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The place where the world comes together in honesty and mirth.
Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Daily Drift

It's Historic Preservation and Restoration
Hey, it could happen ...
Carolina Naturally is read in 196 countries around the world daily.   

  Party On ... !
Today is - World Party Day

Don't forget to visit our sister blog: It Is What It Is

Some of our reader today have been in:
The Americas
Onalaska, Orlando, Ocala, Omaha, Owosso, Oakland, Ocoee, Onieda, Opalocka, Oviedo, Ovilla, Oswego, Oldsmar, Okeechobee, Orange, Osage, Olathe, United States
Duncan, Vancouver, Pikangikum, Joliette, Britannia, Guelph, Prince Albert, Sechelt, Ottawa, Canada
Guayaquil, Ecuador
Santa Marta, Colombia
Managua, Nicaragua
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Le Harve and Arcey, France
Madrid, Magala, Spain
Reykjavik, Iceland
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Ivera, Milan, Rome, Pisa, Italy
Dublin, Ireland
Vladivostok, Ryazan, Russia
London, Southend-On-Sea, England
Covilha, Lisbon, Portugal
Liepaja, Riga, Latvia
Kista, Sweden
Wroclaw, Gdansk, Wloclawek, Poland
Athens, Greece
Bucharest, Romania
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Tallinn, Estonia
Kiev, Ukraine
Gibraltar, Gibraltar
Budapest, Hungary
Mol, Belgium
Doha, Qatar
Chetput, Kolkata, Bikaner, Shillong, Delhi, Coimbatore, Nodia, Cochin, Vasco De Gama, Gurgaun, Mumbai, New Delhi, Jalandhar, Bangalore, Pune, Ganganagar, India
Muscat, Oman
Shijiazhuang, China
La Dagotiere, Port Louis, Mauritius
Bangkok, Thailand
Singapore, Singapore
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tokyo, Japan
Medan, Jakarta, Kutoarjo, Indonesia
Riyadh, Dhaharan, Saudi Arabia
Abuja, Nigeria
Kampala, Uganda
Cape Town, Johannesburg, Claremont, South Africa
The Pacific
Sydney, Melbourne, Australia
Makati, Sampaloc, Philippines
Editorial Comment
It appears that the service that we use to track our readers is on one of it's periodic down-times which can last from several hours to several days.
In light of this fact our abbreviated listing of daily readers has been further truncated today.
We will return to our normal listing as soon as we are able - then again we were considering an alteration to just a country listing in lieu of individual cities and places in each country ... might be the time to do so.

Today in History

628 In Persia, Kavadh sues for peace with the Byzantines.
1367 John of Gaunt and Edward the Black Prince win the Battle of Najara, in Spain.
1559 Philip II of Spain and Henry II of France sign the peace of Cateau-Cambresis, ending a long series of wars between the Hapsburg and Valois dynasties.
1860 The Pony Express connects St. Joseph, Missouri and Sacramento, California.
1862 Slavery is abolished in Washington, D.C.
1865 Union forces occupy the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia.
1882 The American outlaw Jesse James is shot in the back and killed by his cousin, Bob Ford.
1910 Alaska's Mount McKinley, the highest mountain in North America is climbed.
1920 F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre are married at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City.
1936 Bruno Hauptmann, killer of the Lindbergh baby, is executed.
1942 The Japanese begin their all-out assault on the U.S. and Filipino troops at Bataan.
1944 The U.S. Supreme Court rules that black citizens are eligible to vote in all elections, including primaries.
1948 President Harry Truman signs Marshall Plan, it will revive war-torn Europe.
1966 Three-thousand South Vietnamese Army troops lead a protest against the Ky regime in Saigon.
1972 Charlie Chaplin returns to the United States after a twenty-year absence.
1984 Coach John Thompson of Georgetown University becomes the first African-American coach to win an NCAA basketball tournament.

Non Sequitur


No really ...

You know you really do not have to scream it's only History.


This post is about the academic discipline. 
by Nikolaos Gysis (1892)
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
—George Santayana
History (from Greek ἱστορία, historia, meaning "inquiry, knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study of the past, specifically how it relates to humans. It is an umbrella term that relates to past events as well as the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about these events. The term includes cosmic, geologic, and organic history, but is often generically implied to mean human history. Scholars who write about history are called historians. Events occurring prior to written record are considered prehistory.
History can also refer to the academic discipline which uses a narrative to examine and analyze a sequence of past events, and objectively determine the patterns of cause and effect that determine them. Historians sometimes debate the nature of history and its usefulness by discussing the study of the discipline as an end in itself and as a way of providing "perspective" on the problems of the present.
Stories common to a particular culture, but not supported by external sources (such as the tales surrounding King Arthur) are usually classified as cultural heritage or legends, because they do not support the "disinterested investigation" required of the discipline of history. Herodotus, a 5th-century BC Greek historian is considered within the Western tradition to be the "father of history", and, along with his contemporary Thucydides, helped form the foundations for the modern study of human history. Their work continues to be read today and the divide between the culture-focused Herodotus and the military-focused Thucydides remains a point of contention or approach in modern historical writing. In the Eastern tradition, a state chronicle the Spring and Autumn Annals was known to be compiled from as early as 722 BC although only 2nd century BC texts survived.
Ancient influences have helped spawn variant interpretations of the nature of history which have evolved over the centuries and continue to change today. The modern study of history is wide-ranging, and includes the study of specific regions and the study of certain topical or thematical elements of historical investigation. Often history is taught as part of primary and secondary education, and the academic study of history is a major discipline in University studies.

Epic Win


The History of North Carolina

This post is about the history of the state of North Carolina. 
Map of the coast of Virginia and North Carolina, drawn 1585–1586 by Theodor de Bry, based on map by John White of the Roanoke Colony 

