In the 1700s, Whalers Avoided Hawai’i for an Odd Reason
Honolulu was such an alluring port that many strong-minded captains refused to touch there, for desertions of nearly half a ship’s complement were not uncommon. In time the problem became so acute that ship owners banded together and paid head money to native gangs for each deserter hauled in from the hills or lush valleys, but some wise Yankee skippers avoided the whole problem by cruising back and forth in sight of land and sending ashore only longboats manned by trusted officers, who accumulated the required provisions and rowed back to their reluctant ships. Occasionally, of course, even such special crews deserted.
Michener, James A., et al. “The Globe Mutineers.” Rascals in Paradise. The Dial Press, 2016. 15, 16. Print.
Podcast Episode Recommendation on the Industrial Revolution
Hey all! I recently listened to a great podcast episode and thought I would share it with you all. History Extra, run by the BBC History Magazine, is a long-standing podcast of excellent quality. With the pandemic they started an "Everything you ever wanted to know" series on topics ranging from the Aztec Empire to the Renaissance. While the whole series is worth a listen, this post will highlight just one, The Industrial Revolution: Everything you wanted to know. Check it out here.
The Wanggongchang Explosion was a mysterious explosion in Beijing, China, on May 30, 1626. It is reported to have killed 20,000 people. The exact cause of the explosion is unclear: while the epicenter was a major production center of gunpowder, what set the gunpowder explosion off remains debated, with the two main theories being negligence or a meteor exploding mid-air at low/medium altitude while entering the Earth's atmosphere.
Women's navels were banned on American TV from 1951 to 1983. Every episode of ever TV show was checked for compliance with the United States Code of Practices for Television Broadcasters -- including for whether a female-appearing navel was ever visible.
A French Prisoner in Norman Cross Barracks, had recourse to the following stratagem to obtain his liberty:–He made himself a complete uniform of the Hertfordshire Militia, and a wooden gun, stained, surmounted by a tin bayonet. Thus equipped, he mixed with the guard, (consisting of men from the Hertford Regiment,) and when they were ordered to march out, having been relieved, Monsieur fell in and marched out too. Thus far he was fortunate, but when arrived at the guard-room, lo! what befel him. His new comrades ranged their muskets on the rack, and he endeavoured to follow their example; but as his wooden piece was unfortunately a few inches too long, he was unable to place it properly. This was observed, and the unfortunate captive obliged to forego the hopes of that liberty for which he had so anxiously and so ingeniously laboured.
The Soldier’s Companion; or, Martial Recorder, 1824. The Norman Cross Prison in England was the first-known prison built specifically for prisoners of war. It was built in 1796-97 to hold prisoners of war from France and its allies during the French Revolutionary Wars and the later Napoleonic Wars.
Not just any general, either, but the hero of the American Revolution: George Washington. He likely used this particular bed when he traveled from his Newburgh, New York, headquarters in July 1783 -- as the war was winding down -- to tour upstate New York and the military installations located there.
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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!