Category Archives: Historical

Happy Birthday, William Shakespeare!

Actually, no one is quite sure when Shakespeare’s birthday was.  His life is largely undocumented; he left no personal papers.  But we do know he was baptized on April 26, 1564, so his birthday is traditionally celebrated on April 23rd. No one single person has had a greater impact on the English language, so much

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Real Fake News

With all the talk recently about which news is fake and which is real, I’ve found a real example of how fake news was used to win World War II.  Call it “real fake news.” If you were a German citizen during the period 1941 to 1943, you might have heard some very realistic-sounding shortwave

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Presidents Who Change Their Minds

I am a history nerd, and politics is a fascinating subject, so an article entitled “The Presidents Who Changed Course in Office” really piqued my curiosity. Certainly a lot can happen over the course of four to eight years — nationally, internationally, and in a president’s personal life.  As the article’s author Sean Braswell states,

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Who Was The Richest Man of All Time?

We are obsessed with wealth.  Virtually everyone in this country is familiar with the likes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.   Forbes magazine always garners attention with its list of the richest people in the world (https://www.forbes.com/sites/kerenblankfeld/2016/03/01/forbes-billionaires-full-list-of-the-500-richest-people-in-the-world-2016/#3de9d98d1897).  But who has been the wealthiest of all time? As you might imagine, compiling such a list

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How to Rate Our Presidents?

I just ran across an article published earlier in February that ranks the U.S. presidents according to a survey of 91 presidential historians as reported by C-SPAN.  This updates the last C-SPAN survey compiled in 2009. The best and the worst haven’t changed since that previous survey.  These historians consider the top presidents to be

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The Second Great London Fire

I recently ran across a news item that on December 29, 1940, the German Luftwaffe bombed London on the 114th straight night of “The Blitz” during World War II.  The results were devastating, setting off what some called the “Second Great London Fire” (the first being in 1666).  Almost a third of the  city was

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The Scottish Rebel in “Hail to the Chief”

When this nation was founded, everything started at zero, including a personal song for the president.  George Washington was partial to “Hail, Columbia”, probably because it included the lines “Let Washington’s great name/ring through the world with loud applause”, but that never caught on.  Thomas Jefferson tried “Jefferson and Liberty”, but it didn’t survive past

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