history
Archived sector
In the wake of the economic crash, which has led to soaring budget deficits, Democrats and Republicans are negotiating “to move forward to trillions of spending cuts,” as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said recently. A report from House Speaker John Boehner’s office called for “eliminating [government] agencies and programs” and “reducing transfer payments to households.” These changes would result in unprecedented reductions in the size of the welfare state and the American social compact as it developed over the last century.  
 
Lost in this debate is an appreciation of the historical origins of the American welfare state — long before FDR and the New Deal, after another epochal financial crash.
History Cookbook
Do you know what the Vikings ate for dinner? What a typical meal of a wealthy family in Roman Britain consisted of, or what food was like in a Victorian Workhouse? Why not drop into history cookbook and find out? This project looks at the food of the past and how this influenced the health of the people living in each time period. You can also try some of the recipes for yourself. We have a wide range of historical recipes from Brown Bread Ice Cream to Gruel (Why not see if you would be asking for more - just like Oliver Twist).
OK, so "Good Times Roll" actually is 32 years old, and "Jack & Diane" is almost 29, but still … oldies?  
 
Oldies are the Chiffons, the Shirelles, the Marvelettes. They're Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bill Haley & His Comets. They're the Four Seasons, the Four Tops, the "5" Royales.  
 
Are they really also Bryan Adams?
World War II:
German Saboteurs Infiltration of America - British Intelligence MI5 Files  
 
93 pages of British Security Service MI5 files copied from material held at the British National Archives, covering the infiltration of the United States during World War II by German saboteurs. Because of the practice of British secrecy involving security matters, these files were not released to the public until April 2011.  
 
On June 13, and June 17, 1942 two groups of German sabotage agents landed on Long Island and Florida as part of a German Abwehr operation. Operation Pastorius was the codename for the failed operation. The mission was named by Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, the chief of Abwehr, the German military intelligence organization. Canaris named the mission after Francis Daniel Pastorius, who was the leader of the first organized settlement of Germans in America.  
 
The files consist of a 1943 report written by British agent Victor Rothschild who was sent to United States to be briefed on the incident. The report covers the sabotage mission's objectives; The German personnel sent on the mission; Information about the training the German agents received at sabotage school; and the equipment to be used during the operation.
Someone has been making noises about starting a real discussion about Roman sexual mores. This is so not intended to replace that discussion, because it is silly. I hope there will be a less tongue-in-cheek discussion as well!  
 
Anyway, I made a flowchart indicating acceptable sex acts for male Roman citizens (as distinct from women, slaves, freed men, or provincials, all of which had different rules). Then I made an oversimplified chart because I am silly.  
The big chart is actually 3 images because of Photobucket's limitations, and it's BIG. I couldn't make it smaller without making it illegible.
The purpose of the Hisatlas is to illustrate the concept of the political boundary with a comprehensive selection of political and historical maps from 1789, and occasionally from earlier dates, to the present day. The maps are clearly organized by region and dates. Most of them are in Spanish but this should not pose an obstacle to those used to reading maps.  
 
A thorough understanding of frontier politics may be obtained through a careful review of frontier changes through time. I have prepared 220 political maps - some of which may subdivided or merged with others - and recorded some 3,000 historical dates pertaining to close to 1,000 political units.
Research led by economists at the University of Warwick reveals that medieval England was not only far more prosperous than previously believed, it also actually boasted an average income that would be more than double the average per capita income of the world's poorest nations today.
"By 2030, the global middle class is widely projected to at least double in size to as many as 5 billion – a surge unseen since the Industrial Revolution. This boom, however, is more global, more rapid, and is likely to have a far different – and perhaps far greater – impact in terms of global power, economics, and environment, say economists and sociologists."
These colour lithographs were originally made in 1850 at the request of Walter S. Sherwill, an army officer who served as a British “boundary commissioner” in Bengal. According to Ptak Science Books, these particular reproductions were taken from an article exploring the economic and infrastructural marvels of the Indian opium trade in an 1882 supplement to Scientific American.  
 
