African-American migrants from Florida resting in Shawboro, North Carolina on their way to Cranberry, New Jersey. July, 1940

This family is considered part of the second wave of the Great Migration, as African-Americans left the American South for economic opportunities and greater social freedoms in the American North and West. Photographed by Jack Delano.

WW1 Fun Fact of the Day

On the opening day of the Battle of the Somme, July 1st 1916, about 58,000 British soldiers were wounded or killed. On that same day, the US army had less than 58,000 soldiers.

The Cherokee May Soon Get Back Half Of Oklahoma Thanks To The Supreme Court

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.

Goldworking Is Ancient Technology In The Americas

Gold was probably the first metal to be exploited in the Andes, by the end of the 2nd millennium BCE. From there, the archaeological record suggests goldworking then traveled north, reaching Central America in the first centuries CE, and Mexico by about 1000 CE.

This particular necklace is from the Chavin Civilization, which developed in the northern Andean highlands of Peru from about 900 BCE to about 200 BCE. That sounds old, but relatively speaking, that is not old at all. Gold had already been mined and worked in the Andes for a thousand years when the Chavin arrived on the scene.

Two Gentlemen in a Biplane over the Los Angeles Beach, May 1911

Or...are they? This is actually a faked picture! Notice how no one on the beach are looking at the plane flying just above them. The gentlemen are also slightly too large compared to the people on the beach, and they do not have a motorway to take off from.

How A Major Canadian University in Ontario Connects To Chengdu, In Western China

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.”

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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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