The first minimum wage law in the United States was passed under Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1938, setting the wage at 25 cents per hour. That's about $4.45 in 2019 money.

The Long Relationship Between Apples And Animals

Apple trees reproduce poorly when apples that fall from the tree are left to rot where they fell. Even when those do grow up, the second-generation trees grow poorly when too close to their parents. Apple trees in the wild therefore rely on animals -- such as humans -- to disperse their apples and so disperse their offspring. The fossil record suggests that apple trees developed across Europe and Asia as early as 11.6 million years ago. Animals (and eventually hominins) have been using apples for their easy source of nutrients ever since. The earliest evidence of hominins eating apples comes from a Neolithic site in Switzerland dating to 3160 BCE. And the first evidence of apple seeds around hominins, suggesting active domestication, comes from the first millenium BCE at a village site in Kazakhstan.

Although the Mamluks were famously slave-soldiers who took over Egypt, you might not know they actually remained "slaves" even after seizing power. Slaves were taken, then raised in state barracks and trained according to their aptitude (soldiers, bureaucrats, administrators). Those positions were not available to the general public, as the state-raised slaves were seen as having no loyalty to their families, only the state. They were legally emancipated upon reaching the age of majority.

This is the world's oldest surviving string! It dates to about 50,000 years ago, and was made by Neanderthals living in what is now southern France.

This made me smile, but I could not find much about the photograph. If anyone has information about the date, or these ladies, please get in touch!

The smallest known whale to have ever lived, the Dwarf Sperm Whale, is not much larger than a person and is considered a little-understood species. This is despite having a range that includes all of the earth's oceans.

A Medieval London Theater Uncovered

A Shakespeare-era theater, the Boar's Head Playhouse, has long been known from historical documents but was only recently re-discovered thanks to a construction project in London's Whitechapel neighborhood. Originally an inn, the Boar's Head was converted to a theater in 1598. But open-air performances had been held there since at least 1557, according to surviving records, when a play performed there, "A Sack Full of News," got banned by the Lord Mayor of London for its "lewd" content.

Three String Vase, or, "The Peach Bloom Vase"

Underneath this vase's glassy surface, you can detect subtle modulations in color from dull pink to red to grayish green. Although seemingly just one color, the vase really suggests an infinite variety of color variations. In Chinese, the color is sometimes called kidney-bean red. The vase's shape is that of a "three-string vase" (after the rings on the neck). This particular example was part of a set of eight vessels intended to adorn a scholar's home. A standard set included flower vases of different shapes, together with vessels used for washing brushes and holding red seal-paste. It is an adaptation and refinement on Song Dynasty ware, probably dating to the early Qing Dynasty (1710 - 1722).

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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!

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