This is a beautiful, large monkeypod, with a distinctive umbrella-shaped canopy, growing in the middle of a grassy area in the middle of the Moanalua Gardens on Hawaii's Oahu island. The Moanalua Gardens are the childhood home of King Kamehameha V (ruled 1863 - 1872). Today, the gardens are home to a number of historic structures, such as the King’s cottage, a temple, a koi pond and many rare plants and trees. The Moanalua Gardens charge visitors a modest entrance fee which goes towards maintenance. But most of the garden's costs are paid for by the Japanese Hitachi corporation. Because of that beautiful monkeypod tree.
Since 1973, Hitachi Corporation has been using images and footage of this tree—now known as “Hitachi Tree”—as their corporate symbol. According to their website, the tree symbolizes the “comprehensive drive” and the “wide business range” of the Hitachi Group.
A murder case from 2004 has ended up in the US Supreme Court. And with it, the fate of Oklahoma, which may have to return a significant amount of the state to the sovereign Cherokee Nation. Read more.
When the Chiricahua Apaches of what is today southern Arizona went on a raiding party, they adopted a special speech. One informant told anthropologists Morris Edward Opler and Harry Hoijer:
I used to know many words, but I have forgotten just about all of them. Only one sticks in my mind, and that is the ceremonial way of asking for a drink of water. Instead of saying, ‘I want to drink some water,’ we had to say, ‘I begin to swim the specular iron ore.’
This formal, alternative way of talking had to be maintained as long as the raiding party was away from home. As soon as they were back in camp, they could switch to everyday language.
This newspaper report is false. In 1844, British general Sir Charles Napier was criticized in Parliament for his ruthless campaign to take the Indian province of Sind. On hearing this, 16-year-old schoolgirl Catherine Winkworth “remarked to her teacher that Napier’s despatch to the Governor General of India, after capturing Sind, should have been Peccavi (Latin for ‘I have sinned’).” She sent this immortal pun to Punch, which unfortunately printed it as a factual report.
From an Ottoman Empire atlas published in 1803. Notice how the island of Tasmania is part of the mainland -- Australia had been added to western maps for only a few decades at this point.
Queens University in Kingston, Ontario was founded in 1841 by a royal charter from Queen Victoria. Although initially founded to prepare Presbyterian ministers, it quickly added a medical college, and even a women's medical college in 1883. Near the turn of the century one Dr. Omar Leslie Kilborn graduated with both his bachelor’s and his MD from Queens University. And in 1891, he left Canada for western China as a medical missionary. Dr. Kilborn's goal was to open a series of clinics in the region in order to make healthcare more widely available to the people there. His first clinic opened its doors on November 3, 1892, and he went on to open a number of other clinics and hospitals, including a women's hospital and a dentistry clinic. He also helped establish the Medical College of West China University so local clinics and hospitals might be staffed by locals. Today, a number of hospitals in Chengdu trace their history to Dr. Kilborn.
The title is mostly true! Back in the day, there were no national or even state-wide requirements for what a doctor had to know. So many were barely literate, learning their profession like apprentices more than students. When, in the 1870s, the new Harvard president wanted to have written exams before MDs were given their degrees, the faculty at Harvard protested!
Professor of Surgery Henry Bigelow, the most powerful faculty member, protested to the Harvard Board of Overseers, “[Eliot] actually proposes to have written examinations for the degree of doctor of medicine. I had to tell him that he knew nothing about the quality of the Harvard medical students. More than half of them can barely write. Of course they can’t pass written examinations… No medical school has thought it proper to risk large existing classes and large receipts by introducing more rigorous standards.”
The area today called Back Bay was once, in fact, a bay. It was filled between 1857 and 1900.
Sam Houston -- the guy they named Houston, Texas, after -- was deposed as governor of Texas by the legislature in 1861. Why? He refused to support the Confederacy, which the legislature wanted to join. Sam Houston said “you may win Southern independence if God be not against you, but I doubt it.”
A slightly less modern-friendly fact: Sam Houston was perfectly happy to have Texas secede from the union, but after they did so, he declared Texas was once again an independent republic. It was merely the joining of the Confederate States of America that he opposed, not secession. He was deposed after refusing to swear allegiance to the Confederacy.
Belle Gunness was a Norwegian-American serial killer who vanished from her farm in Indiana on April 28, 1908, after having killed as many as 40 people. Belle had a simple pattern: she would start pen-pal relationships with men, who responded to her personal advertisements for investors looking for possible relationships. She corresponded with her victims for a number of months, and would then convince them to visit, bringing with them their life savings in cash while telling no one where they were going. A number of men, most of them homesick for their native Norway, would turn up at her door with a $1,000 or more wrapped in paper parcels, after which they would never be seen in one piece again.
Belle was believed at one time to have died in a fire at her home, where the remains of three charred bodies, thought to be her children, and an equally burned female torso were found. Belle’s sometime boyfriend, Ray Lamphere, was arrested and questioned and charged with arson. However, when police began to excavate the farmhouse, they found a number of bodies, and body parts, that clearly had nothing to do with him. It was later believed that the headless torso was not that of Gunness at all but rather her housekeeper. Who had just happened to disappear around the time of the fire. Another piece of evidence that she was not dead: Gunness had withdrawn large amounts of money from the bank immediately prior to the fire. Lamphere is said to have confessed before his death that he helped Gunness to set the fire, and drove her to the train station to make good her escape. There were many sightings over the years, but Gunness' whereabouts -- alive or dead -- have never been determined.