The history of North Carolina from prehistory to the present covers the experiences of the people who have lived in the territory that now comprises the state of North Carolina.
Before 200 AD, residents were building earthwork mounds, which were used for ceremonial and religious purposes. Succeeding peoples, including those of the ancient Mississippian culture established by 1000 AD in the Piedmont, continued to build or add onto such mounds. In the 500–700 years preceding European contact, the Mississippian culture built large, complex cities and maintained far flung regional trading networks. Historically documented tribes in the North Carolina region included the Carolina Algonquian-speaking tribes of the coastal areas, such as the Chowanoke, Roanoke, Pamlico, Machapunga, Coree, Cape Fear Indians, and others, who were the first encountered by the English; Iroquoian-speaking Meherrin, Cherokee and Tuscarora of the interior; and Southeastern Siouan tribes, such as the Cheraw, Waxhaw, Saponi, Waccamaw, and Catawba.
Following the destruction of Spanish forts left by the Juan Pardo expedition in the 1560s in the interior, England began to settle the coastal areas, starting with a charter in 1584. Sir Walter Raleigh began two small settlements in the late 1580s, but they failed. Some mystery remains as to what happened to the "Lost Colony" of Roanoke Island, but most historians think they starved to death. By 1640 colonists from Virginia moved into the area of Albemarle Sound. In 1663 the king granted a charter for a new colony named Carolina in honor of his father Charles I. He gave ownership to the Lords Proprietors.
Reconstructed royal governor's mansion, Tryon Palace, in New Bern 
North Carolina had developed a system of representative government and local control by the early 18th century. Many of its colonists resented British attempts after 1765 to levy taxes without representation in Parliament. The colony was a Patriot base during the American Revolution, and its legislature issued the Halifax Resolves, which authorized North Carolina delegates to the Second Continental Congress to vote for independence from Britain. Loyalist elements were suppressed, and there was relatively little military activity until late in the war.
During the first half of the nineteenth century, North Carolina remained a rural state, with no cities and few villages. Most whites operated small subsistence farms, but the eastern part of the state had a growing class of planters, especially after 1800 when cotton became highly profitable when using slave labor. Politically the state was highly democratic, as heated elections (among adult white men) pitted the Democratic east versus the Whiggish west. After the firing on Fort Sumter in April 1861 North Carolina seceded from the United States and joined the Confederate States of America. More soldiers from North Carolina fought for the Confederacy during the American Civil War, than any other state, but few major battles were fought there. During the early years of Reconstruction, strides were made at integrating the newly freed slaves into society, however these were quickly overturned and North Carolina became a firm part of the Jim Crow South.
The Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s had many connections to North Carolina. Events such as the sit-in protest at the F.W. Woolworth's store in Greensboro would become a touchstone for the movement, and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, a central organization in the movement, was founded at Shaw University in Raleigh. In 1973, Clarence Lightner was elected in Raleigh as the first African-American mayor of a major southern city.

Read more about North Carolina history here

The Pinup

The Pinup is as popular today as it ever was. However the reigning queens have nothing on the ultimate standard Ms Bettie Page. Bettie's pinups are a fresh today as they were nearly seventy years ago - none of today's pinups will be able to say the same in seventy years. The stereotype is that of pinup models being quite dense and unintelligent - unfortunately some are and hence the stereotype. There are some that are quite intelligent, however, Ms Page being one of them (receiving a full scholarship to the college of her choice) and that is what makes the joke above work on more than one level.

History happens all the time ...

British Scientists Clone Dinosaur

http://news-hound.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/PB222344.jpgScientists at Liverpool's John Moore University have successfully cloned a dinosaur, a spokesman from the university said yesterday.
The dinosaur, a baby Apatosaurus nicknamed “Spot,” is currently being incubated at the University's College of Veterinary Medicine.
The scientists extracted DNA from preserved Apatosaurus fossils, which were on display at the university’s museum of natural science. Once the DNA was harvested, scientists injected it into a fertile ostrich womb.
“Ostriches share a lot of genetic traits with dinosaurs,” said Dr. Gerrard Jones, a biology professor at LJMU and the project’s leading scientist. “Their eggshell microstructures are almost identical to those of the Apatosaurus. That’s why the cloning worked so perfectly.”
Those in the scientific community say the dinosaur cloning – the first ever of its kind – is a milestone for genetic engineering.
“I used to think this kind of thing could only happen in the movies,” said Dr. Gemma Sheridan, a LJMU chemistry professor. “But we’re making it happen right here in our lab. It’s astounding.”
The cloning attracted the attention of a wide variety of animal rights activists and religious groups. They claim that animal cloning is unethical and immoral.
PETA President Craig Farmer criticized the scientists for performing potentially life threatening threats on a new species.
“These scientists brought an animal from the Jurassic age back to life – just to watch it suffer!” he said. But Dr. Sheridan doesn’t seem to be bothered by the activists’ quibbling. She says that the opportunities afforded by dinosaur cloning are endless.
Within ten years, we could repopulate the world with dinosaurs,” she said.
(Please note that you may take as many grains of salt as you need to swallow this story)

The Top 10 Forgotten Ancient Religions

The ancient world was home to a huge variety of religions and belief systems. Most have faded away, their temples and statues vanished or half-sunk in the desert sand, their gods barely remembered.

The religions on this list were all founded before most of the main religions of today (christianity, hinduism, islam) and most of them have completely died out—although some are being revived by new practitioners.

10. Finnish Paganism

A polytheistic religion without a name, Finnish paganism was the indigenous religion of Finland until it was christianized. Evolving from shamanism, it shared a number of features, including ancestor veneration, with neighboring religions.

The Finns also put great stock in the power of words and thought that both animate and inanimate objects had souls. Finnish pagans were intertwined with nature and they thought the world was created from the egg of a diving duck.

The main god of the religion was Ukko, the sky and thunder god, and his feast day, held on April 4, was one of the most important dates in their calendar. He shared a few common traits with the Norse god Thor, namely a magic hammer, and thunderstorms were said to be caused when Ukko slept with his wife Akka. In a weird twist for such a manly god, Ukko’s sacred animal was said to be the ladybug, and it was known as “Ukko’s cow.”

9. Canaanite Religion

Also unnamed, this was the religion of the Canaanites, natives of the area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. For thousands of years, the only evidence we had of their religion was from the Torah and the bible, where they are a constant enemy of the Israelites. However, between 1927 and 1937, a number of Canaanite tablets were discovered on the northern coast of Syria.

It was a polytheistic religion with a number of deities, the most prominent among them being El, the supreme deity, and Baal, his son and the god of thunder and rain.One of the most popular myths was of a fight between Baal and Mot, the god of death. Baal challenges Mot and is easily overpowered, leading to a drought. All of the other gods, led by El, band together to free Baal.

Anat, the virgin goddess of war, ends up going to the Underworld, slaying Mot, and freeing Baal. Influenced by a number of neighboring sects, it was slowly eroded by Israelite conquests and religious pressure, until it vanished altogether.

8. Atenism

Introduced by Pharoah Akhenaten (also known as Amenhotep IV) of Egypt, Atenism was a monotheistic religion which was designated the official religion of Egypt during his reign (after he died, the old beliefs were gradually brought back). Aten was an obscure Egyptian god and the traditional name for the sun-disk itself.

At first, Atenism was accepting of the other Egyptian deities but, over time, they were all rejected.Because of its restrictive nature (only Akhenaten could talk to Aten), ordinary Egyptians retained most of their old beliefs, which made the transition after his death much easier.

Tablets found in the early 20th century stated that Akhenaten had become more and more obsessed with his new religion, especially after the death of his beloved wife, Queen Nefertiti. He was also the father of Tutankhamun, who changed his name from Tutankhaten after pressure from priests. A number of hymns were produced during the reign of Akhenaten, one of which bears a resemblance to Psalm 104.

7. Minoan Religion

Yet another polytheistic religion without a name, this was the religion of the Minoan inhabitants of Crete. It was very much in touch with nature, as bull masks and horns have been found during various excavations. There is even evidence that indicates the ancient Minoans may have had contests which resembled our modern-day rodeos, in which they tried to chase down a bull and ride it.

Like many ancient religions, there was no centralized text and much of the information we have is derived from cave paintings and various archaeological discoveries on the island.The main Minoan deity was actually a female nature goddess, making this one of the few matriarchal religions (there were some male deities but they were usually smaller than the female deities, and may have not been gods at all).

