<![CDATA[Ranker: Recent Politics & History Lists]]> http://www.ranker.com/list-of//politics--and--history?source=rss http://www.ranker.com/img/skin2/logo.gif Most Viewed Lists on Ranker http://www.ranker.com/list-of//politics--and--history?source=rss <![CDATA[The Bride Ships Of 1619, Colonial America's Transatlantic Buses To Opportunity]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/jamestown-brides-facts/cheryl-adams-richkoff?source=rss

Jamestown, Virginia, arose as the first permanent English settlement in the New World, largely thanks to the strength and resilience of the Jamestown colony brides. The initial group of settlers, all male, arrived and built James Fort in 1607, a private, corporate adventure. Much opportunity, along with much risk, lay waiting in the New World. But within a year, the men already complained about the lack of female company. To satisfy the colonial men, the Virginia Company sent over the bride ships of 1619, enticing the women with hopes for a better life while satiating the men's demands. Ninety women were selected that year, with a smaller group chosen and sent out several years later.

Commonly referred to as the tobacco brides of Jamestown, similar to the casket girls who settled in Louisiana in the 18th century, these women gained new rights and freedoms that Europe kept out of their reach. Despite how pop culture commonly depicts them, Jamestown colony women married who they liked, and many actually owned property of their own, something unheard of in Europe. While life was definitely not easy for them, the women of Jamestown were instrumental in creating new lives and new opportunities for the future women of colonial America.


The Bride Ships Of 1619, Colonial America's Transatlantic Buses To Opportunity, history, politics & history, US history, other,

Some Brides Did Not "Season" Well, Or Died In The Famous 1622 Massacre

Scholars and researchers remain baffled as to exactly why so many new arrivals to Virginia died quickly - sometimes in days, more often weeks or months. If one survived a full year in the New World, one was considered "seasoned;" barring disease, attacks from local tribes, or, in the case of women, a difficult childbirth, one could expect to live to a respectable old age (which could range anywhere between 35 and 80).

This included the women of the 1619 "bride ships." Some survived, thrived, and have living descendants today. Others faded away within a year or so. At least one of them may have perished in the 1622 Powhatan Uprising, also known as the 1622 Massacre, when members of the Powhatan nation attacked the English settlements, killing nearly two-thirds of the European population.


Older Women Vs. Younger: The Skills They Offered

Some things are ever the same, no matter time or place. The women who applied to become "brides" to Jamestown knew exactly how to pitch themselves to the Virginia Company, depending on their age.

According to David R Ransome's article "Wives for Virginia, 1621"  (The William and Mary Quarterly, 48 1, 3-18) the female applicants' ages ranged from 15 to 28. Yes, in 1618, 15 was considered marriageable age. The 28-year-olds actually pushed into old age, believe it or not.

A rundown of their claimed skills is very telling of the value of youth and beauty versus age and experience. The 14 to 16 crowd boasted of gold and silver lace making skills. While no woman left a record stating her reasons, it may well have been that the youngest ladies knew they would be in highest demand among the Jamestown "grooms," which in turn would mean the most rich and powerful men picked first from the youngest, freshest ladies. What other sort of colonist would desire lace making skills in a wife? Only the very rich, that's who. Why marry a poor farmer who needed a wife he could work to death in house and field when you can marry a member of the colonial Council, wear silks, and crochet lace? The youngest women knew exactly what they were doing.

But what about the women on the other end of the age scale? The 26 to 28-year-old women claimed a wide range of practical skills, the kind of skills actually needed in Virginia (Ransome 15). For every perfumed colonial leader desirous of a wife there existed dozens of small farmers and plantation owners who needed clever, strong women as wives. The older ladies listed, among other skills, brewing, baking, vegetable gardening, sewing, butchering, livestock managing, and even light carpentry skills.

In the end? Looks and youth didn't matter. Every single woman who wanted a husband and her own household settled down with the man of her choice in very short order.


Once The Sell Was Made, The "Brides" Needed To Pass A Rigorous Application Process

Shareholders in the Virginia Company knew they needed to sweeten the deal in order to recruit the kinds of women they desired for settlement in their Jamestown Colony. Socially acceptable women from stable backgrounds were highly unlikely to embark for Virginia on a whim. Therefore, an advertisement appeared in London newspapers and plastered on the walls of buildings, asking for women of good family and reputation to apply for resettlement in Virginia. As the idea was pitched, it became the Christian - specifically, the Protestant - thing to do. Save the New World from the Spanish Papists! Convert the heathen natives! Also, each and every successful candidate would become mistress of her own household (after marriage to a male colonist), with her own gardens and grounds to tend.  

Even today that sounds like a pretty good deal. But in the early 17th century, to an Englishwoman of even moderate means, it had the ring of a brilliant dream come true. Almost all of the land in England was owned by royal or noble persons, and any woman who managed to marry a man who could provide her with a spacious home and gardens, was fortunate indeed. And along came the Virginia Company guaranteeing the same. Why scrub floors and chamber pots the rest of your life when you can be a gentlewoman in Virginia?

The competition was fairly keen. Even a quick perusal of the applications - which were discovered in England in recent decades - reveals the women did their utmost to showcase themselves, their backgrounds, skills and intentions. This tells a great deal more about the lack of opportunities in their homeland than any desire to relocate halfway across the world.


Earlier Efforts To Attract "Decent" Women Were Miserable Failures

As mentioned earlier in this story, women began arriving in Jamestown as early as 1608. The first woman, a Mistress Forrest, who came to settle in Virginia with her husband, brought along her maid, Anne Burras, who was courted and feted by all the men of Jamestown and married soon thereafter.

Over the next year more women arrived. The colony was already begging the Virginia Company to do something about the dearth of females. The trouble was, few people -male or female - wanted to go to Virginia. It was viewed as a dangerous wilderness where people went to die. So, the Company began rounding up some of the innumerable street people of London, and taking on convicted criminals housed in New Gate and the Old Bailey prisons. "Transportation" to Virginia became a very common method of punishment, a choice to prisoners that proved to be wildly popular over the alternative (death). Therefore, most of the female arrivals to Virginia in the earliest years were not the sort of women colonists wished to marry. Indeed, a colonial official wrote to the Virginia Company, despairing that the women who were being sent were of such low quality that if the Company could do no better, they shouldn't bother at all.

Truly, colonials might be second-class citizens with no women around, but even they had standards.


The 1619 "Brides" Were Not The First Women In Virginia By A Long Shot

While definitely true that a shortage of women in the Jamestown colony plagued the young settlement for years, the women who arrived on the "bride ships" were hardly the first ladies to join. Women began immigrating to Virginia from England in 1608, and a comparably large number of women were aboard the five-ship fleet of the famous Third Supply of that same year. One woman, Anne Burras, married carpenter John Laydon three months after she landed in Jamestown, becoming the first marriage in the colony.

The owners of the Virginia Company, as well as the early colonial leaders, believed more permanent female settlers would encourage social and cultural stability in the colony. Men would be more likely to stay in Virginia if they had a wife and family.


Some Brides May Have Tried To Escape Ship Before Departure

While this is only a theory, it stands to reason at least some of the women who boarded the ship Marmaduke to Virginia became frightened and angry when the discovery was made that none of the supplies promised them were on board (Zug 91) and ( O'Neill 234-235). In other words, all but two of the women would arrive in Virginia with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Two of the women brought along small bags, similar to what we would call a carry-on today.

Virginia Company records suggest there was at least some protestation from the women before departure. After the Marmaduke left port, the Virginia Company wrote a letter to the Colonial Council in Jamestown (knowing full well the ship with the women and no supplies would arrive ahead of the letter) apologizing for not following through with their promise to outfit the women in their new lives, "We had no means to putt provisions aboard." (O'Neill 234-235). What we do know is that all who boarded arrived in Jamestown six weeks later. The question remains, did they stay aboard willingly? And if so, did shame keep them there? What would it have been like to return home after the discovery of such an important promise? All the praise, the celebratory send offs, the boasting that was undoubtedly done, who would return home after that? 


Female Arrivals To Jamestown Were Not Forced To Wed

The Sky Television series, Jamestown, is only the latest to spread and encourage the false rumor that the women who arrived aboard two ships from England to Jamestown, Virginia in 1619 were bought and paid for by male colonists. Some accounts - including in the Jamestown TV series - make the claim that women were forced to marry whomever "paid" for them and subjected to disrespect and abuse.

None of this is true.  The Virginia Company of London - who owned and managed the Virginia Colony at the time - began a brief recruitment effort in 1618, advertising in England for women to apply for a sponsored immigration to the fledgling colony. Men in Virginia were encouraged to help financially sponsor one of the successful applicants; however, neither the women in England nor the men in Virginia were in communication with one another, signed no agreements, and none of the women were required to wed any of the colonial men.

In fact, upon arrival to the colony, each woman joined an already established family. This provided her the privacy and security needed as she begun her new life as well as time to get to know the men before making her own decision as to who - or, if - she married. It is important to recognize the professionalism and courtesy extended by the Virginia Company of London in this specific incidence, since they could have quite easily forced women to wed the Virginia settlers. At the time the world saw women as property, and the numerous instances of women kidnapped and sold to Virginia shows that they probably could have done it without much hassle. 


Like All Important Guests, Women Arrived Late To The Party

Let's face it: recruiting anyone at all to leave hearth and home for the wilds of Virginia proved a hard sell. At the same time the Virginia Company promoted their colonial venture, people returned from Jamestown to report life in the New World was a complete nightmare. The decision to cross the Atlantic only to deal with a strange land with unfamiliar and understandably angry peoples was a little easier for men to make, since society encouraged men to seek adventure and take risks. Furthermore, men, unlike women, required no personal protector to simply exist in the world without being harassed.

These facts in mind, immigration to Virginia appealed even less to many women. Even by 1619, few European females existed in Jamestown and the surrounding area. There were a great many American tribal women, of course, but colonial officials frowned on men taking wives among them. Pocahontas, who married an Englishman in the early years of the colony, stood out as an exception. And yet, both officials and the male colonists themselves knew in order to develop a permanent settlement in the New World, both men and women were needed. Viewed as a powerful civilizing force, women undertook the familial and household tasks men found demeaning. Even though the 1619 "brides" were free to marry, or not, they were treated as the precious commodity that they absolutely were.


The Brides Came From A Wide Variety Of English Backgrounds

The Virginia Company did request that only decent women of good family need apply. But what did they mean by that? How was a woman to know if she qualified? Most importantly, the Company wanted to make sure successful applicants were not or had not engaged in the sex trade (which was very common at the time, for a variety of social reasons) or had a serious drinking problem. The women also had to provide letters of reference, and be known in their community as moral and upright. Historian David Ransome, in his Wives for Virginia, 1621  (The William and Mary Quarterly, 48 1, 3-18) provides details about the women's background and the types of evidence they provided to support their application (Ransone, 14-15).

Naturally, the women sought out only those letter writers whom they knew would produce a glowing letter. Recommendations from priests, employers, teachers, and even neighbors were submitted. Any of the women who could make any - however tangentially - connection to the nobility most definitely included that in her application. Two of the successful applicants claimed kinship to a knight. Others claimed connections to successful merchants, educators, and priests (Ransome, 12-14)

Essentially, the women were all of middling to poor-but-polite society, who may or may not have padded their credentials.


Colonial Women Of Virginia Established Traits Of Power And Expectations In Their Female Descendants

Their rarity gave Virginia women powers they never would have held back home in Europe. They were special, and they knew it. The male colonists shared the same low-survival rate as the women, so it was typical for a woman to become a well-off widow before she was out of her teens. Widows wielded great personal and financial power in the American colonies, as long as they did not remarry. Even then, the Virginia colonial court record is replete with married women coming before judges on their own, which was against the law of coverture, which made a married woman "civilly dead;" in other words, even if she was raped it was her husband or father who sued the rapist for damaging his property.

In 17th century Virginia, those rules did not always apply, largely due to how highly women were valued. Not all women wielded self-autonomy, but Virginia women, single, widowed, and married, could inherit property and sell property as well as defend themselves in court cases. For the times, that was a very big deal. They were apparently particularly fond of bringing court cases for the most minor of incidents. Virginia women were also notorious for suing their enemies for defamation of character. They certainly knew how to stand up for themselves and seldom hesitated to do so if the opportunity was there.

Even two centuries later, European visitors to Virginia remarked on how fiercely independent and even spoiled were the women of the Old Dominion.



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Mon, 24 Apr 2017 06:58:04 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/jamestown-brides-facts/cheryl-adams-richkoff
<![CDATA[Facts About Alexandre Dumas, Literature's Most Swashbuckling Novelist]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-alexandre-dumas/setareh-janda?source=rss

Featuring shocking duels, unexpected births, and wild romance, Alexandre Dumas’s life is as thrilling and fascinating as the stories he wrote. Though he wrote a wide range of books, he is perhaps best known for two of the most adventurous, swashbuckling novels of all time: The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo. Facts about Alexandre Dumas prove that truth is often stranger than fiction.

Born in France in 1802, Dumas grew up in the shadow of the Napoleonic Wars. Alexandre Dumas’s father was a respected French officer who was committed to the ideals of the French Revolution. Dumas spent his childhood in a historically charged period, and that sense of history would shape much of his literary life. He was known for writing epic, historically minded stories that entertained and delighted generations of readers. Though he died in 1870, his legacy lived on, and his stories provided fodder for filmmakers.

An Alexandre Dumas biography, however, reveals a far more complicated, interesting, and larger-than-life figure than most people realize. Dumas lived life out loud, and he was as famous for his robust romantic life as he was for his literary success. Put simply, Alexandre Dumas was the literary bad boy of his age.


Facts About Alexandre Dumas, Literature's Most Swashbuckling Novelist,

He Was A Huge Theater Nerd

Dumas didn't write novels exclusively. In fact, he first got his start writing plays. His early success in the theater world gave him the ability to branch out and publish other types of literature. Over the course of his career, he published an astounding 650 books. But he was always a theater nerd at heart – one of the many ways that Dumas spent as lavishly as he earned was by building an entire theater. This theater failed three years after Dumas put it together, and he had to sell his house to an American dentist to help with his debts. 


Syphilis Probably Killed Him

Dumas's years of philandering eventually caught up with him. At some point during his 40 affairs, he may have contracted syphilis. Though relatively common by the 19th century, syphilis was as serious as it was reviled. The disease more than likely killed him in the end, and Alexandre Dumas died on December 5, 1870


He Was So Successful That He Blew All His Money On A Chateau, Because Why Not

Alexandre Dumas became one of the most popular French writers in the 19th century. The fact that he was a prolific writer meant that Dumas commanded a large income. What did he do with all that money? He blew it all on a chateau, which he named after one of his most famous books: the Chateau de Monte-Cristo. The carefully crafted estate cost Dumas around 200,000 francs – around $15 million in contemporary money.


He Had A String Of Illegitimate Children

Illegitimacy seems to have been a Dumas family trait. Though married to the actress Ida Ferrier, Dumas did not have a single legitimate child with her. Instead, Dumas had at least four illegitimate children (and probably more), the product of his numerous affairs. Among his illegitimate children was a son who was named after his father. The second Alexandre Dumas also became a writer.


Some People Claim Dumas Didn't Write All Of His Novels On His Own

Though Alexandre Dumas is one of the most cherished French novelists of all time, many believe that Dumas was not the only genius behind his books. Some insist that not enough credit goes to his collaborator and possible ghostwriter Auguste Jules Maquet, among others. Scholars continue to debate how big of a role Maquet had in crafting Dumas's novels. But it is undeniable that Maquet – at the very least – helped Dumas create some of his best-loved novels.


He Had To Go On The Run To Escape His Creditors

Dumas's popularity meant that he made buckets of money with his books – and he spent it just as lavishly. After blowing all of his money on his extravagant chateau, Dumas's debts caught up with him. In 1851, he actually had to flee to Belgium to escape his pesky creditors. Though Dumas eventually returned to France, he would have money troubles his entire life.


He Was Biracial In An Absurdly Racist Era

Alexandre Dumas's father was the illegitimate son of a count and an enslaved woman. He was thus a so-called "mulatto" and was known for his dark skin. Indeed, race was central to how his father was viewed in France – a dashing, celebrated general, he was known as "The Black Devil." The surname "Dumas" even came from Alexandre's enslaved grandmother, not his aristocratic grandfather.

As a young man and writer, Alexandre Dumas was keenly aware of the absurdity of racial categories, and he was a critic of slavery. He even wrote a book – published as Georges – about racism. Once, when questioned about his family tree later in life, Dumas quipped: "My father was a mulatto, my grandmother was a Negress, and my great-grandparents were monkeys. In short, sir, my pedigree begins where yours ends."


He Was A Notorious Womanizer, Reputed To Have Had 40 Mistresses

In 1840, Dumas married the actress Ida Ferrier. But his change in marital status did not mean that he suddenly practiced fidelity. Over the course of their marriage, he prolifically engaged in extramarital affairs. In fact, he is reputed to have had no less than 40 mistresses. Among his temporary lovers was the infamous Irish dancer/adventuress Lola Montez.


His Father Was A Real-Life Swashbuckling Hero Who Butted Heads With Napleon

Alexandre Dumas wrote his heroic father into nearly all of his protagonists. Born to a French aristocrat and an enslaved woman on the island of Saint-Domingue (Haiti), Thomas-Alexandre Davy de la Pailleterie lived a life just as thrilling and fascinating as the stories his son would one day pen. He became one of the most successful generals during the French Revolutionary wars, and he often butted heads with a rival upstart by the name of Napoleon Bonaparte. Moreover, he was the highest-ranking black officer in a racist world.

Dumas not only idolized his father, but also took inspiration from him – he often featured "outsiders" and men from diverse backgrounds as his characters. 


During His First Duel, He Lost His Pants Instead Of His Life

When Dumas came of age in the first half of the 19th century, dueling was still an important way to prove masculinity. But his very first duel didn't go exactly as he may have imagined. On January 5, 1825, Dumas fought a duel after his clothing style was insulted. Though fighting a duel sounds very heroic and romantic, the reality was not quite as swashbuckling as fans might imagine. He couldn't keep his pants up, and they were literally falling down during the duel.



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Thu, 01 Jun 2017 08:21:56 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-alexandre-dumas/setareh-janda
<![CDATA[17 Extremely Bizarre Facts Most People Don't Know About Benjamin Franklin]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-benjamin-franklin/nicky-benson?source=rss

Benjamin Franklin was one of America's founding fathers as well as a scientist, statesman, author, printer, activist, postmaster, and diplomat. He is renowned for his discoveries and theories on electricity and is credited with inventing swimming fins, bifocals, the lightning rod, a flexible catheter, and many other inventions we use today.

Franklin was born in 1706, and was a middle child. His parents, who were soap and candle makers, could not afford to send him to school longer than two years so, by the age of 10, young Benjamin began working alongside his father. By the age of 12, he had became his brother James's apprentice at a printing shop. Franklin did not let his lack of access to a formal education prevent him from becoming one of America's most influential and famous figures.

While his major scientific accomplishments are widely known to most Americans, there are still some other rather unusual facts about Franklin that many were never taught in school.


17 Extremely Bizarre Facts Most People Don't Know About Benjamin Franklin,

He Was America's First Storm Chaser

In 1750, Franklin read about a waterspout in the Mediterranean Sea that had come ashore and caused a panic in Italy. Through his research, he discovered that similar weather patterns happened on land, which he called whirlwinds or landspouts (someone else later coined the term "tornado"). He theorized that waterspouts were ascending columns of air, while everyone else thought they were filled with water.

In 1754, while visiting a friend in Maryland, he saw such a whirlwind in person. His companions quickly left the area, but Franklin chased after it on his horse and followed it into the woods where it sucked up leaves, branches, and other debris. He later described the tornado: “The progressive motion of the whirl was not so swift, but that a man on foot might have kept pace with it, but the circular motion was amazingly rapid.”


At Age 16, He Pretended To Be A Widow And Wrote A Popular Weekly Column

Franklin's brother James launched a weekly newspaper called the New England Courant in the 1720s, and 16-year-old Benjamin decided that he wanted to contribute by secretly submitting the "Silence Dogood" column. It featured articles about fashion, marriage, women's rights, religion, and other topics - all from the perspective of an apparent widow. The essays and commentary were so popular that Franklin, posing as Mrs. Dogood, was pursued by several eligible bachelors in Boston who wanted her hand in marriage. Franklin eventually told his brother the truth after writing 14 essays, and James was not pleased. The following year, Franklin moved to Philadelphia because he was tired of working for his brother.


He Wrote An Essay About Farting

While living abroad as the United States Ambassador to France in 1781, Franklin penned the infamous essay "Fart Proudly," which is also known as "A Letter to a Royal Academy about farting" and "To the Royal Academy of Farting." Franklin sent the letter to Richard Price, a Welsh philosopher and Unitarian minister, and to his friends. In the essay, Franklin proposed that there should be a scientific study conducted on farts and that researchers should develop a drug to make the act of farting less offensive. He wrote, in part:

"It is universally well known, that in digesting our common food, there is created or produced in the bowels of human creatures, a great quantity of wind. That the permitting this air to escape and mix with the atmosphere, is usually offensive to the company, from the fetid smell that accompanies it."


He Nearly Died From Cooking A Turkey With Electricity

In 1748, Franklin wrote a letter to his friend Peter Collinson of Philadelphia in which he described a picnic he was planning on the banks of the Schuylkill River. He mentioned that the main course was going to be turkey and how he planned on preparing it: "A turkey is to be killed for our dinner by electrical shock, and roasted by the electrical jack, before a fire kindled by the electrified bottle." But when he prepared the bird, a flash of light engulfed Franklin - he had electrocuted himself while trying to cook the turkey. He later told his brother in a letter that the biggest injury he sustained was to his ego.

Also during the picnic, Franklin also planned on using electricity to ignite flammable liquids, drink a toast in electrically heated glasses, and set off explosions.


He Sat Naked In Front Of Open Windows To Take "Air Baths" And Prevent Sickness

Franklin thought that nudity was good for one's health, so he regularly took "air baths" to ward off illness. He also dispelled the theory that cold weather contributed to people catching the common cold, and instead believed that people got sick in winter because they were cooped up in close quarters that made it easier for germs to fester and multiply. To increase the air circulation in his home, he'd open up the windows and sit in front of them without any clothes on.


He Only Received Two Years Of Schooling, But Had Honorary Degrees From Harvard, Yale, And Oxford

Franklin only had two years of formal education, which he received while attending Boston Latin School. He eventually left school to help his family make soap and candles, after which he joined his brother James as an indentured apprentice at a printing shop when he was 12 years old. He had an apparent thirst for knowledge and spent his meager wages on books, sometimes even forgoing meals in order to purchase them. Because of this, Franklin became recognized as an author, printer, politician, postmaster, scientist, inventor, activist, statesman, and diplomat. And in nearly all cases he was self-taught.

Franklin was one of the co-founders of the University of Pennsylvania and was awarded honorary degrees from Harvard, Yale, the College of William and Mary, the University of St. Andrews, and Oxford.


The Bodies Of 10 People (Including 6 Children) Were Found In His Basement

Franklin lived in a four-story Georgian house at 36 Craven Street in London from 1757 to 1775. While the house was being converted into a museum in 1998, a construction worker found something really strange in the basement - a human thigh bone sticking out of the dirt floor. The police were called to investigate and a thorough excavation revealed approximately 1,200 pieces of bone belonging to 10 people, six of them being children. All the bones were more than 200 years old, and most had been sawed or drilled into.

No, don't worry, Franklin wasn't a serial killer. While he lived in London, he was friends with a man named William Hewson, a former student of the anatomist William Hunter. Scholars believe Hewson used Franklin's basement as his own personal anatomy lab. It's unclear, however, whether Franklin had knowledge of Hewson's activities.


He Never Patented Any Of His Inventions

Benjamin Franklin could have made a lot of money from his inventions, but he decided not to patent any of them as he believed that his ideas should be used freely by the public. In his mind, they were intended to make everyday life simpler, so everyone deserved to have access to his inventions. He explained in his autobiography:

“As we enjoy the advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours; and this we should do freely and generously.”


He Believed In Casual Sex

Franklin had a rather robust sex life and may have fathered as many as 15 illegitimate children. In his essay “Advice on the Choice of a Mistress,” he advised that young men should choose older women as lovers because, among other things, they would be "grateful" for the attention. He also noted that one doesn't notice a woman's age in the dark.

Franklin was married for 38 years, but he had many mistresses. Some of his female companions were just friends while others were sexual partners. He spoke of his frequent dalliances in his autobiography, writing: "the hard-to-be-governed passion of my youth had hurried me frequently into intrigues with low women that fell in my way." And his sexual appetites didn't wane with middle age - Franklin was often accompanied by younger women from age 50 and on.


He Was A Vegetarian For Part Of His Life

When he was 16, Franklin came upon a book that influenced his decision to give up eating meat: The Way to Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Thomas Tryon. He said of the lifestyle:

"When about 16 years of age, I happen'd to meet with a book written by one Tryon, recommending a vegetable diet. I determined to go into it. My brother being yet unmarried, did not keep house, but boarded himself and his apprentices in another family. My refusing to eat flesh occasioned an inconveniency, and I was frequently chid for my singularity."



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Thu, 15 Jun 2017 07:16:54 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-benjamin-franklin/nicky-benson
<![CDATA[The Rosewood Massacre: How One Woman's Lie Started A Race War Which Destroyed A Town]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-the-florida-rosewood-massacre/stephanroget?source=rss

In the history of the United States of America, there is, unfortunately, no shortage of racism-inspired tragic events. Due to the general white-washing of American history – and the persistence of lies about the founding of America – several of these incidents do not regularly appear in history books, nor do they receive much attention in the mainstream media; a perfect example of this is the Rosewood Massacre. What started the Rosewood Massacre was a classic combination of ignorance, dishonesty, and roiling racial hatred, but what kept it under wraps for so long was a concerted desire by many to forget the most troubling moments in America’s history.

The Rosewood Massacre occurred well into the 20th century – in January of 1923. Taking place in sleepy and rural Levy County, Florida, the massacre resulted in the deaths of untold innocent people and the complete destruction and abandonment of a previously thriving black community. In keeping with a troubling trend that has plagued American history, there were no arrests ever made in connection with the Rosewood Massacre. The incident itself says as much about American history as the fact that you’ve probably never heard about it.


The Rosewood Massacre: How One Woman's Lie Started A Race War Which Destroyed A Town,

The Rosewood Massacre Killed At Least Eight People, But No Arrests Were Ever Made

The deaths of two mob members only incensed the posse seeking justice for Fannie Taylor’s fallacious assault. In addition to the previous deaths, the mob killed at least three more people, and possibly a lot more. Reports from the time period greatly differ as to just how many people died, with some sources saying that dozens had been murdered. The media coverage was wildly disparate, depending on whether it came from black or white publications, but Florida media was definitely aware of the situation and reporting that the violence had occurred. Sadly, no real investigation ever occurred, and no arrests were ever made.


The Sheriff Who Raised The Posse Told The Governor Everything Was Fine, So The Governor Went On A Hunting Trip

Levy County Sheriff Robert Elias Walker deserves much of the blame for the Rosewood Massacre. Although he tried to quell the rage of the mob and stop them from committing acts of destruction, he is also responsible for putting out the call that resulted in hundreds of would-be lynchers pouring into town. Walker is also responsible for the weak response by the state government to the Massacre. Despite reaching out to other local sheriffs for help, when Governor Cary Hardee offered to send in the National Guard, Walker told him that the situation was under control and not to worry about it. So, Governor Hardee went on a hunting trip while Rosewood burned.


Homes And Churches Were Burned, And The Mob Shot At Anyone Who Ran From Them

Once a large group of people are caught up in a mob mentality, it can be extremely difficult to calm them down. The mob that attacked Rosewood was not satisfied with the torture of Sam Carter or the murder of the Carriers, especially since they never found the escaped convict, Jesse Hunter. The mob began burning every building in sight, including the churches, and then they moved on to burning houses. Whenever black people tried to escape from the burning buildings, they were shot at by the mob, and several more were killed or injured this way. There is no way to know just how many died within the buildings themselves, and most historians contest the "official" body count from the incident.


Fannie Taylor’s Laundress And Her Family Were Coldly Slaughtered

The next victims of the Rosewood Massacre included one of the witnesses to the original Fannie Taylor incident – thus, one of the people who knew the truth of the whole affair. Sarah Carrier was Taylor’s laundress, and on January 4, 1923, she found her home in Rosewood surrounded by a vicious mob. The Carriers had taken in a number of their fellow black citizens who were fleeing the mob, and the house was full of scared and cornered people. Gunfire broke out, and the house was stormed. Sarah and her husband Sylvester were murdered, several others were wounded, and two members of the mob lost their lives in the chaos.


The First Casualty Was A Blacksmith Who Was Tortured For Information

County Sheriff Robert Elias Walker had organized a posse to hunt down Jesse Hunter and had deputized a number of locals for the tasks, but the group soon numbered over 400 individuals, and it became impossible to keep order. The posse became an unruly mob, and they set out to find someone to enact violence upon. They kidnapped a local blacksmith, Sam Carter, convinced that he had helped Hunter stay hidden. Carter was obviously innocent, but he was tortured so badly that he admitted to hiding the convict and agreed to take the men into the woods where the two had supposedly parted ways. When no evidence of Hunter was found, Carter was shot in the face. In typical lynching form, his body was hung from a tree to serve as a warning.


A Chain-Gang Prisoner Just So Happened To Have Escaped At The Same Time That Fannie Was Making Her Claims

The tension surrounding the Fannie Taylor incident was made worse by a terrible case of bad timing. Shortly before Taylor made her allegations, a black prisoner named Jesse Hunter escaped from a chain gang that was stationed nearby. Locals, organized by a sheriff, became convinced that Hunter must be the perpetrator, and they also became convinced that the black population of Rosewood was probably hiding him. A posse was quickly formed, and they set out to bring Hunter to justice. Jesse Hunter was never found, but that doesn't mean the posse didn't find someone to take their rage out on.


Fannie Taylor Was Likely Lying To Cover Up An Affair She Was Having

Fannie Taylor was lying about her story, but it had nothing to do with whether she had been sexually assaulted or not. Several witnesses, including Taylor’s laundress, Sarah Carrier, saw a mysterious white man leaving the Taylor residence a while before all the shouting began. After a short time, Taylor ran out and started to scream, but no one else was seen leaving the premises. The most likely scenario seems to be that Taylor was having an affair and had a spat with her lover, resulting in her bruises, his storming off, and her desire to formulate a cover story.


The Claims Of An 'Aloof' Woman Named Fannie Taylor Ignited The Massacre

The Rosewood Massacre began, as many hate crimes of that era did, with a white woman making accusations against a black man. The woman in this case was Fannie Taylor, the wife of a millwright in Sumner. Taylor had a reputation of being “odd” and “aloof,” but nothing could have prepared neighbors for what she would do in 1923. On New Year’s Day, 1923, Taylor began screaming that she needed help, and that her baby was in danger. Taylor was discovered with bruises on her face, while her baby was unharmed, and Taylor claimed that a black man had entered her home, attacked her, and robbed her. Taylor did not say that she had not been sexually assaulted, but the men she told her story to decided that must have been the case.


The Town Of Rosewood Was A Thriving, Close-Knit, And Predominantly Black Community

Rosewood was a small town with origins much like those of other small Florida towns. It got its start in 1845 thanks to the timber industry, with the name of Rosewood referring to the red color of freshly cut cedar. When the industry ran out of trees to cut down, most of the white residents left for nearby Sumner, where work could be found in several turpentine mills. The black residents remained in Rosewood and commuted to Sumner for work, resulting in a close-knit community of successful black Americans. Despite their segregated nature, the towns of Rosewood and Sumner got along for most of their history without any violent incidents.


Well Into The Roaring ‘20s, Florida Was Having Issues With Lynching And Other Hate Crimes

In the decades following the Civil War and Reconstruction, locales around the American South had ongoing issues with racial tension and violence. While many in America were enjoying the happy-go-lucky days of the Roaring ‘20s, the Sunshine State was experiencing continued issues with lynching and other race-related hate crimes. The KKK was active in the Rosewood area, and there had been another terribly similar event just weeks before the Rosewood Massacre. The Perry Race Riot in December of 1922 saw a black man burned at the stake and several black community buildings and homes destroyed. This tragedy set the stage for the Massacre that was to come.



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Wed, 14 Jun 2017 08:59:30 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-the-florida-rosewood-massacre/stephanroget
<![CDATA[The Most Ambitious Historical Gold Diggers Who Slept Their Way To The Top]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/historical-gold-diggers/carly-silver?source=rss

History is full of men and women who skillfully manipulated those who loved them for personal advancement. From ancient Rome to early modern England, nineteenth-century Germany, and even Peter the Great's Russia - these are just some of the most famous gold diggers in history.

Quite a few of these notorious lovers started life humbly. For example, Peter the Great's true love, Catherine I, was born to a Lutheran pastor in Lithuania - and her real name wasn't even Catherine, it was Marta! And it's not just the ladies. There were plenty of historical male gold diggers, too. Take Sir John Conroy - an English-Irish Average Joe until he wormed his way into the good graces of Victoria, Duchess of Kent (mother of Queen Victoria) and became her advisor.

Some gold diggers weren't exactly shy about taking cash and favors from their lovers, either. Alice Perrers, mistress of England's King Edward III during his old age, reportedly extracted every last penny she could from her dying boyfriend while she still could - she even got her paws on some royal jewels! And while there was no single original gold digger, the Byzantine Empress Theodora certainly reaped the rewards of seducing Justinian I.

Discover the stories behind the most interesting, and successful, gold diggers throughout history.


The Most Ambitious Historical Gold Diggers Who Slept Their Way To The Top,

Anne Hyde

Today, British royals can marry commoners with little problem (hello, William and Kate!), but back in the 17th century, it was typically frowned upon. So, when King Charles II married the Catholic Catherine of Braganza, a Portuguese princess, the largely Protestant Brits were quite unhappy - and became even more so when Catherine failed to produce an heir. And Charles's next legitimate heir, his little brother, James, Duke of York, had gone and married a commoner!

