Ice Skating on the Frozen Reflecting Pool

You can see the Lincoln Memorial behind the skaters. Washington, DC in the January of 1922.

The Moche Knew How To Make A Stirrup Bottle

Owl stirrup spout bottle by a Moche artist. Based on the heart-shaped facial disk and the absence of ear tufts, it is likely a Tyto Alba, a species of owl which lived in the desert of Peru's northern coast. Circa 100s to 200s CE.

An American Crime Journaliste

Edna Buchanan, who was born in 1939, moved from New Jersey where she was born and raised to Miami in the 1960s. She wanted to pursue a career as a journalist, and she was offered a job by a small community newspaper near the big city. Florida worked out well for Edna. Her wit and writing skills caught the notice of editors at the larger Miami Herald, and they hired her in 1973 as a crime reporter.

She loved her new job. As their police reporter, she covered thousands of violent crimes, while Miami lived through its peak as the center of the international drug trade. She is famous for grabbing the reader’s attention with the opening lines of her crime stories. When reporting on Gary Robinson, an ex-con who was shot and killed by a security guard at a Church’s Chicken restaurant, after getting violent when they ran out of fried chicken, she wrote “Gary Robinson died hungry.” With writing like that, Edna got many accolades, including the highest. In 1986, she won a Pulitzer Prize for general reporting.

She loved crime so much that even when she retired, she kept writing about it, publishing multiple mystery novels. Edna said of her job: "Nobody loves a police reporter. The job can be lonely and arduous. I have been threatened with arrest, threatened physically, had rocks thrown at me. I've gotten threatening letters, subpoenas, and obscene phone calls, some of them from my editors. It is tiring, haunting, and truly wonderful."

Earliest Cancer in Central America Identified

Archaeologists, studying the skeletal remains of a teenager in western Panama, have discovered the earliest evidence of cancer in Central America. The adolescent was between 14 and 16 years old when she died, in about 1300 CE. Although her skeleton was first found in the 1970s, it was not until recent re-analyses were done that signs of a tumor were identified on their upper right arm. Unfortunately, it was not a painless cancer. She would have experienced intermittant pain, as the sarcoma grew and expanded through her bone, until she died. Interestingly, a pediatric oncologist who examined the remains thought that the cancer was unlikely the ultimate cause of her death -- though there is no way to know for certain now.


"If you bet on a horse, that’s gambling. If you bet you can make three spades, that’s entertainment. If you bet cotton will go up three points, that’s business. See the difference?"

Blackie Sherrod (1919 - 2016), an American journalist and sportswriter

Underwater Route Between Prehistoric Cenotes Found In Mexico

Researchers from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History have discovered a route through underwater limestone caves connecting the Sac Actun cenote and the Dos Ojos cenote. Maya pottery, human bones, and the bones of elephant-like creatures, giant sloths, bears, tigers, and extinct species of horses, all likely from around the end of the last Ice Age, have been found in the tunnel-like caves. Exploring them and finding artifacts can be difficult, though: the underwater caves range in width from 400 feet to just three feet.

The United Nations passed the "Convention on the Law of the Sea" in 1994 and is now the recognized governing body in all legal matters concerning the world's oceans.

Horrific Aztec Plague Identified Using Modern DNA Analyses

DNA analyses from a mass grave, dating to the end of the Aztec Empire, shows they died of an epidemic of salmonella. Salmonella enterica Paratyphi C, a pathogen that causes enteric fever, is the likely culprit. This is the first time science has been used to identify the epidemic which the Spanish at the time called "full bloodiness." Its indigenous name was the cocoliztli epidemic. It hit regions of Mexico and Guatemala from 1545-1550, and symptoms included intense fever, pain, vomiting and bleeding from eyes and nose. The death toll is estimated to be between 5 and 15 million Native Americans -- that's up to 80% of a population which had no resistance to this, or a host of other diseases, which had suddenly arrived on their continent.

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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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