In addition to the bull, snakes and double-headed axes played integral parts in rites. During recent excavations, evidence has been found which seems to imply they participated in human sacrifice—perhaps giving rise to the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur.

6. Mithraism

Mithraism was brought to Europe from its Persian roots after Alexander the Great’s conquests. Extremely popular among Roman soldiers, it became one of the ancient Roman mystery cults, religious sects which were restricted to initiates and were generally quite secretive. Mithras, as he was known to the Romans, was the Persian god of the sun, or at least the airy light between heaven and earth.

There is not much surviving text about Mithraism, least of all a central holy book, which may never have existed. Most of what we know about the religion comes from the ruins of its temples. These were commonly located underground and were cheaply constructed, as the followers preferred to make a new temple whenever the old one wore out.A detail which separates Roman worship of Mithras from the Persian god is that he is often shown slaying a bull, which has led to a lot of confusion among archaeologists.

One of the most important dates in their calendar was December 25, which was recognized as Mithras’ birthday. Because of this, and a few other details, it is known that much of christianity  evolved from this religion.

5. Manichaeism

Founded in the third century A.D. by a Persian man named Mani, Manichaeism was originally viewed as a heretical christian sect, but has since been recognized as its own religion. Its founder claimed he was bringing together all the world’s religions, including zoroastrianism, buddhism, and christianity.

In fact, quite a few apocryphal christian writings would have been lost had it not been for the Manichaeans. Focused on the difference between good and evil, Manichaeism was known for having knowledge as its road to salvation. The highest adherents to the religion were known as the “Elect” or the “Perfect” and resembled Buddhist monks, although they were required to be nomadic.Its followers were great missionaries, spreading Mani’s influence across the globe, until it lost its popularity in the Middle Ages.

Much of their downfall was related to the many persecutions they suffered at the hands of the Chinese government, the ancient Roman government, or the catholic cult. The greatest myth of Manichaeism is perhaps their creation myth which describes a battle waged between the World of Light and the World of Darkness, which began as two separate realms.

Adam and Eve were said to have been created by the evil beings, while Jesus and Mani were said to have been created by the good beings, in order to reveal true spirituality to the human race. Many of Mani’s writings have been lost, but portions have recently been discovered.

4. Tengriism

One of the oldest religions in the world, Tengriism is said to have originated sometime in the Bronze Age (between 3600 and 1200 B.C.). Developed by the people of the Altai Mountains in Central Asia, it is a monotheistic religion with heavy elements of ancestor worship. There is no holy book as in other religions and much of the early belief system has fallen out of our collective knowledge.

However, it is believed the Huns of the Northern Caucasus may have worshiped a god named Tengri, to whom they were said to have sacrificed horses.There are a number of close similarities with christian traditions (as is the case with a lot of “pagan” religions). The most important holiday is known as the Tengrian Epiphany and takes place on December 23.

The bulk of that tradition dates back to the fifth century A.D. and involves bringing home a Yule tree and decorating it. While it fell out of popularity during the Mongol era, Tengriism is still practiced to this day—there are even politicians in Kyrgyzstan who are trying to make it the official state religion.

3. Ashurism

The national cult of the Assyrian people, Ashurism was nearly identical to the older Babylonian religion but with one major difference: Instead of worshiping Marduk as the supreme deity, the Assyrians chose to honor Ashur. A polytheistic religion with thousands of gods, Ashurism contained about 20 important deities, including Ishtar and Marduk.

Since it is so similar to the Babylonian religion, Ashurism shares a number of common stories with judaism and christianity, namely the creation myth, the “Great Flood,” and the Tower of Babel. They also shared the apocryphal tale of Lilith, the woman-demon hybrid who was said to be Adam’s first wife.

The New Year’s Festival, known as Akitu, was the most revered date in Ashurism, lasting 11 days, and Ashur was worshiped greatly during it. The religion was founded sometime in the 18th century B.C. and lasted until the fifth century B.C., when the country of Assyria was destroyed, though it may have continued in secret for a while.

2. Vedism

Vedism is the religion of the ancient Indo-Aryans and was popular from 1500 B.C. to 500 B.C. It can also be seen as the origin of the modern hindu belief system, as they share the same holy texts, the Four Vedas, but there are differences between the two.

It was polytheistic in nature, with gods falling into two categories: Devas, gods of nature, and Asuras, gods of moral concepts. Oral hymns were extremely important to followers of Vedism and priests played a huge role in the various ceremonies, said to improve the lives of the followers by pleasing the gods.

While Vedism did practice animal sacrifice, it was not very common. Milk and grain were used much more frequently.Indra was the supreme god of Vedism, and one of the most popular myths was that of Indra and the children of Diti, the mother of demons. After Indra had killed most of her children, Diti began performing magic to help her last unborn son become more powerful than Indra.

When he found out, Indra hurled a thunderbolt at her womb, destroying it, and the impact turned the unborn child into 49 lesser demons.

1. Olmec Religion

The religion of the Mesoamerican Olmec people was popular from 1400 B.C. until their destruction in 400 B.C. (there is no confirmed reason for their decline, but volcanic activity or other environmental changes are seen as the most likely causes). As there is no direct evidence of their religion, archaeologists have had to compare relics with the Mayan and Aztec religions and look for similarities.

Closely related to shamanism, the most popular god for the Olmec people was a jaguar god of rain and fertility (although some theories say there was no main god, but eight separate, equally important gods.)Various sacrifices, like blood and jade figures were made to the gods, as well as a number of ritualistic dances and masks.

Olmec priests are believed to have inhaled some form of hallucinatory drug in order to help them communicate with the spirits. So far, only 10 of the Olmec deities have been identified by archaeologists. Due to its early origins, the Olmec religion is said to be a sort of “mother” to the later Mesoamerican religions, as they share a number of common elements.

Do you remember ....

... remember any of these

The Stonewall Inn

Stonewall Inn in 2012; building on right was part of property in 1969
The Stonewall Inn, often shortened to Stonewall, is a gay tavern and recreational bar in New York City and the site of the Stonewall riots of 1969, which is widely considered to be the single most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for gay and lesbian rights in the United States.
The original Inn, which closed in 1969, was located at 51–53 Christopher Street, between West 4th Street and Waverly Place, in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan. In 1990 a bar called "Stonewall" opened in the western half (53 Christopher Street). This was renovated and returned to its original name, "The Stonewall Inn", in 2007. The buildings are both part of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission's Greenwich Village Historic District, designated in 1969, and the Inn was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2000.