Meet Anne Hyde, the common-born but ambitious daughter of royal advisor Edward Hyde. At the time that she and James hooked up, Anne wasn't even a member of the nobility (it was only after her marriage that her father was made Earl of Clarendon), but that didn't stop the then-maid of honor to James's older sister; Anne hooked up with the famously lascivious James and became pregnant. Eager to legitimize his child (who was likely to become a future monarch since Charles, then a ruler in exile, was childless), James quickly wed his mistress in secret to the Court's great displeasure.

A few months later, Charles was restored to his throne and the whole royal family moved to England, including the new English Duchess of York. The child that she carried at that time sadly died, but Anne did give birth to two future queens and the last members of the Stuart Dynasty to rule England: Mary II and Anne, neither of whom had surviving progeny of their own. James later got remarried to a Catholic princess after Anne's death, which also caused a whole host of trouble.


Antinous

While the Roman Emperor Hadrian did marry a woman, he is most remembered for his liaison with a handsome Greek man named Antinous. Hadrian raised Antinous to unprecedented social heights, bringing him along on treks across the empire. The pair spent a lot of time together hunting at an imperial villa, and Hadrian financed many images of Antinous, especially after his lover died. 

In 130 CE, Hadrian and Antinous made a visit to a province of Egypt, but, sadly, Antinous drowned in the Nile River (whether he was pushed overboard or committed suicide was a matter for ancient debate) and Hadrian became grief-stricken. To remember the man he so loved, he made Antinous's image into a god - associating him with the Egyptian deity Osiris, who was said to have drowned in the river on the same day as Antinous many millennia before - and even founded a new city that was named after him. Antinoopolis was located close to where Antinous himself died and served as a memorial to his life


Fredegund

This astonishing queen took no prisoners - literally. Fredegund was one of several wives off the sixth-century Frankish king, Chilperic I. However, unlike her predecessors, Fredegund was humbly born, probably first catching her future hubby's eye when working as a servant in his household.

But she didn't let that stop her - she even helped Chilperic get rid of his then-wife, Galswintha, by igniting a feud between the queen's sister, Brunhilde, and her husband, King Sigebert of Austrasia. Fredegund also ordered the deaths of her stepchildren (Chilperic's babies by previous wives), as well as the murder of Sigebert - and perhaps even Chilperic himself! 

No matter what, Fredegund continued to work against her arch-enemy, Brunhilde (whom she tried to kill off multiple times), and her family. Her son eventually exacted her revenge after her death, torturing Brunhilde for three days and then ordering her to be ripped apart by being tied to wild horses.


John Conroy

John Conroy was the bane of Queen Victoria's young life, and he was the number-one advisor to her super-strict mother. An ambitious man, Conroy served in the household of Victoria, Duchess of Kent, and rose to power not long after Princess Victoria was born and her father, Prince Edward, had died.

Conroy gained the Duchess's confidence and that of several of her sisters-in-law - the daughters of George III - and helped to organize the restrictive Kensington System (the regimen under which an isolated Victoria was raised). Rumors flew that he and the Duchess were lovers, but it is certain that Conroy purposefully positioned the Kents against then-King William IV. No wonder Queen Victoria dismissed him as soon as she came to the throne.


Lola Montez

Irish dancer Elizabeth Gilbert toured the European continent under the guise of a Spanish lady named Lola Montez, but she became far more famous for having won the hearts of quite a few men, including author Alexandre Dumas and King Ludwig I of Bavaria. Ludwig made her a noblewoman and reputedly became so besotted that he always sought her advice and was essentially ruled by her. This caused great displeasure amongst his courtiers and subjects, and he abdicated the throne in 1848. Lola then left Ludwig after he lost his throne, moved to the United States, and continued to perform all over the world, including in Australia.


Mathilde Kschessinska

This prima ballerina certainly danced her way up the Russian social ladder - she was so charming that she seduced not one, but two, grand dukes and a tsar! Before Tsar Nicholas II fell for his wife, Alix of Hesse, he was deeply in love with this pretty young thing; he wrote in his diary, "Mathilde Kschessinska engages me in a positive light." He even bought her a house and they hooked up for four years until he finally got married.

After Nicholas dumped her, Mathilde took up with her admirer and his cousin, Grand Duke Sergei Mikhailovich. They spent a few years together, even allegedly taking bribes in arms deals. When Sergei eventually moved on, Mathilde did, too - to another royal cousin, Grand Duke Andrei Vladimirovich, and they proceeded to travel all across Europe together. But when Mathilde gave birth to a son in 1902, rumors swirled about his paternity, though he probably was most likely by Andrei. Luckily, Andrei recognized the boy as his own and later married Mathilde.


Nell Gwyn

Many social climbers tried to disguise their humble origins and artful mooching from their important lovers - but that wasn't the case for Nell Gwyn. She was one of King Charles II's many mistresses, but, in contrast to the arrogant French Catholic Louise de Kéroualle, Nell cleverly dubbed herself "the Protestant whore," earning her popular acclaim

Nell, who was born in the slums of 17th century London, sharpened her wits on the audiences of London as an orange seller and then as an actress. She was hardly a prude and readily embraced her reputation. When she first consummated her relationship with Charles, she reportedly dubbed him "Charles the Third," because he was the third man of that name with whom she'd had sex. For years, Nell was a refuge for Charles, making him laugh amidst the craziness of Court life. She even bore him two sons, only one of whom survived. When Charles died, he reputedly told his brother, James, to "let not poor Nelly starve," so the new king gave his late brother's mistress a pension that she received for the rest of her life.


Theodora

Empress Theodora of Byzantium, wife of the famed Emperor Justinian (the namesake of the Code of Justinian), didn’t start her life in the imperial purple. In fact, she was the daughter of a bear keeper who trained large animals for the public games! However, Theodora went off to work as an actress and allegedly a prostitute, using her considerable talents in both fields to gain power in an oppressively patriarchal society. Eventually, after taking up work as a wool-spinner, she caught the eye of a rising leader named Justinian who made her his mistress and then his wife.

Even though Justinian was technically a commoner, his status was still much higher than Theodora’s, so a special law was imposed allowing for their marriage. She became Augusta (empress) in 527 CE, serving as Justinian’s right hand throughout his reign. Theodora even received ambassadors, negotiated foreign policy, worked to improve women’s rights, and brutally suppressed rebellions.


Beltrán de la Cueva, 1st Duke of Alburquerque

Isabella of Castile (later Spain) came to the throne after the death of her irascible half-brother, Enrique IV, but her accession did not go without controversy. Enrique's only child, Juana, strongly disputed her half-aunt's claim to the Castilian kingship. However, Isabella denied Juana her royal role, in part due to allegations that Juana wasn't even Enrique's daughter, but was his wife's secret love child by nobleman Beltrán de la Cueva!

Beltrán was one of Enrique's favorite courtiers, who gained a lot of power by sucking up to the king. But this noble also allegedly seduced the queen (his boss's wife), a former princess of Portugal, and was the real father of Infanta (Princess) Juana, Isabella's arch-rival. Juana was dubbed "La Beltraneja" for her dubious paternity, and although she lost the throne to Isabella, Juana still ended her letters for the rest of her life by signing "Yo, la reina" ("I, the Queen").


Euphemia

Theodora wasn't the only woman to rise from being an alleged prostitute to being a Byzantine empress. Several decades before her ascent, a woman by the name of Euphemia became the consort of Justinian I's uncle, Justin I. Euphemia had previously been called Lupicina, a name associated with prostitutes, so it's entirely possible that, before Justin fell for her, she'd been a sex worker and then became a concubine.

Interestingly, Euphemia was rather conservative once she came into power. And unlike Theodora (writers usually set her in opposition to her eventual niece by marriage), Euphemia didn't involve herself in politics. In fact, she reportedly didn't even want Justinian to marry Theodora - it was only after she died that her husband's heir married the woman he loved.



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Wed, 19 Apr 2017 04:17:44 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/historical-gold-diggers/carly-silver
<![CDATA[What Happened To The Offspring of History's Most Evil Figures After They Died?]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/descendants-of-historical-villains-lives/nicky-benson?source=rss

What ever happened to the children of the most evil men in history? Some of their stories may surprise you. While we all learn about history's worst villains in school, it's rare that we hear anything about their descendants. Some of the offspring of these hated men have followed in their famous fathers' footsteps to become brutal leaders and dictators, undoubtedly making their parents proud.

Yet, then there are the tales of children who do whatever they can to separate themselves from their evil relatives. Some of these people go into hiding and deny the very existence of the men who fathered them, living tortured lives while trying to escape their inherited past.

And while some of the world's worst villains may no longer be alive, in many cases their bloodlines are. Their children are alive and well, mingling often unnoticed among the rest of the population. Check out what the descendants of historical villains such as Benito Mussolini, Josef Stalin, and Mao Zedong are doing now.


What Happened To The Offspring of History's Most Evil Figures After They Died?,

Edda Mussolini

Edda Mussolini was the oldest daughter of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. She went on to marry a fascist propagandist and foreign minister Galeazzo Ciano, who was eventually tried for treason and executed in 1944 for voting against the fascist leader. Following the execution, Edda escaped to Switzerland where she smuggled out diaries that contained the secret history of the regime. When she returned to Italy in 1945, she was immeditaley arrested and sentenced to serve two years in prison. She later published an autobiography titled La mia vita in 1975, and died in Rome 20 years later.


Jean-Claude Duvalier

Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier's father, Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier, was president of Haiti from 1957 to 1971 and was responsible for murdering 30,000 to 60,000 Haitians and exiling many others. Then Baby Doc took over. During his regime, thousands of additional Haitians were killed and tortured. And while his people lived in extreme poverty, he lived a luxurious lifestyle, even spending $2 million on his own wedding in 1980. He also had a hand in drug trafficking and black market body parts. Baby Doc ruled from 1971 until the public eventually overthrew him 1986. He died of a heart attack in 2014.


Svetlana Alliluyeva

Svetlana Alliluyeva, who later changed her name to Lana Peters, was Josef Stalin's youngest daughter. When she was only six years old, her mother committed suicide, leaving her under the guidance of her brothers and her father. However, during World War II, her brother Jacob died while imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp after Stalin refused to exchange him for a German general he had in custody. Another of her brothers later died from alcoholism at age 40. Peters finally defected from the Soviet Union in 1967 and ended up writing four books in her lifetime - two of which became best-selling memoirs. She was married three times, had three children, and died of cancer at the age of 85.


Uday Hussein

Uday Hussein was Saddam Hussein's first son by his first wife, Sajida Talfah, and was the intended heir apparent to his father's empire. However, he lost his seat as heir after he killed his father's personal valet and food taster, Kamel Hana Gegeo, with an electric carving knife during a party in 1988. Uday was sentenced to death, but instead served only three months in prison.

At one point, Uday was the chairman of the Iraqi Olympic Committee and the Iraq Football Association, but tortured the athletes who didn't win. He was also left with a limp after an assassination attempt, being struck by multiple bullets in 1996, two of which could not be removed due to their proximity to his spinal cord. He reportedly also used an iron maiden against his enemies and kidnapped young Iraqi women to rape them. He and his brother Qusay were killed during a fight with US forces in Mosul in 2003.


Li Na

Li Na is the daughter of Chinese communist revolutionary Mao Zedong, the man who is responsible for killing millions of citizens he believed were enemies of the state. His Great Leap Forward campaign alone was responsible for between 15 and 55 million deaths due to famine. His daughter Li Na was born in 1940 and graduated from Peking University in 1965 with a degree in history. She later worked at the People’s Liberation Army Daily, the official newspaper for the People's Republic of China, and continues to support communism.


Moatassem-Billah Gaddafi

Mutassim Gaddafi was the national security adviser to his father, Muammar Gaddafi, who met with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senators John McCain and Joseph Lieberman in 2009. According to his ex-girlfriend, Talitha van Zon, he spent upwards of $1.6 million a month on his "hedonistic pleasures." Stars such as Beyoncé and Mariah Carey sang at his parties, which were attended by celebrities, including Lindsay Lohan and Jay-Z.  In 2011, anti-Gaddafi forces funded by NATO captured him during the Battle of Sirte, where he and his father were executed.


Bettina Goering

Bettina Goering is the great niece of Adolf Hitler's second-in-command, President of the Reichstag Hermann Goering. As of 2010, she was living in Santa Fe, NM, where she practiced herbal medicine. She explained in the documentary Hitler's Children, by Israeli director Chanoch Zeevi, that both she and her brother voluntarily sterilized themselves. She commented: 

"I had my tubes tied at the age of 30 because I feared I would create another monster. I look like him for a start - the eyes, the cheekbones, the profile. I look more like him than his own daughter."


Pol Pot’s Daughter, Sar Patchata, Leads A Normal Life

In 2014, Sar Patchata, communist dictator Pol Pot's only daughter, got married in a lavish ceremony at the former Khmer Rouge rebel stronghold. Following her father's death in 1998, Patchata was adopted by the Khmer Rouge’s ambassador to the UN, Tep Khunnal. She later earned her master's degree in English literature in Malaysia where she met her fiancé, Sy Vicheka.

After her father was sentenced to life imprisonment for “crimes against the revolution,” Patchata spent her life on the run without running water or electricity.  The leader of the Khmer Rouge committed suicide in 1998 when she was 12, thereby setting her free.


Princess Stéphanie's Husband Died In A Murder-Suicide Pact With His Mistress

King Leopold II of Belgium had four children, including Princess Stéphanie. During his rule, he gained a brutal reputation for using forced labor in the Congo to harvest and process rubber, resulting in the death of between 1 and 15 million Congolese.

Stéphanie went on to marry the heir-apparent of the Habsburg dynasty, Archduke Rudolf. However, in 1889, he and his mistress, Mary Vetsera, killed themselves in an apparent murder-suicide pact at the Imperial hunting lodge. One year later, Stephanie wed Count Elemér Lónyay de Nagy-Lónya et Vásáros-Namény. With him, she had one child, Archduchess Elisabeth Marie of Austria, born in 1883.


Monika Hertwig Was The Daughter Of Amon Goeth - The Man Who Killed Women And Babies "For Sport"

Monika Hertwig's father, Nazi commander Amon Goeth, was hanged in 1946 for murdering tens of thousands of people. He had been an Austrian SS captain and the commandant of the Kraków-Płaszów concentration camp in Poland during WWII. Monika, who was his illegitimate child, was less than a year old when he was killed. In the documentary Innocence, by Israeli director Chanoch Zeevi, Monika met a man who revealed to her that her father shot women and babies "for sport." In the film, Monika was also connected with two Jewish housemaids who were enslaved and forced to work for her father during the Holocaust.



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Thu, 15 Jun 2017 02:45:40 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/descendants-of-historical-villains-lives/nicky-benson
<![CDATA[What Life Was Like In Medieval Castles]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/what-life-was-like-in-medieval-castles/shanell-mouland?source=rss

Don't be fooled by all the films that portray medieval castle life as an embarrassment of riches. Living in medieval castles wasn't just about indulging in non-stop feasts and flamboyant jousts. Castle life, even for the upper class, would not have been all that glamorous. Dark and gloomy rooms, lit and heated by suffocatingly smoky fires, were par for the course.

While the upper class did indulge in some of the finer food and drink of the Middle Ages and were afforded a little more privacy than the serving class, there were still certainly very few creature comforts in medieval castle living. However, with such cramped and cold quarters, some castle dwellers did find comfort through chaste-as-heck medieval sex. Life during medieval times was no treat. Check out these facts about living in a medieval castle, and decide if you would have even lasted for one day.


What Life Was Like In Medieval Castles,

Toilets Were Often Just A Bench With A Hole In It

In medieval times, you had to go do your business on a long bench with many holes for many bums. Your waste fell down below to a literal cesspool, and that was the end of it. Again, there were no partitions and no privacy, so you would likely be in full view of all your friends and neighbors while you were doing your thing.

Maybe it was nice to have someone to talk to while you used the bathroom, and maybe people even socialized at the ol' cesspool. Still, ew. It's hard to say exactly how people felt about the process, because today's standards for privacy and hygiene just didn't apply back then. At the time, people were just happy to be able to poop inside.


Prisoners Went To Dungeons And Were Often Tortured

Prisoners were often kept in the deepest, darkest depths of a medieval castle - and the conditions were often deplorable, as there were certainly no prisoner rights advocates in the Middle Ages. Prisoners were often held for political reasons and should the lord or lady of the castle deem it fit, the prisoner could be tortured.

Trigger warning: The next part is rather disturbing. There were a number of ways medieval people tortured their prisoners, but one that stands out was the act of inserting a rat into the person's body, allowing it to eat through a victim's intestines in order to make it's way out of the body.

One German researcher found that the torture method was not only meant to torment, but to also purify the soul. Many believed that the only way to purify the body of its sins was through pain. So, you might want to think twice before you break the law in a medieval town. Unless you're into that pain for purification kind of thing.


Bathing Took Place In Wooden Tubs

Contrary to what many people believe about medieval times, people did enjoy taking baths, it just wasn't always easy to access clean water and a bathtub. Inside castles, there would often be a wooden bathtub that could be transported from room to room for the castle dwellers to bathe in. It wasn't exactly sanitary or even remotely private, but people were happy to be able to clean themselves from time to time.

It should be noted that medieval populations certainly didn't have the hang-ups about privacy and hygiene that we do today, but they would probably have preferred to not bathe in full view of their roommates. Not that there is anything wrong with that.


Castles Smelled Really, Really Bad

Maybe it's because of the bench toilets, or the general lack of hygiene among the lower classes, but castles smelled really awful. And it certainly didn't help that the toilets offered no privacy and that there was really no where to dispose of waste besides a cesspool beneath the toilets. 

It wasn't always easy to clean yourself, as fresh water and a bath tub were often harder to come by for the serving classes. Furthermore, sickness was prevalent among the lower classes, and while the wealthy could easily afford the best medical care, the average castle dweller would have to rely on herbal medicines, if anything at all. 

Can you imagine dying from an illness that your boss is recovering comfortably from simply because you don't have access to the same medical care? (Wait a minute...)


Booze Was Readily Available, And Always Preferred

Alcoholic beverages (whether wine, beer, or ale) were the preferred drinks of choice during meals in the Middle Ages. The upper echelon of medieval society had their choice of wine, beer, or spirits, but the lowly peasants were more likely to take whatever they could get their hands on. Interestingly, alcohol was sort of a necessity during this time, because the water was often unclean and therefore undrinkable. While people knew they could simply boil water to purify it, it was still regarded as a low-prestige drink. 

So, just like today, the rich get Patron and the rest of us get whatever is on sale in the liquor aisle. 


There Was The Constant Hubbub Around Preparing For Feasts And Festivals

The constant pomp may have been a tid bit annoying, especially to the people of the lower class who were doing all the work in preparation for these elaborate feasts and parties. Large and lavish meals were the norm in a medieval castle. Unless you were preparing the meal, in which case you would have your meal in the kitchen, you would sit down to feast with friends pretty regularly. In fact, you were even seated at the meal table in relation to your level of importance. The lord and lady would sit at the head of a large wooden table, of course, while the castle staff would be sat at the back end out of sight.

How much of a bummer would it be to prepare delicious food and never be able to sample it for yourself?


The Day Began At Sunrise

With only fire to light your way in the evening, sunshine was crucial to actually getting things done around a castle. What little light was allowed in through the small windows had to suffice for many of the indoor chores. And the outside work began right at sunrise to allow the castle workers the maximum amount of light possible. The servants would often actually rise before the sun, to make sure fires were started in the kitchen so that breakfast could be served right away. 

There were essential five main jobs one could do in a medieval town. You could be part of a clergy, be a noble, or simply royalty if you were of the upper class. The lower class had the choice between being merchants or craftsman and laborers. So, unless you were of noble decent or royalty, you were getting your butt up at the same time as the sun because your job was to run the town for everyone else.


You Shared Your Home With Rats

Dark, damp, and cold environments are the perfect breeding ground for more than a few horrible things - and rats are one of them. Thus, if you lived in a castle, you by default lived with rats. 

While castle dwellers might have gotten used to sharing their home with rats - as they were rather ubiquitous in medieval times - they were still typically afraid of them. The beady eyed little rodents always struck fear into the hearts of their unwilling roommates; plus rats were one of the cheapest and most effective forms of medieval torture

Can you imagine befriending a furry little critter, only to find out later that he'll be front and center for your demise? Nah, it was best to just hate the dirty little buggers.


There Was Little To No Privacy

Castles might appear to be fortresses from the outside, but the large and open floor plans on the inside left little room for privacy, especially if you were a servant. The lord and lady of the home would almost certainly have private chambers in which to dress and bathe, but all others who dwelled within the castle walls were forced to spend their days and nights in the constant company of each other. 

It was so dark and dingy in most areas of the castle that it might have been nice to have others close by for body warmth. Or perhaps they found other ways to stay warm; however, during the Middle Ages you could get it on with your spouse only for the purpose of procreation. This meant no new sexual positions, and even lusting after your own partner was considered a sin - that's what mistresses were for apparently.


It Was Very Dark, And Extremely Cold

Castles were built using stones, and most castles in medieval times were built with defense from enemies in mind rather than comfort. This led to giant fortresses of stone with small and narrow windows. The stone wasn't exactly conducive to letting heat in and the small windows let in very little of the sun's light, leaving most rooms in the castle extremely dark and cold.

Just imagine the freezing servants quarters, which would have been in the deepest, darkest recesses of the castle. The illnesses that go along with damp and cold living spaces would have been rampant among the servants and they would have had little defense against the sicknesses.



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Fri, 26 May 2017 02:21:18 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/what-life-was-like-in-medieval-castles/shanell-mouland
<![CDATA[16 Times Ancient Aliens Actually Had Legitimate Claims Of Alien Life]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/times-ancient-aliens-was-right/brandon-michaels?source=rss

Over the years, the History Channel show Ancient Aliens has become the butt of a lot of jokes. Poor Giorgio A. Tsoukalos has been turned into a meme that just won't go away. But early on in the existence of the show, Ancient Aliens actually made some pretty good points and re-sparked an interest in asking the eternal question: could extraterrestrial life actually exist?

In 2002, the Mars Odyssey Spacecraft discovered reservoirs of ice hidden beneath Mars' surface, suggesting that life just might be able to be sustained on another planet. Then in 2008, the Vatican even acknowledged that life on other planets is possible, and declared that it does not negate the existence of God.

And long before either of those realizations occurred, Chariots of the Gods was published by Swiss author Erich von Däniken in 1968, in an attempt to prove that aliens had visited Earth thousands of years ago. Von Däniken was driven by the fact that every major religion revolves around the story of a heavenly figure visiting Earth, and used this as the basis for his famous Ancient Alien Theory. One year after it was published, Neil Armstrong walked on the moon and re-sparked America’s interest in outer space and aliens, but von Däniken’s theory that ancient Gods were actually alien visitors is still highly contested.  

Ancient Aliens has made some pretty reasonable claims, and presented a lot of facts about unexplained phenomena. And while the accuracy of their scientific claims involving aliens may come into question from time to time, they certainly present some plausible explanations for otherwise unexplainable events. So, was Ancient Aliens right? Who knows - but here's a list of every time their ideas made some sense. The truth is out there, but you'll have to decide if they've found it.


16 Times Ancient Aliens Actually Had Legitimate Claims Of Alien Life,

The Mysterious Antikythera Mechanism Is An Ancient Extraterrestrial Computer

What They Said: The mysterious Antikythera Mechanism is an ancient extraterrestrial computer.

Why It Makes Sense: In 1901, scuba divers off the coast of Antikythera discovered a strange box inside a shipwreck. Nearly 50 years later, after x-raying the box, a team of scientists discovered it contained a complex clockwork mechanism made up of over 30 bronze gears. The device dates back to 150 BCE, and is believed to have tracked the location of the moon and sun through the solar system. Ancient Alien theorists believe that such an advanced computer-like device could not have been created with such primitive technology, and that it must have extraterrestrial ties.


The Nazca Lines Were A Man-Made Ancient Alien Runway

What They Said: The Nazca Lines were a man-made ancient alien runway.

Why It Makes Sense: Nazca, Peru has been heavily researched because of its compelling man-made landscapes. Images of the desert clearly show long, flat stripes that stretch on for miles across mountains and valleys - resembling an airport landing strip. How could a primitive civilization have altered the landscape so drastically, and why? This question remains unanswered to this day, and is part of the reason why the Nazca Lines are such a renowned mystery.


The Piri Reis Map Was Created By Extraterrestrials

What They Said: The Piri Reis map was created with the assistance of extraterrestrials.

Why It Makes Sense: In 1929, historians discovered a map painted onto an animal hide. The map belonged to a 16th century Turkish admiral named Piri Reis, and included land masses that still hadn’t been explored - it even depicted the coast of Antarctica as it sits below the existing mile-thick layer of ice. Signs indicate that the map must have been made before Antarctica froze over, which would have been many, many millions of years ago. And when comparing the Piri Reis map to a modern map of the world, cartographers found minute details and specific topography markings that would only have been possible to conceptualize through aerial observation. How could ancient cartographers have created such an accurate map without assistance from advance technologies? 


The Geo-Glyphs of Nazca Were Created To Attract Extraterrestrials

What They Said: The Nazca Lines were created to attract extraterrestrials.

Why It Makes Sense: The Nazca Desert in Peru is home to an arid plateau that stretches on for over 50 miles, and it is covered in countless geometric patterns and figures known as the Nazca Lines. The patterns include clear images of fish, monkeys, spiders, and even humanoids - all of which are only visible from the air. The shapes also include dozens of long, straight lines. These designs are clearly man-made and are only recognizable from high-above, most likely to signal extraterrestrials.


Archeologists Have Discovered Ancient Alien Astronaut Artifacts

What They Said: Ancient artifacts discovered all around the globe depict ancient alien astronaut technology.

Why It Makes Sense: Guatemala City is home to a 1,500-year-old sculpture that resembles a modern day astronaut, complete with a helmet, a mouthpiece, and a breathing apparatus on his chest. Meanwhile in Columbia, thousands of tomb artifacts were recovered that all resemble modern-day airplanes, complete with fixed wings, an up-right tail-fin, and a fuselage. Finally, in the Istanbul Museum, there’s a sculpture of a headless astronaut in a space suit sitting inside of a rocket ship covered in tubes. Where did these cultures get such advanced ideas about aerodynamics? Ancient Alien theorists believe that these are all examples of cultures documenting visits from extraterrestrials.


Different Cultures Have Clear Illustrations Of Ancient Astronauts

What They Said: Many early cultures around the world made illustrations clearly depicting ancient alien astronauts.

Why It Makes Sense: Ancient cave drawings all around the world depict figures dressed in strange attire with unusual headgear. Ancient Alien theorists believe these to be illustrations of extraterrestrials who visited Earth thousands of years ago. Petroglyphs in Utah depict strange creatures with helmets and antennae, while halfway around the globe we see similar illustrations in the plains of Australia as well as in countless other countries. What could have driven all these ancient civilizations to draw such a thing? 


Many Religions Have Stories Of Flying Machines Descending From The Heavens

What They Said: Christianity isn't the only religion that depicts extraterrestrial visitation. As a matter of fact, almost every major religion in the world has a similar story.

Why It Makes Sense: The story is the same, but the names are always different: a deity descends from the heavens, communicates with the culture, and disappears with a promise to return in the distant future. For instance, in ancient Indian Sanskrit writings dating back over 5,000 years, there are several instances describing Vimānas, or mythical flying machines, that are over 100 feet wide and move much like modern aircrafts. The Bhagavata Purana states that King Rama piloted a metal spacecraft that moved like a butterfly and appeared to be in two places at once, and that could project a beam of light that consumed anything it touched. Ancient Alien theorists believe this to be a clear description of an extraterrestrial spacecraft.


Enoch From The Old Testament Was Abducted By Extraterrestrials

What They Said: Enoch from the Old Testament was abducted by extraterrestrials.

Why It Makes Sense: The Book of Enoch is known as one of the Lost Books of the Bible, and details Enoch's personal accounts with God. Enoch was apparently taken one day and then “walked faithfully with God 300 years.” Ancient Alien theorists believe this to be a first-hand account of an abduction, detailing the aliens’ names, their jobs, and noting that they even taught Enoch how to read and write in their language.


The Bible References Extraterrestrial Visits

What They Said: In the Book of Ezekiel, it states that Earth was visited by “four-faced winged creatures in the likeness of men, who traveled upon a gleaming wheeled device.” Ancient cultures may have interpreted this advanced technology as the power of the gods.

Why It Makes Sense: In the Old Testament there are several accounts of God or his angels visiting Earth. Each of these visits is accompanied by clouds of smoke and unnatural noises, and sometimes even mention flying machines. Ancient Alien theorists believe these to be the descriptions of past visits from extraterrestrials, similar to how more primitive civilizations thought WWII war planes were holy figures descending from the sky simply because they didn’t know how to explain such advanced technology. 


The Egyptians Were Taught The Secrets Of Electricity By Ancient Aliens

What They Said: The ancient Egyptians were taught the secrets of electricity by aliens.

Why It Makes Sense: Most mainstream archeologists believe that torches were used to light the inside of Egyptian tombs, but there is no evidence of soot or smoke damage to be found. Ancient Alien theorists believe that the Egyptian Temple of Dandera actually shows evidence of ancient Egyptian lightbulbs being used to light the tomb. Glyphs on the wall of the temple even depict a bulbed device with a filament. Theorists believe that electricity was a closely kept secret gifted to them by alien beings, and that Dandera is where the knowledge of the mythical light-giving source was stored. This theory was further solidified when Baghdad Batteries began being found in Iraq, explaining how Egyptians could have generated a charge for the lights. How could they have discovered this technology on their own?



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Mon, 12 Jun 2017 05:29:55 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/times-ancient-aliens-was-right/brandon-michaels
<![CDATA[Remembering The Kent State Shootings - When The National Guard Killed 4 Students]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-the-kent-state-shooting/rachel-souerbry?source=rss

The massacre that took place in Kent, OH, on May 4, 1970, shook the United States and shaped the organization of protests for decades to come. What began as a peaceful demonstration devolved into a violent confrontation between Kent State University students and the Ohio National Guard.

The already unpopular Vietnam War was expanding, and for many people this was the last straw. After four days of intense protest, vandalism, and rioting, everything finally came to a head on the Kent State campus.

At the end of the incident, four students were left dead and nine others were wounded. In spite of a perceived threat to their lives, none of the guards were seriously injured. 

The impact of the shooting was felt across the United States as protests became even larger in size and reached right up to President Nixon's doorstep in Washington D.C. 

No guards were ever charged with any crimes, and some believe that the victims were denied justice. However, one thing is clear - there is a lot to learn from the events that took place on that fateful day. Here are just a few facts about the Kent State shooting that might surprise you.


Remembering The Kent State Shootings - When The National Guard Killed 4 Students,

The Average Distance Between The Protesters And The Guards Was Around 345 Feet

Although the National Guard officers claimed that the students were advancing on them in a manner that made them feel that their lives were being threatened, none of the students killed were closer than 270 feet away. The closest student of the nine injured was still about 60 feet away.

The distances of the students who were shot from the guards who shot them vary widely, with one young man even getting shot in the neck from about 700 feet away. 

The National Guard gave many reasons for why they started firing on the unarmed students, such as a perceived shot from a sniper and the threat to their lives from the rocks being thrown at them. 


Chrissie Hynde And Jerry Casale Were Eyewitnesses And Kent State Students

Jerry Casale, a founding member of the band Devo, was a student at Kent State at the time of the shooting. He was also a participant in parts of the protest and says that he witnessed two people get shot during the attack by the National Guard. Casale claims that experiencing that traumatic event played a huge part in his decision to start the band.

Chrissie Hynde, who would go to be the lead singer of The Pretenders, was an 18-year-old art student at the time. She participated in the vandalism leading up to the main protest, and has described dragging trash cans out into the street with other students and setting them on fire.


There Was A Wrongful Death And Injury Lawsuit

Arthur and Doris Krause's daughter, Allison, was one of the four students killed at the demonstration. The day after the shooting, Mr. Krause was interviewed about his daughter and her participation in the protest, saying: "Is this dissent a crime? Is this a reason for killing her? Have we come to such a state in this country that a young girl has to be shot because she disagrees deeply with the actions of her government?"

Within a few weeks, the Krauses had filed a private lawsuit, followed soon by the parents of the other slain students as well as those who were wounded. For Arthur Krause, it was about justice rather than money - he asked for $1 in damages. In total, the group sought $46 million in damages in a 1975 civil trial; they lost the original trial, but appealed the decision and later reached a settlement. 


Not All Of The Shooting Victims Were Protesters - Two Of The Students Killed Were Just Walking To Class

Of the 13 students who were shot, four were killed and nine sustained wounds from the attack by the Ohio National Guard. Two of the students who were killed, Allison Krause and Jeffrey Miller, were there participating in the protest - but the other two were not.

William Schroeder was just stopping to observe what was happening while on his way to class, and Sandra Scheuer was also just passing by. Sadly, they were very literally caught in the crossfire.


The Governor Of Ohio Called The Protesters "The Worst Type Of People That We Harbor In America"

The events that occurred in Kent, OH, leading up to the shooting caused great concern for Mayor LeRoy Satrom and Ohio Governor James Rhodes. The vandalism and public disorder eventually led Satrom to declare a state of emergency and call in the governor for assistance. 

Instead of diffusing the situation in Kent as he had intended, the governor instead further inflamed it - in a press conference on May 3rd, Governor Rhodes proclaimed that the people who were so vehemently fighting for their cause were the "worst type of people that we harbor in America."

The residents of Kent and the politicians of Ohio were said to have shared in the sentiment that the protesters were a nuisance, were "asking for it," and needed to be stopped.