They show the main opium receiving, production, and distribution center of the East India Company in Patna, a town in the north-western Bihar province of India. From these vast mixing rooms and examining halls, the Company claimed to produce roughly 13,000,000 pounds of opium annually, which was then shipped down the Ganges to Calcutta, and from there to China.
This (long) article is adapted from “1861: The Civil War Awakening,” by Adam Goodheart, published by Knopf this month.  
Mr. Goodheart is the author of “1861: The Civil War Awakening,” from which his article in this issue is adapted.  
He is director of Washington College’s C. V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, and contributes frequently to The Times’s online Civil War series, “Disunion.”
Iran Before the Chador
By now, hopefully, we all know something about the Iranian Revolution (and America’s lamentable role in it), whether we learned about it at school or in the pages of Persepolis. Still, it’s difficult to grasp the extent of the Ayatollah Khomeini regime’s impact on secular society without having a sense of what Iran was like in the years immediately preceding the revolution. That is precisely why the images from R&R Gallery‘s Before the Chador, a show curated by LA-based rapper Malkovich Music and comprised of 30 photos of an Iranian family before the conflict, feel so rare, valuable, and ultimately bittersweet. In one shot set at the beach, a bathing beauty leans against a classic ’60s car; in another, the entire clan clusters around the hookah at an evening gathering. One question lingers: What happened to this family after the revolution?
As labor unions battle to retain collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin, Ohio and other states, they are marking the centennial of a tragic factory fire that started the movement that first won those rights.  
 
A scene of surreal horror engulfed the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in Manhattan 100 years ago on March 25, 1911 during a disaster that ultimately would lead to better and safer conditions for all working people in the United States...
 
 
Related LF post
The Duffy's Cut Project
In June, 1832, a group of 57 Irish immigrants from Donegal, Tyrone, and Derry arrived in Philadelphia. They were brought to Chester County by a fellow Irishman named Philip Duffy as laborers for the construction of the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad, Pennsylvania’s pioneering railroad. Within six weeks, all were dead of cholera and possibly violence, and were buried anonymously in a ditch outside of Malvern.  
 
The Duffy’s Cut Project is an ongoing archival and archaeological search into their lives and deaths and seeks to provide insight into early 19th Century attitudes about industry, immigration, and disease in Pennsylvania...  
 
Related LF post
Throughout our history, most civilizations have either met a slow demise or were wiped out by sudden natural disasters or invasion. But there are a few societies whose disappearance has scholars truly stumped:
Das Capitalist
In the "Overture" to his grandly symphonic The Enlightenment: An Interpretation, Peter Gay describes the "international type" of the philosophe as a "facile, articulate, doctrinaire, sociable, secular man of letters." On this definition, was Adam Smith a philosophe?  
 
Yes and no. Unlike his French counterparts and even his bosom friend David Hume, he led a retired life, much of it in the small Scottish town where he was born, and he lived with his mother until she died at a very advanced age. He was shy, destroyed most of his letters, and did not seem to relish giving brilliant performances, either in print or in conversation. He never fell afoul of civil or religious authority, had no mistresses, and engaged in no public quarrels.  
 
(A semi-public one, though. Shortly after Hume’s death, Smith met Samuel Johnson at a party. Johnson spoke slightingly of Hume, Smith defended him, and their exchanges grew increasingly heated until Johnson exclaimed, "Sir, you lie!" To which Smith retorted, "Sir, you are the son of a whore!"and stalked out.)  
 
(...) Everyone knows, of course, what Adam Smith stood for: free trade, the division of labor, the minimal state, the invisible hand, the illimitable growth of wants and needs. "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest." "Every individual … intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention." "Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism, but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice; all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things." Case closed.  
 
What everyone knows is seldom altogether wrong; but often it is not altogether right, either.