Originally constructed between 1843 and 1846 as stables, the property was turned into a restaurant in 1930. It remained a restaurant until it was gutted by fire in the mid 1960s.
On March 18, 1967, the Stonewall opened in the space. It was, during its time, the largest gay establishment in the U.S. and did a very good business, although, as with most gay clubs at the time, police raids were common. A few months after the rebellion that started June 28, 1969, The Stonewall Inn closed in late 1969.
Stonewall Inn, 1969 
Over the next twenty years, the space was occupied by various other establishments, including a bagel sandwich shop, a Chinese restaurant, and a shoe store. Many visitors and new residents in the neighborhood were unaware of the building's history or its connection to the Stonewall riots. In the early 1990s, a new gay bar, named simply "Stonewall" opened in the west half of the original Stonewall Inn. Around this time, the block of Christopher Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues was given the honorary name of "Stonewall Place" by the Borough of Manhattan.
Each year during the Pride March crowds gather outside the Stonewall Inn to celebrate its rich history.
In 1995 the movie Stonewall was released. Written by Rikki Beadle-Blair and loosely adapted from Martin Duberman's book of the same name, the film won awards and was well received at film festivals the world over. The film's screenwriter has adapted his screenplay for the stage, and the stage version of Stonewall had its world premiere in London in July 2007 before heading to for the 2007 Edinburgh Festival in August of the same year.
In June 1999, through the efforts of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and the Organization of Lesbian and Gay Architects and Designers, the area including Stonewall was listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its historic significance to gay and lesbian history. The area delineated included the Stonewall Inn, Christopher Park, and portions of surrounding streets and sidewalks. The area was declared a National Historic Landmark in February 2000.
The building was renovated in the late 1990s and became a popular multi-floor nightclub, with theme nights and contests. The club gained popularity for several years, gaining a young urban gay clientele until it closed again in 2006, due to neglect, gross mismanagement, and noise complaints from the neighbors at 45 Christopher Street.

Renovation and reopening

File:NYers celebrate historic vote for gay marriage.webm 
Public rally in front of the Stonewall Inn celebrating the passage of the Marriage Equality Act. 
In January 2007 it was announced that the Stonewall Inn was undergoing major renovation under the supervision of local businessmen Bill Morgan and Kurt Kelly, who ultimately reopened the Stonewall Inn in March 2007.
Subsequently regaining popularity and continuing to pay homage to its historic significance, the Stonewall Inn hosts a variety of local music artists, drag shows, trivia nights, cabaret, karaoke and private parties. Since the landmark passage of New York State's Marriage Equality Act the inn now offers gay wedding receptions as well. Kelly and Morgan have also been dedicated to incorporating various fundraising events for a host of LGBT non-profit organizations.

Stonewall Riots


In 1966, three members of the Mafia invested in the Stonewall Inn, turning it into a gay bar, after it had been a restaurant and a nightclub for heterosexuals. Once a week a police officer would collect envelopes of cash as a payoff; the Stonewall Inn had no liquor license. It had no running water behind the bar; used glasses were run through tubs of water and immediately reused. There were no fire exits, and the toilets overran consistently. Though the bar was not used for prostitution, drug sales and other "cash transactions" took place. It was the only bar for gay men in New York City where dancing was allowed; dancing was its main draw since its re-opening as a gay club. Police raids on gay bars were very common, often happening once a month for each bar. Many bars kept extra liquor in a secret panel behind the bar, or in a car down the block, to facilitate resuming business as quickly as possible if alcohol was seized. Bar management usually knew about raids beforehand due to police tip-offs, and raids occurred early enough in the evening that business could continue after the police had finished.


The Stonewall riots were a series of violent demonstrations by members of the gay community against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969 at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich neighborhood of New York City. Around 1:20 AM on June 28, 1969, 8 police officers, some undercover, some in uniform entered the Stonewall Inn and announced that they were “taking the place.” However, the raid did not go as planned. Because the patrol wagons responsible for transporting the arrested patrons and the alcohol from the bar took longer than expected, a crowd of released patrons and by-standers began to grow outside of the Inn. This number would swell to much larger numbers as the night would go on. Writer David Carter notes that the police officers eventually became so afraid of the crowd that they refused to leave the bar.
The last straw came when a scuffle broke out when a woman in handcuffs was escorted from the door of the bar to the waiting police wagon several times. She escaped repeatedly and fought with four of the police, swearing and shouting, for about ten minutes. Bystanders recalled that the woman, whose identity remains unknown, sparked the crowd to fight when she looked at bystanders and shouted, "Why don't you guys do something?" After an officer picked her up and heaved her into the back of the wagon, the crowd became a mob and went "berserk": "It was at that moment that the scene became explosively violent.
The police tried to restrain some of the crowd, and knocked a few people down, which incited bystanders even more. The riots would go on to escalate to the point where the Tactical Police Force (TPF) of the New York City Police Department arrived to free the trapped police officers inside the Stonewall. The TPF formed a phalanx and attempted to clear the streets, and by 4:00 in the morning they were able to do so.


After the initial riots were cleared, the feeling of urgency and aggression began to spread throughout all of Greenwich Village. The riots would continue to go on for a few more days afterwards. However, the riots turned into altercations between the police and the village people, different from the open violence shown the morning of the beginning of the riots. Interestingly enough, even people who had not seen the riots at the Inn began to become a part of the aftermath. Many were emotional moved by the events and began to attend meetings in an effort to take action. Many look to the riots at Stonewall as being the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement.


The riots spawned from a bar raid became a literal example of gays and lesbians fighting back, and a symbolic call to arms for many people. Within two years of the Stonewall riots there were gay rights groups in every major American city, as well as Canada, Australia, and Western Europe. The Stonewall riots marked such a significant turning point that many aspects of prior gay and lesbian culture, such as bar culture formed from decades of shame and secrecy, were forcefully ignored and denied.

Bonnie and Clyde


Bonnie and Clyde
Bonnie Elizabeth Parker (October 1, 1910 – May 23, 1934) and Clyde Chestnut Barrow (March 24, 1909 – May 23, 1934) were American outlaws and robbers from the Dallas area who traveled the central United States with their gang during the Great Depression. At times, the gang included Buck Barrow, Blanche Barrow, Raymond Hamilton, W. D. Jones, Joe Palmer, Ralph Fults, and Henry Methvin. Their exploits captured the attention of the American public during the "public enemy era" between 1931 and 1934. Though known today for his dozen-or-so bank robberies, Barrow preferred to rob small stores or rural gas stations. The gang is believed to have killed at least nine police officers and several civilians. The couple were eventually ambushed and killed in Bienville Parish, Louisiana, by law officers.

Their reputation was revived and cemented in American pop folklore by Arthur Penn's 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde, which starred Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty as the pair.

Even during their lifetimes, the couple's depiction in the press was at considerable odds with the hardscrabble reality of their life on the road—particularly in the case of Parker. Though she was present at a hundred or more felonies during her two years as Barrow's companion, she was not the machine gun-wielding killer portrayed in the newspapers, newsreels, and pulp detective magazines of the day. Gang member W.D. Jones later testified that he was unsure whether he had ever seen her fire at officers. Parker's reputation as a cigar-smoking gun moll grew out of a playful snapshot found by police at an abandoned hideout, released to the press, and published nationwide. While she did chain smoke Camel cigarettes, she was not a cigar smoker.