Police And The National Guard Did More Than Just Shoot Protesters - They Used Tear Gas And Bayonets

One of the questions asked over and over again by those who investigated this incident was: why did the guards fire into a crowd of unarmed students? Some of the students interviewed after the shooting claimed that very few of the protesters believed that the weapons were even loaded. 

But the National Guard didn't only have loaded rifles - they also had cannisters of tear gas and bayonets fixed to said rifles. All of these tools were used against the gathering of unarmed students, with the justification being that the students were throwing rocks.


The Protest Was Preceded By Vandalism In Downtown Kent

Even before the ROTC (Reserve Officers' Training Corps) building was burned to the ground, there were other incidents of vandalism reported in the city of Kent.

On May 1st, there were peaceful protests being held on campus, responding to the previous day's announcement that Nixon was sending troops into Cambodia. Although they began peacefully, the protests soon gave way to anger and aggression. The downtown area of Kent had to close bars early and issue a curfew to residents in order to stop the rampant acts of vandalism, which included throwing beer bottles, lighting trash cans on fire, and smashing windows.


The Fateful Protest Was Sparked By The Spread Of The Vietnam War Into Cambodia

The Vietnam War was a very hot topic in 1970, with groups of people springing up all over the country to protest the United States's involvement. Then, on April 30th, President Nixon made an announcement that the military would be expanding the reach of its forces into Cambodia.

Cambodia had not been involved in the war previously, but many of the Viet Cong were crossing the border to hide out there. For many who believed that it was already a cruel and inhumane war, this was the final straw. 


There Is A Memorial Placed Where Jeffrey Miller's Body Was Photographed

There are several monuments around the Kent State campus honoring the students who died during the May 4th protest - including one for Jeffrey Miller that marks the exact spot where he lost his life. Miller was the only victim to die instantly, after he was shot though the mouth.

There is a very famous photograph by John Filo that shows Miller lying on the ground while a young woman, 14-year-old runaway Mary Ann Vecchio, screams above him. This photo made it easier to pinpoint the exact spot to place his memorial.


Kent State's ROTC Building Was Burned To The Ground

Two days before the shooting occurred on the Kent State campus, protesters burned the wooden ROTC building to the ground. It was not the only college campus in the US to have its ROTC building damaged around that time - Washington State's was vandalized as well. 

The identity of the arsonist is still unknown to this day, and there are many stories out there speculating as to who it might have been. Although there is no proper evidence, most people seem to agree that it was the work of radical protesters rather than Kent State students. 



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Wed, 24 May 2017 07:15:19 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-the-kent-state-shooting/rachel-souerbry
<![CDATA[15 Extremely Bizarre Things Most People Don't Know About Alfred Hitchcock]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-alfred-hitchcock/erin-mccann?source=rss

Alfred Hitchcock, one of history's most famous directors, made such classics as Psycho, Rear Window, and Vertigo during his 50-year career. He also wrote a few screenplays you may have heard of. Despite his longevity and consistent excellence, Hitchcock never won a Best Director Academy Award, though he was nominated five times. On set, he was known as a controlling man with a macabre sense of humor who created carefully detailed sets and inspired his actors' performances with odd acts of manipulation and cruelty.

The son of a devoutly Catholic greengrocer, Hitchcock grew up fearing authority. This gave the Master of Suspense a perfectionist work ethic, which is responsible for some of the strange stories of Alfred Hitchcock included here. The director used his fears to expose those of the audience, addressing everything from being attacked by vicious birds to getting spied on by a neighbor or attacked by a lunatic at a motel. Even while playing with his audience's fears, Hitchcock had a coy smile on his face. In fact, the annals of Alfred Hitchcock quotes include a comment made to Ingrid Bergman: “It’s only a movie.”


15 Extremely Bizarre Things Most People Don't Know About Alfred Hitchcock,

He Was A Binge Eater

Hitchcock's relationship with food was as complicated as some of his plot twists. As a child, he secretly binged on things like bacon and fried fish. As an adult, he was known to order three steaks at a time and finished his meal with several servings of ice cream. Food also has plenty of appearances in his films, such as a chicken dinner in 1946's Notorious and a lobster take out meal in 1954's Rear Window.

Hitchcock had a revelation about his mortality while filming Lifeboat in 1944 and put himself on a diet and, as a result, he lost a third of his body mass. Although he regained the weight he lost, before and after images of the director appear in a newspaper ad in the film (which you can see above). 


He Used Homosexuality To Create Uneasiness

Homosexuality is associated with crime, violence, and villainy in many of Hitchcock's films. Gay antagonists, and lots of subtext, can be found in 1948's Rope and 1951's Strangers On A Train. In the 1950s, homosexuality was still seen as a mental disorder by mainstream society, and Hitchcock used the uneasiness surrounding it to build tension in several films, including a housekeeper's strange behaviors in Rebecca and Norman Bates's cross dressing practices in Psycho.


He Collaborated With Salvador Dali On A Dream Sequence

For 1945's Spellbound, Hitchcock enlisted the help of surrealist Salvador Dali for a dream sequence. Dali created about 20 minutes of footage that was edited way down for the film. Hitchcock noted: 

"I wanted Dali because of the architectural sharpness of his work. But Dali had some strange ideas. He wanted a statue to crack like a shell falling apart, with ants crawling all over it. And underneath, there would be Ingrid Bergman, covered by ants! It just wasn't possible."


He Refused To Meet Steven Spielberg Because He Felt Like A Whore For Taking Money To Do A Voice For The Jaws Ride

When the Universal Studios theme park opened in 1964, Hitchcock was hired to help with promotion over the course of several years. He was paid $1 million to star in ads and promotional films for attractions, which, in the 1970s, included the Jaws ride. 

Jaws director Steven Spielberg was a big Hitchcock fan and tried to meet his idol several times. Hitchcock always turned him down, eventually admitting the reason was "Because I'm the voice of the Jaws ride [at the Universal Studios them park]. They paid me a million dollars. And I took it and I did it. I'm such a whore. I can't sit down and talk to the boy who did the fish movie... I couldn't even touch his hand."

Perhaps even weirder still, all this information came compliments of Bruce Dern, who knew both directors and tried to put them in touch with one another. 


He Had An Entire Apartment Complex With Furnished Rooms And A Drainage System Built For 'Rear Window'

Hitchcock was a bit of a control freak. He meticulously planned shots and went to strange, sometimes extreme lengths to get actors in character. His obsession with control can easily be seen in Rear Window, for which he had an entire apartment complex built in a studio so he could control every aspect of the environment. There were 31 apartments in the complex, 12 of which were completely furnished. Several even had running water and electricity.

The set was based on a real courtyard, behind a building at 125 Christopher Street in New York City. Construction of the set required removing the floor of the sound stage, so the recessed courtyard could be built below ground level. An intricate light system was created so the inside and outside of the buildings could be lit without lights interfering with one another. A complex drainage system was devised so rain scenes could be filmed in the studio without water pooling. 


He Terrorized Actress Tippi Hedren And Her Daughter

Alfred Hitchcock had a thing for blonde leading ladies, including Tippi Hedren, the star of 1963's The Birds and 1964's Marnie. He developed an odd obsession with her, and wanted to control everything about her life. While filming The Birds, he locked Hedren in a room with a bunch of angry live birds, some of which were tied to her body. She eventually collapsed in a crying fit and had to be carried off set, and required a week of bed rest. Hitchcock also sent Hedren's daughter, Melanie Griffith, a wax doll that resembled her mother and was nestled in a small coffin.

According to Hedren, this happened because she rejected Hitchcock's sexual advances. When he made things difficult, she threatened to stop working with him, at which point he told her he'd ruin her career if she did. She eventually extricated him from her life, to the detriment to her career.

Hitchcock had similar obsession with other leading ladies, including Grace Kelly, though claimed he was celibate, having only had sex once, with his wife, Alma. Some might say he terrorized Hedren as he did his other actors, for the sake of improving their performances. 


He Wanted Cary Grant To Have A Sneezing Fit Inside Lincoln's Nose In 'North By Northwest'

Throughout the early 1950s, Hitchcock toyed with an idea he referred to as The Man In Lincoln's Nose. The project was conceived as a movie about a wrongly accused man trying to exonerate himself, and would include a scene in the United Nations, as well as a climatic scene at Mount Rushmore.

While developing the idea, Hitchcock wanted to include a scene in which Cary Grant's character hides in Lincoln's nose on Mount Rushmore and has a sneezing fit. The film was eventually named North By Northwest and Mount Rushmore refused permission for filming, requiring a reproduction set to be made. The sneezing idea was abandoned.


He Was Terrified Of Eggs

In 1963, Hitchcock declared eggs terrified him.

“I’m frightened of eggs, worse than frightened, they revolt me. That white round thing without any holes … have you ever seen anything more revolting than an egg yolk breaking and spilling its yellow liquid? Blood is jolly, red. But egg yolk is yellow, revolting. I’ve never tasted it.”


He Had A Demented Sense Of Humor That Involved Laughs At The Expense Of The Safety And Sanity Of Others

Hitchcock loved perverse jokes and cruel pranks. He was known to use blue food coloring in dinner guests' meals, once crammed a horse in an actor's tiny dressing room for fun, and spiked a crew member's drink with a laxative after chaining him to a piece of film equipment.

Many of his pranks were employed to get actors into character, such as when he coaxed an uneasy and shy performance from Joan Fontaine in 1940's Rebecca by saying the cast and crew hated her. He was also known to make jokes like, “Call me Hitch. Hold the cock,” and referred to Anthony Perkins as Master Bates on the Psycho set.


Walt Disney Said 'No Thanks' To Hitchcock's Filming Request

In the early 1960s, Hitchcock approached Walt Disney about filming an unknown project on location in the Disneyland theme park. Despite Hitchcock's popularity at the time and the extra recognition his project would bring to the park, Disney turned him down. His reason? "That disgusting movie Psycho."



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Wed, 24 May 2017 09:10:15 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-alfred-hitchcock/erin-mccann
<![CDATA[People Used To Lash Themselves To Beg God To Spare Them From The Black Plague]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-flagellants-in-dark-ages/melissa-sartore?source=rss

Flagellants were men and women who practiced physical forms of self-punishment in order to purge themselves and the world of sin. People have been practicing self-punishment for centuries, denying themselves even the most minimal comforts in order to appease various religious rites. And, in the chaos of the Middle Ages, the flagellant movement gained particularly noticeable popularity among the pious.

Most people know about flagellants from Dan Brown books and medieval lore, but the actual slaps and cries of medieval flagellation are deeply rooted in the need to please God, make disease and hardships go away, and stave off the impending end of the world.


People Used To Lash Themselves To Beg God To Spare Them From The Black Plague,

Flagellants Covered Their Faces, But Exposed Their Backs

As flagellants made their way from town to town, they walked around without shirts on, but wore masks or hoods to hide their faces. This was particularly helpful for women, who were showing much more skin than would have usually been acceptable in a public setting.

Given that flagellants slept on straw each night, this must have made for a less-than-restful experience, which was exactly the point; however, the more they suffered, the more they mitigated evil in the world.

 


Processions Of Flagellants Could Include Thousands Of People

Flagellants were persuasive. As they made their way through town after town, flagellants sang hymns and called out for people to join them, and peasants and wealthy individuals alike would join them in their efforts.

Joining the flagellants may not sound very appealing, but they were actually quite popular at first. They godly represented action in the face of desperation. Flagellation gave people a way to feel as though they could do something to bring about the end of God's wrath. Some processions of flagellants even numbered into the thousands by the time they reached the end of their 33 1/2 day march.


Flagellants Marched For 33 1/2 Days

Flagellants would walk for hours every day, moving from town to town. They had bare feet, few clothes, and beat themselves and each other three times at each town along the way. The entire procession lasted exactly 33 1/2 days, but why?  

According to the flagellants, Christ was angry at mankind and would destroy the world in 33 days. But because the Virgin Mary was able to buy humanity more time, each procession would walk for 33 and 1/2 days, bleeding and showing devotion to God in hopes of preventing the end of the world.  

Other versions of the story theorize that flagellants marched for 33 1/2 days in order to honor each year that Christ lived on Earth.


Flagellants Weren't Only Men

For the most part, confraternities, or "brotherhoods," during the Middle Ages were made up only of men, but flagellants invited men, women, and children to join in their efforts.  Clergy, laity, the elderly, the young, and everyone else in between joined in the act of scourging themselves in hopes of purging the world of sin.


Flagellants Sacrificed For Us All

God was obviously unhappy, so groups of devoted Christians took to marching through their towns, whipping themselves and each other, calling for others to join them as they repented the sins of the world. These flagellants were groups of what are referred to as confraternities, or individuals who were united for a higher purpose out of religious and charitable devotion.  

Flagellants also saw themselves as being able to achieve a closer relationship with Christ and his Passion. According to the Gospel, Christ had been scourged or flogged by Pontius Pilate before his crucifixion. And just as Jesus had suffered for humanity, so would humanity for him.


Flagellants Got Their Start In 13th Century Italy

In response to corruption, earthquakes, and an epidemic, flagellants emerged in Perugia, Italy, around 1260. The movement was led by Umbrian hermit Raniero Fasani and quickly spread across the Alps to other Germanic states. Fasani may have been inspired by earlier Mendicant movements, which resulted in penitential processions in 1233. 

Another factor that played into the 1260 flagellation fervor was wide-spread concern that the end of the world was coming. Theologians such as Joachim of Flora predicted that the "second epoch" of mankind was coming to an end and that the third would begin only after a mysterious event occurred around the year 1260.


Flagellation Was Nothing New

The Catholic Church has a long history of self-punishment and asceticism, and self-flagellation was just one of the many acceptable forms of penance. In addition to atoning for personal sins, there was a belief during the Middle Ages that economic and social struggles were a sign that God was unhappy and mankind needed to make amends.  

Self-flagellation was used as a way to bleed and experience pain for God. It was also thought of as a way to control emotions, prevent temptation, and discipline one's self. After all, the sins of the flesh needed to be met with the appropriate punishment of the flesh if there was any hope of receiving forgiveness.


Flagellants Were Never Church Sanctioned

Flagellants were essentially seen as taking one for the team, but their actions were never officially endorsed by the Catholic Church. They were at first tolerated, but eventually their extreme behavior and fanaticism caused them to lose favor rather quickly.

Because flagellants were basically treating social ills, they were generally well-received by the populace in most areas during the 13th century. The clergy would even lead them through town carrying crosses and banners. However, once many people realized that they weren't an actual Church group, they lost popularity.


Flagellants Spread As Quickly As The Plague In The 14th Century

The outbreak of the Black Death in 1347 led to a mass resurgence of flagellants. The movement started in Italy and rapidly spread throughout neighboring countries. Again, religious zealots sought to make amends and achieve Salvation, despite having obviously sinned and upset God.  

According to medieval chronicler Robert of Avesby, hundreds of flagellants made their way to England in 1349 where, he described, they formed a mostly-naked mob as they whipped, chanted, and prostrated themselves in a systematic fashion:

"Four of them would chant in their native tongue and another four would chant in response like a litany. Thrice they would all cast themselves on the ground in this sort of procession, stretching out their hands like the arms of a cross. The singing would go on and, the one who was in the rear of those thus prostrate acting first, each of them in turn would step over the others and give one stroke with his scourge to the man lying under him."


Flagellants Used Leather And Metal

The tools flagellants used were made to draw blood. They would whip themselves with leather thongs tipped in iron spikes, nails, or large knots.  

Sometimes flagellants whipped themselves so hard and successfully, that their blood would be flung out into the crowd. Accounts of people then taking the blood and rubbing it in their eyes speak to the value of the sacrifice. It was thought that the blood of a flagellant had miraculous properties.



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Wed, 07 Jun 2017 01:36:59 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-flagellants-in-dark-ages/melissa-sartore
<![CDATA[Robert Louis Stevenson: Legendary Author, Gigantic Cocaine Addict]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/surprising-facts-about-robert-louis-stevenson/philgibbons?source=rss

The creative life of Robert Louis Stevenson was relatively brief. In fact, Stevenson was already in his thirties by the time he first achieved literary success with his epic novel, Treasure Island. He would then go on to enjoy popular acclaim with another work that is still highly revered today - the cautionary tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Many of the Robert Louis Stevenson biographies that have been written focus on the various ailments that plagued the writer from a young age, reducing him to an emaciated, sickly individual who wrote much of his material while bedridden. An adventurous wanderer and seeker his entire life, Stevenson would eventually make his way to the South Pacific island of Samoa where he lived with his wife before his untimely death on December 4, 1894, at the age of 44.


Robert Louis Stevenson: Legendary Author, Gigantic Cocaine Addict,

Robert Louis Stevenson Died In Samoa And Was Buried There With Great Respect

Stevenson first traveled to Samoa with his wife in 1889. He was so impressed by the region that he immediately purchased 300 acres of land and built a two-story house , which he named "Vailima." Although the house was the center of a small expatriate community, life there was austere and conditions were harsh. When the European colonial powers attempted to subjugate Samoa, Stevenson was vocally and economically supportive of the natives. Despite his aid, the island would eventually be annexed to Germany, but Stevenson earned eternal gratitude and the tribal name of "Tusitala," the teller of tales. Upon Stevenson's death, his remains were taken by natives to the summit of nearby Mt. Vaea, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. His epitaph reads:

Under the wide and starry sky
Dig the grave and let me lie,
Glad did I live and gladly die
And I laid me down with a will.
This be the verse you grave for me.
Here he lies where he longed to be.
Home is the sailor, home from the sea.
And the hunter home from the hill.

When Stevenson's wife died in Santa Barbara, California in 1914, her ashes were taken to the island and buried next to her husband.


Stevenson Had A Difficult Relationship With His Parents

Stevenson was constantly at odds with his parents over his professional life and what they considered his profligate ways. It was not as if Stevenson's parents developed a great hatred or dislike for their son, instead they were deeply concerned by his behavior, which they considered to be godless and self-destructive.

His father, Thomas Stevenson, was a civil engineer and lighthouse designer who was deeply distressed when his son showed no interest in following in his footsteps. At Edinburgh University, Stevenson was the ringleader of a club that maintained the motto, "Ignore everything our parents taught us." Probably to please his parents, Stevenson studied to become a lawyer, but never actively pursued the profession. By the time he had written Treasure Island - as a married man in his early 30s - he was still being financially supported by his parents.


Stevenson Spent Time In California In Pursuit Of His Future Wife

On one of his journeys to France, Robert Lewis Stevenson met Frances Osbourne, a married but separated American woman who, along with two of her children, was living in Paris studying art. Although the two became quite friendly and "Fanny" encouraged Stevenson to pursue his writing, she ultimately left Paris and Stevenson behind.

Clearly smitten, and against the advice of his friends and parents, Stevenson announced that he wished to travel to California to pursue the relationship. His parents declined to bankroll the journey, forcing Stevenson to pay his own way - a barrier that took months to overcome. After a voyage across the Atlantic and a subsequent train ride across the US, Stevenson's chronically poor health deteriorated even further. Initially torn between returning to her perpetually unfaithful husband and her broke but persistent suitor, Fanny Osbourne ultimately decided to marry Stevenson in San Francisco on May 19, 1880.


Stevenson's "The Body Snatcher" Stemmed From An Actual Criminal Case

Stevenson's 1884 short story "The Body Snatcher," describes the process of corpses being stolen for use by doctors and anatomists in Edinburgh in the early 1820s. The story was loosely based on the case of an actual surgeon, Robert Knox, who paid two criminals for cadavers, but never inquired as to the source of the bodies. Knox's suppliers were two murderers, William Hare and William Burke who were implicated in the deliberate killings of sixteen individuals that were then sold to Knox. Although he escaped prosecution, Knox's reputation was ruined by the uproar over the incident and he was forced to leave Scotland. Stevenson's short story appeared in the Pall Mall Gazette newspaper and was eventually adapted into a 1945 film starring Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi.


Born In Scotland, Stevenson Lived As A Vagabond

Much of Stevenson's adult life was spent exploring exotic locales, with his wanderings frequently being dictated by both his search for a healthier climate and material for the travelogues he produced. Born in Edinburgh, Scotland and afflicted with chronic respiratory issues, Stevenson initially wrote about central France after taking a canoeing trip with a friend and, in 1879, he also wrote Travels With a Donkey in the Cevennes, a description of his trek across France with a pack animal named Modestine.

His journey across America by train was described in the 1883, Across the Plains: Leaves from the Notebook of an Emigrant between New York and San Francisco. His worsening health would prompt Stevenson to seek even more temperate climates in Polynesia and the remote Pacific, with Stevenson sailing on a small trading schooner to the Gilbert Islands and Samoa. Stevenson's description of the voyage and his reflections on the region resulted in the posthumous, In the South Seas.


Robert Louis Stevenson Was In Poor Health For Most Of His Life

Stevenson is known to have acquired just about every disease that was prevalent in the 19th century, most notably tuberculosis, which he contracted at a young age. As a result, his eventual 6,000 mile trip to California to win the hand of his love interest quickly became a battle to merely survive. Stevenson's frequent journeys to some of the world's most exotic locales also exposed him to pneumonia, bronchitis, malaria, typhus, and cholera.

In the end, he died quite suddenly, probably of a stroke stemming from his chronic smoking, alcohol and coffee consumption, poor diet, and drug abuse exacerbated by the effects of meningitis on his brain. Predictably, some historians have even attempted to connect his demise to syphilis contracted in the brothels he frequented in his youth.


He Was On A Cocaine Binge When He Wrote The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde

Whether he used narcotics to assuage his innumerable health issues or merely because he enjoyed their effects, Robert Lewis Stevenson was a regular user of cocaine. In 1885, Stevenson's wife suddenly awoke him from a drug-addled nightmare, which he then went on to transcribe at length the next day. Within three days, the nightmare was turned into a full-length novella. When Stevenson asked for his wife's opinion, she was highly critical and claimed it would not be commercial enough to address their high level of debt, so he burned the manuscript.

In just three more days, he had re-composed the manuscript into The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In less than one week, Stevenson had written over 60,000 words - including the manuscript that was destroyed. And while the work did not include the sex and violence found in subsequent dramatizations, it does include substantial depictions of the duality of the human personality. Despite the initial refusal of booksellers to carry the book, positive reviews quickly spurred the public to purchase 40,000 copies in less than six months, making it one of Stevenson's most popular literary works.


Stevenson Wrote Treasure Island Under a Pseudonym

Treasure Island was Stevenson's first major literary success. Originally conceived from a map that he had drawn for his young stepson about a make-believe island, Stevenson began to develop a children's story from it about pirates and buried treasure. A literary journal for boys called Young Folks agreed to publish the story in weekly installments, but Stevenson was concerned about the work's reception and published it under the pseudonym "Captain George North."

After the serialization of the story was concluded, the manuscript was officially published in book form in November of 1883. Based on the positive reviews it received, it soon became quite successful, overcoming the initial reaction from its less than enthused youthful magazine audience. Stevenson never explained why the book was published under a pseudonym, but one theory states that his already contentious relationship with his parents would have been exacerbated if his public literary failure had tarnished the family name.


His Wife Was Also A Little Off

Francis Van de Grift Osbourne, nicknamed Fanny, was certainly a kindred spirit to the perpetually restless and iconoclastic Stevenson. Only 17 when she married her first husband, Sam - an officer enlisted in the Union Army during the Civil War - she gave birth to her first child Isobel two years later. After her husband headed off to Nevada to mine for silver and gold, Fanny made the arduous trek via Panama to San Francisco and then to the mining camps of Nevada where she rejoined her husband. Two more sons followed and the family eventually relocated to San Francisco. However, depressed by her husband's philandering ways, in 1875, Fanny decided to travel to France with her children to study art with her daughter.

Sadly, soon after they arrived in Paris one of her sons fell ill and died from tuberculosis. To heal from her loss, she moved with her remaining children to a small village near Barbizon where she eventually meet Robert Lewis Stevenson. Conflicted by her growing affection for the writer, but still legally married, Fanny returned to California in 1878, only to later leave her husband when Stevenson showed up on her doorstep.


Stevenson Idolized "Deacon" Brodie, A Scottish Criminal With A Dual, Psychopathic Personality

At a young age, Stevenson became fascinated by the legendary Scottish criminal, William "Deacon" Brodie. Brodie seemed to live the respectable life of an 18th century Edinburgh furniture maker, politician, and deacon. However, because his work sometimes involved installing locks and keys, Brodie also lived a secret life as a burglar while engaged in profligate sex, gambling, and alcoholism - for which he was eventually caught, condemned, and hanged.

As a student, Stevenson took to dressing like Brodie and even emulated his abuse of alcohol until an eventual collapse forced Stevenson to return to his father's home. Bedridden, he was medicated with a combination of alcohol, morphine, and opium, which only served to increase his appetite for narcotics. Stevenson's knowledge of Brodie's twisted life became the genesis for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde



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Wed, 24 May 2017 09:19:37 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/surprising-facts-about-robert-louis-stevenson/philgibbons
<![CDATA[The Surprisingly Sad, Strange Life of Sir Isaac Newton]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/sad-stories-from-the-life-of-isaac-newton/melissa-sartore?source=rss

Sir Isaac Newton is considered to be one of greatest thinkers that ever lived. The father of modern physics studied alchemy, optics, gravity, and numerous aspects of science and mathematics over the course of his life, making few friends and demonstrating some pretty odd personality characteristics in the process.

Devout yet vengeful, brilliant yet anti-social, dedicated yet lazy - Newton was full of his share of dualities and quirks. Experiences from his youth shaped his personality into that of a temperamental and paranoid man who wasn't afraid to trash-talk his competitors and embellish his own contributions when it suited him. However, there are many facts about Sir Isaac Newton that aren't well-known - some are sad, while others are downright strange. 


The Surprisingly Sad, Strange Life of Sir Isaac Newton,

Newton Was Accused Of Plagiarism And Almost Quit Science

Newton began publishing his research on light, color, and motion, with his first presentation being at the Royal Society of London in 1672. His ideas about light contradicted those of noted scientist and head of the Royal Society, Robert Hooke, earning Newton immediate criticism. Newton argued that light was made up of particles while Hooke believed it was a wave - and because Hooke had more academic clout at the time, a bitter rivalry developed. Hooke went so far as to convince fellow scientists that Newton was wrong.

Then, in 1675, Newton published another paper that drew even greater criticism; however, this time he was being accused of plagiarizing Hooke's ideas about the relationship between planets and the sun. Hooke, for his part, did have his own ideas about gravitation and the way that planets were attracted to the sun, but he never articulated a theory. The claims of plagiarism were unfounded, but it was still enough to drive Newton into a fit of rage in which he vowed to quit the Royal Society and never publish again.


Newton Confessed 48 Of His Greatest Sins

In addition to confessing that he had wished for the death of his stepfather, Newton listed 48 of his most offensive sins at the age of 19. He recounted numerous violations of working on Sundays and not honoring God, but also of lying, punching his sister, and having unclean thoughts.  

He also wrote about conducting experiments on himself, most notably sticking a needle in his own eye while he researched optics. He also stared into the sun for extended lengths of time in order to experience changes to his vision.


Newton Was A Cambridge Professor, But Not A Very Good One

After earning his master's degree in 1668, Newton became the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Trinity College, Cambridge at the age of 27. He took over the position for his former professor, Isaac Barrow, who had recommended him for the job. As a professor, Newton was still able to carry out his research, but his courses were not well attended, which may have been a reflection of Newton's greater interest in his own work rather than in his students.


Newton Almost Became A Farmer

At age 12, Newton's mother sent him away to attend school at Grantham, where he stayed with the Clark family and once again lived as an outsider in someone else's home. He proved to be a less-than-impressive student and soon his mother decided to bring him back home to manage her property and affairs.

Lucky for Newton, he turned out to be a horrible farmer and in 1660 he returned to Grantham to finish his primary education. This time he lived with the headmaster, Stokes, for his second term and must have shown some academic promise, because in 1661 Newton was accepted into Trinity College at Cambridge.

Newton attended Cambridge for several years and earned a bachelor's degree in 1665. He continued on to pursue his master's degree until the school closed due to an outbreak of the plague in 1666-1667.  He then returned to his family for eighteen months.


Newton Hated His Stepfather And Was Basically Disowned

When Newton was three years old, his mother Hannah Ayscough remarried. Newton openly despised his mother's second husband, a preacher named Barnabas Smith - and by all accounts, the feeling was mutual. Hannah soon sent her son to live with his maternal grandmother, Margery, until Smith's death in 1653. Throughout his childhood, Newton's resentment toward Smith and his mother only continued to grow. Newton later recalled having wished his stepfather would die, and once even threatened to burn their house down.

Newton was basically treated like an orphan by his family. Smith made no mention of him in his will and when his maternal grandfather, James Ayscough, died, there was no mention of Newton in his will either. Once Smith died, Hannah returned to live with her mother, bringing with her three more children - two daughters and a son - and the extended family lived together until Newton went off to school.


Newton Never Married And May Have Died A Virgin

Newton never seemed all that interested in women and never married. There is no evidence of him ever having been in a relationship of any kind, which has prompted some people to suggest that Newton remained a virgin throughout his life. His bad temper and aversion to people may have also played a part.  

On the other hard, though, it's has also been suggested that Newton took some sort of vow of celibacy early on, to which he remained loyal until his death at the age of 84.


Newton Was Incredibly Secretive And Had A Horrible Temper

Isaac Newton is best known for his work in the fields of mathematics and science, but he was also incredibly interested in alchemy and religion. Most of the notes he kept on these additional subjects were not known until his papers were sorted through after his death in 1727.  

Newton spent a lot of his time in isolation and was hesitant to share his work. Also playing a part in his self-imposed isolation was his hot temper, which was only exacerbated by the attitude of his critics. Some of these feelings may have been an extension of the loneliness he experienced as a child; however, Newton was able to make some of his greatest discoveries while hiding from the world.


Newton Never Knew His Father

Newton's father, who was also named Isaac, died a few months before his son was born. Isaac Sr. had been a successful farmer and owned property in Lincolnshire, England, making him a fairly well-off man in society. The elder Isaac also happened to be illiterate and couldn't write his name - forming a stark contrast to his son's future intellectual accomplishments. 


Newton Had At Least Two Mental Breakdowns And May Have Been Bipolar

Newton had a substantial mental breakdown in 1678, in large part due to the immense stress brought on by the controversies surrounding his work. His mother died the following year, at which point he became even more isolated and dove deeper into his research. In 1693, he experienced yet another breakdown very similar to the one he experienced years earlier. Newton was embarrassed by his battle with mental health - a lifelong struggle by all accounts - which may have been due to depression or a form of bipolar disorder.


Newton Plotted Against His Competitors

He feared criticism and was constantly paranoid that his colleagues were conspiring against him. As a result, Newton went after them vehemently. 

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz published his work on calculus in 1684, predating Newton's own work by twenty years; however, that didn't stop Newton from going after Leibnitz, accusing him of plagiarism. Newton went even further and openly campaigned against Leibnitz, who at the time was in the service of the Duke of Hanover. The Royal Society of London ultimately found Leibnitz guilt of plagiarizing Netwon's ideas, preventing Leibnitz from traveling with the Duke when he became King George I of England in 1714.



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Thu, 01 Jun 2017 07:59:00 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/sad-stories-from-the-life-of-isaac-newton/melissa-sartore
<![CDATA[Meet Kamala Harris: The Freshman California Senator Shaking Up Washington, DC]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-kamala-harris/nicky-benson?source=rss

Freshman Senator Kamala D. Harris has spent over 25 years as a legal advocate and is making a name for herself for her dynamic presence in Washington, D.C. She was California's first female District Attorney before being elected as the state's first female and African American Attorney General. Her actions in the courtroom, on the campaign trail, and now in Washington have some wondering whether she'll pursue a presidential bid in 2020.

A fierce opponent of the Trump administration, Harris has butted heads with some of her colleagues, many of whom happen to be men. Tapping on her skills honed as a prosecutor, she has been criticized by fellow senators for asking tough questions in Senate hearings. During an interview on CNN, a former campaign adviser for Donald Trump dubbed her "hysterical," which is defined as "uncontrolled extreme emotion" – a belittling charge that has been leveled at women of conviction throughout history.

Some have pointed out that the way Harris has been treated in Washington highlights how women in general, especially those of color, are treated on a daily basis. It's clear that Harris won't back down in the face of adversity. The attention she's getting is only elevating her status in the political arena.


Meet Kamala Harris: The Freshman California Senator Shaking Up Washington, DC,

She Failed The Bar Exam The First Time

Once Harris graduated from Howard University, she moved back to California where she went to law school at Hastings in San Francisco, and she earned her Juris Doctor (J.D.) in 1989. The first time she took the bar exam, she failed. She told the New York Times in 2016 that she had recently consoled a fellow law graduate who experienced the same disappointment, assuring the woman: "It's not a measure of your capacity.” In 1990, she was admitted to the State Bar of California.


She Grew Up In California & Montreal, Canada

After Harris's parents divorced in 1973, she moved with her sister and mother to Berkeley, CA, and lived in a largely African-American neighborhood. She was raised Hindu, but her mother was offered a job at the Jewish General Hospital and McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, so they relocated. Harris graduated from high school in Montreal and then received her undergraduate degree in political science and economics from the historically black Howard University in Washington, D.C.


Her Brother-In-Law Is Former Associate US Attorney General Tony West

Kamala Harris was born in Oakland, Calif., on Oct. 20, 1964. Her mother, Dr. Shyamala Gopalan Harris, was of Indian descent and a breast cancer researcher who emigrated to the United States in 1958. Harris's father, Donald Harris, is of Jamaican descent and a professor of economics at Stanford University. Her parents divorced when she was seven years old. Her name, Kamala, means "lotus flower" in Hindi. She has one sister, Maya, a lawyer and public policy advocate, whose husband is Tony West, a former Associate Attorney General of the United States.


She Is A Rising Democratic Star, And A Kamala Harris 2020 Presidential Bid Is Possible

Harris has support from powerful Democratic allies, including former President Barack Obama, who supported her bid for Senate. During an interview on the Today show, Harris talked about her qualifications and right to ask the tough questions. She also railed against President Trump for asking former FBI director, James Comey, for his loyalty. 

