In the US, Women Could Vote Before They Could Serve On Juries

In 1898, Utah became the first state to allow women to serve on juries. In 1921, the 19th amendment guaranteed women's right to vote in all states. It said nothing about women's right to take part in other civic duties, such as serving in the military or on juries, and left it up to individual states to decide. Many states were still uncertain as to women's fitness to decide court cases. So in 1927, only 19 states allowed women to be on juries. The Civil Rights Act of 1957 gave women the right to serve on federal juries, and it was not until 1973 that all 50 states allowed women onto their juries.

Canada's third most-spoken language was once Canadian Gaelic -- about 200,000 Canadians could speak it at the language's peak. Canadian Gaelic declined after 1850 and today there are less than 1,000 speakers.

Aztec Steambath Uncovered In Mexico City

Archaeologists in Mexico City have uncovered a pre-Hispanic steambath dating back to the 1300s. Called a temazcal in the indigenous Nahuatl language, it was fueled by natural hot springs underneath the area. It included a tub (basically a pool of water) and a bench for sitting. The structure was made from blocks of adobe and stucco-coated volcanic rock known as tezontle, which formed the tub, the bench, and a domed covering.

Importantly, the discovery of this temazcal confirms the location of Temazcaltitlan, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Tenochtitlán, the Mexica capital that eventually became Mexico City. There is a written account by a Nahuatl nobleman of a temazcal being built in Tenochtitlan that was built to bathe and purify a noble Mixiuhca girl named Quetzalmoyahuatzi, and how other townspeople were also welcome to partake in the steambath. This archaeological find confirms the written account. In their excavations at the site, archaeologists also found evidence of a post-colonial house that was inhabited by an indigenous family of noble descent, as well as the remnants of a tannery that was in operation during the 1700s.

Brits And Americans Can’t Communicate?

...if they’re deaf. British Sign Language and American Sign Language are different languages, and are not mutually intelligible. American Sign Language is distantly related to French Sign Language, as an American pastor and major contributor to American Sign Language got training from the National French Institute for the Deaf after the British deaf schools refused to share their teaching methods. British Sign Language evolved independently from deaf communicators. Evidence of sign language in England dates back to 1576 when the Marriage Register of St Martin's, Leicester described the vows signed by Thomas Tillsye.

Who Was The First Person To Reach The North Pole?

American Frederick Cook claimed to have reached the North Pole in 1908. American Robert Peary claimed to have done so the next year. Cook’s account was widely declared unproven in 1909, and Peary became the celebrated adventurer who conquered the North Pole. But recent analyses of Peary's journal suggest he did not actually make it.

Which means that in 1948, the Soviets became the first (confirmed) humans to reach the North Pole when they airlifted a team in.

Up to 5% of the world's population died due to the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 - 1920. In comparison, World War I killed about 2% and took 4 years to do so.

The Neo-Incan State You've Never Heard Of

The last (widely accepted) Incan emperor retreated to the highland jungles of the once-large empire, and built a new capital called Willkapampa. It remained the remote capital of a much-smaller Incan state from 1539 to 1572. After decades of continuous guerilla fighting and four rulers, Willkapampa was conquered by a Spanish army. The last Incan leader Túpac Amaru was pursued, captured, and beheaded in Cuzco's central square.

The remains of Willkapampa has never been conclusively identified.

NY State Museum Transfers Ownership of Leader's Pipe Tomahawk to Seneca Nation of Indians

For a little good news: the New York State Museum has officially transferred ownership of a pipe tomahawk to the Seneca Nation. It was given by President George Washington to the respected Seneca leader and diplomat Cornplanter, at one of several meetings between United States and Iroquois Confederacy leaders in the years 1792 to 1794.

The pipe tomahawk eventually entered the New York State Museum’s collection in 1851 as a gift from Seneca diplomat Ely Parker. Sometime between 1947 and 1950 the object went missing -- and showed up in private collections. It moved around owners for nearly 70 years until an anonymous donor returned the pipe tomahawk to the State Museum in June 2018. And now the museum is returning it to the original gift recipient.

Fishermen in Argentina's Greater Buenos Aires region keep making an unusual catch: prehistoric shells of armadillo ancestors. In October of 2019, a group of fishermen found a mostly intact shell which has been dated to over 10,000 years old. On Christmas Day of 2015, Jose Antonio Nievas found a shell in mud by a stream in his farm.

Both turned out to be glyptodonts' shells. Glyptodonts were not a single species, but an animal genus containing seven known species, among them the ancestors of modern armadillos. Glyptodonts had large, heavy shells and armored tails which they could use as clubs. They emerged in South America no earlier than 35 million years ago, and went extinct around the end of the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago. Whether or not their extinction was related to humans’ arrival on the continent around the same time... well, that’s still up for debate.

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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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