The littlest Republican: How Shirley Temple pranked Eleanor Roosevelt

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eleanorvisitsshirley

First lady Eleanor Roosevelt visits Shirley Temple on a Hollywood sound stage in 1938.

There was a story that Shirley Temple Black, then a U.S. ambassador, enjoyed telling on chat shows in the 1970s to prove how she’d always been a Republican.

It was 1938. Shirley was 10 and for the third year the biggest box office star when the Roosevelts invited her to a barbecue at their family home, Hyde Park. Continue reading

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Dromedary drama: Scientific dating of camel clashes with Bible

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“He loaded ten of Abraham’s camels with all kinds of expensive gifts,” we’re told in Genesis. Unfortunately, archaeologists at Tel Aviv University have used radiocarbon dating to reveal an anachronism: Camels were not domesticated in the southern Levant until 900 B.C. Continue reading

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JFK library releases condolence letters his widow cherished

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JFK’s widow kept 44 boxes of condolence letters in her personal collection that now have been released by the Kennedy library.

“Whenever I can bear to, I read them,” Jackie Kennedy said 50 years ago in her first remarks to the nation since the president’s assassination. Continue reading

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Mothers once hid in plain sight

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Hidden Mother

The Victorian images of a shrouded adult behind a baby may look creepy to us, but evidently they were the norm when it took nearly 30 seconds to take a picture of a squirmy tot.

“In America, it was common practice for the mother … to hold the child steady during the long exposure, since any wriggling would blur the image,”  says Linda Fregni Nagler, an Italian-Swedish photographer who has collected a thousand of these photographs in The Hidden Mother. “Yet at the same time, the mother was expected to hide any sign that she was actually in the frame,” she tells the Telegraph. Continue reading

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Flashback: The unrepentant daughter of Auschwitz

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hossEven though Brigitte Höss, now 80, has lived (not that far from here) in the hum of democracy for decades, she retains the monstrous logic of a Nazi.

But after all, her father is Rudolf Höss, the commandant of Auschwitz, who was responsible for the murder of 1.1 million Jews, 20,000 Roma and tens of thousands of Polish and Russian prisoners.  Continue reading

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Flashback: Hi ho, Silver! The real Lone Ranger was black

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bassreevesWho was that masked man? A slave-turned-U.S. Marshal, argues Art Burton, an author who spent years tracking down the inspiration for the Lone Ranger, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Bass Reeves was a legendary lawman on the 19th century frontier. He wore disguises and was able to take down a man “with one shot from his Winchester rifle at a distance of a quarter of a mile,” Burton was told by an eyewitness.  Continue reading

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WWII museum wants your mementos

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HomefrontPoster

Nearly seven decades since the end of World War II, you could still help the war effort.

The National World War II Museum has collected a wealth of items but remains poor in important areas, its curators tell AP.

The  museum has posted a wish list on its website. Curators stress that they are always interested in donations “with a good story.” So if you’d like to do your part, rummage around in that attic.

The museum needs: Continue reading

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Real men get the flu

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Men with higher levels of testosterone are more likely to come down with the flu, a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests.

Researchers, led by Stanford Prof. Mark Davis, looked at how the immune systems of men and women reacted to a flu shot.

In men, the higher the level of male hormones, the less effective the vaccine.

“Men are suffering!” Davis tells NBC News. “Women are superior. There’s no way around it.”

“It could be food for thought to all the testosterone-supplement takers out there,” he adds.

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