"When I think about that, I was a district attorney of San Francisco, the attorney general of California, and now a United States senator. I've taken the oath many times. The oath was to the Constitution of the United States, not an individual.”

In addition, while Harris has claimed she is not thinking about running for president, others believe she may be short listed for the job. Political Analyst Bebitch Jeffe says it's possible Harris could do it, but:

“what she needs is visibility and name recognition beyond California — and that’s part of what I see going on right now. I see a freshman senator who is attempting to raise her national and statewide visibility.”

There is already a Kamala Harris 2020 Facebook page dedicated to the possibility.


Her Parents Exposed Her To The Civil Rights Movement At An Early Age

After she was born, Harris's Indian American mother and Jamaican American father – both of whom were accomplished scholars – took her along with them on civil rights marches. During the '60s and early '70s, she was raised predominantly by her mother in a black neighborhood in Berkeley, CA, after her parents divorced. She and her sister sang in a Baptist choir, and, every two years, they visited India with their mother.


She Will Not Be Silenced

After being told by Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr to be more courteous during her questioning of witnesses about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, her team released a fundraising letter with the headline: “They told me to be courteous.” It noted:

“This is hardly the first time the GOP has done this — let us not forget when they silenced my friend and colleague Elizabeth Warren for trying to read a letter from Coretta Scott King about Jeff Sessions. … Well here is the truth: I will not be silenced. We will not be silenced. The American people, who deserve the truth, will not be silenced. Not when the faith and integrity of our democracy is at stake.”


She Is One Of The Strongest Opponents Of The Trump Administration

On election night, Harris vehemently urged her followers to "fight" and "resist" a Trump presidency. She criticized President Trump’s “inappropriate” demand that former FBI director James Comey pledge his loyalty. She has voted against at least 18 of Trump’s nominees, demonstrating that she disagrees with much of the administration's agenda. Harris was one of just 11 senators to vote against Gen. John Kelly's confirmation as head of the Department of Homeland Security, refusing to assent to his appointment on the basis of his stance against undocumented immigrants. And she has opposed Trump on policies about immigration, gay rights, and the environment.


She's Prosecuted Drug Traffickers, Protected Children's Rights, & Supported Gay Rights

As a prosecuting attorney, Harris has spent her career helping those she calls "the most voiceless and vulnerable Californians." During her tenure as the state's Attorney General, she prosecuted gangs that exploited women and children, as well as those who trafficked guns and drugs. During the mortgage crisis, she helped pass the “Homeowners Bill of Rights,” which established anti-foreclosure protections. She developed California’s Bureau of Children’s Justice and was instrumental in combating elementary school truancy. She helped LGBT Californians earn the right to marry and supported the Affordable Care Act.


She Is Already Making Big Waves As A First-Term California Senator

Harris, a junior Senator from California, is making a name for herself in the political arena. She is only the second black woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate. In early June 2017, people took note when she refused to back down while questioning Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers during nationally televised congressional hearings. Once considered cautious in her approach, she has changed tactics and has gone on the offensive. Harris is proud of her self-proclaimed "bloody knuckles" from taking on the Trump administration. 


She Was The First African American, Indian American, & Woman To Be Elected Attorney General Of California

Harris worked as a Deputy District Attorney in Alameda County, CA, from 1990 to 1998. From 1998 to 2000, she was Managing Attorney of the Career Criminal Unit in the San Francisco District Attorney's Office and Chief of the Community and Neighborhood Division from 2000 to 2003.

She was elected California's first African American female District Attorney of San Francisco in 2003, serving two terms until 2011. She was elected California's Attorney General in 2010 and was re-elected in 2014.

Other notable accomplishments: she was the first woman, the first Jamaican American, the first Asian American, the first Indian American, and the first African American Attorney General in California.



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Wed, 14 Jun 2017 07:48:57 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-kamala-harris/nicky-benson
<![CDATA[Historical Kings That People Literally Believed Would Rise From The Dead]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/mythological-kings-waiting-to-return-from-the-dead/carly-silver?source=rss

When a king dies, does he really kick the bucket? It's hard to say for all of them, but at least some kings will return – their legends promise it. A bevy of long-lived legends feature mythical or real-life monarchs who, though they supposedly died, have messianic myths floating around their heads. The most famous of these is the wait for King Arthur's return – injured grievously in his final battle, he supposedly sleeps on the Isle of Avalon, only waking up when Britain is in a time of crisis.

These myths about kings who are currently sleeping and will wake up to save their people are truly inspired; these long-awaited royal slumberers are often called "kings in the mountain." Their number includes obvious figures like King Arthur and Merlin, as well as less well-known ones, like the medieval Irish-Norman lord Gerald FitzGerald, the Saxon King Harold, the naughty Emperor Nero, and several Eastern European rulers. 


Historical Kings That People Literally Believed Would Rise From The Dead,

Constantine XI Palaiologos

This Byzantine Emperor was the last Christian ruler to reign before his lands were conquered by the Ottomans in 1453. Most accounts have Constantine XI dying in battle, but some posit that he was instead swept up by angels. The heavenly hosts turned the Emperor from flesh into marble, then stuck him in a cave outside the Golden Gate (an important imperial monument in Byzantium). The story went that, once Christian sins were officially canceled out, the angels would wake Constantine up; then, he'd open the Golden Gate and reconquer Byzantium/Istanbul for the Christians. 


Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor

Early medieval Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I (dubbed "Barbarossa" or "Red Beard") was German to the core and fought for rulers' rights over papal rights. But it was on a journey to join the Third Crusade that he achieved immortal fame. In 1190, Frederick drowned while trying to cross a Turkish river. But did he really meet his maker? 

According to legend, Frederick didn't die; rather, he is dozing inside Kyffhäuser Mountain, located in his native Germany. Ravens will fly around the peak until the day he wakes up to defend the German nation against a mortal enemy. Then, a dead tree will blossom again, and everything will be swell.


Gearóid Mór FitzGerald, 8th Earl of Kildare

Rumor had it that this 15th-century Irish earl was actually a black magician. So powerful he was dubbed the "uncrowned king of Ireland," Fitzgerald helped rule Ireland for almost 20 years. But he allegedly could shape-shift into animal form, and one day he did so and just disappeared from the human world forever. 

The Earl's ghost supposedly gallops back to his castle every seven years. Another tale says that Fitzgerald and his soldiers still survive underneath a hill near the Curragh. When Ireland needs them to defend it, then they'll come back to life to save it.


Harold Godwinson

The last Saxon king of England before the Normans took over, Harold Godwinson met his end at the hands of the aptly named William the Conqueror. The two men's forces met at the Battle of Hastings (in modern East Sussex) on October 14, 1066; Harold was slain, and William emerged the victor. 

But rumor had it that Harold didn't actually die there. Some have claimed he survived and moved to Iceland, remaining in hiding. Medieval chronicler Gerald of Wales alleged that Harold moved to Chester, where he became a hermit and lived underneath a church. There, he was a beacon for the "oppressed" Saxon people, and it is said he will return one day to throw the "Norman yoke" off of his people.


King Arthur

One of the most infamous parts of the King Arthur legend is its ending. Arthur was usually said to have met his end at the hands of his secret love child, Mordred (a product of incest between Arthur and one of his sisters). But Arthur didn't die – not exactly.

Before he could kick the bucket for good, he was carted off by three queens – including the Lady of the Lake and his sorceress sister, Morgan Le Fay – to the magical Isle of Avalon. There, he has supposedly waited for 1500 years, sleeping, licking his wounds, and healing up until England needs him again. At the time of greatest need, Arthur will rise to help his people, making him a "once and future king" in truth.


Nero

Nero might not have fiddled while Rome burned, and he might not have actually committed suicide in 68 CE, either. Rumors swirled after his death that he was still alive; in fact, three separate imposters pretended to be the Emperor before their revolts, particularly in the eastern part of the empire, but they were suppressed. Each was dubbed Nero redivivus, or "Nero resurrected."

Nero also featured in eschatological Judeo-Christian texts. When the world ends, the Antichrist will come in the guise of Nero. He'll pop up from Hell, since the Devil preserved him in order to send him out to mislead Christians in succeeding centuries.


Owain Lawgoch

One of the last independent Welsh lords before Wales fell once and for all to English control, Owain Lawgoch ("Red Hand") hailed from the formidable dynasty of Gwynedd. He was the final scion of the House of Aberffraw before dying in 1378, but Owain might not have actually met his demise.

There's "a cave within a cave" in Carmarthenshire, Wales, called Ogof Dinas. In the innermost cavern supposedly sleep the great warriors of Wales. On one occasion, a cattleherd chanced upon this hideaway; needing something to urge on his cows, he cut off a branch from a local tree. He herded them all the way to Smithfield, near London, where he met a man who asked to be shown the place where this magic stick was cut. After selling his cows, the shepherd took the mysterious guest all the way back to Ogof Dinas; the stranger dug a hole in the ground and kept digging all the way to the cave. 

The pair fell down the hole, where they saw a giant sleeping man. The stranger informed the cattleherd that this mysterious figure was Owain Lawgoch, whose sword had never been compromised in battle. The herder also stole a couple magic coins but was kicked out of the cave for doing so, and he could never go back.


Prince Marko

This medieval monarch is one of Serbia's national heroes for his bravery, good humor, and zeal in fighting the Turks. But did Marko really die in 1395 as reported? One rumor has it that he and his horse dove into the sea instead of passing away, where they still live together in an underwater cave. Marko goes on land every night to get oats for his steed. Another tale suggested that Marko survived in modern Herzegovina, where he waits for the South Slavs to need his help. 


Sebastian of Portugal

This 17th-century Portuguese monarch was the product of extreme inbreeding (quite common for European monarchs of the time), very religious, and exceedingly vain (his tutors told him what he wanted to hear, hinting he was a better orator than Cicero, for example). Sebastian was passionate about conquering any lands ruled by a Muslim monarch, so he went on crusade to Morocco. He died in battle in 1578, but rumors swirled that he really survived, and his Spanish relatives prevented him from resuming his kingship.

The messianic myth of Sebastian's supporters (called Sebastianists) started when the King was a kid; his dad's nine previous sons had died, and this Prince survived. After Sebastian's real death, many Portuguese folks believed he was coming back to oppose the Spanish forces who took over Portugal at one point.


Merlin

King Arthur's number-one advisor/wizard, Merlin, is also a sleeper waiting to be awoken in a time of need. Merlin, dubbed by some a son of the Devil, wasn't only a magician, but he was also a creepy lover – he fell for his much younger student, Vivian (AKA Niniane). Depending on the version of the legend you read, Vivian is either madly in love with Merlin, too, or is a young lady Merlin lusted after.

To avenge/protect herself and to get revenge on the ill-begotten Merlin, Vivian used the magic her master taught her and imprisoned Merlin in an oak tree or a cave (depending on the story). She buried him alive in a tomb until she chose to let him out (which she never did). Regardless, his legend promises his eventual return from this imprisonment.



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Thu, 25 May 2017 06:06:34 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/mythological-kings-waiting-to-return-from-the-dead/carly-silver
<![CDATA[The Insane Saga of Joshua Abraham Norton, The 'Emperor' of the United States]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/story-of-joshua-abraham-north-emperor-of-the-united-states/amandasedlakhevener?source=rss

The United States of America proudly declared its independence from monarchal rule - but the country has had one notable weird royal. Joshua Abraham Norton declared himself Emperor of the United States in 1859. Believe it or not, his story only gets more intriguing from there.

Norton was an unlikely candidate for American rule. He was born in England in 1818 and grew up in South Africa, and only came to the United States after the deaths of his parents in the 1840s. He enjoyed a few prosperous years as a businessman in San Francisco, but then his fortunes took an unexpected turn for the worse. After a protracted legal battle and a declaration of bankruptcy, Norton was angry enough with the American political system to declare himself emperor.

Emperor Norton is known as America's only emperor, even though he had no actual powers, despite attempting to disband Congress and fire the Governor of Virginia. In reality, Norton was merely Emperor of San Francisco; the residents of his adopted hometown humored him to the point of accepting his worthless currency and saluting to him as they passed him on the street. Norton enjoyed his legendary status until his death in 1880, and popular culture continues to celebrate this eccentric figure.


The Insane Saga of Joshua Abraham Norton, The 'Emperor' of the United States,

He Listed His Occupation As Emperor In The 1870 Census

A new United States census is taken every 10 years in order to gauge population growth and track changes over time, among other things. The census usually asks for a person's age, address, and occupation. In 1870, Norton listed his occupation as "emperor" and his age as 50. The census taker noted that he was insane, and his status was listed as "vote denied."


He Created His Own Currency

Norton not only declared himself Emperor of the United States, but he had his own currency made up to prove it. The money, emblazoned with the words "Imperial Government of Norton I," was essentially worthless. Norton had a local printing press make it for him, and there were no valuables backing it up.

However, that didn't stop local businesses from accepting it. A special bronze plaque on the outside of a shop ,stating "By Appointment to his Imperial Majesty, Emperor Norton I of the United States," meant that the store took Norton's currency - but only from Norton himself.


His Declaration Was Published In The San Francisco Bulletin

In 1859, Norton sent a letter - a proclamation, if you will - to the San Francisco Bulletin, and the newspaper published it as a lark. His declaration read:

"At the peremptory request and desire of a large majority of the citizens of these United States, I, Joshua Norton, formerly of Algoa Bay, Cape of Good Hope, and now for the last 9 years and 10 months past of S. F., Cal., declare and proclaim myself Emperor of these U. S.; and in virtue of the authority thereby in me vested, do hereby order and direct the representatives of the different States of the Union to assemble in Musical Hall, of this city, on the 1st day of Feb. next, then and there to make such alterations in the existing laws of the Union as may ameliorate the evils under which the country is laboring, and thereby cause confidence to exist, both at home and abroad, in our stability and integrity. NORTON I, Emperor of the United States."

Prior to this, Norton was sued for trying to control the local commodities market (in rice), along with several of his fellow businessmen. It's believed that the lawsuits and the loss of all of his money made Norton lose his mind. He began having delusions of granduer, and started calling himself the Emperor of California in 1853.


He Had Canine Companions

Two street-living dogs were particularly well-known to the residents of 1860s San Francisco: Bummer and Lazarus. The two tended to follow Norton around town, frequently snacking on crumbs he dropped from his lunches.

A local cartoonist, Edward Jump, drew a picture of Norton with the strays. According to some stories, when Norton spied the cartoon displayed in a shop window, he declared, "It is an insult to the dignity of an Emperor!" and broke the glass with his walking stick.


He Fired Virginia's Governor And Disbanded Congress

Norton's imperial decrees were meaningless, as he didn't have the power to enforce them. But that didn't stop him from making them. Norton once announced that he had abolished the United States Congress, and claimed that General Winfield Scott would march to Washington with some of his men in order to take care of those in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Right before the Civil War began, Norton declared that the Union would be dissolved and replaced with a monarchy, led by himself. He also officially fired the Governor of Virginia, Henry A. Wise, after Wise had John Brown and his men executed.


He Was A Popular Patron Around Town

As eccentric as Norton was, he was also beloved San Francisco residents. Restaurant owners allowed him to eat at their establishments for free, in exchange for an official decree in his name that they would post on their walls. If the meal was good enough for an emperor, then it was obviously good enough for everyone.

Norton was also a champion of the arts. Local theater owners would save Norton a seat at the premiere of every new show, and he rarely missed one.


He Threatened To Fine Anyone Who Called The City Frisco

City nicknames are nothing new. However, Norton hated the nickname bestowed on his adopted hometown by locals: Frisco. He once declared that he would start handing out $25 fines to anyone who dared call San Francisco "Frisco" within his earshot.


He Carried A Saber Around And Wore A Military Uniform

Every day, Norton wore a faded military uniform provided to him by the local army base. The uniform had a jacket with gold epaulets and brass buttons. He paired it with a number of hats, one of which was made of beaver. Norton also frequently carried an old military saber, presumably to show his exalted status.


Policemen Saluted Him On The Street

After his arrest for lunacy in 1867, members of the local police force treated Norton with respect. They would salute him when they passed him on the street, and let him walk around with his sword, even though carrying such a weapon was potentially dangerous.

Norton was given a special chair at the main police station, where he would go to mention ordinances that weren't being followed. The police even let him lead their annual parade through the streets of San Francisco.


He Was Arrested For Insanity In 1867

In 1867, a member of the San Francisco police force, Armand Barbier, arrested the city's beloved eccentric. Barbier first arrested Norton for vagrancy, and then for lunacy, which, by all accounts, was a charge that might have stuck.

A number of local newspaper editors and citizens jumped to Norton's defense, stating that the man may have been a bit crazy, but he was harmless. As one paper memorably put it, "The Emperor Norton has never shed blood. He has robbed no one, and despoiled no country. And that, gentlemen, is a hell of a lot more than can be said for anyone else in the king line."

In response, the chief of police insisted that Norton be let go, then formally apologized to him.



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Thu, 01 Jun 2017 08:16:58 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/story-of-joshua-abraham-north-emperor-of-the-united-states/amandasedlakhevener
<![CDATA[The Incredible & Tragic Story Of Veronica Guerin, The Journalist Murdered By Irish Drug Lords]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/story-of-murdered-irish-journalist-veronica-guerin/harrison-tenpas?source=rss

Journalist Veronica Guerin was known for her tenacity when it came to getting the facts. Working as a crime reporter in Dublin, Ireland, in the '90s, she had no qualms about having a chat with a hardened criminal if it meant getting a story. Her brave reporting brought her awards and accolades, as well as respect from her peers, and her direct impact on crime in Ireland had a lasting effect.

Tragically, it was Veronica's fearlessness that brought about her untimely death. After numerous brushes with several violent figures from Dublin's criminal underworld, she was murdered in 1996 by the Gilligan drug gang for what she'd uncovered.  

Guerin's legacy is an enduring one of journalistic courage and she is remembered to this day for setting an incredible standard in crime reporting. The Veronica Guerin movie, starring Cate Blanchett, brought her heroic and tragic tale to life in 2003. This list explores the amazing story of Veronica Guerin, the Irish journalist who lost her life in a quest for the truth. 


The Incredible & Tragic Story Of Veronica Guerin, The Journalist Murdered By Irish Drug Lords,

Her Coverage Of A Murder Brought Two Bullets Through Her Window

In October of 1994, Veronica Guerin got her first taste of violent retribution from the underworld figures she was reporting on. After her story on the life and murder of "The General," a legendarily sadistic Dublin drug lord whose real name was Martin Cahill, she received two gunshots through the front window of her home. This act was meant to signal a warning to Guerin – leave gangland alone. After all, The General was a man who once crucified someone and plotted to kidnap Bono's children, and he didn't need his name further besmirched by some nosey reporter, regardless of his death. Guerin was unscathed from the shooting, and she dismissed the gunfire as merely a warning.


Despite No Real Journalism Training, Guerin Knew How To Get Sources To Talk

A relative late comer to journalism, Guerin started working for the Sunday Business Post as a business writer in 1990 before moving to the Sunday Tribune as a news reporter. The Sunday Independent, Ireland's largest circulating paper, hired her in 1994, and she began her career in investigative reporting, her first big scoop was that of a bishop who fathered an illegitimate child.

Guerin's tireless work ethic was well known – she was said to take 50 to 60 calls a day and kept two cell phones on her at all times. Her background in business and finance gave her a unique perspective on organized crime operations, and she often spoke to criminals directly, giving them pseudonyms in her stories.


She Started And Ran A Successful PR Firm For 7 Years

Veronica Guerin studied accountancy while at Trinity College, and, upon graduation, she went to work for her accounting father's firm. After her father's 1983 death, she set up her own public relations firm, an operation she successfully guided for seven years. During her time in PR, Guerin did a significant amount of work with Ireland's Fianna Fáil political party, as well as working as a researcher at the New Ireland Forum.


She Was An Incredible Athlete In Her Youth

Veronica Guerin was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1958. One of five children, Guerin attended Catholic school on Dublin's north side and became an accomplished athlete. She represented her country on the national level in both basketball and soccer, and remained sports obsessed for much of her life. She's remembered for being quite knowledgeable about her favorite team, Manchester United, a topic she would use to make inroads with local crime bosses, loosening them up with football banter.


The Investigation Into Her Death Led To 150 Arrests

There was little doubt that Guerin's 1996 death was an organized hit, and mob boss John Gilligan and company were prime suspects. Gilligan fled Ireland the day before the murder and was later extradited from Amsterdam, though he was ultimately acquitted of her murder. His right-hand man, however, Brian Meehan, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison along with another accomplice, Paul Ward.

While on the surface the justice seems light for Veronica Guerin's death, her murder investigation led to the arrest of over 150 people in the world of organized crime. For his part, Gilligan was convicted of the sale of marijuana and given 28 years in prison – an unprecedented drug sentence in Ireland even with its reduction to 20 years on appeal.


One Of Her Alleged Murderers Was Legally Attempting To Stop Her From Writing About Him

One man Irish police have long suspected to have played a role in Veronica Guerin's murder is John Traynor. The Dublin crime lord had ties to John Gilligan, and he had, at one point, been a source for Guerin. It's suspected that Traynor tipped off Brian Meehan and Paul Ward, the only two men to have been charged and convicted in the slaying, to Guerin's whereabouts on the day she was killed.

At the time of the murder, John Traynor was seeking a court order to prevent Ms. Guerin from writing about his criminal activities. John Gilligan, after he was cleared of his charges, claimed that Traynor was "100 per cent" responsible for arranging the killing. Though authorities arrested Traynor in Amsterdam in 2010 – after being on the run since 1992 – expectations for his conviction in the Guerin case remained low.


She Was Tragically Gunned Down While Stopped At A Red Light

On June 26, 1996, Veronica Guerin was stopped in her vehicle at a red light in a Dublin suburb. As she picked up her phone to make a call, two men on a white motorcycle pulled up beside her and fired four shots – three into her heart, one into her neck. She died instantly. She was a week from turning 37.

Guerin was beloved in Ireland, and the nation mourned her passing. On July 4, a moment of silence was observed for Guerin, with people on buses, trains, and in the streets quietly paying their respects


She Received A Prestigious Award For Her Courage

In the face of mounting threats to herself and her family, Guerin persisted, continuing to report on Ireland's criminal underworld. In December of 1995, she was given the prestigious International Press Freedom Award by the Committee to Protect Journalists. Her peers that year included reporters from Guatemala, Indonesia, Russia, and Zambia. Guerin has also received several posthumous awards, including being named one of 50 World Press Freedom Heroes by the International Press Institute in 2000.


One Crime Boss Threatened To Rape Her Son To Keep A Story From Being Published

After two attacks, the Sunday Independent had a security system installed at Guerin's home, and the Dublin police department furnished her with a 24-hour escort. She quickly scuttled the escort, citing him as a hindrance to her work, and continued her beat as a crime reporter. 

In September of 1995, Guerin visited notorious Irish drug lord John Gilligan at his horse farm. She pressed Gilligan about how he could afford such a lavish lifestyle with no obvious source of income. The drug boss became enraged and ripped Guerin's shirt off in search of a wire. Guerin managed to escape, but Gilligan called her later, threatening to kidnap, rape, and kill her son if she published the story. 


A Second Warning Brought A Bullet Through Guerin's Thigh

In 1995, Guerin began reporting on the largest heist in Irish history. A gang had broken into a depot near Dublin airport, making off with over $4.4 million, and Guerin – enterprising reporter that she was – managed to interview one of the suspects. She did not reveal the alleged thief's name, but she wrote a detailed piece that gave an inside look at the caper. 

A few days after her story was published, Guerin had a knock at her front door. When she went to answer it, she was greeted with a revolver pointed at her face. The intruder lowered his pistol and shot Guerin in the thigh. Leaving the hospital on crutches, Guerin went and visited every crime boss she knew to let them know that she would not be intimidated, proclaiming: "No hand can deter me from my battle for the truth."



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Thu, 01 Jun 2017 09:26:04 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/story-of-murdered-irish-journalist-veronica-guerin/harrison-tenpas
<![CDATA[Medical Devices From The Early 1900s Were Absolutely Terrifying]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/people-in-old-medical-devices/amandasedlakhevener?source=rss

Old medical devices obviously served important functions, but their primitive, industrial designs look like said functions were more harmful than helpful. Everything from x-ray machines to cancer treatment devices resembled forms of torture, suggesting patients from the olden days came from sterner stuff. When captured in the grainy medium that was 20th century emerging photography, things like the iron lung appear straight out of a mad scientist's secret lair. Given the awful medical practices used throughout history to "treat" diseases, who's even surprised that people back then didn't care their old-fashioned medical treatments look discarded Saw props? Old-fashioned medical treatments from the late 19th century and early 20th century, when captured on film, truly appear dated compared to today's medical advancements.


Medical Devices From The Early 1900s Were Absolutely Terrifying,

Woman Undergoing Freckle Removal, 1930s

Boy In A Wheelchair, 1915

Man In A Bergonic Psychiatric Device, 1940s

Man In A Radioscopic Thermotherapy Machine, 1902

Two Women Receiving Blood Circulation Therapy, 1902

Man In A Hydro-Electric Bath, 1910

Woman Getting Tested With An Electro-Retinogram, 1950s

Boy In An Iron Lung, 1945

Man In A Brainwave Measuring Device, 1930s

Woman In A Portable Iron Lung, 1940s


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Thu, 01 Jun 2017 07:42:18 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/people-in-old-medical-devices/amandasedlakhevener
<![CDATA[Even History's Most Evil Dictators Had Pets]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/dictator-pets/anna-lindwasser?source=rss

Most of the facts that we hear about history's most notorious dictators involve their crimes against humanity and horrific political manipulations. These can be so extensive that it's almost shocking when you learn that many of these dictators actually loved animals - at least their animals. After all, how can a monster like Adolph Hitler, who devised the Holocaust, have so much love in his blackened heart for his pet German Shepherd, Blondi? And Hitler isn't the only dictator who loved his pets. Some dictators had the types of pets one might expect them to have - like cats and dogs. However, some of the wilder dictator pets include hippos, ostriches, and even man-eating crocodiles.


Even History's Most Evil Dictators Had Pets,

Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler is one of the most infamous mass murderers in history, having spearheaded the Holocaust - a series of ethnic cleansings that resulted in between 6 and 11 million deaths in the 1940s. Overall, he was an absolute monster. And with that, he tried very hard to improve his image with propaganda depicting his love of animals, particularly dogs. One of his favorite dogs was a German Shepard named Blondi - a species that was highly prized in Germany at the time. Hitler took her everywhere he went, and reportedly even allowed her to sleep with him. Despite his love for Blondi, Hitler killed her when she was only four years old.

To avoid being captured by enemy forces, Hitler decided to commit suicide. However, he didn't trust Heinrich Himmler (the man whose organization gave him the cyanide pills he planned to use), and thought that the pills might actually just be sedatives. To test this theory, Hitler fed one to Blondi - she died and he was devastated. Soon after, he had all of her puppies and all of the other dogs in his hideout, the Führerbunker, killed before he and his wife Eva Braun committed suicide.


Benito Mussolini

Benito Mussolini is known to be one of the founders of Italian Fascism. Yet, while he was busy ruling Italy with an iron fist, he still somehow found time for hobbies like lion taming. In fact, he even had his own pet lion named Ras. Not much is known about Ras, only that he was given to Mussolini by Italy's undersecretary of the state at the Ministry of the Interior, Aldo Finci. We also know that Mussolini liked to take the lion with him on drives through city streets.


Caligula

Caligula, the Roman dictator who reigned from CE 37-41, is notorious for having been one of the vilest tyrants in history. His crimes ranged from raping his sisters and forcing his sisters into prostitution to randomly murdering civilians for his own amusement. He wanted the Roman populace to worship him like a god, so it wasn't surprising that he treated his favorite horse, Incitatus, like a deity. 

Incitatus lived in a stable made out of marble and ivory, and his blankets were all purple - a color associated with royalty and that was difficult to come by due to the rarity of the dye. He also wore a collar studded with precious stones. This fancy horse was so beloved by Caligula that he apparently planned to make him a consul, the highest political position possible in the Roman Empire. Some believe that this particular decision was due to Caligula's alleged mental health issues, while others think that it was an attempt to mock the senate by saying their job was so easy, a horse could do it.


Fidel Castro

Viewed by some as a revolutionary hero and by others as a ruthless dictator, Fidel Castro remains a complex and polarizing figure. While most people know at least a little bit about his political exploits, most people don't know about his attempt at breeding super cows to solve Cuba's milk shortage. The shortage was of particular concern to Castro, who loved dairy products so much that he drank milkshakes daily and was known to eat up to 26 scoops of ice cream at a clip. His love for milk was so well-known that a political enemy even tried to poison one of his milkshakes.

Because of his personal need for dairy products, Castro commissioned a group of scientists to breed a super cow that could produce exceptional amounts of milk. While nearly all of their attempts failed, there was one success in the form of a cow named Ubre Blanca, or White Udder. Ubre Blanca was a cross between a Holstein and a Cebu cow, and she was able to produce four times as much milk as a regular cow. Because of her prodigious output, Castro spoiled her rotten. She lived in a luxury, air-conditioned stable, where she listened to soothing music and received round-the-clock care. Despite his usual paranoia, Castro couldn't resist showing her off to journalists and visiting dignitaries. When she died, he commissioned a portrait to be painted of her, which was hung in the National Library.


Idi Amin

Not every dictator kept pets because they wanted to lavish them with affection. Some, like Idi Amin, kept pets solely for the purpose of benefiting their regime. Amin, a Ugandan despot who killed and tortured between 80,000 and 500,000 people in the 1970s for the purposes of everything from ethnic cleansing to personal vengeance, had a collection of pet crocodiles that he fed the corpses of the people he killed to.


Joseph Stalin

There are many different stories that link fascist Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin to dogs. First, the Black Russian Terrier is known colloquially as "Stalin's Dog" because the dog was purposefully bred into existence during Stalin's reign. He is even rumored to have had a personal stake in their development, intending for them to be protective watch dogs.

Stalin also ordered that dogs be fitted with explosive vests and deployed to blow up Nazi tanks. Originally, the idea was to train the dogs to set off the bombs and then escape to a safe place. This wasn't possible, as the dogs tended to panic in the heat of battle. As a result, Stalin moved toward the concept of "disposable dogs," which is exactly what it sounds like: the bombs went off automatically, killing the dog immediately.


Kim Jong-il

Kim Jong-il, the dictator of North Korea from 1994 until his death in 2011, is well-known for having lived a lavish lifestyle, which offended many people given the fact that many North Koreans were so poor under his regime that they had to find their meals in trash cans. For instance, his pet dogs were given twenty kilograms of fresh beef every day, while the dog handlers were sent to labor camps when they were caught stealing even small amounts of beef for themselves.

Later, Kim Jon-il's son, Kim Jong-un, made a series of confusing proclamations involving dogs. First, he referred to dog meat as a superfood in an attempt to boost its consumption; then, shortly after, he opened up a dog zoo pavilion in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang. While the zoo does contain lots of wild species such as elephants and hippos, the dogs - particularly Western breeds like St Bernard’s, schnauzers, and German shepherds - are the star attractions.


Muammar al-Gaddafi

Muammar al-Gaddafi seized control over the Libyan government in 1969 and ruled as an authoritarian dictator until he was finally overthrown in 2011. During his reign, he decided to create a personal animal farm, containing over 500 ostriches, rare-breed camels, hybrid cattle, and many different breeds of sheep and goats. Then, when al-Gaddafi was overthrown, he left all of these animals behind to fend for themselves, many of them dying from starvation or heat exhaustion. Ironically, some of the people who stepped in to try to care for al-Gaddafi's animals were actually his political enemies. Other helpers included Belgasem Al Sosi, a veterinarian, and Mohamad Al Majdoub, a man with a doctorate in international relations who felt that caring for these animals would help pave the way to a freer Libya.


Pablo Escobar

Pablo Escobar, the former Colombian drug baron who was responsible for the deaths of over 4,000 people, also caused Colombia to be totally overrun with hippos. How did this happen? Well, one of the ways that Escobar chose to spend his fortune was by building a large zoo containing giraffes, elephants, and hippos - all of which were smuggled into Colombia from Africa. After Escobar's estate, Hacienda Nápoles, was commandeered in the 1990s, most of the animals were sent to various zoos - however, finding homes for the hippos proved to be impossible. So, for the past two decades, they have been living in Colombia's waters, wandering around the local towns, and having lots and lots of hippo babies.

While there have been no fatalities associated with Escobar's hippos or their descendants, hippos are notoriously dangerous animals and many of the locals don't feel safe around them. Some of the babies have since been transported to zoos, but no one wants to take in the adults. They also can't be returned to their natural environment in Africa, as they might be carrying new diseases. Some Colombian officials have suggested sterilizing the adults to prevent population growth, while others have suggested killing them and using their meat for food.


Vladimir Lenin

Vladimir Lenin was a controversial political figure who was viewed by some as being a totalitarian dictator, while others remember him as a champion of socialism - and he just so happened to have a pet cat. No one knows what the cat's name was, though many have wondered. It's been theorized, though, that Lenin never actually named his cat, because naming it would imply ownership - which was a capitalist concept. Others say that is an overblown, satirized view of Lenin's beliefs, and that the cat most likely had a name.



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Thu, 18 May 2017 07:07:23 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/dictator-pets/anna-lindwasser
<![CDATA[Taylor Swift And Ivanka Trump Share A Lot More In Common Than You Think]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/why-ivanka-trump-is-the-taylor-swift-of-politics/rebecca-shortall?source=rss

On a surface level, it would be apt to draw comparisons between Ivanka Trump and Taylor Swift. They're both tall, thin, white, and blonde. They've both lived in New York and they're both in the public eye. But the comparisons run far deeper than just the aesthetics. In fact, the more you look into it, the more you'll realize these two are practically twinning.

