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October 25, 2021


Break’n News History Page. As an aggregate, blog and our own news, Break’n News presents information in photos, videos, and written.

The Secret Excavation of Jerusalem

A new book by journalist Andrew Lawler chronicles an illicit 1909–1911 excavation in Israel’s Holy City. Pictured here: a replica of the Ark of Covenant in front of an early 20th-century map of Jerusalem Photo illustration by Meilan Solly / Photos: Public domain, Ben Schumin via Wikimedia Commons under CC BY-SA......

In 19th-Century Gibraltar, Survivors of a Deadly Virus Used ‘Fever Passes’ to Prove Their Immunity

Survivors received “fever passes” that certified their immunity, allowing them increased freedom of movement at a time when a substantial portion of the population was being held under strict quarantine. Photo illustration by Meilan Solly / Photos via Wikimedia Commons, courtesy of Lawrence Sawchuk and Lianne Tripp In August 1804,......

Magnificent Maps From the World Digital Library

Library Of Congress
Launched in 2009, the World Digital Library [WDL] was a project of the U.S. Library of Congress, with the support of UNESCO, and contributions from libraries, archives, museums, educational institutions, and international organizations around the world. The WDL sought to preserve and share some of the world’s most important cultural......

In Defense of King George

A decent fellow after all? King George III, painted by Sir William Beechey (1753-1839). © Philip Mould Ltd., London / Bridgeman Images Since 2015, Queen Elizabeth II has released more than 100,000 pages of documents in the Royal Archives relating to King George III. They reveal a startlingly new picture......

The Untold Story of the Portuguese Diplomat Who Saved Thousands From the Nazis

It was the second week of June 1940, and Aristides de Sousa Mendes would not come out of his room. Portugal’s portly consul general in Bordeaux, France, Sousa Mendes lived in a large flat overlooking the Garonne River with his wife and several of their 14 children—all of whom were......

The Trailblazing, Multifaceted Activism of Lawyer-Turned-Priest Pauli Murray

Attorney, author, scholar and reverend Pauli Murray, pictured here on December 22, 1976 Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Milton Williams Archives, © Milton Williams “I’ve lived to see my lost causes found,” legal trailblazer Pauli Murray once said. Murray—a lawyer, academic,......

An Extraordinary 500-Year-Old Shipwreck Is Rewriting the History of the Age of Discovery

At the southern edge of Sweden, not far from the picturesque town of Ronneby, lies a tiny island called Stora Ekon. Sprinkled with pine trees, sheep and a few deserted holiday cottages, the low-lying island is one of hundreds that shelter the coast from the storms of the Baltic Sea. For......

Inside the Global Cult of Al Capone

Almost 75 years after the mobster’s death, an eclectic bunch of enthusiasts continue to chase his memory. Photo illustration by Meilan Solly / Photos via Witherell’s, Wikimedia Commons under public domain It’s a name almost all Romanian children learn: Al Capone. The American gangster whose organized crime operation dominated 1920s......

The True History Behind ‘The Last Duel’

Meilan Solly Associate Editor, History Two aspiring knights stood side by side, one welcoming his first son and heir, the other acting as his godfather—“virtually a family member,” according to historian Eric Jager. Just over a decade later, however, the two men, Jean de Carrouges and Jacques Le Gris, met on......

Before Rhode Island Built Its State House, a Racist Mob Destroyed the Community That Lived There

Photo of 1982 excavation at North Shore site Snowtown Project On a pair of folding tables in the basement of the Public Archaeology Laboratory (PAL) in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, four metal trays display an unusual assemblage of artifacts. Humble ceramic tableware. Iron padlocks. Dominoes carved out of bone. A cut-glass......

The True History Behind ‘Six,’ the Tudor Musical About Henry VIII’s Wives

Meilan Solly Associate Editor, History Inspiration struck Toby Marlow during a comparative poetry class at Cambridge University in fall 2016. Participating in a discussion on William Blake, he found his mind wandering and began scribbling a series of unrelated notes: “Henry VIII’s wives → like a girl group … Need......

Sparta Was Much More Than an Army of Super Warriors

A monument in Thermopylae to King Leonidas. Bridgeman Images Ancient Sparta has been held up for the last two and a half millennia as the unmatched warrior city-state, where every male was raised from infancy to fight to the death. This view, as ingrained as it is alluring, is almost......

The Sex Education Pamphlet That Sparked a Landmark Censorship Case

Mary Ware Dennett wrote The Sex Side of Life in 1915 as a teaching tool for her teenage sons. Photo illustration by Meilan Solly / Photos courtesy of Sharon Spaulding and Newspapers.com It only took 42 minutes for an all-male jury to convict Mary Ware Dennett. Her crime? Sending a sex education......

When Playing Video Games Becomes a History Lesson

The “Assasin’s Creed” series, famous for using real historical events as a backdrop to the games, have gone through scenarios such as the Crusades, the American Revolution and the Golden Age of Piracy. Ubisoft “Okay, class, for tonight’s history homework you’ll be playing ‘Assassin’s Creed.’” What might sound like a......

Viking Map of North America Identified as 20th-Century Forgery

In the modern era, the European discovery of North American became a proxy for conflicts between American Protestants and Catholics, as well as northern Europeans who claimed Vikings like Leif Eriksson (left) as their ancestors and southern Europeans who touted links to Columbus (right) and the monarchs of Spain. Photo......

This Civil War–Era Eagle Sculpture Was Made Out of Abraham Lincoln’s Hair

Since the 1920s, this unique piece of history has only been displayed publicly three times. Sandy Roe Photos / Courtesy of the Onondaga Historical Association The “Hairy Eagle,” as it was dubbed more than 150 years ago, stuns all who see it, probably because the wreath is made entirely from......

‘Band of Brothers’ Stars Reflect on the Epic Miniseries’ Evolving Legacy

Actor James Madio played Easy Company T-4 Frank Perconte. Courtesy of HBO Michael Cudlitz remembers the moment clearly. He was standing on a dike in Europe while filming episode five of “Band of Brothers,” the epic 2001 HBO miniseries about American soldiers fighting in World War II. With blaring lights......

When George Washington Took a Road Trip to Unify the U.S.

In 1789, newly elected president George Washington faced one of the most difficult challenges of his life: creating a unified nation out of a disparate, discordant drove of 13 stubbornly independent former colonies. To do that, Washington decided to take a road trip up and down the new United States.......

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