First meeting

Several accounts describe Bonnie and Clyde's first meeting, but the most credible version tells that Bonnie Parker met Clyde Barrow in January 1930 at a friend's house. Parker was out of work and was staying in West Dallas to assist a female friend with a broken arm. Barrow dropped by the girl's house while Parker was in the kitchen making hot chocolate.
When they met, both were smitten immediately; most historians believe Parker joined Barrow because she was in love. She remained a loyal companion to him as they carried out their crime spree and awaited the violent deaths they viewed as inevitable.

Read more about Bonnie and Clyde here.

The gunfight at the O.K. Corral

by Eddie Deezen
Three of the five Earp brothers- Wyatt, Virgil and James, arrived in the fledgling town of Tombstone, Arizona on December 1, 1879. At the time, Tombstone was so new many of it's citizens were using tents as living quarters. (there were only a few hundred residents altogether at the time). There were a few scarce buildings, a few stray saloons, and the obligatory houses of ill repute.

The other two Earp brothers, Morgan and Warren, joined their brothers in the summer of 1880. John “Doc" Holliday, the notorious gambler and expert gunman, joined them in late September of '80.
Tombstone was a wild and wooly town in this early stage, and the Cowboys pretty much had free reign there. The Cowboys were a band of outlaws, cutthroats, horse thieves, rustlers and ne'er-do-wells. (This was the original use of the word "cowboy.” Our now familiar usage of the word, meaning a man, usually a farmer or rancher, who lived in the old west, did not come into common usage until later).

In June of 1881, Virgil Earp had been appointed Tombstone's town marshal. Wyatt was working in the post of unpaid deputy. But just previously, in April of '81, to reduce crime, Tombstone's city council had passed an ordinance prohibiting anyone from carrying a deadly weapon.

The Earps proved to be hard-nosed lawmen, getting under the skin of the reckless, defiant Cowboys. Several members of the Cowboys had been defiantly threatening the Earps, and one of their members, a loud-mouth named Ike Clanton, had especially been spouting off, saying he was going to kill the Earps. Some of the Cowboys had also been flaunting the "no guns" ordinance, wielding their six-guns.

On October 26, 1881, marshal Virgil Earp heard that several members of the Cowboys were congregating at the O.K. Corral, toting pistols and rifles, and threatening the Earps. It was at around 3:00 in the afternoon that Virgil decided he had to put a stop to the Cowboys and their defiance, once and for all. Virgil swore in brothers Wyatt and Morgan, and the three started toward the O.K. Corral, located on Fremont street.

Doc Holliday, walking with a cane, met the Earps and volunteered to accompany them. (it is unknown why Doc was using a cane that day). Wyatt asked Doc why he was volunteering and told him it wasn't his fight. Doc replied that he was surprised Wyatt could ever say that. Doc and Wyatt had been extremely close friends ever since the day Doc had reputedly saved Wyatt's life when gunmen had the drop on him. Doc was quickly sworn in as a deputy.

Virgil took Doc's cane and gave him a shotgun, which Doc concealed under his overcoat. (it was a chilly, brisk autumn day in Tombstone and all four men wore long, thick overcoats). Virgil picked up a 10 or 12-gauge shotgun for himself. He never discarded Doc's cane.

All the Earps carried pistols in their coat pockets or in their waistbands. Doc carried a hidden nickel-plated revolver himself. The four men proceeded down Fremont Street, Doc arrogantly nodding, almost grinning, to viewers.

For some unknown reason, the Cowboys had moved from the O.K. Corral to an empty lot nearby, very close to Fly's boarding house, where Doc was lodging. (The gunfight at the O.K. Corral did not actually take place in the O.K. Corral and, as a great irony, if it had, the Cowboys carrying the guns were not breaking the law, as there was no law about having a gun if you were in a corral.)

On the walk to the confront the Cowboys, Cochise County sheriff John Behan informed Virgil that he had disarmed the Cowboys. This statement was ignored and the Earps finally confronted five Cowboys at the lot.
Tombstone in 1891
 Ike and Billy Clanton, Tom and Frank McLaury, and Billy Claiborne, looked up as the Earps and Doc stood just six feet away. Two of the Cowboys' horses stood nearby. At this point, in spite of (or more aptly, because of) there being many witnesses, the events and dialogue is either reputed or disputed.

“Throw up your hands! i've come to disarm you!" Virgil said firmly. Two of the Cowboys cocked their guns, as Ike and Billy Claiborne ran away. Ike reputedly kneeled before Wyatt and begged him not to kill him.

Wyatt relied, “Either commence to fighting or get out!" Some witnesses say the two Cowboys were unarmed, some claim they had guns. Disagreement about the facts also came from the participants.

Ike and Billy Claiborne fled and two shots were fired almost immediately, although no one could agree who fired them. Wyatt Earp always claimed that Billy Clanton fired the first shot, others claimed Doc shot first. One thing is agreed upon by all participants and witnesses- 30 shots were fired in the next 30-odd seconds.

Either Frank McLaury or Billy Clanton shot Virgil in the calf. Morgan tripped over a water pipe and fired from the ground, he went down for a minute and rose up again.

Either Billy or Frank shot Morgan across the back in a wound that hit both shoulder blades and his vertebra. Doc reputedly shot Tom McLaury, threw his shotgun aside and pulled out his revolver and fired at Frank and Billy. Frank hit Doc in his pistol pocket, grazing his skin.

Wyatt Earp, true to image, stood cool as a cucumber, firing at Billy, and hitting him in his gun hand. Billy, now having to shoot using his left hand, emptied his gun.

After a half-minute, the three Cowboys lay dead, as all three Earps and Doc Holiday, although worse for the wear, remained breathing. Only Wyatt Earp came out of the melee fully unscathed. This fact added to Wyatt's eventual reputation as an invincible Superman of the Old West.
Tom McLaury, Frank McLaury, and Billy Clanton.
The upshot? Wyatt and Doc were soon arrested on charges of murder, but were eventually acquitted.

Two months later, on December 28, 1881, Virgil Earp was shot on the streets of Tombstone by hidden shooters. Although he denied involvement, Ike Clanton's hat was found at the scene. Virgil's left arm was seriously wounded. Despite losing the use of his arm, he went to California and became a town marshal until his death in 1905.

Morgan Earp was shot and killed while playing billiards with Wyatt in march of 1882. As if to feed the myth of the great and un-killable Wyatt Earp, the assailants attempted to shoot him too, but the shot at Wyatt went high, missing him completely. Wyatt promised Morgan, as he was dying, that he would get the killers.

He proceeded to go on what became known as the "vendetta ride,” where he, along with a posse of dedicated cohorts, proceeded to systematically erase a majority of the Cowboys from the face of the earth, ending their reign of lawlessness.

Billy Claiborne was killed in a gunfight in Tombstone in late 1882. Ike Clanton was caught stealing cattle and shot dead while resisting arrest in 1887. That same year, Doc Holliday died from his chronic tuberculosis, in Glenwood Springs Sanitarium.

Wyatt Earp, as would be expected, far outlived the other eight figures in "the gunfight at the O.K Corral.” Earp survived, living a happy, contented life, married to his beloved wife, actress Josephine Marcus, for 47 years. The two went on various adventures and endeavors, their finances rising and falling regularly and routinely. Wyatt finally succumbed to chronic cystitis, in January of 1929, at the ripe old age of 80.

