The Surprising Second Marriage of Jackie Kennedy

On October 20th, 1968, Jacqueline Kennedy married long-time friend and Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis. The world was astonished: though JFK had been dead 5 years, but Onassis was 62 and Jackie was 39. Robert Kennedy had also just been assassinated four months prior. Perhaps the recent bereavement contributed, though. Jackie had been quoted as saying "If they're killing Kennedys, then my children are targets ... I want to get out of this country." Onassis could provide the security and privacy Jackie wanted for her children and herself.

History Records Beauty Standards Were Once Much More Diverse

While people talk about modern beauty standards being artificial and western, it can be easy to not understand the true diversity of beauty standards across time and across history.

For instance, the ancient Maya thought being cross-eyed was highly desirable. Parents would hang an object between their infant's eyes hoping to induce permanent cross-eyes. In Iran until modern times, women were more desirable if they had unibrows and mustaches and many used darkening products to achieve them.

No matter what you look like, there was probably a time and a place when you were the height of attractiveness. Think about that the next time you look in a mirror!

Did You Know There Are Multiple Proposed "Flag for Earth" Designs?

Here are some suggestions for a flag to represent all of Earth and everyone on it. Click through the image gallery to see them all

Seasonal Shellfish Is Millennias Old

Oyster eaters have been avoiding the shellfish during the summer months — and so lowering their risk of food poisoning — for at least 4,000 years. That’s the major finding of a new study examining remains of the Boonea impressa, a parasitic snail that latches onto oyster shells, in a 230-foot shell ring built by the inhabitants of St. Catherine’s Island off the coast of Georgia.

The snail has a predictable 12-month life cycle, and so by measuring the length of its shell, the scientists were able to estimate when its oyster host had been harvested by humans. Based on the size of the snail shells on the oyster shells in the ring, oyster harvest was limited to the late fall, winter, and spring. This avoids not only the summer months, but the time when southeastern oysters spawned as well. In other words humans knew how to ensure they would have food for next year.

Mayan Human Sacrifices Were From All Over

The Maya at Chichen Itza were known to practice human sacrifice a thousand years ago. Who they were sacrificing, though, has long been a mystery. A recent isotope analysis of tooth enamel from sacrificial victims thrown into the city’s Sacred Cenote shows that there was some variety in who was sacrificed. Some grew up locally, while others hailed from the Gulf Coast, the Central Highlands, and as far away as Central America.

How the mix of individuals were chosen, and how those from further away ended up in Chichen Itza, remains unknown -- there is always something more to investigate!

Study Shows Genetic Uniqueness of Inuit Sled Dogs

New genetic research now suggests that when the ancient Inuits migrated from Siberia to North America they brought their dogs with them. Considered one of the toughest and strongest breeds, this ancient Siberian canine was so indispensable, the genetic research shows the Inuits used them exclusively. They did not even interbreed with the new dogs they found in North America. The new study showed that over 4,500 years, Inuit new dogs were and remained genetically distinct and physically different from the dogs who arrived earlier in North America.

Where the humans went they brought their dogs, so Inuit dogs rapidly dominated and spread eastward in the North American Arctic alongside their humans' migration. Because the Inuit remained faithful to their sled dogs, the pre-existing native dogs were almost completely replaced.

This genetic distinction has been maintained through today, too. The study compared 922 Arctic dogs and wolves who lived over 4,500 years. Modern sled dogs, according to their genomes, are some of the last direct descendants of the breed the Inuit brought with them from Siberia.

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    HISTORICAL NON-FICTION

    By Lillian Audette

    This blog is a collection of the interesting, the weird, and sometimes the need-to-know about history, culled from around the internet. It has pictures, it has quotes, it occasionally has my own opinions on things. If you want to know more about anything posted, follow the link at the "source" on the bottom of each post. And if you really like my work, buy me a coffee or become a patron!

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