Genealogy Blog

13 February 2015

First-Known Footage Found of 1915 Chicago Boating Tragedy that Killed 844 Passengers

Almost a century on, footage has surfaced of a freak boating disaster that killed 844 people traveling to a company picnic in Chicago.

On the morning of July 24, 1915 the SS Eastland capsized while it was still docked in around 20ft of water. Many of the victims were children and teenagers, who drowned while wearing their Sunday best. Two newly-discovered grainy black and white clips of the incident show workers trying to right the luxury vessel, with survivors huddled together shivering in blankets.

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Richard III Killed by Sword Thrust Upwards Into Neck

King Richard III was killed by a sword thrust from the base of the neck all the way up into his head, according to researchers at the University of Leicester who have located a major injury in the interior surface of the skull.

Guy Rutty of East Midlands Forensic Pathology Unit, based at the University of Leicester, spotted the fatal wound while examining the skull of the last Plantagenet king.

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12 February 2015

Urban Explorer Who Ventured Into Derelict Home To Take Eerie Photographs Finds $7,000... and Then Tracks Down the Owner To Hand It Over

A photographer who went into an abandoned house to take pictures of its antiques found almost $7,000 in bundles of cash - and was then able to reunite it with its rightful owners after tracking them down.

The man only known as Dave, of Freaktography came across the derelict property in Ontaria, Canada after being tipped off by a friend and was desperate to go inside and capture images.

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16th Century Silver Extraction Pollution Found in Peruvian Ice Cap

In the 16th century, during its conquest of South America, the Spanish Empire forced countless Incas to work extracting silver from the mountaintop mines of Potosí, in what is now Bolivia—then the largest source of silver in the world.

The Inca already knew how to refine silver, but in 1572 the Spanish introduced a new technology that boosted production many times over and sent thick clouds of lead dust rising over the Andes for the first time in history.

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German Crew’s Rotterdam WWII Destruction Film Discovered

The German Federal Archive has found video images of the destruction of Rotterdam and Middelburg which was filmed by a German film crew in August 1940, a few months after the bombing, NOS reports.

Rotterdam was the first city to be redesigned after the total destruction the bombing caused and German planners were very interested in the process. Shortly after the bombing the German government architect Otto traveled to Rotterdam to discuss the plans with mayor Oud and city architect Witteveen.

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9 February 2015

Forgotten Edition of Magna Carta Found in Kent Council Archive

An edition of the Magna Carta, which is estimated to be worth up to £10 million despite severe damage, has been found after it lay forgotten in a council’s archives.

The document – that established the principle of the rule of law and protection of civil liberties in 1215 was found in the files of the history department of Kent County Council. The charter, which was originally drafted by the then-Archbishop of Canterbury and agreed by King John of England to make peace with rebel barons, was kept in archives in Maidstone but belongs to the seaside town of Sandwich.

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3 February 2015

Civil War Mural, Obscured for Decades, Resurfaces on a Shelf

A historic Civil War mural that bounced, mislabeled, from museum to museum for several decades has emerged from storage, its identity reclaimed. But because of its size, its owners are still pondering where it can be displayed.

From 1887 to 1958, “The Battle of Resaca,” a 5-feet-by-12-feet oil-on-canvas mural by the Civil War artist James Walker, hung in an imposing brick and granite edifice on the Upper West Side.

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30 January 2015

Earliest Dated Building in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, Revealed

An excavation carried out in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, has brought to light part of a building that is thought to have burned down during the Cahir O’Doherty rising of 1608, whose lands had been confiscated for colonization during the reign of King James I. The structure pre-dates the walled city.

The building, only a very small part of which has survived, had stone foundations and a cellar above which the upper floors were constructed of timber.

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Cervantes Searchers Find Casket With His Initials

Experts searching for the remains of Miguel de Cervantes said Monday that they found wooden fragments of a casket bearing the initials "M.C." with bones in and around them in a crypt underneath the chapel of a cloistered convent in Madrid.

The "Don Quixote" author was buried in 1616 at Convent of the Barefoot Trinitarians in Madrid's historic Barrio de las Letras, or Literary Quarter. But the exact whereabouts of his grave within the convent chapel were unknown.

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27 January 2015

More Union Writing Discovered at Brandy Station's Graffiti House in Virginia

A conservator working this week at the historic Graffiti House in Brandy Station has for the first time uncovered Civil War-era writing on the ground floor of the structure.

The newest uncovered writing appears to be from Union soldiers, apparently during the period the house was used as part of the headquarters of Union Gen. Henry Prince, said Foundation President Jim McKinney.

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25 January 2015

First World War Officer's Time Capsule Found Tucked Away in Storage at School History Department

The immaculate uniform, trench maps and belongings of a First World War officer have been discovered in his 'time capsule' trunk nearly 100 years after they were last folded away.

The set of items includes the neatly folded uniform of Lieutenant Howard Hands, his officer's cap, belts, cigarette case, photographs, newspapers and even his bedpan. His own trench maps showing a network of secret tunnels and mine galleries that ran under enemy positions on the Western Front were also found in the stash.

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22 January 2015

15th-Century Irish Town Found Near Medieval Castle

The medieval Dunluce Castle, located on the craggy rocks of Northern Ireland's coast, is neighbors with a mysterious stone settlement, according to a recent excavation.

The castle dates back to the 15th century, and once housed the powerful MacQuillan family, which controlled a large amount of territory in Northern Ireland. On a recent dig, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency planned to uncover part of the lost 17th century town of Dunluce near the castle.

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15 January 2015

132-Year-Old Rifle Found Leaning on Tree in Nevada Park

A 132-year-old rifle was the last thing Great Basin National Park officials were expecting to wander across.

There are still a lot of questions around the discovery of a Winchester Model 1873 Rifle recovered by Great Basin National Park archaeologists in November 2014. The rifle had been "exposed to the sun, wind, snow and rain" and was found leaning against a tree in the park.

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8 January 2015

1795 Time Capsule Opened, Centuries After Revere and Adams Buried It

More than 200 years after Samuel Adams and Paul Revere first buried it in Boston, it took an hour to remove all the objects crammed inside a tiny time capsule.

Onlookers anxiously watched the unveiling Tuesday, worrying the items might not have weathered the years very well.

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16 December 2014

Newspapers of Turkish WWI Prisoners Tell Their Own Story

It has been recently discovered that there have been dozens of newspaper printed to distribute to Ottoman soldiers that were captured prisoners in the First World War to keep up their morale.

The soldiers, named Mehmetcik in Turkish were held captive in the camps of Egypt published magazines like Nilufer, Ocak, Hilal, Turk Varligi and Light, which were among 23 different newspapers, and those held in camps in Russia, India, Tatarstan and Siberia published newspapers such as “Puskullu Bela, Kopuk, Niyet, Altay, Ne Munasebet” with a few others bringing the newspaper count to 10.

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