During the two score and seven-odd years he survived after the most famous event in the history of the Old West, Wyatt Earp lived in California and hung out on various movie sets in Hollywood, chatting, visiting, and advising the actors and directors. He and a young actor spent many an afternoon chatting, Earp regaling the green thespian with his former exploits and telling him how a real lawman in the Old West should handle himself.

The young actor took Earp's advice to heart and based his characters on the time he spent jawing with Wyatt. He later made a name for himself as a Hollywood movie actor. His name was John Wayne.



The Celts

Diachronic distribution of Celtic peoples:
  core Hallstatt territory, by the 6th century BC
  maximal Celtic expansion, by 275 BC
  Lusitanian area of Iberia where Celtic presence is uncertain
  the six Celtic nations which retained significant numbers of Celtic speakers into the Early Modern period
  areas where Celtic languages remain widely spoken today

The Celts (/ˈkɛlts/, occasionally /ˈsɛlts/) or Kelts were an ethnolinguistic group of tribal societies in Iron Age and Medieval Europe who spoke Celtic languages and had a similar culture, although the relationship between the ethnic, linguistic and cultural elements remains uncertain and controversial.
The earliest archaeological culture that may justifiably be considered Proto-Celtic is the Late Bronze Age Urnfield culture of Central Europe, which flourished from around 1200 BC. Their fully Celtic descendants in central Europe were the people of the Iron Age Hallstatt culture (c. 800–450 BC) named for the rich grave finds in Hallstatt, Austria. By the later La Tène period (c. 450 BC up to the Roman conquest), this Celtic culture had expanded by diffusion or migration to the British Isles (Insular Celts), France and The Low Countries (Gauls), Bohemia, Poland and much of Central Europe, the Iberian Peninsula (Celtiberians, Celtici and Gallaeci) and northern Italy (Golaseccans and Cisalpine Gauls) and, following the Gallic invasion of the Balkans in 279 BC, as far east as central Anatolia (Galatians).
The earliest undisputed direct examples of a Celtic language are the Lepontic inscriptions, beginning in the 6th century BC. Continental Celtic languages are attested almost exclusively through inscriptions and place-names. Insular Celtic is attested beginning around the 4th century through ogham inscriptions, although it was clearly being spoken much earlier. Celtic literary tradition begins with Old Irish texts around the 8th century. Coherent texts of Early Irish literature, such as the Táin Bó Cúailnge (The Cattle Raid of Cooley), survive in 12th-century recensions.
By the mid 1st millennium AD, with the expansion of the Roman Empire and the Great Migrations (Migration Period) of Germanic peoples, Celtic culture and Insular Celtic had become restricted to Ireland, the western and northern parts of Great Britain (Wales, Scotland, and Cornwall), the Isle of Man, and Brittany. Between the 5th and 8th centuries, the Celtic-speaking communities in these Atlantic regions emerged as a reasonably cohesive cultural entity. They had a common linguistic, religious, and artistic heritage that distinguished them from the culture of the surrounding polities. By the 6th century, however, the Continental Celtic languages were no longer in wide use.
Insular Celtic culture diversified into that of the Gaels (Irish, Scottish and Manx) and the Brythonic Celts (Welsh, Cornish, and Bretons) of the medieval and modern periods. A modern "Celtic identity" was constructed as part of the Romanticist Celtic Revival in Great Britain, Ireland, and other European territories, such as Portugal and Spanish Galicia. Today, Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, and Breton are still spoken in parts of their historical territories, and Cornish and Manx are undergoing a revival.

Read more abut the Celts here.
The Wandsworth Shield-boss, in the "plastic" style, found in London

Columbus May Not Have Been First to America

 "The Departure of John and Sebastian Cabot from Bristol on their First Voyage of Discovery in 1497," as painted in 1906 by Ernest Board.


- A five-century-old document has revealed that Italian bankers were behind John Cabot's expeditions to North America.
- The explorer may have‭ ‬had‭ ‬knowledge of European expeditions to the‭ ‬New World‭ that predated Columbus's voyage.
- The document was found after historians started an investigation worthy of a Dan Brown novel.

by Rossella Lorenzi

An investigation worthy of a Dan Brown novel has shed new light on the voyages of John Cabot,‭ ‬the Italian navigator and explorer, revealing that he may have‭ ‬had‭ ‬knowledge of European expeditions to the‭ "‬New World‭"‬ that predated Christopher Columbus's 1492 voyage.
Although commonly credited with "discovering" America, Christopher Columbus would not reach the mainland of the New World until 1498, when he sailed to South America.‭
Farther north, Cabot became the first European since Leif Ericson and the Vikings to land on North American soil when he made three voyages ‬for England's Henry VII between the summers of‭ ‬1496‭ ‬and‭ ‬1498.‭ ‬The second of‭ ‬these expeditions,‭ carried‭ ‬out in‭ ‬1497,‭ ‬resulted in the European discovery of North America -- at Newfoundland‭.
Now a brief entry in a‭ ‬yellowed accounting ledger has revealed an unexpected European dimension‭ ‬to Cabot‭'‬s discovery:‭ ‬In April‭ ‬1496,‭ ‬the Italian-born explorer received financial backing from an Italian bank -- the Bardi banking house in London.
The notation -- found through some serious sleuthing of the works of Alwyn Ruddock, a deceased, secretive historian -- would also suggest that Europeans may have discovered the New World decades before both Cabot and Columbus set sail.
Found in a private Florentine archive,‭ ‬the document records that a‭ payment of‭ ‬50‭ ‬nobles sterling was made to‭ "‬Giovanni Chabotte‭" (John Cabot‭) of Venice so that‭ ‬he could undertake expeditions‭ ‬"to go and find the new land.‭"
"This brief entry opens a whole new chapter in Cabot scholarship.‭ ‬It shows that the Bristol voyages were part of a wider network of Italian-supported exploratory enterprises,"‭ ‬historian Francesco Guidi-Bruscoli,‭ ‬of the University of Florence,‭ ‬told Discovery News.
Guidi Bruscoli,‭ ‬who detailed his finding in the scholarly journal Historical Research,‭ ‬noted that the short entry referred to‭ ‬"the new land‭" ("‬il‭ ‬nuovo paese‭" ‬in the original Italian version‭)‬ and not to‭ "‬a new land‭" (‬or‭ ‬"un nuovo paese‭")‬.
"The use of the definite article‭ ('‬il‭'‬-‭ '‬the‭') ‬rather than the indefinite‭ '‬a‭' ('‬un‭' ‬in Italian‭)‬ is indeed puzzling,‭" ‬Guidi Bruscoli said.
The phrasing might imply that the money was given to Cabot so that he could find a land whose existence was already known.‭ ‬The Bardi,‭ ‬far from being disinterested patrons,‭ ‬would have had a sound economic reason to finance what would have been an almost certain discovery.
Since Cabot's royal patent only applied to lands‭ "‬unknown to Christians‭,"‬ ‬it seems unlikely that‭ "‬the new land‭" ‬referred to here was that which Columbus had found four years earlier.
As such,‭ ‬the note‭ ‬may revive claims that Bristol merchants had discovered North America at an earlier time.
"Unfortunately,‭ ‬we only have clues.‭ ‬While the entry implies that the Bardi‭ ‬believed in a prior discovery,‭ ‬we can't assume this had occurred," Guidi-Bruscoli said.
The speculation receives some support, however, from a letter written in the winter of 1497/8 by an English merchant named John Day to the "Lord Grand Admira" almost certainly Christopher Columbus.
Discovered in the 1950s, the letter discussed Cabot's recently completed 1497 voyage to Newfoundland, adding it was "considered certain" that men from Bristol had already "found and discovered in the past" the said land, "as your lordship well knows."
Even more compelling evidence appeared to have existed in the archives investigated by the late historian Alwyn Ruddock, a leading expert on the Bristol discovery voyages.
According to University of Bristol historian Evan Jones, Ruddock made finds that "promised to revolutionize our understanding of Europe's engagement with North America in the three decades after 1492."
She claimed, for instance, to have found proof in Italian and Spanish sources that Bristol merchants reached the New World sometime before 1470, and that Cabot didn't die on the 1498 expedition as widely believed, but returned to England in 1500.
"She had made some extraordinary finds, but she ordered in her will the destruction of all her research following her death," said Jones, who founded the Cabot Project research initiative.
That was done in 2005, when the fiercely secretive Ruddock died aged 89. Her unpublished work -- 78 bags of notes, letters, photographs, and microfilms -- ended up in a shredder.
Another of Ruddock's claims was that Cabot was financed by an Italian bank. Following an invitation to visit the deceased historian's house in 2010, Jones and his co-researcher, Margaret Condon, discovered the source of her information -- in the form of a sticky label on an old shoe cupboard: "The Bardi firm of London" (an Italian bank).
"The Bardi firm of London -- that was all we needed to work out the identity of the Italian banking house that Ruddock kept secret for almost half a century," Jones said.
Jones and Condon contacted Guidi-Bruscoli in Florence, who was then able to locate a brief entry in the private archive of the Guicciardini family.
"Without Ruddock's sticky label, finding that small entry would have been a rather difficult task," Guidi Bruscoli admitted.
Meanwhile, Jones and his associates continue their investigation into Ruddock's secret findings.
"I have an enormous respect for Alwyn Ruddock as a scholar. But I can't respect her decision to destroy all her work. She did what is the antithesis of everything that historical research is about -- she sought to destroy all her findings. I can't and don't accept that," Jones said.

Vikings Possibly Carried Native American to Europe

The findings add to the growing body of evidence that the Vikings reached the Americas before Christopher Columbus.


- DNA analysis reveals that four families in Iceland possess genes typically found in Native Americans or East Asians.
- Genealogical evidence revealed that these families shared a distant ancestor from the same region.
- The Vikings may have brought back a Native American woman with them after they arrived in the New World.

by Albert Sebille 

The first Native American to arrive in Europe may have been a woman brought to Iceland by the Vikings more than 1,000 years ago, a study by Spanish and Icelandic researchers suggests.
The findings boost widely-accepted theories, based on Icelandic medieval texts and a reputed Viking settlement in Newfoundland in Canada, that the Vikings reached the American continent several centuries before Christopher Columbus traveled to the "New World."
Spain's CSIC scientific research institute said genetic analysis of around 80 people from a total of four families in Iceland showed they possess a type of DNA normally only found in Native Americans or East Asians.
"It was thought at first that (the DNA) came from recently established Asian families in Iceland," CSIC researcher Carles Lalueza-Fox was quoted as saying in a statement by the institute. "But when family genealogy was studied, it was discovered that the four families were descended from ancestors who lived between 1710 and 1740 from the same region of southern Iceland."
The lineage found, named C1e, is also mitochondrial, which means that the genes were introduced into Iceland by a woman.
"As the island was virtually isolated from the 10th century, the most likely hypothesis is that these genes corresponded to an Amerindian woman who was brought from America by the Vikings around the year 1000," said Lalueza-Fox.
The researchers used data from the Rejkjavik-based genomics company deCODE Genetics.
He said the research team hopes to find more instances of the same Native American DNA in Iceland's population, starting in the same region in the south of the country near the massive Vatnajokull glacier.
The report, by scientists from the CSIC and the University of Iceland, was also published in the latest edition of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.
The journal said 75 to 80 percent of contemporary Icelanders can trace their lineage to Scandinavia and the rest to Scotland and Ireland.
But the C1e lineage is "one of a handful that was involved in the settlement of the Americas around 14,000 years ago.
"Contrary to an initial assumption that this lineage was a recent arrival (in Iceland), preliminary genealogical analyses revealed that the C1 lineage was present in the Icelandic mitochondrial DNA pool at least 300 years ago" said the journal. "This raised the intriguing possibility that the Icelandic C1 lineage could be traced to Viking voyages to the Americas that commenced in the 10th century."

Skulls reveal Mayans used spiked clubs

Nasty skull fractures are a sign Mayan armies engaged in open warfare with weapons that included spiked clubs, new research suggests.
A large concentration of skeletons with lethal injuries were found in a passageway directly to the east of this Mayapan Round Temple
The findings come from a study of skulls recovered from 13 sites, including the important Mayan capital of Mayapan, in northwest Yucatan, Mexico.
"Based on the pattern of injuries, we found evidence that clubs with points embedded in them were used [as weapons]," says first author Dr Stan Serafin, a bioarchaeologist from Central Queensland University.
The findings are published online ahead of print publication in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.
Relatively little is known about the weapons and tactics used by the ancient Maya people of northern Central America and the role violence played in the rise and fall of the civilization.
To gain insights into this question, Serafin and colleagues looked at the shape, location and frequency of injuries to 116 Mayan skulls, dating from between 600BC to 1542AD.
Serafin says the shape of the injuries - two oval-shaped indentations next to each other - suggests they were inflicted by wooden clubs embedded with stone points.
Mayan artwork depicts such weapons along with spears and bows and arrows, but this is the first evidence from cranial injuries of the clubs' existence.
Open warfare
Serafin and colleagues also found males had more fractures than females, and the fractures were concentrated on the front left of the skull.
The position of the injuries suggests they were inflicted by right-handed opponents approaching the victim from the front, says Serafin.
In their study of some related skeletal material, the researchers also found the first evidence yet of an arrowhead in a Mayan skeleton - in a right scapula.
"Based on the position and orientation of the injury it looks like the person was shot from the front," says Serafin.
While injuries on the back of female skulls provide some evidence of surprise raids, he says the findings suggest a definite preference for open warfare tactics in the region he studied.
Serafin says this fits with the terrain which is flat, dry and has little vegetation: "In this region you will see your enemies approaching."
Serafin says the only other comparable study, focusing on less open, more heavily vegetated areas, found surprise raids were the norm.
Violence and downfall
After the 'Classic' period ended in 900AD the Mayan population declined, with many of their old cities and towns becoming depopulated or abandoned completely.
While the 'Post-Classic' decline is thought to be due to many factors, violence is one factor believed to have contributed, says Serafin.
But in the region he studied, he found the frequency of skull trauma decreased during the late Classic.
"It appears warfare did not contribute to the Classic period collapse in this area."
The researchers did find violence increased in the Post-Classic period, which Serafin says is to be expected since hard times tend to breed violence.