Seriously - Ivanka Trump is the Taylor Swift of politics. And this comparison is a two-way street because Taylor Swift is, arguably, the Ivanka Trump of pop music. Both have used faux feminism as a means of pushing their brands on the general public, all while refusing to condemn the decidedly anti-feminist actions of one man in particular. Here's a hint: this guy is one of their dads. Both have similar backgrounds and both are connected by one individual in particular. Curious? Read on to find out why Taylor Swift is to music what Ivanka Trump is to politics. 


Taylor Swift And Ivanka Trump Share A Lot More In Common Than You Think,

They've Both Been The Subject Of SNL Sketches

Unless you've been living under a rock, or far away from any social media feeds, you'll know that Saturday Night Live has become the gold standard for mocking the Trump administration with cutting sketches that have inspired tweetstorms from the President himself. Ivanka was not exempt from the comedic ribbing of the SNL writers and in one episode, they debuted an instantly shareable sketch titled "Complicit."

The twinning continues – Swift has also been the target of a sketch. She hosted back in 2009 but wasn’t the subject of a sketch until 2014, when "Swiftamine" debuted. Admittedly, "Complicit" is a far more damning sketch than "Swiftamine," but the fact remains, Swift and Trump are practically twins.


They Both Have Clothing Lines Manufactured In China

Much has been made about Ivanka's Chinese-made, Nordstrom-dropped clothing line. It's been the subject of several twitter hashtags such as #BoycottTrump and #GrabYourWallet and it's come under even more scrutiny thanks to the recent revelation that her clothing is made in a Chinese factory were workers earn $1 an hour. Way to bring jobs back to America, Vanks!

Well, she's not the only thin, blonde, white woman with a clothing line. Taylor Swift also has a clothing brand. But that's not where the similarities end. Swift's fashion line is also China-based and had a showing in Hong Kong in 2016


They Both Refuse To Condemn Donald Trump

So, in Ivanka's case, this is kind of understandable. Donald is her father, after all, which means Ivanka refuses to condemn his deeply hateful actions even while being booed at a women's conference in Germany. But, in Taylor's case, her conspicuous silence during the election cycle aroused a lot of suspicion from the media and the public alike, not only because it ran in opposition to the faux-feminist, girl squad image she had cultivated, but also because members of said girl squad were very vocal in their pro-Hillary stance.

Lena Dunham, one of Swift's girl squad members that appeared in the "Bad Blood" video, was fervently supportive of Clinton in 2016. Other squad members like Blake Lively, who attended the Women's March on January 21st, 2017, and Gigi Hadid, who joined the march against Trump's Muslim Ban, have also voiced thier protestations, but Swift was nowhere to be seen. She was off somewhere mysterious, making diplomatic statements, unable to produce a divisive opinion.


They Both Use Fake Feminism For Their Own Gain

Swift shed the snakeskin of her "Better Than Revenge" slut-shame anthem singing persona from her early Speak Now album and transitioned towards a pop-friendly, girl power platitude-spouting, fashion-forward identity for her Red and 1989 eras. During this time, she had a "feminist awakening" while still releasing songs like the b*tchy clap-back bop "Bad Blood." But the empowering wokeness she claimed to have felt was an empty one devoid of any potentially partisan statements that would say something, anything about women's rights. Instead, Swift remained largely silent during the 2016 election cycle, deigning only to Instagram a picture that did not reveal who she voted for. Very mysterious!   

In addition to the milquetoast 'gram, Swift did not turn up at the Women's March and only commented on it with a bland tweet after the fact. The tweet read, "So much love, pride, and respect for those who marched. I'm proud to be a woman today, and every day. #WomensMarch." Taylor Swift had mastered the art of saying/tweeting/gramming/posting empty platitudes that can make it seem as if she's saying something of weight, but in actual fact is just an empty, self-serving statement that gives off an aesthetic of wokeness (the absolute bare minimum level of wokeness but sure) while being vague and bland enough that she doesn’t alienate any of her fanbase that might suddenly try and start a #BoycottTaylor movement. She was getting away with it. And she would have got away with it too, if it weren't for all those meddlesome think pieces!

Ivanka Trump has a similar reputation for using self-serving white feminism as a way to try and appeal to liberals, hoping they ignore her connections to her father and his right-wing policies, and buy into her lifestyle brand. Ivanka is a mess of contradictions, the most egregious being that she claims to be a feminist while defending her father's actions, even declaring he champions women when he appears to do anything but. She has tried to use the guise of faux-feminism to push her now-infamous book Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules of Success, all the while ignoring the fact that her idea of being a working woman stands in stark contrast to the reality faced by the vast majority of working women. The pair can't even reach the heights of peak white feminism, so embroiled in contradictions and complicity are they.


The Kloss/Kushner Konnection

Ivanka is married to one of Russia's favourite real estate moguls, Jared Kushner, but Swift also shares a connection to the Kushner family via her number one girl squad member and bestie, Victoria's Secret Angel and coding enthusiast Karlie Kloss. Kloss is engaged to Jared Kushner's brother Josh Kushner but, interestingly enough, the couple have been more outspoken about their political allegiances than Swift. Josh Kushner told Esquire that he would not be voting for Trump despite his brother being married to Ivanka Trump and Kloss tweeted her support for Hillary Clinton. So it doesn’t seem as if the Kloss Konnection was keeping Swift silent.  


They Both Come From Money

We all know that Ivanka Trump grew up in a monstrous golden monument to her father's fragile ego. Trump Tower is a gaudy, sky-scraping erection of wealth and privilege.You could say she grew up with a silver spoon in her mouth but, let's be real - nothing in that house is silver. It's gold or go home. Silver is synonymous with second place and in the mind of the Trump family that just translates as being the precious metal of losers.

But did you know that Taylor Swift grew up in a similarly luxurious lap? This may come as a surprise as, especially in the early eras of her career, she presented herself as an "aw-shucks me and my teardrop-stained guitar ain't nothin' but a regular country gal who grew up on a farm," but that's not exactly true. Her parents aren't farm hands. Swift's mother worked in finance while her father comes from three generations of bank presidents and is a stockbroker for Merrill Lynch. Country bumpkin she ain't! 



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Fri, 26 May 2017 10:37:09 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/why-ivanka-trump-is-the-taylor-swift-of-politics/rebecca-shortall
<![CDATA[Nixon's Rampant Alcoholism Revealed His Disturbingly Unstable Personality]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/drunk-richard-nixon-stories/stephanroget?source=rss

Few things in history have been more frightening, in retrospect, than a drunk Richard Nixon. Sure, there are plenty of hilarious Richard Nixon drinking stories, and it’s fun to have a good laugh at one of America’s all-time greatest villains. However, finding humor in it all means ignoring the fact that Tricky Dick was once the most powerful man in Washington and the leader of the free world - all while being wasted the entire time. A sloppy, angry drunk might be alright to poke fun at while at a family Thanksgiving dinner, but it’s downright terrifying when that person is in the White House harboring the nuclear codes.

Richard Milhous (yes, Milhous) Nixon was born January 9, 1913, and died on April 22, 1994, and at some point in between those two events he became the president of the United States. Unfortunately for Nixon, he’s far more famous for losing the presidency than he is for winning it, having been the only successfully impeached president in American history. Speaking of, history has not been particularly kind to this man, and the litany of tales about his alcohol abuse and apparent avoidance of alcoholics anonymous certainly don’t help matters. Don’t feel too bad, though, because whether he was drunk, sober, or hungover, Richard Nixon was always an asshole.


Nixon's Rampant Alcoholism Revealed His Disturbingly Unstable Personality,

Nixon Belittled The Deaths Of Vietnam Soldiers While Drunk

One of the reasons that Richard Nixon’s alcoholism was so well-documented was due to his nasty habit of secretly taping everything that went on in the White House. This practice eventually cost him the presidency during the Watergate investigation, but it has also helped to further his reputation as a sloppy drunk and overall terrible person. There are countless inebriated Nixon conversations caught on tape, and very few of them are pretty. By far the worst example is a quote in which Nixon says of all those who died in the Vietnam War: “Oh, screw 'em!”


Nixon Would Often Fire People While Drunk, And Forget In The Morning

Being the president seems like an easy position to abuse, what with all the power and such, and it seems doubly easy to abuse when one is relieved of all their inhibitions. This was definitely true for Richard Nixon, the pisstank president. Nixon would routinely get angry and decide to fire people when he was drinking, and sometimes he’d even call them to let them know. Of course, Nixon was usually so blackout drunk that he’d forget which people he had fired by the morning, and everyone would just pretend it never happened. Some hapless individuals were no doubt “fired” on multiple occasions.


Drunk Nixon Tried To Nuke North Korea

Perhaps the most serious and obvious problem with having an alcoholic in the White House is the president’s easy access to the nuclear arsenal. While presidents generally don’t “push the button” when it comes to nukes, they’re the ones who get to tell other people to push said button. This issue came to a head in 1969, when North Korea shot down an American spy plane over the sea of Japan. Nixon was drunk when he heard the news, and he immediately ordered a retaliatory nuclear strike on North Korea. Luckily, Henry Kissinger got on the phone to tell everyone to wait until Nixon sobered up, and when he did, they said that he had changed his mind after “mulling it over,” even though all he was really mulling was a wicked hangover.


Nixon Employed A Life-Long Psychiatrist

When hearing reports of Richard Nixon's alcoholism, it’s easy to assume that his drinking troubles started when he became the subject of the largest political investigation in American history. While the Watergate scandal certainly didn’t help his alcoholism, Nixon’s problems actually started long before he became president. Nixon struggled with alcohol and other mental issues very early on in his political career, so much so that he quickly became acquainted with Dr. Arnold Hutschnecker, a specialist in psychosomatic illnesses. Hutschnecker became Nixon’s personal psychiatrist for the remainder of his political career, with Nixon often seeking his help with a litany of issues including depression and the abusive drinking that came along with it.


Drunk Nixon Liked To Rock Out To Movie Soundtracks And The Sound Of His Own Voice

Everyone has their favorite drunk-jam. For many, it’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” but for Richard Nixon, it was soundtracks from obscure documentaries and the sound of his own voice. When he was a happy drunk, Nixon would blare the score from his favorite '50s documentary, Victory at Sea. When he was a sad drunk, Nixon would kill time by listening to his own secret recordings of White House conversations, in a desperate and pathetic attempt to see where it all went wrong. Nixon was simply indulging in the 1970s equivalent of drunkenly browsing through one’s old Facebook posts and feeling instant shame and regret.


Nixon Was Seen Eating Dog Biscuits

Richard Nixon was long associated with man’s best friend, mostly because he once made an impassioned speech about his dog, Checkers. However, that was not Nixon’s only canine-related caper. When the Watergate scandal was at its peak, so was the president’s depression and alcoholism. The pressure definitely got to Nixon, and he was witnessed exhibiting extremely odd behavior. On one occasion, Nixon was seen sharing some dog biscuits with his pet, mindlessly chewing on them alongside his four-legged friend. Presumably, whoever saw him doing that backed away slowly and immediately told everyone they knew.


Nixon’s Drinking Buddies Brought A Stripper To The White House At 2 AM

Richard Nixon did most of his drinking alone in the White House, but he also had some loyal drinking buddies who aided in his debauchery. One such party animal was the beautifully named Bebe Rebozo, a long-time friend of Nixon’s. On one occasion, Rebozo and a few others arrived at the White House at 2 AM with a mysterious trunk that they insisted was for the president. The Secret Service opened it and found a naked stripper inside, holding a bottle of champagne. The Secret Service refused to let them bring the girl inside, mostly because the sauced troublemakers were only trying to get a rise out of the notoriously sexually-repressed prez.


Nixon Developed A Reputation As A Drunk-Dialer

There are few drunks more annoying than the “drunk-dialer.” And, unsurprisingly, Richard Nixon was one of the worst. Nixon often liked to drink alone, but that didn’t mean that he didn’t want to talk to someone. Nixon would phone his underlings to complain or fire them, and he would phone his allies to complain about how rough he had it. Most would ignore the contents of the conversation, because they knew that Nixon wouldn’t remember any of it in the morning. Most bizarrely, Nixon was known to frequently call up his old football coach in a drunken search for inspiration and guidance.


Nixon Was Passed Out For An Entire Cold War Conflict

Richard Nixon wasn’t only drunk during the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War, he was also incapacitated throughout nearly all of the intense Cold War maneuvering that surrounded it. The Soviet Union used the conflict in the Middle East as an opportunity to assert themselves against their American rivals, and the secretary of the Communist Party, Leonid Brezhnev, spent the length of conflict posturing and threatening Americans as well, neither of which received a response because the president was “too tired.” Henry Kissinger and Alexander Haig covered for him the entire time, and Nixon remained either blackout drunk or passed out. When the issue sorted itself out, an elated Nixon went off to Camp David for more boozing, but not before demanding that the media be told how “indispensable” he had been during the crisis.  


Nixon Was Too Drunk To Deal With The Yom Kippur War

Few people can successfully perform at their jobs while drunk, and Richard Nixon was no exception. When the Yom Kippur War broke out in 1973, the Middle East exploded and could have benefited greatly from the guidance of a strong, non-wasted American president. Unfortunately, no such leader could be found. The British Prime Minister even called the White House to collaborate on a solution, but Henry Kissinger had to inform him that the president was too “loaded” to talk right then. Nixon was in the midst of the Watergate scandal, and was drinking even more than usual. As such, his actual president-ing became practically non-existent, right when it was most important.



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Tue, 06 Jun 2017 09:24:32 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/drunk-richard-nixon-stories/stephanroget
<![CDATA[What Actually Happened Immediately After Black Tuesday?]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/what-happened-immediately-after-black-tuesday/stephanroget?source=rss

The younger crowd, and those in the older crowd that don’t remember high school history, might suspect that Black Tuesday was some sort of holiday-shopping event of yesteryear. Most people, however, remember Black Tuesday – the day when the stock market crashed in 1929 –  as the start of the Great Depression. While the reality was not quite so simple and myths about the Great Depression abounded, there were multiple identifiable factors that led to the massive economic decline of the 1930s. October 29, 1929, stands out as such a clear and definitive beginning of the financial end.

To make a long story short, Black Tuesday occurred when the economic uncertainty that had been building through the Roaring ‘20s – with its excessive spending and over-crediting – came to a head. Black Tuesday was actually precipitated by Black Thursday on October 24, when several savvy investors sold their stocks, anticipating a crash in the market. This ended up being a self-fulfilling prophecy, as panicked investors saw this sudden dip in stocks and rushed to sell their own shares on Black Tuesday. This tanked the stock market immediately, and it set in motion a series of devastating effects that would alter the United States of America forever.


What Actually Happened Immediately After Black Tuesday?,

The Stock Market Lost More Than $14 Billion In A Single Day

Just how big was the “crash” of October 29, 1929? Really big. The value of the stock market had been steadily rising throughout the ‘20s, and it had hit a truly exponential rate of growth at the end of the decade, doubling in value between the end of 1928 and September of 1929. The bubble was due to burst, however, and, when it did, it burst in epic fashion. Between Black Thursday and Black Tuesday, more than $26 billion in stock value was lost. When the damage was tallied the day after Black Tuesday, brokers were astonished to discover that $14 billion had been lost in one day. The market would not regain the value it had in September of 1929 until a full 25 years later.


Harvard And Others Boldly Stated That A Depression Was Not Possible

Even after Black Tuesday was over and the outrageous amount of financial ruin had been fully tallied, many failed to grasp its true significance. Countless individuals and groups came out in the wake of the event to boldly state that it wasn't too big of a deal. The Harvard Economic Society, a group that seems like it should know what it's talking about, stated that a large economic depression was “impossible” just before the Great Depression hit. The head of the Continental Bank of Chicago predicted that the crash would have little to no effect on business. Spoiler alert: he was wrong.


A Prominent Financier Shot Himself

A common stereotypical image from Black Tuesday is that of stock brokers lining up to jump to their deaths from office buildings in financial despair. Of course, this didn't actually happen. Suicides did spike in the wake of the crash, and some of those people did leap from buildings, but not all of that was tied directly to the crash itself. In reality, the suicide rate had been rising throughout the 1920s; it didn't suddenly explode with the economic crisis. One very direct death caused by Black Tuesday, however, was that of J.J. Riordan. A New York banker, Riordan had lost all of his personal savings in the crash and took his own life shortly thereafter. He didn't jump from a building either – he shot himself instead.


November 4, 1929: Wall Street Re-Opened With Limited Hours, And It Didn't Help

Wall Street had experienced a three-day shutdown at the beginning of November in an effort to stop the market from crashing further, and, when it reopened on November 4, 1929, it did so with limited hours. Trading was only allowed for three hours each day, with the hopes that this would stop the ridiculous amount of stock selling that was going on, and thus stop the market from totally bottoming out. Unfortunately, all the shutdown did was allow the selling frenzy to build up even more, and Wall Street ended up overwhelmed by the volume of business that was attempted in the scant three hours each day.


Wall Street Closed For “Clean Up”

Black Friday was really more of a “Black Week,” one that lasted from Black Thursday on October 24, 1929, until the Friday of the week after. On that day, Wall Street finally closed its doors and stopped all selling for the next few days in order to “clean up.” To be fair, the massive amount of human activity at the Stock Exchange did require quite a bit of actual cleaning up, but the real reason for the shutdown was to give everyone a chance to chill out. It didn't exactly work out that way.


John D. Rockefeller Attempted To Save The Day

John D. Rockefeller is the original American rich guy, and he was part of a family that could be considered Financial Founding Fathers of the country. He and his family did their darndest to stem the economic bleeding by purchasing massive quantities of various stocks in the days surrounding Black Tuesday, letting the public know they were doing so as a sign of encouragement. Rockefeller hoped to use his financial clout to stabilize the market and inspire public confidence in it, and he boldly promised that shares of his own company, Standard Oil, would not drop. Unfortunately, Rockefeller was unsuccessful in his endeavors.


An Immediate, Impromptu Purchasing Freeze Took Effect

It wasn't just the banking industry that was affected by the Stock Market crash; other industries would find themselves feeling the sting of Black Tuesday within short order. Almost immediately, and completely without organization or planning, the people of the United States of America stopped buying things. It wasn't to protest or to make a point about anything; it was simply the result of people making the prudent choice to save money in the wake of the crash. Unfortunately, the ‘20s had featured nationawide spending at an all-time high, and the sharp transition to non-spending caused many companies to close up shop within a few months.


People Rushed To Withdraw Their Savings From Banks

The industry that was hit hardest and quickest by the events of Black Tuesday was undoubtedly the banking industry. The sudden and unexpected economic uncertainty sent much of the population scrambling to their banks to withdraw their life savings, which is obviously not great for the banks. To make matters worse, many of those banks had been investing their clients’ savings in stocks, either with permission or unbeknownst to said clients, meaning that much of those savings were gone. Countless banks went belly up, and many lost their complete life savings with no way to get it back.


The Dow Jones Briefly Shot Back Up

For a moment, it looked as if Black Tuesday would simply be a blip on the radar for the American economy. The immediate numbers were devastating, but reason for optimism was soon found when the “Dow Jones” shot back up in the days immediately following Black Tuesday. Unfortunately, this uptick was merely a result of some bargain hunters trying to cash in on the crash by buying cheap stocks, and it didn't reflect the actual strength of the market. The resurgence proved extremely short lived, and the stock market continued its downward spiral.


Markets Crashed All Around The World

The stock market crash and Great Depression are often described as purely American events, but that’s not true at all. The truth is that the world had become highly dependent on the American economy in the wake of World War I, and, when the US went down, other nations did too. Black Tuesday precipitated other stock market crashes around the world in a chain of events that helped plunge most of the globe into economic depression. Canada was hit particularly hard, with stock market crashes occurring in Montreal and Toronto shortly after Black Tuesday.



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Thu, 25 May 2017 05:57:53 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/what-happened-immediately-after-black-tuesday/stephanroget
<![CDATA[27 Photos Of Native Americans From The Early 1900s]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/early-1900s-native-american-photos/chwang?source=rss

The devastatingly rapid decline of Native American populations began with European exploration and colonization near the end of the 15th century. Not only did Europeans bring with them enslavement, religious persecution in the form of Catholicism, and brutal weapons, but they also brought something that spread much faster than physical and cultural displacement: disease. Only a few years after Columbus "discovered" the New World, the Native American population had been nearly reduced by half thanks to smallpox and other contagious ailments.

However, the intentional genocide of Native Americans didn't truly begin until the end of the 18th century. One of the most common misconceptions about the colonizing of North America is that the Native Americans and the Europeans were always in conflict. In fact, it was not until the founding fathers decided it was "necessary" to exterminate the Native Americans that the fate of these tribes was grimly sealed. President Jackson delivered one of the cruelest blows when he signed the 1830 Indian Removal Act, resulting in the devastating Trail of Tears

By the early 1900s, the Native American population had greatly diminished and their diverse cultures were slowly fading away. In an attempt to counteract this, Edward S. Curtis spent 30 years photographing and documenting the lives of over 80 different the Native American tribes. His findings resulted in a 20-volume work called the Native American Indian, complete with nearly six thousand pages and 1,500 hand-pressed photogravures. Collected here are just a few of Curtis's incredible photographs of Native Americans from the early 1900s. These photographs attempted to capture the traditions, lifestyles, and cultures of native groups whose populations were being severely diminished.


27 Photos Of Native Americans From The Early 1900s,

Navajo Traversing Through The Canyon De Chelly In Arizona

Cloud Bird (AKA Okuwa-Tsire) Of The San Ildefonso Pueblo

Wedding Party Of The Kwakiutl

Blanket Weaving

Apache Gathering Water From The Banks Of White River, AZ

Walpi Maidens

Mother And Baby Of The Apsaroke

Young Wishran Girl

Sioux Chiefs

Nunivak Children


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Mon, 12 Jun 2017 03:23:00 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/early-1900s-native-american-photos/chwang
<![CDATA[The Dark Saga of the Kennedy Family]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/dark-kennedy-family-stories/lyra-radford?source=rss

The Kennedys are legendary; many consider them the American equivalent to a royal family. However, as glamorous as their dynasty may be, there are two sides to every coin, and, on the far side of “Camelot,” there are some seedy elements – the most prominent being the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and all the conspiracy theories surrounding it.

Other aspects of the Kennedy dark side include tales of JFK's infidelity toward Jackie O, tragic accidents, excessive drinking, bribery, and gambling addictions. Buried even deeper in the collection of Kennedy dark secrets are family members tucked away for mental disabilities, or shunned for religious differences, or ostracized for rape and murder allegations.

So much misfortune has befallen a seemingly charmed family, that the phrase “The Kennedy Curse” has become the common, simplified way to describe the scandal and tragedy that seem to follow not just the Kennedys, but their extended family as well.   


The Dark Saga of the Kennedy Family,

Rosemary Kennedy Was Given A Lobotomy And Kept Hidden Away

Rosemary, the eldest Kennedy sister, was often referred to as “the missing Kennedy.” She had a learning disability and a low IQ, but, as she grew older, she became more and more physically attractive. Her parents, Joseph and Rose Kennedy, feared this was dangerous for a woman with the mental capacity of a child, so they kept her locked in the house most of the time.

Out of frustration, she would have tantrums and lash out at times. It seemed Rosemary's behavior was tarnishing their reputation as a ‘perfect family,' so Joseph took her to a mental facility in Upstate New York to have a prefrontal lobotomy performed on her.

The doctor performing the procedure asked her questions in the operating room and did not stop scraping away her brain tissue until she could barely speak. At just 23 years old, she was left unable to speak or walk. She was kept hidden away, and it would be 40 years before her story was told.


Ted Kennedy Drove Off A Bridge And Left His Passenger To Die

After a big party on Martha's Vineyard, Senator Ted Kennedy offered to give a young campaign worker a ride to her car. On the way, however, he drove his car off a Chappaquiddick Island bridge on July 18, 1969. He swam free of the wreckage with 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne still trapped inside, and, although he claimed he dove beneath the surface and attempted to free her several times, he did not report the situation to anyone for 10 hours.

Kopechne's body wasn't recovered until the next day, and Kennedy plead guilty to leaving the scene of a crash and causing personal injury. He was given a two-month suspended jail sentence. He would stay in the Senate for the next 40 years.


Jackie’s Father Was A Gambler And A Drunk

As it turns out, Jackie Kennedy Onassis’s father was quite the gambler of questionable morals. John Vernou Bouvier III, commonly known as “Black Jack,” was a heavy drinker, careless spender, very promiscuous, and possibly bisexual. His excessive vices are what led to his divorce from Jackie’s mother.

Bouvier never remarried, and his lifestyle didn't improve. He was too drunk to walk his daughter down the aisle when she married JFK. Her stepfather, Hugh Dudley Auchincloss, Jr. escorted her instead. Bouvier was diagnosed with liver cancer in the spring of 1957, and by August 3, he was dead. He was 66 years old.


Jackie Kennedy’s Ancestry Was Fabricated

While Jackie did grow up on her grandfather’s 14-acre estate, lived a privileged life, and earned a wonderful education, much of her family’s past is completely fabricated. Her grandfather, Major Bouvier had his family manor crafted to embody their noble ancestry, claiming to be descendants of French aristocrats. In reality, this genealogy was invented; their family history contains maids, tavern owners, farmers, and cabinet makers. Nothing to be ashamed of, but Major Bouvier wanted to seem as if they had always had money and prestige when they did not. Even their family coat of arms was fake.


Joe Kennedy II Overturned His Vehicle, Paralyzing His Passenger

It was the summer of 1973 when Joseph P. Kennedy II, son of Senator Robert F. Kennedy, overturned his vehicle and left his passenger, Pam Kelley, paralyzed. Kennedy was brought up on misdemeanor charges of negligent driving and fined $100. For her part, Kelley remained friends with the family, all her medical expenses were paid, and she received a one-million-dollar settlement.


Michael Skakel Murdered 15-Year-Old Martha Moxley

15-year-old Michael Skakel, nephew of Ethel Skakel Kennedy, was tried and convicted of the murder of 15-year-old Martha Moxley.

It was October 30, 1975, "Mischief Night," when Martha went out with friends. Around 9:30 pm, she was seen kissing Michael’s brother, Thomas Skakel, in their backyard. The next day she was found dead, near a tree in her own family's backyard. She had not been raped, but her pants and underwear were pulled down. Her autopsy revealed she was both bludgeoned and stabbed with a golf club that traced back to the Skakels.

Thomas Skakel was the prime suspect at first; his father refused to cooperate with police and denied them access to his school and mental health records. Both brothers changed their stories multiple times, but the focus shifted to Michael for a number of reasons. At one point, Michael Skakel claimed he was peeping in people’s windows and masturbating in a tree near the Moxley residence that night. Two former patients at a treatment center Michael had attended testified to hearing him confess to the murder and bragging, "I'm going to get away with murder. I'm a Kennedy." He wasn't convicted of the murder until 2002, and he has been out on $1.2 million bail since 2013.


JFK And His Father-In-Law Shared The Same Lady Of The Night... And The Same Bed

When JFK met his soon to be father-in-law, John “Black Jack” Bouvier, for the first time, things didn't go so well. Bouvier called Kennedy “a goddamn Mick” and looked down on his family's bootlegger past – which is just as ridiculous as it is hypocritical, considering the source. The two eventually found some common ground, and, apparently, it was their mutual love for booze and women that are not their wives.

According to one of Black Jack’s former lovers, songwriter Cole Porter, JFK and Black Jack got drunk together one night and decided to order a showgirl hooker for the night. She came over, and both men seduced her in the same bed.


William Kennedy Smith Was Accused Of Sexual Assault By Four Women

In April of 1991, William Kennedy Smith was brought up on rape charges for the alleged rape of a 29-year-old woman at the Kennedy estate in Palm Beach, Florida.

The night of March 29, 1991, Smith, his uncle Senator Ted Kennedy, and his cousin Patrick J. Kennedy went out to a bar and met two young women. They all went back to the Kennedy home where the alleged rape took place.

Smith was tried and acquitted on the rape charge, even though three other women testified that they were all sexually assaulted by him in the 1980s.


Jackie Was Given Electroshock Therapy

One night back in 1957, JFK came home late at night after a tryst with one of his many mistresses. He had been drinking and so had Jackie, and the two of them ended up in a huge argument. In the heat of the moment, Jackie burst from the house and out into the street, wearing nothing but her slip.

John brought her inside and called an ambulance to come get her. She was admitted to Valley Head Psychiatric Clinic in Massachusetts. They had a fight (probably over his infidelities), and he had her committed for a week. While in the clinic, she received three electroshock treatments for depression.

Jackie had begun suffering from depression and even suicidal thoughts after she miscarried two of their children. Therapy and antidepressants would have benefited her greatly, but instead she got electroshock therapy. According to her biography, she called the treatments “the nightmare ride of my life.”


JFK Took Steroids And Nearly Died From Hidden Health Conditions Numerous Times

President John F. Kennedy took various steroids, including injections of anabolic steroids and eventually ended up overusing them. The reason for this is that the President was suffering from Addison's disease, which affects the adrenal gland’s production of steroids. He was hospitalized for it at least half a dozen times, nearly dying and receiving his last rites, sometimes left in a semi-comatose state.

Addison's disease also makes it harder for the body to fight off infections, so, after getting an infection in 1961, he nearly died from that as well. The source of the illness was sexually transmitted bacterium, which is why this incident was hidden from the public.



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Thu, 01 Jun 2017 07:26:02 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/dark-kennedy-family-stories/lyra-radford
<![CDATA[13 Bizarre, Random Things Nobody Knows About John F. Kennedy]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/non-political-facts-about-john-f-kennedy/stephanroget?source=rss

John F. Kennedy (JFK) has a serious claim on being one of the greatest US Presidents of all time, so it’s no surprise that JFK trivia is incredibly prevalent on the Internet. From its privileged origins to its tragic ending, the John F. Kennedy biography is well known by most Americans, and JFK's fame is actually great enough that his story is known worldwide. Still, the majority of writing on the subject of Kennedy’s life focuses on his presidency and his marriage to the formidable Jackie O, which ignores large portions of a truly extraordinary life.

JFK’s life before the Presidency was arguably more exciting than his time in the Oval Office. Kennedy was born into a large, wealthy, and influential family on May 29, 1917, and his journey only got more interesting from there. JFK became a war hero, a renowned author, and a legendary playboy long before he ever considered making a run for Washington, and all that life experience ensured that there would always be a bevy of interesting facts to learn about the man.


13 Bizarre, Random Things Nobody Knows About John F. Kennedy,

JFK Was The First President To Dance With Black Women At His Inaugural Ball

John F. Kennedy was the first Catholic president of the United States, making his inauguration a historic moment. He decided to keep the historic progressivism rolling right into his inaugural ball. First, JFK brought out a classy tradition for one last spin, becoming the final president to wear a top hat to his inauguration. Then, Kennedy became the first president to dance with black women at his own inaugural ball. While this was a nice bit of progressive behavior from JFK, it just so happened to also be a move that coincided with his legendary love of women.


JFK Loaded Up On Cuban Cigars Before Putting A Cuban Trade Ban Into Effect

JFK’s battles with Cuba, which include the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis, are perhaps the defining moments of his Presidency. However, that’s not to say that JFK hated absolutely everything about the island nation. When US-Cuban relations had soured to the point that JFK felt the need to enact a complete trade ban, he first made sure he wouldn't personally be missing out on Cuban exports. Kennedy ordered more than 1,200 Cuban cigars for his private collection just before the ban went into effect.


JFK Secretly Donated His Salaries To Charity

A few politicians have made comments regarding donating their salaries, but few have actually followed through. Not only did JFK do this, but he also did it quietly and secretly, preventing him from using it to enhance his political image. Kennedy was born rich, and he found himself even richer by the time he entered politics. As a member of Congress, first elected in 1947, JFK began donating his salary, and he kept this practice up all the way into the presidency. At that point, JFK was the richest man to ever takeover the Oval Office, but he ensured that he wouldn't personally profit from the role, donating his entire paycheck to charity.


JFK Published His First Book At 22 And Later Won The Pulitzer Prize

John F. Kennedy was already a rich man and a war hero by the end of World War II, but few know that he was also a published author. Kennedy wrote a historical tome for his college thesis that ended up being published when he was just 22. He later went on to be a newspaper correspondent, covering the tail end of WWII and keeping his writing aspirations alive even as he began to enter politics. JFK would go on to win a Pulitzer Prize in 1957 for his book Profiles in Courage, although it has been disputed just how much of that book Kennedy actually wrote.


JFK Was Rejected From Military Service, But He Used Connections To Become A War Hero Anyway

John F. Kennedy could have easily sat out World War II, but he chose to fight for his country anyway. Not only was JFK part of a rich and powerful family, but his health concerns also made it extremely unlikely that any military service would accept him even if he did apply. JFK had to use his father’s connections to land a spot in the Navy, where he eventually became the commander of a patrol boat. When that boat was rammed and sank by a Japanese destroyer, Kennedy earned a Purple Heart by rallying his crew and guiding them to a nearby island from which they were rescued. Kennedy earned extra hero points by dragging a badly injured crew member to safety while clenching the man’s life jacket strap with his teeth. JFK even returned to service after the incident.


JFK Was Given Last Rites On Three Separate Occasions Before His Presidency Had Begun

JFK’s assassination is an unforgettable American moment, but he almost didn't even make it to that point in his life. Before becoming president of the United States, Kennedy was given his last rites on three separate occasions when it was thought his death was imminent. Two of the incidents were related to complications from his Addison’s disease, which was thought to be likely fatal. Last rites were also administered in 1954, when Kennedy slipped into a coma due to an infection following corrective surgery for his back. All of these incidents were kept hidden from the public until long after Kennedy’s death.


JFK Was Riddled With Disease

John F. Kennedy was the youngest man ever elected president, and his movie-star good looks certainly helped his popularity. However, despite outward appearances, JFK was not a healthy man. His health troubles were kept secret as his political career blossomed, but Kennedy suffered from Addison’s disease and hypothyroidism, which may have hinted at more serious underlying causes. These diseases, combined with chronic back pain, ensured that Kennedy was in almost constant pain, even as he displayed his confident smile to the nation. JFK was treated in all sorts of different ways for his ailments, including the use of animal hormones, steroids, and amphetamines.


JFK Could Pull Off A Great Prank

John F. Kennedy was a man who loved life, usually in carnal fashion, but he also knew how to have a good laugh when the occasion called for it. One of his greatest jokes came at the expense of his best friend, Lem Billings. JFK found himself annoyed that Billings had claimed that Hollywood star Greta Garbo was, like, totally into him, so Kennedy colluded with Garbo to embarrass his friend. He invited both of them over, but, when Billings rushed to great her, Garbo claimed she had never seen him before in her life. Billings was terribly confused and embarrassed, and JFK helpfully suggested that maybe he’d been hoodwinked by a Garbo impersonator. Billings was eventually let in on the joke, and everyone shared a good laugh, but Billings later called it “one of the worst things I ever went through in my life.”


Woody Harrelson’s Dad Once Confessed To Assassinating JFK

The assassination of JFK is quite possibly the most famous presidential death of all time, and that’s led to it becoming a veritable staple of the nation’s popular culture and shared memory. With all of the media interest, it’s no surprise that countless individuals have been accused of being involved in the assassination, but it is surprising that so many have actually confessed to being part of it. One of the most intriguing people to say they had a hand in killing JFK was Charles V. Harrelson, the father of Hollywood actor Woody Harrelson. While serving prison time for a different murder, Charles confessed to the assassination on several occasions, but nobody takes his claims seriously as Lee Harvey Oswald is the generally accepted assassin.


One Of JFK’s Girlfriends Had A Sultry Past... With Hitler!

John F. Kennedy’s success with the ladies was more than legendary. While JFK’s dalliances with mega-stars like Marilyn Monroe are well known, one of his earliest trysts was a relationship with far more intriguing historical significance. While in his 20s and serving in the Navy, JFK began a romantic relationship with Inga Arvad, a Danish ex-beauty queen turned journalist. JFK was smitten with Arvad, but he wasn't the only historical figure to fall for her. Before the war, Arvad was one of only a few foreign reporters to land an interview with Adolf Hitler, and he was fond enough of her that she became his “personal guest” at the 1936 Olympic Games, watching with him in his private box. Hitler even referred to Arvad as the perfect specimen of "Nordic beauty." While there’s no guarantee that she and Hitler ever hooked up, the thought that Hitler and JFK could have bedded the same woman is amazing.



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Thu, 01 Jun 2017 09:50:00 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/non-political-facts-about-john-f-kennedy/stephanroget
<![CDATA[Ant-Walking Alligators And Other Horrors From The Aftermath Of Hiroshima And Nagasaki]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/atomic-bomb-aftermaths-hiroshima-and-nagasaki/stephanroget?source=rss

Americans, and indeed most people within the contemporary Western world, receive a version of history that is, without a doubt, Americanized. This sanitized and whitewashed view of the past often brushes over the tragedies at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the fallout of history’s first, and to date only, atomic bombing of a populace. The dreadful atomic bomb aftermath the US Air Force left Japan to contend with is still somewhat celebrated in America as the event that brought an end to World War II. But much of the rest of the world considers it, more accurately, to be a brutal atrocity.

The bombings occurred on August 6 and 9, 1945, as the US dropped the Little Boy and the Fat Man on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively. The Japanese, who until that point refused to concede defeat, immediately surrendered. Given the horror stories from atomic bomb survivors now available to us, it should be pretty obvious why they surrendered so quickly. The effects of the atomic bomb still impact the psychology of Hiroshima today, as well as Nagasaki. With hindsight, we can confidently say the nuclear bombings were some of the most appalling moments in human history.


Ant-Walking Alligators And Other Horrors From The Aftermath Of Hiroshima And Nagasaki,

Dried Husks Of Humans Littered The Streets

One of the outright grossest things left behind by the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the “dried husks” of human beings found in various locations near the epicenter of the explosions. These unfortunate individuals were caught in the extreme heat of the bombs, and found themselves literally boiling from the inside out.

The heat was so intense, the victims’ blood boiled away, leaving them as little more than empty husks. They would crumble into ash whenever they were touched. It's difficult to imagine the horror they provided to would-be rescuers in the wake of the attacks.


Some People Were Completely Vaporized, Leaving Behind Nothing But A Shadow

Perhaps the most famous, and evocative, image from the aftermath of the nuclear attacks on Japan showed the human beings who left behind nothing but a shadow. These grim monuments to the tragedy came from those victims who were closest to the explosion, and were vaporized almost instantly.

The initial, bright flash of the bombs left their mark on everything in their path, and left “shadows” wherever something was in the way. All some people left behind was a dark outline, etched onto a sidewalk or a set of stone steps.


Wristwatches Stopped, Became Brands

During the cleanup efforts in Hiroshima, a massive amount of watches and clocks were discovered, frozen in time at exactly 8:15 to mark the bombing. One would be hard-pressed to think of a more symbolic, or haunting, image from the tragedy. 

Wristwatches, however, were a major part of the horrors of the atomic bombings for a different, more direct reason. Anyone near the epicenter of the explosion caught wearing a wristwatch found their timepieces transformed into instant branding devices, as the watches were rapidly heated to such a degree, they burned images of themselves onto their wearers’ wrists.


Over 90% Of The Doctors In Hiroshima Were Killed Or Injured

The devastation caused by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima is impossible to fully comprehend. In addition to the horrifying effects of the weapon itself, it was almost impossible to seek adequate medical treatment. 

Over 90% of the doctors and around 93% of the nurses in Hiroshima were killed or otherwise debilitated by the bomb. See, most of the hospitals were in the downtown area, and that was where the bomb inflicted the most destruction. In fact, there was only a single doctor, Terufumi Sasaki, who remained in service at the Red Cross Hospital. 

While volunteers and emergency workers organized evacuation centers, getting professional medical help just simply wasn't an option for most people. 


Patterns From Clothing Burned Onto Skin

Oddly enough, the clothing one wore on the day of the atomic bombings had a direct effect on how badly one could get burned by the explosion. Those wearing all white were fortunate, while those whose clothing had a pattern were not.

See, the heat and light of the nuclear explosions were so great, they burned patterns from clothing directly onto the skin of the people wearing it. A woman wearing a white dress with flowers on it, for example, found the shape of the flowers burned clearly into her skin, like some kind of gruesome tattoo.


Ant-Walking Alligators

The term “ant-walking alligators” is already creepy before one knows what it means, and discovering the actual definition doesn’t make it better. The name was created by survivors of the bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to describe hundreds of horrifically injured, but still alive, individuals seen after the event.

The ant-walking alligators were people who had been so burned by the explosion that their faces were completely obliterated, leaving no eyes and only a gaping red hole for a mouth. The usage of “ant” and “alligator” was in reference to their terribly blackened skin, which bore no resemblance to human flesh. Almost all of these victims died, but a few managed to survive – savagely disfigured – into old age.


Radiation Sickness Was Bad, Treatment Was Worse

At the time of the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, radiation sickness was only barely understood. Doctors and other medical personnel in those areas soon got an unpleasant and eye-opening crash course on the horrors that radiation can wreak on a human body.

Many of the victims quickly developed painful lesions, suffered hair loss, and began bleeding from their orifices. When doctors attempted to administer Vitamin A shots for treatment, the flesh around the injection site rapidly began to rot, resulting in the swift death of the patient. Many were left with little recourse but to die in incredible agony.


The Surrounding Environment Was Devastated By Black Rain

The impact of the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not all instantaneous. Some effects took longer, and didn't take hold until after the smoke cleared. One of the deadliest after-effects was the “Black Rain” that began to fall in areas surrounding Hiroshima.

It was the result of all the dirt, soot, dust, and radioactive materials that had been sucked into the sky by the mushroom cloud. It allowed the nuclear fallout to spread quickly and maliciously to areas that hadn’t even felt the explosion.


Some Were Blinded Instantly, Others Took Years To Lose Their Sight

It stands to reason the intense flash of a nuclear explosion would cause eye damage to anyone looking in that direction at the time of detonation. Indeed, the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki resulted in countless individuals losing their eyesight instantly, forever blinding them in a single moment.

However, not all of the eye damage done was immediate or obvious. Several victims found themselves rapidly developing cataracts a few years after the bombings, going blind well after they witnessed the horrific event.


People Were Perforated By Flying Debris

Not all of the immediate deaths during Hiroshima and Nagasaki were a direct result of the bombs themselves. The pressure wave sent out by the nuclear weapons sent the bones of the cities flying through the air at dangerous speeds, which resulted in a catastrophic amount of damage to human beings and their property.

Even miles away from the explosions’ epicenters, victims were found perforated by flying objects hurtling through the air. Some of the bodies were completely destroyed. Even the smallest object, when propelled by an atomic explosion, can be deadly.



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Fri, 02 Jun 2017 01:41:37 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/atomic-bomb-aftermaths-hiroshima-and-nagasaki/stephanroget
<![CDATA[20 Vintage Photos From NYC's Notoriously Wild Studio 54]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/vintage-studio-54-photos/kellie-kreiss?source=rss

Studio 54 is known for having been one of the world's most high-profile, exclusive discotheques during the late 1970s and early 1980s. However, the notorious New York City nightclub encountered a fair share of obstacles while party-goers ravaged the dance floor and their bodies, enjoying every drug imaginable and rubbing elbows with New York's most in-demand celebrities.

Studio 54 had the opportunity to celebrate two opening nights. The first was in April of 1977, after the building that once housed a prestigious theater was converted into a dance hall, suddenly breaking onto the NYC nightclub scene with no idea of what the future might hold. In just under three years, Studio 54 would garner the attention of a variety of celebrities from Michael Jackson to Truman Capote - as well as some unwanted attention from the FBI. After evidence of money laundering and drug conspiracies put the two original owners, Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager, in prison with a hefty sentence, a new owner, Mark Fleischman, came to the fold and reopened the club shortly there after.

As a result, Studio 54 got a chance to throw itself a second grand opening on September 15, 1981, and a host of other parties afterward, continuing the legacy and exclusivity of the New York nightclub scene for another generation of party-goers. Here is a collection of photos from only a few of the many successful events thrown at the venue, providing a glimpse into the nocturnal thrill that was Studio 54.


20 Vintage Photos From NYC's Notoriously Wild Studio 54,

Bianca Jagger's Birthday Party - Bianca Celebrating With Liza Minelli (May 2, 1978)

People Gathered Together To Celebrate And Relax Among The Rich And Famous

Truman Capote (1979)

Diana Ross Dancing With Andre Leon Talley (1979)

New Years Eve Celebration Party (December 31, 1977)

At A Performance By Grace Jones (January 1978)

"Interview Party" Attended By Jerry Hall, Andy Warhol, Debbie Harry, Truman Capote, And Paloma Picasso (June 1979)

At A Performance By Grace Jones (January 1978)

Brooke Shields And Jimmy McNichol Dancing

Bianca Jagger Was One Of Many Celebrities Who Attended Parties At Studio 54 (1980)


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Mon, 05 Jun 2017 10:52:31 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/vintage-studio-54-photos/kellie-kreiss
<![CDATA[Incredible People Who Broke Records On Mount Everest]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/people-who-broke-mount-everest-records/nicky-benson?source=rss

Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world at 29,028 feet and 9 inches. One of the first people to lead an expedition to the summit was Englishman George Mallory. He died not far from its peak in 1924, but his body wasn't discovered until 1999. Nearly 300 people have died trying to reach Everest's summit, but that hasn't deterred climbers from attempting their own expeditions to become king of the mountain.

Over the years, some amazing people have reached the summit and broken some incredible records. One person was blind. Another had no legs. A third broke a speed record. Still, more were elderly, battling major health conditions, or opting to climb without oxygen. One climber wasn't even old enough to legally drive a car. It's difficult to decide which climber over the past 60-plus years accomplished the most impressive climbing feat. Just arriving at the summit alone is impressive!


Incredible People Who Broke Records On Mount Everest,

Lori Schneider: First Person With Multiple Sclerosis To Reach The Summit

On May 23, 2009, Lori Schneider became the first person with Multiple Sclerosis to reach the summit. 


Reinhold Messner: First To Climb To The Summit Alone

After reaching the summit in 1978 without supplemental oxygen, Italian Reinhold Messner broke another record by becoming the first to climb Mt. Everest solo on August 20, 1980. 


Reinhold Messner & Peter Habeler: First Ascent Without Supplemental Oxygen

On May 8, 1978, Italian Reinhold Messner and Austrian Peter Habeler made the first successful ascent of the mountain without using supplemental oxygen. Some consider this the first "true" ascent of Mt. Everest.


Junko Tabei: First Woman To Reach The Summit

On May 16, 1975, Japanese citizen Junko Tabei became the first female to reach the summit.


Percival Hillary & Sherpa Tenzing Norgay: First People To Reach The Summit

Edmund Percival Hillary from New Zealand and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay were the first two people to reach the summit of Everest on May 29, 1953.


Jordan Romero: Youngest Person To Reach The Summit

On May 22, 2010, 13-year-old American Jordan Romero became the youngest person to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. He was accompanied by his father, step-mother, and three Sherpas.


Babu Chhiri Sherpa: Longest Stay On The Summit Without Bottled Oxygen

In May of 1999, Babu Chhiri Sherpa of Nepal stayed 21 hours at the summit of Mt. Everest  without using bottled oxygen.


Apa Sherpa, Phurba Tashi Sherpa, Kami Rita Sherpa: Highest Number Of Times Reaching The Summit

On May 11, 2011, Apa Sherpa from Nepal reached the summit for the 21st time. His record was matched by Phurba Tashi Sherpa on May 19, 2013, and Kami Rita Sherpa in 2017.


Pemba Dorje Sherpa: Fastest Ascent From South Base Camp

On May 21, 2004, it took Pemba Dorje Sherpa from Nepal just eight hours and 10 minutes to climb from South Base Camp to the summit of Mt. Everest.


Erik Weihenmayer: First Blind Man To Reach The Summit

U.S. climber Erik Weihenmayer went blind from juvenile retinoschisis at age 13. On May 25, 2001, he became the first blind man to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. He was the only blind man to accomplish the feat until Austrian Andy Holzer reached the summit on May 21, 2017.



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Thu, 01 Jun 2017 08:41:36 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/people-who-broke-mount-everest-records/nicky-benson
<![CDATA[16 Devastating Photos From The 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/loma-prieta-earthquake-photos/kellie-kreiss?source=rss

California is equally well-known for its earthquakes as it is for its sunshine and rolling hills. For those who grew up in the Golden State, memories of schoolyard earthquake drills accompanied by horror stories about the devastating 7.8 magnitude 1906 earthquake that ravaged the San Francisco Bay Area had a lasting impact. Because of the devastating impacts of the 1906 incident, when the Loma Prieta earthquake hit in 1989, some would have thought California would be better prepared for the 7.1 magnitude quake - they thought wrong. 

Though the scale of the notorious 1906 earthquake far exceeded the destruction caused by the following one in 1989 - with some estimates stating that well over 3,000 people were killed in the 7.8 magnitude quake and the impending fire that overtook much of San Francisco - the '89 event certainly forced a reality check upon northern California's residents and government agencies. 

Despite having enforced new building codes throughout the Bay Area as recently as the 1970s, many buildings and bridges had not yet been equipped with the necessary earthquake-ready retrofitting. As a result, when the earthquake suddenly hit on October 17, 1989, with an epicenter near Loma Prieta Peak in the Santa Cruz Mountains, San Francisco found itself consumed by crumbling bridges and buildings collapsing into the suddenly liquefied ground.

Here you will find a series of photos depicting just how destructive an earthquake lasting just a few minutes was for the San Francisco Bay Area. And, with more experts than ever predicting another quake in California's near future, take a minute to look through these images and then send this to your favorite Californian to show them why they need to get earthquake ready - and fast.


16 Devastating Photos From The 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake,

Many Had To Escape From The Windows Of Their Crumbling Apartments

The 1989 Earthquake Occurred Along The San Andreas Fault Line, Its Epicenter In The Santa Cruz Mountains

As The Ground Liquified, Buildings Cracked And Collapsed Into Themselves

In The Marina District, Much Of The Foundation Ground Liquified During The Quake

As Many Of The Buildings In The Marina District Continued To Crumble, Rescue Workers Had To Work Fast To Locate Missing People

Rescue Workers Had To Search Crumbling Buildings For Survivors

People Gathered In The Streets, Devastated At Losing Their Homes

Fires Broke Out Across The City, Particularly In The Marina District, And Took Two Days To Fully Contain

Firefighters And Emergency Personnel Were On High Alert During The Aftermath Of The Quake

A Car Destroyed In The Quake, Killing Three People, Near 6th And Townsend


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Thu, 01 Jun 2017 10:46:36 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/loma-prieta-earthquake-photos/kellie-kreiss
<![CDATA[What Will James Comey Reveal In His Senate Testimony?]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/james-comey-congress-testimony-predictions/jacob-shelton?source=rss

After being fired from the FBI in the middle of an investigation into President Trump’s possible ties with Russia, former FBI Director James Comey went from being viewed as a GOP lapdog to a lone wolf of the two-party system. Now he will testify in front of the Senate on live television on June 8th, 2017, adding extra dramatics to an already chaotic administration. As the world waits for Comey to spill the beans on President Trump and his administration, James Comey testimony predictions have begun to run rampant. Some pundits expect Comey to blow the lid off the Trump administration’s alleged collusion with Russia, while some party poopers offer the very sober possibility that he might not say anything worthwhile. The one thing that’s for sure is that everyone, even President Trump, is riddled with anticipation. So what will James Comey reveal to Congress?

The biggest question about the coming congressional hearing is will James Comey incriminate President Trump in Senate testimony? After all, Comey aligned himself with the conservative party for as long as anyone can remember, and just because he doesn’t get along with Trump doesn’t mean that he won’t play ball. However, the possibility of him being the guy who brings down one of the most negligent presidents America ever elected likely has Comey daydreaming of the phrase “American Hero” next to his name in history textbooks. Considering the week-to-week melodrama of the Trump administration so far, what do you think Comey plans to reveal? Vote on the dimes you think the former FBI director is going to drop and don’t forget to check back after his Senate hearing to see if you were right. Best of luck, because predicting the Trump administration is like mapping chaos.


What Will James Comey Reveal In His Senate Testimony?,

The President Is Actively Committing Obstruction Of Justice With Every Chance He Gets

Donald Trump Willfully Interfered With Investigations Into His Administration

That Trump Demanded Comey's Loyalty Before Firing Him

Trump Knowingly Obstructed The Russian Probe

Trump Doesn't Spellcheck His Memos

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn Had Contacts With The Russian Government

Russian Hackers Definitely Stole Hillary's Emails

The President Was Trying To Impede The FBI Investigation

Trump Knowingly Spread False Claims On Social Media

Trump Demanded Comey Shut The Investigation Down


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Mon, 05 Jun 2017 03:17:41 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/james-comey-congress-testimony-predictions/jacob-shelton
<![CDATA[14 Facts About The D-Day Invasion Most People Don't Know About]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/operation-overlord-normandy-d-day-invasion-facts/philgibbons?source=rss

On June 6, 1944, the D-Day invasion by Allied forces began in the French region of Normandy. What happened on D-Day, one of the largest military undertakings in world history, remains among the most remarkable stories of WWII. Facts about this endeavor, code named Operation Overlord, continue to amaze the public over 70 years after this momentous event. Here are some remarkable and surprising details about the D-Day invasion, the attack that was the beginning of the end of the Nazi Reich and ground zero for the onset of the struggle for the liberation of Europe. From leading men you had no idea landed on D-Day to sleeping Nazi leadership, the invasion that began the end of WWII is full of surprising, heroic, and heart-wrenching moments.


14 Facts About The D-Day Invasion Most People Don't Know About,

Omaha Beach Could Have Been Worse

Throughout 1944, a philosophical struggle took place between General Rommel and other members of the German general staff. Rommel firmly believed that the Allies should be prevented from landing and establishing a beachhead anywhere on the coast of France. Other officers believed that troops should be held in reserve and quickly rushed in to counterattack and wipe out any invasion. Despite Rommel's specific orders to the 352nd Infantry Division to move its 5 artillery and 10 infantry battalions of the division to the vicinity of the Omaha beachhead, Rommel's subordinates ignored these commands and placed all but two infantry and one artillery battalions in reserve, more in line with German high command strategy. While the Omaha Beach landing was the most difficult and costly of the five invasion points, it could have been much worse – and might have even jeopardized the entire invasion – had the entire German capability at Omaha Beach been utilized to prevent a linkup of the Allies in the early days of the invasion. 


Faced With The Impossible, Rangers At Pointe-Du-Hoc Were The First to Complete Their Mission On D-Day

One of the toughest objectives handed out on D-Day was the mission to knock out the German 155mm batteries on the promontory of Pointe-Du-Hoc. American airborne Rangers would be given the task of scaling the cliff-side location almost 100 feet into a nest of heavily fortified bunkers and pillboxes protecting the German artillery, which was a threat to both the men on the beaches and the ships at sea. Only half of the designated Ranger attack force reached the base of the cliffs. Late and disorganized, they were never able to signal the secondary group, which was then diverted to Omaha Beach, possibly saving that effort. Despite the loss of manpower, the Rangers began the process of ascending the seawall, accompanied by artillery shelling from Allied destroyers that provided cover. The Rangers quickly got to the top, subdued or repelled any defenders, and were shocked to find that the gun emplacements contained only telephone poles, placed there to fool Allied reconnaissance.

Fortunately, tire tracks lead to the new German artillery position, and the Rangers quickly disabled the 155mm guns with grenades. By 9 am, they were able to signal that they had reached their objective, the first Allied unit to successfully complete their mission. Unfortunately, the Germans would furiously counterattack for the next two days, the Rangers isolated and unable to be resupplied from the water and trapped against the cliffs by German units. The only reinforcements were three American paratroopers who landed off target and somehow made it through German lines to the Rangers' position. The Rangers would hold their position until the morning of June 8, when other Ranger units and armored infantry drove the Germans from the vicinity. By then, two thirds of the initial Ranger group that had climbed the cliffs had either been captured, wounded, or killed.       


The Allies Were Greatly Helped By Hitler Sleeping In

By mid-1944, Adolf Hitler's doctor was treating him with medications that included amphetamines and possibly even cocaine. Consequently, Hitler would remain awake into the wee early morning hours and sleep until the early afternoon. Even the most superior members of the German high command were aware of this behavior and knew that he would become angry if disturbed. Hitler had also forbidden commanders in the field from adjusting troop positions without his specific permission. When several generals in the Normandy area wanted to immediately deploy two German panzer divisions to attack the tenuous Allied toehold as quickly as possible, they had to wait until late morning before disturbing Hitler. By that time, the clouds preventing Allied air attacks had broken, and Nazi reinforcements could only proceed by night, greatly reducing German ability to counterattack and ensuring the success of the landing.


Erwin Rommel Was At Home In Germany, Celebrating His Wife's Birthday

One of the individuals who might have played a major role in successfully repelling the Allied invasion was Field Marshall Erwin Rommel. A brilliant tactician nicknamed "The Desert Fox" for his exploits during the Nazi campaign in North Africa, Rommel was reassigned to supervise the defense of the "Atlantic Wall," the defense system implemented by Germany to defend against any invasion. Rommel had spent most of the previous five years away from his wife and son and wanted to briefly return home to celebrate his wife's 50th birthday. He even purchased a pair of shoes in Paris for the occasion. When his staff, based on optimistically incorrect weather reports, assured him that the Allies couldn't possibly attack anywhere on the French coast, he took the opportunity to return to Germany. Other senior officers were ordered to participate in a war game exercise that also took them away from the immediate field of battle. Informed of the attack in the early morning of June 6, Rommel rushed back to the front and managed to arrive that evening. By then, the Allies had secured the beachhead at Normandy, and Rommel was powerless to stop the invasion.   


The Weather Forecast Played A Decisive Role In D-Day's Success

Because D-Day relied so heavily on issues surrounding weather, tides, cloud cover, and moonlight, only certain days could be considered for the invasion. Initially, Allied meteorologists selected June 5, 1944, as the most advantageous day for the attack. However, rough seas, high waves, and extreme cloud cover could be enough on their own to ensure the failure of the operation. On June 4, British military meteorologist James Stagg overruled his staff and recommended a postponement of the invasion until June 6. He believed that a 12-hour window would open that would allow for the invasion to proceed but was certain that June 5 would be a disaster. Other forecasters believed that the invasion should be postponed until a date two weeks later in the hopes that the weather might improve. In 1944, there were none of the weather satellites or technology that exist today, only anecdotal evidence gathered from various vantage points in the British Isles and the Atlantic. 

The ultimate decision would be made by General Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied forces. He gambled on the 12-hour window and hoped that Stagg was correct. While June 6 was not perfect, the invasion was able to proceed, and a window of slightly better weather prevented the climate from being a factor in the invasion. Unfortunately for the Germans, their chief Luftwaffe meteorologist did not have access to Stagg's wealth of information, and his forecast was for persistently bad weather that would prevent an invasion for at least several weeks. The German high command operated under this notion, one of the reasons that they were caught off guard when the invasion began. 


Secret Code Words From The Invasion Mysteriously Appeared In A Crossword Puzzle In Advance

In May of 1944, a member of Britain's intelligence service, MI5, was observant enough to spot the answer "Utah" in a crossword puzzle in a large circulation London newspaper, The Daily Telegraph. Initially dismissed as a coincidence, agents were stunned when, within several weeks and only days before the planned D-Day invasion, the words Omaha, Overlord, Mulberry, and Neptune all appeared as answers in the same Daily Telegraph crossword. All of these names were secret words closely associated with the impending invasion. Security services quickly hauled in the composer of the crossword puzzles, Leonard Dawe, who turned out to be a headmaster at a local private school, The Strand School. Despite an intense interrogation that Dawe refused to describe until decades later, eventually MI5 was satisfied that he was not an enemy agent.

But the mystery of how the words wound up in the puzzles remained. In 1984, one of Dawe's students at the time, Ronald French, wrote to the paper to explain that the headmaster would have his classes give him random words that he would then include in his puzzles. Because the students routinely socialized and were exposed to servicemen in their neighborhoods, they naturally picked up on some of the words that these soldiers regularly used. French thought it would be clever to include these words in the crossword and gave them to the unwitting headmaster. After his interrogation, Dawe supposedly confronted French, who admitted what he had done. Unfortunately, by the time French contacted the Telegraph, Dawe was long gone, and many are still skeptical of this explanation for the remarkable D-Day crossword puzzle coincidence.


Two Medics Risked Their Lives To Heroically Provide Care

One of the lesser known stories of D-Day involves two American medics who provided assistance to both Allied and German soldiers who were brought into their tiny church sanctuary. Robert Wright and Kenneth Moore were parachuted behind German lines in the early hours of the D-Day invasion. Landing with other paratroopers near Utah Beach, their unit's objective was a road junction near the French hamlet of Angoville-Au-Plain. Wright and Moore selected the most logical nearby structure to set up their medic station, the village church. For three days, they tended to many wounded – including French civilians and even Germans – injured in the fierce fighting around the church. German panzer counterattacks eventually pushed American troops away from Angoville-Au-Plain, but the medics decided to stay and continue to care for the many soldiers relying on them. Several times, German SS personnel angrily entered the church, intent on capturing the wounded Americans within but left when confronted with Wright and Moore also tending to seriously injured German soldiers. Eventually, a Red Cross banner was placed in front of the building, indicating to both sides that the makeshift hospital should be left alone. Even so, there were many anxious moments for Wright and Moore, including an unexploded mortar shell that landed in the center of the church and failed to explode. One of the medics quickly picked up the projectile, ran outside, and tossed it into a field, despite the possibility of the shell detonating at any moment.

Midway through the ordeal, two German snipers who were hidden in the steeple, realized that they were drawing fire to the church and surrendered to the astonished Wright and Moore. On June 8, the Germans were safely pushed out of the area, the medics having saved over 80 lives in the interim. Eventually, the destroyed stained glass windows were replaced with memorials to both the 101st Airborne and the medics themselves. The pews of the church remain bloodstained, and the cracked floor square where the mortar shell landed is still visible. Kenneth Moore and Robert Wright were both awarded the Silver Star. When he died, the townspeople of Angoville-Au-Plain honored Wright's request and buried him in the church graveyard.         


A Dress Rehearsal For D-Day Was A Complete Disaster

Five weeks before D-Day, on April 28, 1944, an Allied group of ships and amphibious vehicles were moving slowly in the English Channel to prepare for their participation in "Exercise Tiger," a dry run of the amphibious effort that would constitute a large part of the planned D-Day invasion. When a massive increase in radio traffic tipped off German naval assets in the vicinity that something major was occurring, Nazi torpedo patrol boats were dispatched to the area with lethal results. They began torpedoing the amphibious LST landing craft that were jammed with American soldiers, forcing survivors of the attack to abandon ship, many with improperly implemented life vests that all but ensured drowning. In all, 749 participants in the fiasco died, the costliest training exercise of the war. The disaster was covered up by the military, to minimize loss of morale and avoid further tipping off the Germans to the imminent invation. Additionally, both Dwight D. Eisenhower and Winston Churchill were so concerned by this failure that they had grave doubts about D-Day itself.      


The Theater Of Battle Was 50 Miles Wide

Subsequent films and dramatizations of D-Day tend to be limited in portraying the scope of the size of the D-Day invasion. Much of the focus of films like Saving Private Ryan is a small stretch of beach and a small number of individuals engaged in their own personal struggle. But D-Day involved an attack that consisted of close to 75,000 infantry, paratroopers, and support personnel that would land on or behind five separate beach locations designated by the Allies. These designated sites were code named "Juno," "Sword," "Gold," "Omaha," and "Utah." The beaches comprised an area that stretched for over 50 miles


Ted Roosevelt Jr. Was The Only General In The Initial Wave

Theodore Roosevelt Jr., son of President Roosevelt, was initially told that, because of a heart condition and arthritis, he would not participate in the actual D-Day invasion. Roosevelt – armed with only a pistol and a cane – insisted and came ashore with the first wave of troops at Utah Beach, the only general to do so. Landing a mile away from his intended location, Roosevelt improvised a route inland after personally reconnoitering the area behind the beach. He would remain on the beach for the rest of the day, directing subsequent waves of troops to their improvised locations. Ignoring bullets and explosions that occurred in his vicinity, Roosevelt remained a calming influence on the apprehensive soldiers who came ashore. Asked later to single out the most heroic act he observed during his career, General Omar Bradley responded: "Ted Roosevelt at Utah Beach." Ted Roosevelt Jr. died of a heart attack one month after D-Day, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, and is buried in the American cemetery near the Normandy beachhead    



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Thu, 01 Jun 2017 00:51:21 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/operation-overlord-normandy-d-day-invasion-facts/philgibbons
<![CDATA[13 Horrifying Things Most People Don't Know About Plague Doctors]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-medieval-plague-doctors-and-their-methods/melissa-sartore?source=rss

Treating the bubonic plague became a medical specialty during the first widespread outbreak of the disease in the 14th century. The Black Plague, as it is also known, has made a comeback from time to time and, during its second major assault on Western Europe, plague doctors adopted the famous robe, mask, and hat-combo that one associates with the plague.  

Medical treatment for the bubonic plague by medieval doctors and their early modern counterparts didn't vary too much, but the plague doctor outfit of the 17th and 18th centuries did reflect a new approach to dealing with the disease.


13 Horrifying Things Most People Don't Know About Plague Doctors,

Plague Doctors Started Wearing Those Creepy Outfits Long After The Middle Ages

During the 17th century, plague doctors started wearing uniforms in an effort to protect themselves from their patients. Charles de l’Orme came up with concept of the long, dark robe worn with boots, gloves, and a hat in 1619. The idea was to keep the physician's entire body covered. The outer layer of the costume was made of goat leather and often coated in wax. Underneath, the doctor wore a blouse that tied to his boots.


The Plague Called For An Entirely New Type Of Doctor

There were several types of doctors in the medieval world. Physicians were individuals who had received some sort of university training, while surgeons lacked a formal education and were therefore considered inferior. Surgeons were often associated with barbers, who were allowed to let blood and pull teeth. Apothecaries were responsible for dispensing drugs or, during the Middle Ages, herbs, sweets, and perfumes. There were also knowledgeable women – all of the other doctors were men – who were familiar with natural remedies and produced potions, salves, and tonics in their homes.

Then, during the outbreak of the plague, a new type of doctor was developed. There were specific physicians who became known as plague doctors, specializing in preventing and treating the plague. They were hired by villages during the fourteenth century epidemic and throughout the next four centuries whenever the plague would pop back up.


The Treatments Got Worse The Sicker A Person Got

Sometimes patients would be told to drink their own urine or consume medicines made from egg shells, marigolds, and treacle. Patients would also be rubbed with onion, garlic, butter, arsenic, or flower petal compounds, or even be advised to rub animal parts on their body to try to eliminate the illness.  Frogs, snakes, and pigeons were particularly popular if they were nearby. Once buboes were lanced, they were then often rubbed with a mixture of tree sap, flower petals, and human excrement.  

As a person neared death, they could even be coated in mercury and baked in an oven for a while. There were also techniques to induce diarrhea to try to drive out whatever evil had taken over the body.


When All Else Failed, People Found Scapegoats

When God throws down a scourge, the tendency is to try to find a reason - and someone to blame. Christians tried to identify Jews as the cause of the disease - although Pope Clement VI issued a statement saying that it wasn't their fault. However, this didn't stop people from looking for a scapegoat.  

Pope Clement VI even famously surrounded himself with fire to keep the evil of the plague from infecting him, but it was actually the heat itself that kept him safe, not the fire warding off evil spirits.


Common Treatments Were Not Pleasant

Medieval medicine was based around the idea that the human body had four humors that needed to be in balance. Blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile were to be balanced with the help of diet, herbs, natural medicines, and, if things got too far out of whack, blood would be removed from the body entirely. Hence, bloodletting.  

In terms of plague treatments, doctors typically stuck with what they knew and tried to remove the toxic imbalance from the body by bloodletting their patients. They also lanced, rubbed toads on, or leeched the buboes to try to remove the sickness.

Sex was prohibited too, but that rarely stuck.


Plague Doctor Hats Were Used For Identification

While the plague doctor needed to be protected from head to toe, the hats themselves were actually used to indicate that a person was in fact a doctor. The hats were symbolic than functional, though it's possible that the wide brim did manage to keep some bacteria away.


Plague Doctors Used Canes So They Could Be More Hands Off

The canes that plague doctors carried served a few practical purposes. Doctors could use them to poke and prod a patient that was laying on the ground without having to touch them directly, and they may have been used to keep family members at bay or to protect themselves from desperate patients. They could also be used to communicate to their helpers where a body needed to go after a patient died.


Treatments Also Included Making God Happy

During the Middle Ages, the belief was that bad things happened because God was dissatisfied with humanity. This meant that people needed to make amends. As a result, self-flagellation became a common treatment for the plague. Individuals would whip themselves in order to atone for whatever sins had brought about the disease. In fact, there were entire groups of flagellants dedicated to the practice. But, when a person couldn't whip themselves sufficiently or were already sick and too weak, they often asked the plague doctors to do it for them.


Plague Doctors Treated Everyone Because Everyone Got The Plague

Wealth certainly offers greater access to healthcare - that hasn’t changed much - but during the Middle Ages, plague doctors were hired by towns and villages to treat everyone. Since the location was paying them, not the individual, all sick people were provided with the same medical care.  For example, when Giovanni de Ventura served as a community plague doctor in Pavia in 1479, he received a monthly payment, a furnished house, local citizenship, and living expenses from the city.  He didn't charge the patients, but could take payment from individuals if they offered.


Plague Masks Were All About Smelling The Roses

The infamous plague masks were actually associated with air purity. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the idea that the air could be polluted became widespread and doctors sought to prevent "bad air," or the miasma, from getting to them.

Eye holes were fitted with glass pieces so doctors could still see, and the long noses on the mask were filled with drugs and aromatic herbs, including mint, camphor, cloves, straw, laudanum, rose pedals, and myrrh to filter the air. The herbs also helped with the smell, considering that the dead bodies and lanced buboes that doctors dealt with were rather pungent. 

However, despite rumors, 'Ring Around The Rosie' was most likely not about the plague.



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Wed, 24 May 2017 07:35:23 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-medieval-plague-doctors-and-their-methods/melissa-sartore
<![CDATA[How The Civilization On Easter Island Collapsed]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/how-the-easter-island-civilization-collapsed/nicky-benson?source=rss

Easter Island is a Chilean island located in the southeastern Pacific Ocean. It's most widely known for the incredible stone statues - called moai - that were created and scattered across the island by its early inhabitants, the Rapa Nui. When the Polynesians first settled on the island between 700 and 1100 CE, they developed a thriving society of nearly 15,000 people. But it wasn't until the first Europeans visited the island, under the direction of a Dutch explorer named Jacob Roggeveen, that the name Easter Island was adopted, as he first happened upon the mysterious island on Easter Sunday, April 5, 1722.

By the time that Europeans arrived on Easter Island, the Rapa Nui population had already dropped down to less than 3,000 people - one-fifth of what it had been at its height. And by 1877 - just over 150 years after their first contact with Europeans - only 111 Rapa Nui remained. What happened to this civilization? There are many theories as to why the population of the Rapa Nui community dropped so dramatically. Some have blamed environmental issues, while others believe that internal warfare was a contributing factor. However, new research has debunked many of the longstanding views about the "collapse" of one of the world's most intriguing islands.


How The Civilization On Easter Island Collapsed,

Warfare Using Obsidian Spear Tips

When Captain Cook arrived on Easter Island in 1774, he quickly spotted the Rapa Nui carrying lances and spears with sharp, pointed pieces of black glassy lava attached to the ends (obsidian). It was assumed that the triangular tips, known as mata'a, were used for warfare; however, once researchers analyzed the artifacts thought to be spear points, they determined that they were actually used as tools. Carl Lipo, professor of anthropology at Binghamton University, explained: "We found that when you look at the shape of these things, they just don't look like weapons at all," said Lipo. "When you can compare them to European weapons or weapons found anywhere around the world when there are actually objects used for warfare, they're very systematic in their shape. They have to do their job really well. Not doing well is risking death." He added that the mata'a are found all across the island as they were used for tasks such as tattooing or plant processing.


Smallpox, Syphilis, And Other Diseases

When the Europeans arrived on Easter Island they brought various diseases with them, including smallpox and syphilis. Some scientists believe that the islanders were able to survive when the trees disappeared, but that their population suffered most dramatically when the Dutch and English came to Rapa Nui. According to the CDC, on average, 3 out of every 10 people who got smallpox died, plus it is extremely contagious and disfiguring. Syphilis, on the other hand, is a sexually transmitted disease, and while it's treatable today, people frequently died from it in the 18th century.


A New God And Rebuilding The Culture

When the Rapa Nui started running out of food, different fractions started to form on the island. One group became known as the Birdman Cult, and they turned to a new god for help: Makemake. Through their efforts, the cult helped to rebuild the culture and population of Rapa Nui, with crops such as sweet potatoes again beginning to flourish.

 

 


Rats, Rats, And More Rats

Two anthropologists, Terry Hunt and Carl Lipo, from the University of Hawaii, have their own theory about the collapse of the Easter Island civilization. In their book The Statues That Walked, they argue that fossil hunters and paleobotanists have not found any concrete evidence of slash and burn farming being used on Easter Island; however, the anthropologists do acknowledge that the trees across the island seemed to have died in large numbers, which they believe was caused by rats. When the stowaway rodents arrived on the island with the Polynesians, they multiplied voraciously and decimated the trees.

 


The Now-Debunked Cannibalism Theory

For many years, it was believed that the Easter Island inhabitants fought with one another and eventually resorted to cannibalism to survive. The long-standing theory was that the civilization collapsed before the Europeans had even arrived and that their numbers had already dwindled significantly. As a result of extreme deforestation, a rapidly expanding population, and warfare, famine became widespread and people ate their opponents's dead bodies to survive. However, according to research published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, cannibalism did not actually contribute to the civilization's downfall.


A Tropical Paradise

When the Polynesians first settled on Easter Island, they found themselves in a blooming tropical paradise covered in a palm forest and inhabited by around 30 different species of birds. While the soil was low in nutrients, the island's coastal plains made it possible to grow crops such as taros, yams, and sweet potatoes. Over time, the Rapa Nui were able to create a complex society that included chiefdoms and the construction of large stone sculptures known as moai. However, when the population of the island had nearly gone extinct by the mid-19th century, scientists were baffled.


The Topsoil Washed Away - Were The Moai To Blame?

Unfortunately, the rapid loss of trees on the island adversely affected the topsoil, which slowly washed away each time it rained. And as the land eroded, the Rapa Nui struggled to grow enough crops to feed themselves. They also quickly ran out of the wood that they needed to build their canoes, which would have helped them relocate to another island when things continued to get worse. It's unclear if they blamed the moai for their problems, but the islanders vandalized them by poking out their eyes, toppling them over, and even decapitating them.


Moving The Moai Required A Lot Of Wood

The islanders reportedly used wood from the palm forest to clear the paths that they used to transport their giant moai. One theory states that after clearing the land for crops, they used the leftover logs to both move the huge stone sculptures and build their deep-sea fishing canoes. The question is, did this excessive use of resources lead to their starvation? In 1774, when Captain James Cook visited the island he and his crew noted that the Rapa Nui were living in very poor conditions, their canoes worn ragged and pieced together haphazardly.


Peruvian Slave Raids

When foreigners first began visiting the Rapa Nui, the islanders were excited to learn about the strangers. While they thought the travelers were strange, they also appreciated the new source of clothing and goods from across the ocean. Unfortunately, some visitors traveled to the island with the intent of making the Rapa Nui their slaves. The Peruvian slave raids started in the 1860s, with Easter Island being a prime target due to its location. An estimated 2,000 Rapa Nui were captured during this time, and those who managed to make it to Peru battled numerous diseases and were overworked. As a result, nearly 90 percent died within a few years of being enslaved.


Slash And Burn Agriculture Destroyed Resources

Around 1,200 CE, a small group of Polynesian farmers settled on Easter Island, a tiny 63-square-mile island that was then covered in as many as 16 million trees. According to one popular theory, the group practiced slash and burn agriculture and as their population grew they had to burn down more and more trees in the palm forests to make room for crops. Before long, there were too many inhabitants and too few trees. Jared Diamond, the author of the book Collapse: How Societies Choose To Fail Or Succeed, wrote that the island is the "clearest example of a society that destroyed itself by overexploiting its own resources."



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Thu, 25 May 2017 06:30:25 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/how-the-easter-island-civilization-collapsed/nicky-benson
<![CDATA[33 Pics of Old-Timey Swimsuits That Will Have You Dreaming of the Beach]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/vintage-swimsuit-photos/carly-kiel?source=rss

"Swimsuit season." Each summer, these words strike fear into the hearts of post-pubescent pool- and beach-goers around the world. But long days of sunshine didn't always mean showing as much skin as possible. These vintage photos of old-timey swimsuits show a simpler time, when cuts were plentiful and fabrics were sensibly black. The earliest photographs of swimwear, from the prude Victorian Era, depict "bathing costumes" that were the picture of modesty: a knee-length top, ankle-length drawers, all in shapeless wool or flannel. It wasn't until the 1910s that one-piece suits became acceptable for women - and even then, the form-fitting "swimming tights" had long arms, long legs, and, occasionally, a collar. Over time, necklines receded and arms were exposed. One summer, a glimpse of a knee. A few years later, a tanline as high as mid-thigh. Escándalo! 

Still, even under yards of sopping wet wool (body-hugging nylon wasn't in vogue until the 1930s), the subjects of these early swimsuit pics look to be having F-U-N. A century ago, families visited the beach together. Couples waded in the surf. Gal pals rode bikes and buried each other in the sand and played leapfrog on the pier. When the camera came out, everyone did silly poses. That's endearing, right? A good reminder that there is no such thing as a perfect beach body, but the beach is always a great place to be, no matter what you're wearing. Enjoy these pics of old swimsuits from the 1890s to the 1930s while eating whatever your little heart desires.


33 Pics of Old-Timey Swimsuits That Will Have You Dreaming of the Beach,

Young Flappers In Heels At The Beach, 1923

Ice-Covered Beach Near 14th Street Bridge, Washington D.C., Circa 1920

Mom And Brood Splash Around Massachusetts, 1910

Bathers At Margate, 1913

Pals With Parasols Ride A Bicycle Built For Two

A Woman Buries Her Friend On Coney Island, Circa 1900

French Men Being Zany, 1910

Beauty Contestants Weighing In, 1938

Girls Posing For A Mack Sennett Film, 1927

Lighting Up At Aldeburgh Beach, Suffolk, 1927


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Wed, 31 May 2017 07:33:48 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/vintage-swimsuit-photos/carly-kiel
<![CDATA[27 Amazing Photos From The Aftermath Of Watergate]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/watergate-photos/liam-ross?source=rss

The Watergate Scandal was one of the biggest political dramas of the 20th century. In fact, our modern practice of adding the suffix "gate" to political scandals is a direct result of the impact Watergate had on our collective psyche. Images from Watergate really bring home the impact of the scandal and the spectacle of it all. The story broke due to the relentless journalism of Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward (two young Washington Post reporters) and ultimately led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. 

Today, it's basically impossible to think about politics without also thinking about scandals and duplicity. Watergate, however, really served as a paradigm shift for the way American citizens viewed their government. So, what did Watergate look like? Even though it was less than half a century ago, it seems like a different world. These photos from the Watergate Scandal confront us with the reality of the situation, and offer a fascinating window into a tumultuous time in American history.  


27 Amazing Photos From The Aftermath Of Watergate,

Richard Nixon Revealing His Transcripts And Tapes

President Richard Nixon Giving His Famous "I'm Not A Crook" Speech

A View Of The Watergate Complex From The Howard Johnson By Franklin McMahon

Nixon Departs From The White House On The Day Of His Resignation

Police Officers Arresting Anti-War Protestors Outside The Watergate Complex

The Senate Watergate Committee During The Final Hearings

Presidential Adviser John Dean Testifying During The Watergate Hearing

Maureen Dean During The Watergate Hearing

Senators At The Opening Session Of The Watergate Hearings

A Police Officer Explaining The Watergate Break-In During The Hearing


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Wed, 31 May 2017 10:31:41 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/watergate-photos/liam-ross
<![CDATA[28 Historical Pictures Of New York's Famous Coney Island]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/coney-island-history-photos/rylee_en?source=rss

Is there anything more quintessentially American than summertime at Coney Island? If you're about to say yes and rattle off some random example of more stellar Americana, stop right there because these vintage pictures of Coney Island are about to prove you wrong. Historical images of Coney Island document all the things that people still love about a trip to one of its classic beachside amusement parks: Nathan's Hot Dogs, take-your-life-into-your-own-hands-style wooden roller coasters, and, of course, a beach so crowded you may never actually reach – or even see – the ocean. 

So dust off that old phonograph, pump up some tunes, and sit back as you take a stroll onto the hot, crowded beaches and down the jam-packed lovers' promenades of early 20th-century Coney Island.


28 Historical Pictures Of New York's Famous Coney Island,

Aerial View Of Coney Island On The 4th Of July, 1920

View Of The Wonder Wheel At Coney Island, 1938

Two Women Participating In The Timeless Tradition Of Burying Your Friend In The Sand On A Beach On Coney Island

Crowd At Nathan's Hot Dog Stand On Coney Island, Circa 1930

'Crowds Of City Dwellers Find Summertime Relief By Playing In The Surf At Coney Island,' 1903

The Helter Skelter Ride In Coney Island's Luna Park

Olympic 1,500 Meter Swim At The Washington Pool On Coney Island, 1924

A Couple Enjoying Coney Island In 1928

On The Coney Island Boardwalk In 1929

The Roosevelt Bears At Coney Island


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Wed, 31 May 2017 08:38:59 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/coney-island-history-photos/rylee_en
<![CDATA[Photos Of Alfred Hitchcock As You've Never Seen Him Before]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/alfred-hitchcock-photos/will-gish?source=rss

It goes without saying Alfred Hitchcock is one of the great filmmakers of all time, and among the best popular artists of the 20th century. He's one of the few directors to have what's essentially a genre named after him (Hitchcockian, Fellini-esqueTaratino-esque, Spielbergian, and Kubrickian are the others that come to mind). From the tone of his films to his appearances on Alfred Hitchcock Presents, the director created an image for himself as a droll, darkly comedic master of the macabre, a man very different from the one you might see in the candid Alfred Hitchcock photos presented on this list. 

If you've ever wondered what Alfred Hitchcock in real life was like, you're in luck. The pictures of Hitchcock compiled here show him socializing with actors, goofing around, dining with his family, and even getting married. As with many historical Hollywood photos, they expose a side to screen legends not often seen, thanks to the extreme control over public image exerted by studios and publicists. Check out these photos of Alfred Hitchcock just being himself, and leave a comment below with your favorite of his films, if you're so inclined. 


Photos Of Alfred Hitchcock As You've Never Seen Him Before,

With Wife Alma Reville At Their Wedding In December 1926, When Both Were 27

Yucking It Up With Janet Leigh On The Set Of 'Psycho'

Reading Aloud In His Beverly Hills Backyard, 1978

Screwing Around With Doris Day And Jimmy Stewart On The Set Of 'The Man Who Knew Too Much' In 1956

Looking At The Ceiling With Jerry Lewis, 1955

Getting Ready To Slice Some Cheese, 1978

Taking A Break With Grace Kelly While Shooting 'To Catch A Thief' In 1955

Dining With Wife Alma And Their Daughter Pat

Chatting With Ingrid Bergman On The Banks Of The Thames, London, 1948

With Actresses Sally Stewart, Margaret Lockwood, And Googie Withers, Promoting 'The Lady Vanishes' In 1938


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Wed, 31 May 2017 07:40:56 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/alfred-hitchcock-photos/will-gish
<![CDATA[24 Awesome Photos Of One Of The Coolest Popes To Ever Live, Pope John Paul II]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/pope-john-paul-ii-photos/rylee_en?source=rss

Karol Józef Wojtyła, otherwise known as Pope John Paul II, is the second-longest-serving Pope in the history of the Catholic faith, reigning as Bishop of Rome from 1978-2005. Pictures of John Paul II bear out the general reception of him during his time at the helm of the global Catholic church; he appears smiling and beatific, holding babies, offering mass, and ministering to the sick. However, not all photos of John Paul II are so serious. He can also be seen enjoying a dancing bear and laughing with crowds in some of his more candid moments. 

A look into the life of John Paul II is also a look deep inside the Vatican. It offers a vision of the more formal functions of the Catholic church as well as giving a more casual, insider's view of relaxed and informal snapshots from the life of one of history's most famous and beloved popes.


24 Awesome Photos Of One Of The Coolest Popes To Ever Live, Pope John Paul II,

Meeting With Then-President Bill Clinton In 1995

John Paul II's First Appearance On The Balcony Of St. Peter's Basilica, October 16, 1978

Looking Over Papers On A Polish Airlines Plane

Holding Up A Pretty Miserable Child In Vatican City, 1979

Waving To Crowds In Vatican City

John Paul II Bemusedly Watches A Dancing Bear In Vatican City, May 10, 1980

Holding An Audience In A Vatican Auditorium

Meeting With Queen Elizabeth II And Prince Philip Of Edinburgh In Vatican City, 1980

On A Visit To Nairobi, Kenya, 1980

Meeting With Ronald And Nancy Reagan In Vatican City, 1982


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Wed, 31 May 2017 05:43:13 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/pope-john-paul-ii-photos/rylee_en
<![CDATA[25 Awe-Inspiring Photos From Inside The Vatican]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/vatican-photos/rylee_en?source=rss

Admit it: there's something inherently mysterious about the city-country-epicenter-of-Catholicism Vatican City. Because of this mystery, there's also something inherently interesting about photographs inside the Vatican. From royal and presidential visitors to countless, inestimably valuable artifacts to the state funerals of Popes, Vatican City is ground zero for the Catholic faith. It's the Biblical site of St. Peter's martyrdom, the rock upon which the church was to be built.

This list pulls together a wide array of pictures taken inside Vatican City, and it documents some of the major architectural and restorative changes that the city has experienced since the advent of photography – from the first mailbox installed inside the city to the computer imaging used to restore Michelangelo's work inside the Sistine Chapel.


25 Awe-Inspiring Photos From Inside The Vatican,

The 'Hall Of The Animals' In The Vatican Museum, 1880

A Look Inside The Vatican's Hall Of Statues, 1880

Michelangelo's Piet In The Vatican's Laboratory Of Restoration, 1972

Tourist Photo Of St. Peter's Square, 1910

Native Americans Inside St. Peter's Basilica For The Beatification Of The First North American Native American Saint, 1980

Pope John Paul I Lying In State In The Vatican's Clementine Chapel, 1978

Restoring The Interior Of The Sistine Chapel With New-Fangled Computers

Cardinal Paul Marcinkus Doing His Job As Head Of The Vatican Bank, 1991

The Construction Of The Wall Separating The Country Of Vatican City From Italy

Pope Pius XII Blessing Allied Reporters After The Liberation Of Rome, June 7, 1944


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Wed, 31 May 2017 05:45:46 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/vatican-photos/rylee_en
<![CDATA[20 Magical Photos From Disneyland's Opening Day]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/disneyland-opening-photos/chwang?source=rss

On July 17, 1955, Disneyland opened its doors to the public for the very first time after only a year of construction. Walt Disney had finally built the amusement park he had been dreaming of on a 160-acre lot in Anaheim, complete with different themed "lands" like Adventureland and Fantasyland. There were only 6,000 invitations sent for that first day, but more than 30,000 guests flooded the park with counterfeit tickets. 

Today, Disneyland is a beloved park with an avid following of fans and its own share of secrets. While the extreme heat in the first opening days nearly did the park in, Disneyland has since blossomed into a mega corporation that strives to bring magic to life. Check out the photographs below that commemorate the birth of the world's most popular theme park. 


20 Magical Photos From Disneyland's Opening Day,

Mark Twain Steamboat (Later Named Riverboat)

Walt Disney And California Governor Knight Meet At The EP Ripley Steam Locomotive

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Completely Packed Parking Lot

Disneyland Opening Ceremony

Bootleg Tickets Led To Over 30,000 Guests At "Small" First Day Opening

Dumbo And Alice In Wonderland Participate In The Opening Day Parade

Irene Dunne Christens The Mark Twain Steamboat

Disneyland Opening Day Parade

Mickey And Minnie Mouse Say Hello


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Wed, 31 May 2017 08:12:34 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/disneyland-opening-photos/chwang
<![CDATA[29 Harrowing Photos From The Six-Day War In The Middle East]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/six-day-war-photos/chwang?source=rss

Eleven years after the Suez Crisis, tensions were running high between Israel and its neighbors - namely, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, and Iraq. It culminated in the Third Arab-Israeli War, more famously known as the Six-Day War, starting on June 10, 1967. It resulted in crushing losses for the Arab nations with the death of over 18,000 troops. On the other hand, Israel suffered approximately 700 casualties

From soldiers to prisoners to refugees, hundreds of thousands of people were affected by the Six-Day War and its repercussions. Historians believe that the conflict triggered a new wave of contention between Israelis and Palestinians that would haunt them for years to come. The photos below depict the unforgiving nature of war and its brutal consequences.


29 Harrowing Photos From The Six-Day War In The Middle East,

Palestinian Refugees Cross The Wreckage Of The King Hussein Bridge Into Jordan

Palestinians Flee From Israel And To Jordan During Six-Day War

Mafraq Refugee Camp

An Israeli Military Convoy Passes Destroyed Vehicles During The Six-Day War

Egyptian Prisoners Put Their Hands On Their Heads

A Man With A Rifle Watches The Arab Refugees Cross The Allenby Bridge Into Jordan

A Mutilated Arab Legionnaire Lies In A Hospital In Amman

A Bedouin Girl Carries A Water Jar Through A Refugee Camp In Mafraq

Israeli Soldiers

Ruins Of Kalkiliya After Six-Day War


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Wed, 31 May 2017 07:31:11 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/six-day-war-photos/chwang
<![CDATA[21 Historic Photos From The Suez Crisis]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/suez-crisis-photos/chwang?source=rss

In July of 1956, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser shocked the world by nationalizing the Suez Canal. This triggered what later became known as the Suez Crisis, with three nations invading Egypt with a vengeance. France, Britain, and Israel all had interests in maintaining authority over the canal, but Nasser effectively shut the door in their faces. Countries wanted control over the Suez Canal because it is a key navigational route for world trade. It connects the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, meaning that Western nations wouldn't have to sail all the way south around Africa to reach China, India, and Southeast Asia. 

However, when it was nationalized, Egypt effectively blocked off the trade routes. Israel invaded Egypt first, sending their armies into Sinai in October 1956. The French and British followed shortly after, concerned that lack of control over the Suez Canal would lead to severe financial repercussions. The conflict led to international tensions that threatened to pull in the USSR and the US, and eventually ended in 1957 with nearly 3,000 people killed

The photographs below document the short conflict that greatly impacted nations all over the world. From displaced civilians to hardened soldiers, the pictures depict the apprehension, anxiety, and sorrow of the Suez Crisis of 1956. 


21 Historic Photos From The Suez Crisis,

British Troops Leaving For The Suez

British Military Families Evacuating Egypt

Egyptians Shout In The Streets As The First United Nations Troops Arrive In Port Said

Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser Announces He Has Taken Over The Suez Canal Company

Ships Blocking The Suez Canal

Egyptians Protesting In The Streets Of Cairo Against The British And French Invasion Of The Suez Canal Area

Egyptians Gather Around British Tank

Arabs Leaving Occupied Port Said

Members Of The Israeli Military In Gaza During The Suez Crisis

Israeli Soldiers Occupy Gaza During The Sinai Campaign


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Wed, 31 May 2017 05:37:18 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/suez-crisis-photos/chwang
<![CDATA[20 Incredible And Hilarious Pictures Of Los Angeles From The Early 1900s]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/los-angeles-1910s-photos/rylee_en?source=rss

The United States gained Los Angeles and its surrounding California territory as part of the 1848 Treaty of Guadelupe-Hidalgo, which brought an end to the Mexican American War of 1846-1848. For a few decades, the newly acquired Southern California territory was a rustic outpost of the US; however, as these photos of Los Angeles in the 1910s illustrate, by the turn of the 20th century, LA was well on its way to becoming the oil-rich Tinseltown of the modern age. In 1910s Los Angeles, silent film stars mixed with daring aviators, and rustic dirt roads led to blooming boulevards.

From Calbraith P. Rogers's tragic plane crash in the waters off Long Beach in 1912 to Helen Keller christening ships in 1918 to the creation of the United Artists Corporation in 1919, images of 1910s Los Angeles exist at the crossroads of glamor and the pastoral. 


20 Incredible And Hilarious Pictures Of Los Angeles From The Early 1900s,

Beachgoers Crowd The Beach In Venice, California, 1917

Mack Sennet With Two 'Bathing Beauties' In A Promotional Photo On A Los Angeles Beach, Circa 1910

Actress Myrtle Linds Holding A Kodak Graflex Camera At The Beach In Los Angeles, 1919

Pulling Calbraith P. Rogers's Plane Wreckage From The Water In Long Beach, April 3, 1912

Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, And Friends At The Sidney Chaplin 'Aeroplane Field' In Los Angeles

A Driver Loses Control Of His Car At The Vanberbilt Cup Race In Santa Monica, 1914

D.W. Griffith, Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, And Their Attorneys Sign The Papers Officially Creating The United Artists Corporation, April 17, 1919

Men Load A Car Onto A Ship In A Los Angeles Port, 1915

Immigrants' Luggage Upon Arriving To Los Angeles, 1910

Helen Keller Christens A Ship Docked In Los Angeles, 1918


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Wed, 31 May 2017 03:43:30 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/los-angeles-1910s-photos/rylee_en
<![CDATA[21 Unbelievable Photos From The Detonation Of The First Atomic Bomb]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/manhattan-project-photos/kellie-kreiss?source=rss

At 5:30 a.m. on the morning of July 16, 1945, the world's first atomic bomb was detonated in the isolated desert outside of Los Alamos, New Mexico. What started out as a nuclear weapons research effort during World War II quickly became an assertion of US military power and global dominance, eventually paving the way for a global nuclear arms race dominated by the desire of the world's most powerful nations to attain nuclear capabilities.

In its entirety, the Manhattan Project cost well over $2 billion (that's over $27 billion today), and originally involved a partnership between the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Over the span of the project, multiple detonation sites were used - both on land and in water - with the most well-known being the Trinity test site. At the Los Alamos Laboratory (also known as "Project Y"), a team of scientists developed and tested an implosion-type nuclear bomb composed of plutonium, nicknamed "the Gadget," on American soil before it was unleashed upon the world.

It was only one month after the detonation of the first atomic bomb at the Trinity test site that the US proceeded to launch a nuclear attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, with the notorious "Fat Man" bomb being nearly identical to the Gadget. The reality of living in a world where atomic bombs would become an essential weapon to world powers may have once been unconceivable; however, if the tensions that resulted from the Cold War have taught us anything, it is that the atomic bomb is not simply a measure of the human capacity for knowledge, but of the human capacity for destruction.


21 Unbelievable Photos From The Detonation Of The First Atomic Bomb,

After Detonation, The Test Tower Is Replaced By Outline Of The Atomic Blast

"The Gadget" Was Heavily Wired In Order To Correctly Measure, And Later Detonate, The Device At White Sands Missile Range

Cameras Were Set Up All Across The Trinity Test Site To Document The Explosion

Explosives Being Dropped Off At The Trinity Site

First, The Bomb Known As "The Gadget" Had To Be Loaded Onto A Crain And Transported To The Test Site

On The Morning Of July 16, 1945, The World's First Atomic Bomb Was Detonated In New Mexico

"The Gadget" Was The World's First Nuclear Device Used To Test The Atomic Bomb

The Test Tower Served As The Detonation Platform For The Gadget At The Trinity Test Site

Scientists Relied On An Excess Velocity Gauge To Measure The Speed Of Sound And Of The Nuclear Blast After Detonation

Detonated At Exactly 5:29:45 am, The Flames Quickly Engulf The Tower And Expand Across The Area


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Tue, 30 May 2017 10:10:54 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/manhattan-project-photos/kellie-kreiss
<![CDATA[28 Rousing Photos Of The Liberation Of Paris From Nazi Control]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/liberation-of-paris-historical-photos/will-gish?source=rss

The Liberation of Paris began on August 23, 1944, and was complete on August 25, when French general Jacques Leclerc rode into the city at the head of the French 2nd Armored Division and the US 4th Infantry Division. Over the course of three days, as French and American soldiers advanced on the city, members of the French Resistance liberated prisoners from German jails, created lines of defense against retreating German soldiers, and launched strategic attacks on Nazi strongholds. The Liberation of Paris photos on this list are alive with camaraderie between soldiers and citizens, the ebullition of the masses, and a uniquely French sense of defiance. They show not only what happened during the liberation, but in part what life was like in France during World War II. 

The Nazi occupation of France began on June 22, 1940, with the signing of the Second Compiègne Armistice. The four-year German residency in Paris left a dark stain on Parisian memory, as many French citizens, especially wealthy and powerful ones, were complicit in its execution. However, while Nazis cavorted with sycophantic aristocrats and bourgeoisie, a self-organized underground movement, the French Resistance, waged guerilla warfare, collected intelligence to pass to Allied agencies, published newspapers, and committed acts of subterfuge. Free France, a government-in-exile led by Charles de Gaulle, also fought the Nazis as part of the Allied forces. 

The photos of World War II France on this list show the armies that arrived to liberate Paris from Nazi control and the brave, selfless Resistance members who waged a dogged campaign against the Germans at great personal cost. Let the historical photos of Paris commence.


28 Rousing Photos Of The Liberation Of Paris From Nazi Control,

A French Armored Division Tank Passes The Arc De Triomphe

Germans Surrender To Members Of The French Resistance

Members Of The Resistance Prepare Molotov Cocktails Behind A Barricade

Parisian Women Celebrate As Allied Troops Roll Into Paris

French Liberation Fighters, Possibly Members Of The Resistance, Take To The Streets

Jacques Philippe LeClerc, General Of France, Directs Free France Armies During The Liberation Of Paris

British Troops Celebrate With Parisian Citizens

French Women Accused Of Collaborating With Nazis Paraded In The Streets

Amercian soldiers On The Quay Of The Seine, Notre Dame In The Background

American Soldiers Play Baseball In A Parisian Park


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Tue, 30 May 2017 09:58:39 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/liberation-of-paris-historical-photos/will-gish
<![CDATA[35 Photos Of Coal Miners That Will Make You Feel Like You're Underground]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/vintage-coal-miner-photos/rylee_en?source=rss

At the turn of the 20th century in the United States, European immigrants were coming in droves to the coal fields of Appalachia. Vintage pictures of coal miners in the United States attest to this fact. When they arrived – at the promise of steady work – many entered into the cycles and strictures of the typical Appalachian coal company town. Similar lifestyles and working conditions abounded in English and Welsh colliery towns, as well. Certainly, life was hard for many of these turn-of-the-century miners and their families, and stories of coal mining disasters abound as a result of the hazardous working conditions. And, with a lack of child labor laws, images of child coal miners illustrate that life wasn't just challenging for family patriarchs when it came to laboring in the mines.

However, as with most things in life, existence also wasn't a simple drudge up and down from the mine shaft. As these old photos of coal miners show, family and community made life down in the seam and in a coal town a rich, nearly forgotten mode of existence. This list showcases miners at all stages of the coal extraction process – from weary but smiling coal miners and their kids in the hollows of West Virginia to proud Ukrainian female miners.


35 Photos Of Coal Miners That Will Make You Feel Like You're Underground,

A Miner Works A 13" Seam Near Newcastle, England

A Proud Female Coal Miner In The Ukrainian Soviet Republic

Loading Up In Mining Cars

Hauling Coal With An Electric Locomotive

Vance, A 15-Year-Old West Virginia Coal Miner, Waits For A Load Of Coal

A Coal Miner And His Work Pony In A Mine Shaft

Pennsylvania Coal Miners Working 1,000 Feet Below The Surface

Child Miners Before Child Labor Laws

A West Virginia Coal Miner Rests With His Four Children After His Shift In The Mines

Edward, The Prince Of Wales, Visits A Welsh Colliery In 1936


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Wed, 31 May 2017 01:45:39 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/vintage-coal-miner-photos/rylee_en
<![CDATA[Patty Cannon And The Anti-Underground Railroad That Sent Blacks Back To Slavery]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/patty-cannon-reverse-underground-railroad-facts/amandasedlakhevener?source=rss

Who was Patty Cannon? She was the woman who ran a reverse-Underground Railroad. And what did the reverse-Underground Railroad do? Well, before the Civil War and the freeing of the slaves, the Underground Railroad - led in part by Harriet Tubman - helped hundreds of slaves reach freedom. The reverse-Underground Railroad did exactly the opposite - it allowed for the kidnapping of free black men and women from the northern areas of the United States and the selling of them back into slavery in the south.

The people who participated in this scheme - Patty Cannon being one of the ringleaders - profited greatly off of the deals that they made. Cannon also robbed slave catchers and committed a number of murders during her involvement with the Cannon-Johnson gang of Maryland. Patty Cannon's underground-dealings eventually led to her arrest in 1829; however, she reportedly killed herself in jail before she could actually be put on trial for her crimes.

