Three soldiers finally finished their war in the 1970s! Hiroo Onoda was sent to the island of Lubang in the Philippines and told by his superiors to never surrender and to never take his own life. Onoda faithfully carried out his orders over decades. He led several other soldiers who eventually all left or died. Onada was befriended by a Japanese college student in 1974, in whom he confided that he would not surrender unless ordered to by his commanding officer. The student contacted the now-retired officer, who flew to Lubang to personally order Onada to go home. A few months later, the very last Japanese soldier, Terruo Nakamura surrendered in Indonesia. Shoichi Yokoi had held out on his own in Guam until 1972.

Image credit: wccls

Share
19 May
0Comments

The “Other” Statues of Liberty

Share

 

  1. Billund, Denmark
  2. Las Vegas, NV
  3. Paragould, Arkansas
  4. Paris
  5. Rogaland, Norway
  6. Webster, Massachusetts
  7. Lower Saxony, Germany
  8. “Strengthen the Arm of Liberty” was a campaign undertaken by the Boy Scouts of America in 1950, the Scouts sent out 200 miniature statues to various cities.
  9. University of Wisconsin- Madison
  10. Camp Dodge in Des Moines
Read the whole article at mental_floss.  Image credit: cackhanded
Share
18 May
0Comments

10 People Who Gave Their Name To Food

Share

Sylvester Graham (1794-1851) was one of America’s first health food advocates with such theories that white bread and meat should be avoided while pushing for more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. He made enemies out of bakers and butchers but had many powerful friends, such as Thomas Edison and Joseph Smith, the creator of Mormonism, who believed in his healthy recommendations. While Graham’s theories have proven correct, he would be upset to know that his original whole wheat crackers have become sugary treats containing bleached flour. [listverse.com]

Image credit: oskay

Share
15 May
0Comments

Native American Place Names

Share

Our friends over at National Geographic have put together this really spiffy interactive map of the United States, with the translated meaning of the towns, lakes, and other localities.[Neatorama]

Image credit: shannonpatrick17

If you liked this post I highly reccomend Lies Across America: What American Historic Sites Get Wrong by James Loewen.

Share