Were you aware ...

... that  Boris Karloff played the guitar - he wasn't just Frankenstein's 'Monster' you know.
And hers a bit of historical trivia for you: Boris sang the original theme song to the 1966 cartoon version of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Xmas.

Body Scanner Tech Finds Man Hidden in Roman Art

When art researchers turned a TSA-style body scanner on a fresco, they got a surprise.

Cave Art Reveals Ancient View of Cosmos

Some of the oldest art in the United States maps humanity's place in the cosmos, as aligned with an ancient religion.

Daily Comic Relief


Random Celebrity Photos


Betty Grable
Betty Grable
Although known for her 'legs' by many a service man (on all sides) during WW2, Betty was much more.

An 11,000-Year-Old Settlement Found Under Baltic Sea

A collection of well preserved artifacts left by nomads is discovered near Sweden.

Most Ancient Port, Hieroglyphic Papyri Found

An 4,500-year-old harbor is discovered, along with ancient diaries and artifacts, on the Red Sea Coast.

The Last Commerical Sailing Ship


The Oklahoma City sonic boom tests

The Oklahoma City sonic boom tests, also known as Operation Bongo II, refer to a controversial experiment in which 1,253 sonic booms were carried out over Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, over a period of six months in 1964. The experiment, which ran from February 3 through July 29, 1964, inclusive, intended to quantify the effects of transcontinental supersonic transport (SST) aircraft on a city. The program was managed by the Federal Aviation Administration, which enlisted the aid of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the U.S. Air Force. Public opinion measurement was subcontracted to the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) of the University of Chicago.
It was not the first experiment, as tests had been done at Wallops Island, Virginia, in 1958 and 1960, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, in 1960 and 1961, and in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1961 and 1962. However, none of these tests examined sociological and economic factors in any detail. The Oklahoma City experiments were vastly larger in scope, seeking to measure the boom's effect on structures and public attitude, and to develop standards for boom prediction and insurance data.
Oklahoma City was chosen, as the region's population was perceived to be relatively tolerant for such an experiment. The city had an economic dependency on the FAA's Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center and Tinker Air Force Base, both of which were based there.

The sonic booms

Starting on February 3, 1964, the first sonic booms began, eight booms per day that began at 7 a.m. and ended in the afternoon. The noise was limited to 1.0 to 1.5 pound-force per square foot (48 to 72 pascal) for the first twelve weeks, then increased to 1.5 to 2.0 psf (72 to 96 pascal) for the final fourteen weeks. This range was about equal to that expected from an SST. Though eight booms per day were harsh, the peak overpressures of 2.0 psf were supposedly an order of magnitude lower than that needed to shatter glass, and are considered marginally irritating according to published standards. The Air Force used F-104 and B-58 aircraft, with the occasional F-101 and F-106.
Oklahomans initially took the tests in stride. This was chalked up to the booms being predictable and coming at specific times. An FAA-hired camera crew, filming a group of construction workers, were surprised to find that the booms signalled their lunch break.
However, in the first 14 weeks, 147 windows in the city's two tallest buildings, the First National Bank and Liberty National Bank, were broken. By late spring, organized civic groups were already springing into action, but were rebuffed by city politicians, who asked them to show legislators their support. An attempt to lodge an injunction against the tests was denied by district court Judge Stephen Chandler, who said that the plaintiffs could not establish that they suffered any mental or physical harm and that the tests were a vital national need. A restraining order was then sought, which brought a pause to the tests on May 13 until it was decided that the court had exceeded its authority.
Pressure mounted from within. The federal Bureau of the Budget lambasted the FAA about poor experiment design, while complaints flooded into Oklahoma Senator A. S. "Mike" Monroney's office. Finally, East Coast newspapers began to pick up the issue, turning on the national spotlight. On June 6 the Saturday Review published an article titled The Era of Supersonic Morality, which criticized the manner in which the FAA had targeted a city without consulting local government. By July, the Washington Post reported on the turmoil at the local and state level in Oklahoma. Oklahoma City council members were finally beginning to respond to citizen complaints and put pressure on Washington.
The pressure put a premature end to the tests. On July 30, the tests were over. An Oklahoma City Times headline reported: "Silence is deafening!" Zhivko D. Angeluscheff, a prominent hearing specialist serving with the National Academy of Science, recalled: "I was witness to the fact that men were executing their brethren during six long months ... with their thunder, the sonic boom, they were punishing all living creatures on earth."

The fallout

The results of the experiment, reported by NORC, were released beginning in February, 1965. The FAA was displeased by the overly academic style of the report, but stressed the positive findings, saying "the overwhelming majority felt they could learn to live with the numbers and kinds of booms experienced." Indeed, the NORC reported that 73% of subjects in the study said that they could live indefinitely with eight sonic booms per day, while 25% said that they couldn't. About 3% of the population telephoned, sued, or wrote protest letters, but Oklahoma City surgeons and hospitals filed no complaints.
However, with the city population at 500,000, that 3% figure represented 15,000 upset individuals. At least 15,452 complaints and 4,901 claims were lodged against the U.S. government, most for cracked glass and plaster. The FAA rejected 94% of all the claims it received, fueling a rising tide of anger that soared even after the experiment's conclusion. By 1965, Senator Monroney had grown extremely upset over hundreds of letters from his constituents complaining about the FAA's "cavalier manner" of dismissing claims, and began demanding frequent reports from the agency. As late as May 1966, the FAA was still attempting to respond to all of Monroney's inquiries. The SST program lost all support from Monroney, who had initially been a key supporter.
The Oklahoma City experiments were partly to blame for weakening the FAA's authority in sonic boom issues. After the tests, President Lyndon B. Johnson's presidential advisory committee transferred matters of policy from the FAA to the National Academy of Science. Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall complained that the NAS did not include one environmental preservationist, and pointed out that although the Oklahoma City tests were stacked in favor of the SST, they were still extremely negative. Indeed by 1966, national grassroots campaigns against sonic booms were beginning to affect public policy.
The FAA's poor handling of claims and its payout of only $123,000 led to a class action lawsuit against the U.S. government. On March 8, 1969, the government lost its appeal. The negative publicity associated with the tests partially influenced the 1971 cancellation of the Boeing 2707 project and led to the United States' complete withdrawal from SST design.

WWII Wreck Reveals Wartime Romance

Crewmen aboard a World War II bomber etched their lovers' names on board. But that didn't save the plane from a grim fate.
A World War II wreck retrieved from the bottom of an Italian lake has revealed a forgotten story of love during wartime.

Coming Tomorrow

Coming Tomorrow
  • The 'Genghis Khan' of Brown Bears
  • The Coolest Living Fossils
  • Eagle Hunters
  • Honeybees are NOT native to North America
And more ...
A Shark - our Animal Picture, for today.