Nazis’ secret biological weapon? The mosquito

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

It carries a disease that has defeated armies for centuries, so it is perhaps not surprising that the Nazis tried to harness it for their own twisted purposes.

The existence of an offensive biological warfare research program in Nazi Germany has been confirmed, according to an article in Endeavour, a science journal. Continue reading

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Lincoln’s spin doctors: ‘Boys’ molded slain president’s legacy

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
LincolnsSecretaries

In 1863, Lincoln’s private secretaries had their picture taken with “the Prest.” John Nicolay (left) and John Hay “helped invent the Lincoln we know today,” writes historian Joshua Zeitz. | Library of Congress photo

The elites didn’t get him.

Sen. James Grimes of Iowa, a fellow Republican, tut-tutted that the Lincoln administration was “a disgrace from the very beginning to every one who had any thing to do with bringing it into power.”

Charles Sumner, a leading abolitionist, grumbled that the nation needed “a president with brains — one who can make a plan and carry it out.” Continue reading

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The littlest Republican: How Shirley Temple pranked Eleanor Roosevelt

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
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

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Dromedary drama: Scientific dating of camel clashes with Bible

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

“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

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

JFK library releases condolence letters his widow cherished

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Mothers once hid in plain sight

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Flashback: The unrepentant daughter of Auschwitz

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail