Category Archives: Historical

The Little Things in History

Many times in history, it’s the little things that are critical.  You may know about how at the Battle of Gettysburg, Union General G. K. Warren found a critical spot in the Union line that was unoccupied and organized its defense on his own initiative.  Otherwise, the battle could’ve been lost.  Also in that battle,

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Strangest Story of World War II

There are a lot of strange stories from World War II.  My favorite is the Dam Busters (http://www.dambusters.org.uk/) — the attempt to flood the Ruhr Valley by breeching upstream dams with bouncing bombs.  (Hey, it was a partial success!) Now a friend has told me of an even stranger story  —  The only time the

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Happy 4th of July

If you really want to learn about the 4th of July, I would recommend “Fun Facts for July 4” at the Washington Post website. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/07/03/fun-facts-for-july-4/ For example, three of the first five U.S. presidents died on July 4.  John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died in 1826, the 50th anniversary of the country’s birth.  (Adams’ last words were

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Forgotten History — Nazi Summer Camp

So much of history never makes it into your standard textbooks.  For example, we know there are prisoners in every war.  Yet unless something catastrophic happens, like the high death rate at Andersonville, Georgia in the American Civil War or “brainwashing” in the Korean War, these stories are usually forgotten. That’s why a podcast about World

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Thoughts on Life-Changing Events

How many time has a life been changed when something totally unexpected happens? I was reminded of this recently when I read about a member of Hungary’s far-right Jobbik political party, and what happened when he was told  his grandparents on his mother’s side were Jewish.  Plus his grandmother was a Holocaust survivor.  The revelation

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Remembering the Sultana Disaster

Sometimes greed is a greater enemy than an opposing army. In late April 1865, the American Civil War was over and no soldiers were more eager to return home than released prisoners of war. Thus Camp Fisk, on the Mississippi River near Vicksburg, was a beehive of activity. Camp Fisk had been established for the

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How to Foil Nazis

The Nazis have just invaded your country and your life is in danger because you have two Nobel prizes you are safeguarding for friends — one is Jewish and the other is an opponent of National Socialism.  What do you do? That was the dilemma faced by Niels Bohr in 1940 when Germany occupied Copenhagen,

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Happy Birthday Library of Congress

The Library of Congress was established on April 24, 1800.  It was originally founded to provide a legislative library for members of Congress.  In just over a decade, the collection had grown to over 3000 books.  There was a major setback during the War of 1812 when the invading British burned the Capitol building and the

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