Patty Cannon was born sometime around 1760, and though there is not much record of her childhood, it is known that her father was of British nobility. She eventually married Jesse Cannon in what is now the state of Delaware, and had at least one child, a daughter, whose second husband, Joe Johnson, participated in many of Cannon's criminal exploits.


Patty Cannon And The Anti-Underground Railroad That Sent Blacks Back To Slavery,

She Sold Formerly Free Men And Women As Slaves In The South

Patty Cannon's main source of wealth was in the slave trade. She captured free black men and women from the streets of Delaware, Maryland, and even Pennsylvania, and sold them into slavery in the south. This was a particularly egregious crime in the north, especially considering the efforts being made by the real-Underground Railroad to help slaves escape to freedom in the northern region of the United States.


Four Bodies Were Found Buried On Her Delaware Farm

Patty Cannon not only kidnapped free black men, women, and children, but she killed them as well. However, this is where the stories begin to differ: some say that the bodies were found on her Delaware farm, while others claim that the bodies were located near her son-in-law's tavern, and others even claim that the bodies were actually found on someone else's farm entirely. What is known, though, is that four bodies were found in Delaware, and she was responsible for each of their deaths. One was an adult, and the other three were children.


She Confessed To Killing Two Dozen People

After being arrested in Delaware when four bodies were discovered buried on her farm, Patty Cannon admitted to killing - and helping to kill - upwards of two dozen people with her bare hands. Most were free black men and women whom she planned to sell in the southern United States, but three of them were children and one a white slave trader, whom she had also robbed. Despite her deeds, Cannon was never put on trial - she died before that could happen.


Her Attic Was Set Up As A Prison

The attic of Patty Cannon's son-in-law's tavern had an iron prison cell in it, ready and waiting to house captured men and women. A raid was eventually conducted after neighbors complained to the authorities, and, after storming the tavern, the police found 21 people crammed into the attic, with some chained to the walls. Some reports even described dead bodies being found in the basement of the structure, but this was not confirmed.


She Sent Out Her Own Slave To Lure Free Black Men Onto A Slave Ship

A big part of Patty Cannon's "business" enterprise involved capturing free black men and women and selling them into slavery. One of the ways that she did this was with the help of her own slave, a boy named Cyrus James. She reportedly raised him and taught him to follow her exact orders - no matter how dubious. James and her other conspirators would tell the freed men that they had work for them, and would then lead them to a ship moored on a local dock. However, once the freed men got onboard the ship, they were officially captives and would be trapped below the deck until they could be secretly stashed away at Cannon's house and, ultimately, sold at one of the many slave auctions in the south.


She Made A Deal With A Local Brothel Owner To Procure Black Women For Her Slave Trade

Patty Cannon didn't just rely on her co-conspirators to lure free black men into a ship for easy transport to slave auctions in the south - she had other local business people helping her as well. One of them was the owner of nearby brothel, who would alert her to the arrival of women who could become acceptable slaves. In some cases, the children of those women were sold into slavery, too. 


Her Operation Took Place Out Of A Tavern

A tavern owned by Patty Cannon's son-in-law, Joe Johnson, acted as her main base of operations. She hid captured men and women in the attic, supposedly stashed dead bodies in the basement, and spent as much time there as she could. And there was a reason for this - the tavern was located on the borderline between the states of Delaware and Maryland, meaning that half of the property was in one state, and half was in another. Basically, if authorities from Delaware ever showed up, Cannon could simply walk to the Maryland-side of the building, placing herself out of their jurisdiction.


She Slowly Poisoned Her Husband To Death

Patty Cannon married her husband, Jessie, when she was only 16. He worked as a mechanic in Delaware where they raised their children (however, the number of children they had is debatable - some sources state that they had at least one, while others claim they had two). By association, Jessie was a witness to many of Patty's evil deeds, though he apparently never tried to stop her from committing them. Then in 1826 he died suddenly, Patty later admitting that she had given him poison.


Her Father Was An English Nobleman

Although not much is known about Patty Cannon's early life, there is some background information about her family available, including that her father, L. P. Hanly, was a British noble who had been disowned by his father. Apparently, Hanly enjoyed loose women and alcohol, married a prostitute, emigrated to Canada, and started a smuggling ring. Hanly would end up being hanged to death after murdering a man with an axe.


She Reportedly Committed Suicide

Some records state that Patty Cannon was sentenced to prison for the murders of the four people found on (or near) her property in Delaware. However, no legitimate sources have been found to indicate that Cannon was ever even put on trial. However, there are records stating that while in prison, she actually poisoned herself with a substance that she smuggled in under her skirt. That is proof enough of her guilt.



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Tue, 11 Apr 2017 02:47:18 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/patty-cannon-reverse-underground-railroad-facts/amandasedlakhevener
<![CDATA[21 Startling Photos Of Gangs In Los Angeles During The 80s And 90s]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/los-angeles-gang-photos/will-gish?source=rss

The most prevalent pop culture images of gangs in Los Angeles can be traced to the explosion of gangsta rap in the late 1980s, when NWA, led by Ice Cube, Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, and MC Ren burst out of Compton with vivid, aggressive descriptions of violence, drugs, police brutality, urban blight, and economic depression. The popularity of gangsta rap gave rise to a new movie genre, Hood films, about the conditions described by the music. Boyz n the Hood and Menace II Society led the charge, winning critical acclaim and finding box office success. Part and parcel of this milieu was the Los Angeles riots.

The popularity of Hood films and gangsta rap, as well as international media coverage of the Los Angeles riots, put a spotlight on gang culture in southern California that titillated white people, the media, and capitalists eager to package the culture with its gritty "realness," lurid violence, and desperately American ethos, which held echoes of the Old West in its lawlessness and veneration of strength, force, and masculine archetypes. LA gang photos are a testament to lurid mainstream obsession with the effects of systemic failure and an inability to examine the causes of sweeping social problems, only its victims and their desperate actions. 

The 1980s were hardly the beginning of gangs in Los Angeles. Gang culture in LA can be traced to the 1920s, when groups of black and Latino friends created local culture and customs, and got involved in petty crime such as robbery. The rise of violent gangs began in the 1940s, when the city's African American and Latino populations exploded as opportunities to work for the war effort arose. At the time, African American and Latino families were only permitted to live in certain parts of the city, and white gangs, such as branches of the KKK and groups called Spook Hunters, policed neighborhoods to keep blacks and Latinos out. African American and Latino communities formed their own gangs in response to this intimidation and violence. 

In the 1960s, white flight resulted in black and Latino gangs having no white gangs left to fight. Though gangs occasionally turned on each other, though the emphasis on nonviolent protest promoted by the Civil Rights movement put a stop to gang violence until the 1970s, when revolutionary resistance groups like the Black Panthers, formed from a sense of futility in the wake of the failed promises of equality that flowed from the government in the 1960s, helped re-establish gangs in southern California. These gangs led directly into the conditions described by gangsta rap, as Reaganomics, the crack epidemic, the rapid proliferation of drug culture, and urban blight created the perfect pressure cooker for violence and the development of isolated, highly localized cultures shown in these Los Angeles gang pictures. 


21 Startling Photos Of Gangs In Los Angeles During The 80s And 90s,

Three Wanna-Be Dodge City Crips/Second Street Mob Members In San Pedro Show Of What They've Learned

Kids Toss Gang Signs In Emulation Of Local Crips In The Jordan Downs Projects Of Watts

Members Of The Grape Street Crips Stage A Mock Execution With A Pre-Schooler

Proceeds From Crack Sales

A 13-Year-Old Female Gang Member Beaten By Her Clique Leader After Disrespecting Fellow Members

A Woman Poses With Funeral Flyers From Deceased Grape Street Crips

Members Of The East Coast Baby Dolls, A Girl Clique Of The Son Of Samoa Based In And Around Long Beach

South Los (Solos) Members In Front Of Kent Twitchell's Latino Christ Mural At Tiger Liquor Store In South Los Angeles

The Paralyzed Leader Of Sons Of Samoa Heads To A Park To Kick It With Friends

Smokey-Loc, (R) A Dodge City Crips/Second Street Mob OG, Works Out At A Neighborhood Center Specializing In Gang Intervention, 1987


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Tue, 30 May 2017 07:37:13 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/los-angeles-gang-photos/will-gish
<![CDATA[30 Sobering Photos Of Tiananmen Square]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/tiananmen-square-photos/chwang?source=rss

The Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989, often called the '89 Democracy Movement, were demonstrations led by students in pursuit of democracy in Beijing, China. Photos of the Tiananmen Square Protests document the passion of the students as they ignited conversations about the political state of the nation and protested in over 400 cities.

It all began in April, with the death of the Chinese politician, Hu Yaobang, who had strong views supporting democracy. Around 4,000 students went to the Great Hall of the People to hold a memorial for Hu Yaobang on April 17. 200 students remained the following morning, only to be chased away by police with batons. Stories of police brutality flared across the country, and, by April 22, 100,000 students had gathered at Tiananmen Square for the official state funeral of Hu Yaobang. 

Throughout the month of May, the Chinese government struggled with the demands of the student demonstrators. First, they tried to frame the protests as a conspiracy; then, they tried to hold open discussions. The student movement gained sympathy and strength, reaching upwards of a million people in attendance at certain times. The government finally declared martial law on May 20, sending a quarter of a million troops to clear Tiananmen Square. Protestors were warned to clear the streets and the square, but instead, they surrounded the military vehicles and offered food and conversation. In four days, the troops were withdrawn. 

The government decided to try again in the late evening of June 3, sending more tanks and soldiers. This time, to the disbelief of the world, the army opened fire on the student protestors. It is estimated that 500 to 1,000 people were killed that night. Decades after the fact, the Tiananmen Square Massacre is still heavily censored in China. Compiled here are a list of photos that provide a window into the Tiananmen Square Protests, documenting the growth of an idea, the manifestation of passion, and the brutal end of a movement. 


30 Sobering Photos Of Tiananmen Square,

People Transport A Wounded Woman During The Military Crackdown

Mangled Bicycles Hang Off A Tank That Was Burned By Student Protesters

After Martial Law Is Declared, Students And Ordinary Citizens Successfully Turn Back The Troops

A Student Demonstrator Wears An English Sign

Students Asking For Greater Freedom Of Speech And Democracy

A Man Holding Back The Crowd At Tiananmen Square

Demonstrating Peacefully

Looking At The Massacre's Aftermath In Tiananmen Square

A Weary Protester Pleads With A PLA Officer

Protesters Read Accounts Of Their Protests In Time Magazine


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Fri, 26 May 2017 09:10:15 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/tiananmen-square-photos/chwang
<![CDATA[22 Shameful Photos Of Japanese Internment Camps During WWII]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/pictures-of-japanese-internment-camps-wwii/liam-ross?source=rss

During an extremely dark period in American history, Japanese internment camps were set up on US soil to segregate and contain around 120,000 Japanese American citizens. An operation rooted in racism and xenophobia, the internment of Japanese American citizens ruined the lives and livelihood of innocent civilians, and is rightly considered one of the worst things the US government has ever done

Images from Japanese internment camps during WWII are harrowing, showcasing both the casual depravity of the US government and the resilience of Japanese Americans between 1942 and 1946. These pictures of Japanese internment camps provide a very real, terrifying window into the lives of these brave people as they struggled against fear, paranoia, and racism. It's important that we don't forget or gloss over this time and place in American history, and indeed that we learn from it so we never repeat it.   


22 Shameful Photos Of Japanese Internment Camps During WWII,

A Young Girl Sits With Her Family's Luggage

Japanese Internees, Waiting For A Train To Take Them Away From Their Homes

Japanese American Children Waiting At The Santa Fe Station To Be Taken To Owens Valley Internment Camp

A Group Of Internees Wait For The Train To Take Them To The Camps

American Troops Guarding Japanese Americans On Their Way To The Internment Camps

Japanese American Women Prepare Lunch Before Their Internment

A Japanese American Business Up For Lease, After The Owners Were Moved To An Internment Camp

Japanese Americans Had To Close Their Businesses As They Were Forcibly Removed From The Coast

An Oakland Grocery Store, Owned By Japanese Americans, Proclaiming Their Patriotism; The Shop Was Shut Down And The Owners Interned

Japanese Americans In San Francisco, Waiting To Be Transported To The Santa Anita Internment Camp


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Fri, 26 May 2017 09:00:17 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/pictures-of-japanese-internment-camps-wwii/liam-ross
<![CDATA[26 Eye-Opening Photos From The War In Afghanistan]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/photos-of-the-war-on-terror-in-afghanistan/mick-jacobs?source=rss

Despite officially ending in 2014, the US conflict in Afghanistan still resonates today through photographs of the US War in Afghanistan. Though the conflict took place for many on TV and computer screens, for soldiers and civilians, images of the US war in Afghanistan simply depicted day-to-day life amid war. Photos of the US war in Afghanistan do highlight the tragedies of war, many of which, like increased drug usage, often get overlooked. But they also display a unity between people of different backgrounds and ages fighting to preserve fundamentals of liberty and free speech.

The long-term effects of the US war in Afghanistan still have yet to be entirely determined, but regardless of positive or negative repercussions, this saga of the US War on Terror impacted far more than just the Afghan borders. Furthermore, the loss of almost 20,000 soldiers and even more civilians will stain history for years to come.


26 Eye-Opening Photos From The War In Afghanistan,

The Aftermath Of A Taliban Rocket Attack On A Sawmill

Afghan Soldier, Abdul Baqi, Fires Upon A Taliban Stronghold In Southern Pashmul

An Army Captain Wades Through A Canal In Southern Pashmul

An Afghan Medic Examines A Crying Girl In A Makeshift Hospital

Shrapnel Is Removed From An Afghan National Army Soldier

Land Mine Clearance Procedures Are Taught At The Kabul Military Training Center

The Bravo 'Bonecrusher' Group Of The Afghan National Army Stands Within A Smoke Screen At A Taliban Stronghold

Multi-Ethnic Defense Recruits Train At The Kabul Military Training Center

Tracker Dogs Train With A Volunteer Soldier

Army Sergeant Jesse Vincent Heads Into A Smoke Screen During A Patrol in Pashmul


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Fri, 26 May 2017 09:13:04 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/photos-of-the-war-on-terror-in-afghanistan/mick-jacobs
<![CDATA[The Pope Who Threw Orgies And Tortured His Enemies]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-controversial-pope-alexander-vi/melissa-sartore?source=rss

Alexander VI – AKA Rodrigo Borja (Borgia) – was Pope from 1492 until his death in 1503. Alexander VI was an extremely intelligent man that enjoyed luxury and excess in all aspects of his life. As cardinal, Rodrigo Borgia set the tone for his future papacy, participating in elaborate orgies that resembled his later pièce de résistance of sex parties, the Banquet of the Chestnuts.  

Alexander VI was a patron of the arts, a political manipulator, and a very sexually active Spaniard who, arguably, was a man of the times. While his activities were nothing out of the norm for 15th- and 16th-century churchmen – plenty of popes have been sexually active – the Borgia Pope's propensity for nepotism and hedonism is the stuff of legend. He used his positions to benefit himself and his family, and he helped create the mythical grandeur of the Borgia family.


The Pope Who Threw Orgies And Tortured His Enemies,

Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia Had Lots Of Mistresses

Rodrigo had numerous mistresses during his life, but his relationship with Vannozza dei Catanei is the one for which he's best known. In 1461, Rodrigo met Vannozza, a well-known performer and, soon afterwards, moved her into a residence in Venice. She bore him four children, Cesare, Giovanni (also known as Juan), Lucrezia, and Gioffre. He took his family to Rome but married Vannozza off several times, which was a common strategy for those looking to feign paternity and keep family close. Despite her marriages, Rodrigo continued their relationship, among others, while caring for her and for their children. By the time he became Pope, he'd tired of Vannozza and had taken a new long-term mistress, Giulia Farnese


Alexander VI May Have Died At The Hands Of His Own Son

In the course of his lifetime, Cesare Borgia earned a reputation for brutality and violence that would eclipse that of his father. When his brother Giovanni died in 1497, it was rumored that Cesare had killed him out of jealousy. The death of Lucrezia's second husband was also supposedly carried out at the orders, or at the very hands, of Cesare. This, again, may have been a jealous act if the rumors about the incestuous relationship with his sister are true. 

Cesare was feared and hated throughout Italy for his arrogance and affinity for vengeance. Alexander himself may have feared his son by the end of his life. In one of his last evenings with his son, Alexander took ill and soon died. Cesare also got sick, but he survived. Rumors began to spread that Cesare poisoned his father, or that they were both seeking to kill a rival cardinal and drank poisoned wine by mistake. Other historians assert that Alexander died of malaria or some other stomach ailment, but, because Alexander's body was in such horrific condition by the time of his public exhibition, poison rumors continued to swirl. 


Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia Participated In (And Hosted) Some Crazy Orgies

In an age when priests and other churchmen behaving badly was pretty common, Rodrigo was no exception. Rather, he was exceptional in his lascivious antics. In 1460, he participated in an orgy in Siena that was so raunchy that it led to the Pope at the time, Pius II, sending Rodrigo a letter to express his "displeasure." The Pope questioned Rodrigo's seemingly constant desire for "sensual pleasure" and requested that, at the very least, he not wear his official religious garb when participating in sex parties. 

Moreover, the famed Banquet of the Chestnuts of 1501 was a family affair. The lavish party featured 50 prostitutes picking up chestnuts – not with their hands – in front of high nobles, church officials, and other chosen guests. What started as a dinner party quickly turned into an all-night orgy, with prizes awarded for the best demonstrations of sexual prowess.


Rodrigo Borgia Was In The Service Of Five Popes But Owed His Career To His Uncle

After law school and his appointment as cardinal, Rodrigo Borgia was made vice-chancellor of the Catholic Church by his uncle, Pope Calixtus III, in 1457. Rodrigo went on to serve in the papal curia of four more popes, Pius II (Pope 1458-1464), Paul II (Pope 1464-1471), Sixtus IV (Pope 1471-1484), and Innocent VIII (Pope 1484-1492). This allowed him to gain prominence, influence, and wealth in the Church and society alike. Under Innocent VIII, Rodrigo petitioned to have the bishopric of Valencia turned into a metropolitan see, which was successful, and he became the Archbishop of Valencia in 1492. 16 days later, Innocent died, and Rodrigo was elected Pope.


Pope Alexander VI Used His Children Well, If Not Appropriately

Even before becoming Pope, Rodrigo had arranged a strategic marriage between his daughter Lucrezia and Giovanni Sforza, the son of a prominent Milanese family. The marriage took place in 1493. However, the marriage was annulled four years later on the grounds that it was never consummated, despite Lucrezia's pregnancy at the time. Why was it ended so abruptly? Because it hadn't proved to be the politically advantageous match Rodrigo was hoping for. It was also rumored that the child may have been the product of some sort of incestuous relationship with her brother or her father, but paternity was never clearly established. Lucrezia's reputation helped fuel the rumors. Rodrigo also masterminded a number of marriages and positions for his children that would serve his own advantage. For example:

Lucrezia married Alfonso of Aragon in 1498, and, after he died in 1500 (perhaps at the hands of her brother, Cesare), she married the Alfons d'Este, Duke of Ferrara in 1502.

Gioffre was married off to the illegitimate daughter of the King of Naples, although she later cheated on him with both Cesare and Alexander's eldest son, Giovanni.

He promoted his son, Cesare, up through the church, making him a cardinal in 1493 and using him as an advisor as well the physical force behind his policies and political manipulations.


Alexander VI Used His Son Cesare As A Tool Of War

Cesare Borgia was his father's muscle in Christendom. Although he had been made a cardinal by his father, Cesare withdrew from that position and became a more secular extension of his father's papacy. Cesare went to France to marry into the royal family in 1498. He also secured French support, albeit temporary, for the Borgias in the Papal States. From 1499 to 1502, Cesare was conquering Romagna and securing it for the papacy. Cesare and Alexander weakened numerous wealthy and powerful families in Italy while building up their own finances and prestige. 


Before And During His Papacy, He Fathered As Many As 10 Children

Once he was Pope, Alexander VI pretended that his four children by his long-time mistress Vannozza dei Cattanei (Cesare, Giovanni, Lucrezia, and Gioffre) were his nieces and nephews, but he eventually legitimated them. Over the course of his life, he had as many as 10 children. Some estimates for the number of his children, however, are as low as seven. Because he had numerous mistresses, lineage of many of the children is unknown. Alexander VI had a daughter, Laura, with his mistress Giulia Farnese (depicted above), but paternity was attributed to Farnese's husband, Orsino Orsini. Three other children's names are known: Girolamo, Pier Luigi, and Isabella.


Alexander VI Used The Church As His Own Employment Agency

Alexander VI used his children and everyone around him to his own ends, but he also made them wealthy and powerful in the process. During his papacy, Alexander promoted 10 of his family members to the position of cardinal and gave out papal lands to members of his family. He endorsed the presence of large groups of Spaniards in Italy, and, with the exception of a failed alliance with the Kings of France, stayed loyal to his Spanish roots, helping Spain rise to Catholic sovereign glory under Ferdinand and Isabella.


Alexander VI May Have Endorsed Early New World Slavery

In 1493, Alexander VI issued a papal bull supporting Spanish exploration of the Americas. In "Inter Caetera," Alexander VI stated that any land that was not Christian was up for grabs to whomever discovered it; the natives were to be saved, and the faith should be spread. This went a long way to justify the Spanish presence and policies in the New World. Other historians argue that Alexander VI's letter to King Manuel I of Portugal in 1497 clarified that explorers should be using the policy of "voluntary subjection" rather than enslavement with natives.


Alexander VI Tortured And Killed His Biggest Critic

Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola criticized the excess and corruption of the papacy during the early 1490s. He was a zealous preacher that spoke out against nude works of art, festivals, celebrations, and the lax morality of the clergy. In 1497, he staged a bonfire where he burned cards, books, games, and other items he deemed sinful. This became known as the "bonfire of the vanities." 

By 1498, Alexander VI was done tolerating Savonarola and had him arrested. Savonarola and two of his fellow friars were thrown into a dungeon in Florence. They were then tortured and convicted of heresy. They were executed by hanging, although the executioner lit a fire under the men and tried to keep Savonarola alive long enough for the flames to reach him before he died. All three men's bodies were engulfed by the flames, and, after the fired burned out, the remnants were thrown into the River Arno.



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Wed, 24 May 2017 08:07:07 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-controversial-pope-alexander-vi/melissa-sartore
<![CDATA[The Horrifying History Of Bloodletting And Leeching]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/the-history-of-bloodletting-and-leeching/amandasedlakhevener?source=rss

In the days before modern medical procedures, leeching blood was seen as a cure for many different ailments, from headaches to sore throats and even to flatulence. Bloodletting, sometimes with leeches, was a practice that consisted of removing blood from the body, thereby restoring a person's health. From ancient times up through the late 1800s, people believed that diseases, especially those with symptoms like fevers and the sweats, were caused by having too much blood in the body. So, leeches as medical treatment were used to remove the "harmful" blood in a pretty horrifying medical procedure. This led to many premature deaths, even of famous people like George Washington and King Charles II. Even scarier, in medieval times, sometimes barbers performed the procedure

Because we understand its applications better today, bleeding someone still has its uses, especially since leech therapy restores blood flow and helps those who have had fingers and even limbs reattached to their bodies. 


The Horrifying History Of Bloodletting And Leeching,

Leeches Have Been Used In Modern-Day Procedures, Since They Restore Blood Flow

Although bloodletting is now widely seen as a horrific medical treatment, leeches are still used in modern medicine. Since the small creatures secrete a compound that prevents blood from clotting, they restore blood flow to any areas of the body that they are attached to. This is good for parts of the body that have been reattached or have circulation issues. For example, if a person lost the tip of their finger and had it sewn back on, leeches would help stimulate bloodflow in the attachment area. As long as the procedure is properly observed (leeches have a tendency to move around) and done with special medical leeches, this is a normal, reputed medical practice – in certain situations, of course. 


Doctors During The Medieval Era Believed That Leeches Could Cure Flatulence

Back before scientists realized that germs caused diseases, doctors blamed many conditions on having too much blood in the body (as well as on evil spirits). Things like the Black Death, typhus, pneumonia, and even the common cold were blamed on having an imbalance of the four humors. During the medieval era, doctors also thought that minor conditions like flatulence could be cured by bloodletting. By the 19th century, British doctors claimed that bloodletting cured things like acne, diabetes, indigestion, smallpox, and even, ironically, nosebleeds and "excessive menstruation."  


George Washington Might Have Been Killed By Medical Bloodletting Procedures

George Washington died on December 14, 1799. The day before, he came down with a sore throat, probably from spending most of December 12th outside in the snow. He was 68 years old, and it is likely that he came down with a minor cold or even had the beginning of pneumonia. However, since Washington was a big fan of bloodletting as a cure for many ailments (not to mention, modern medicine hadn't been invented yet), he summoned his personal physician who sliced open one of Washington's veins and removed half a pint of blood from his body. When Washington still didn't feel better, he took even more blood – this happened several times throughout the course of the night. According to records, in all, Washington had 3.75 liters of blood removed via bloodletting over the course of around 12 hours. The average human body only has 4.7 to 5.5 liters of blood. It is safe to assume that the lack of blood in his body is what killed him. 


In Ancient Greece, Leeches Were Placed On People's Gums, Lips, And Wombs

Bloodletting was usually done in the veins of the elbows or knees, places where the practitioner could easily reach them. However, there are spots on the body that people believed "needed" to be bled that were too small for bloodletting implements. This is where leeches came in. One early practitioner of leeching therapies, Themison, who lived in Greece from 80-40 BCE, stated that leeches could be placed on the fingers, nose, lips, gums, and – even more horrifyingly – the outer parts of a woman's womb. These areas of the body are where he believed hemorrhoid veins were located. 


The Catholic Church Refused To Let Monks And Priests Perform Bloodletting Procedures

Up until 1163 CE, Catholic priests and monks performed bloodletting procedures on their constituents. However, that year, Pope Alexander III issued an edict declaring the practice to be barbaric and forbidding any member of the religious clergy from conducting it. Although these priests and monks could still have the procedure done to them if they should get sick, they had to see a barber, surgeon, or doctor just like everyone else. 


Hippocrates Believed That Bloodletting Was One Method Of Keeping The Four Humors Balanced

The idea of bloodletting centers around Hippocrates's theory of the four humors. He postulated this concept in Greece in 2300 BCE, and it stuck around up through the 19th century CE. Hippocrates believed that the human body was made up of four humors – black bile, phlegm, yellow bile, and blood. When someone was sick, one or more of their humors was out of alignment, and the only way to fix the issue was by removing some of the humor. So, for example, if the illness had to do with the blood, then bloodletting was in order. 

The four humors were also aligned to the seasons, a particular organ, and the elements: black bile equaled winter, earth, and the spleen; the presence of phlegm aligned with autumn, water, and the brain; yellow bile was summer, fire, and the gall bladder; and blood was springtime, air, and the heart. The weather conditions during those seasons helped diagnose the problem and the solution. If someone had a fever and was sweating a lot, then they had too much blood in their bodies. 


Bloodletting Supposedly Originated In Ancient Egypt Or Mesopotamia

It's impossible to say when bloodletting first began. Some even theorize that it's a practice "embedded in our human subconscious" because of its widespread and diverse history of applications. But the oldest descriptions and depictions of it have been found in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, and these date back to a time over 3,000 years ago. There are also references to it in the early Chinese, Tibetan, African, and Mayan cultures, showing that the practice spread all over the world. Some of the earliest methods of drawing blood even involved using sharp thorns to tear open the skin. However, these are only the first written and drawn mentions of bloodletting – it may have been practiced even earlier. 


Bloodletting And Leeches Were Used To Treat Soldiers During The Civil War

The Civil War is known for its many horrific medical procedures. Shattered and infected limbs were cut off to keep gangrene from spreading throughout the body – often without the use of an anesthetic. Leeches and bloodletting were common cures, as well, especially for soldiers who had fallen ill on the battlefield. Water-borne disease like typhoid fever spread throughout the soldiers' camps, and besieged battlefront physicians relied on methods like bloodletting and leeching to treat them. 


Leeches Were A Safer Method Of Bloodletting Than Cutting An Artery With A Knife

All leeches inject a natural substance that works as an anesthetic into their victims, making it difficult to tell that the leech has attached itself to their bodies. They also secrete an anticoagulant, which keeps the blood from clotting while the leech is feeding, as well as an antibiotic that prevents the area from becoming infected. This, when combined with the fact that a leech will only eat until it's full – and they only ingest between 10 and 15ml of blood – made them a safer bloodletting method than the old cutting-a-vein-with-a-dirty-knife treatment. Standard bloodletting procedures were sometimes uncontrolled, since opening a vein with a metal object that wasn't always sterilized properly, could be difficult to close up again, especially in the days before modern medical practices. 

Moreover, although any type of leech that could be found was used back in the very early days of leech therapy, once the 1700s (that's CE) rolled around, the leech of choice was a special medicinal breed. Called Hirudo medicinalis, these leeches are still found in the wild in parts of Europe and North America today, although they are becoming very rare, due to over-harvesting.


Barbers Conducted Bloodletting Procedures, Which Is Why Barber Poles Have Red Stripes

During the medieval era, barbers helped doctors out by performing bloodletting procedures on their own; after all, they had sharp implements. The traditional barber pole comes from this practice – their white and red stripes stand for the bandages (white) and the blood (red) of the procedure. Supposedly, these poles resemble the bloody white towels that barbers would display outside their storefronts. Although barber poles in the U.S. occasionally have blue on them, as well, the additional color is viewed by some as the color of the veins that the barbers would open. Over time, barbers (particularly those in England) were forbidden from conducting bloodletting on their clients, but for several centuries, their jobs were closely related to surgeons. 



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Thu, 25 May 2017 06:44:28 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/the-history-of-bloodletting-and-leeching/amandasedlakhevener
<![CDATA[27 Unbelievable Photos From The LA Riots]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/la-riots-1992-photos/will-gish?source=rss

The 1992 Los Angeles riots seemed like the natural conclusion of decades of urban blight and an obvious manifestation of the social effects of the crack epidemic. Call it one of the most flagrant consequences of Reaganomics, if you will, and a sad, violent reminder of police brutality and racial tension in the United States that is often swept under the rug but never goes away, thanks to social and economic disparity drawn along racial and ethnic lines. As these LA riots photos show, despite the inevitability of such social unrest, it's hard to conceive of such large-scale destruction and the militarized response in America's second biggest city. 

Civil unrest in the United States has a long history, and is deeply ingrained in the nation's social fabric, but has become increasingly rare in an age of militarized police, social control affected through the prison-industrial complex, and a media and political apparatus designed to present images of protest as an actual form of political resistance and action. The panopticonic nature of spectacular society turns the lower echelons of social hierarchy against one another, thus preventing mass, united action against the ruling classes and government. Yet, as is evident from historical photos of the Los Angeles riots, such action is not impossible in the US, and can draw attention to long-festering class and race problems that commonly go ignored by lawmakers. 

The LA riots erupted in the wake of a jury decision to acquit four Los Angeles Police Department officers caught on video beating Rodney King. King, an African American taxi driver, was involved in a car chase with police and, when caught, was assailed by the pursuing officers as a local man videotaped from his balcony nearby. Rioting began on April 29, 1992, and lasted for six days, into May. Over the course of the riots, 55 people died, around 2,000 more were injured, and more than $1 billion in damages done. Interference from the National Guard, Army, and Marines was required to stop rioting and looting, which, while based in South Central Los Angeles, spread throughout the city. 


27 Unbelievable Photos From The LA Riots,

A National Guardsman Before A Burning Building

Korean-American Men Buy Guns To Protect Themselves From Looters

Police Officers Stand Over An Injured Citizen

Two Boys Walk By Riot Damage On Adams Blvd In South Central Los Angeles

A Man On His Bike Watches A Burning Building

A Man Walks Past Burning Building

Soldiers And A Child

Police Arresting An Injured Man By Dragging Him Across Asphalt

A California Highway Patrol Officer Guarding Stores

Jesse Jackson Speaks With A Protester


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Tue, 30 May 2017 02:15:09 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/la-riots-1992-photos/will-gish
<![CDATA[Oddly Off-Putting Photos Of Axis Powers Broing Out Together]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/axis-powers-brodown-photos/rylee_en?source=rss

It would be a gross understatement to characterize the leadership of the Axis Powers during WWII as an "unfriendly" group of men. In reality, as these photos of Axis Powers broing out together show, they were perfectly friendly and congenial toward one another; it was the millions of people whom they exterminated in the name of racial and economic superiority who didn't receive the same treatment. Pictures of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler smiling, joking, and laughing as they postulated theories of mass human destruction to one another are nothing if not disconcerting. This list pulls together photos of a group of history's most vile humans at the height of their glory, hanging out, broing down, and looking painfully self-assured. Given that we all know how it ends for them individually, the schadenfreude is strong with this one.


Oddly Off-Putting Photos Of Axis Powers Broing Out Together,

Fascists With And Without Facial Hair Stand In Relief

Matsuoka And Joachim von Ribbentrop Hanging Out In Berlin, 1941

Hitler Congenially Shaking Hands With Boris, King Of Bulgaria

Hitler And Mussolini During Hitler's Visit To Germany In 1941

Hitler And Matsuoka Waving From Hitler's Balcony

Joachim von Ribbentrop, Hitler's Minister Of Foreign Affairs And Mussolini Riding Through Crowds Together

Hitler Greeting Mussolini After Mussolini's Italian Imprisonment

Joachim von Ribbentrop Having A Laugh With Joseph Stalin, Moscow, 1939

Mussolini Bidding Arrivederci To Hitler As He Boards A Train From Berlin In 1937

Hitler And Mussolini Stroll Through Italy Together


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Fri, 26 May 2017 09:12:07 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/axis-powers-brodown-photos/rylee_en
<![CDATA[Rare Photos Of Princess Diana]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/rare-princess-diana-photos/katejacobson?source=rss

Princess Diana was a beloved member of the British royal family, known for her humanitarianism and her elegant sense of style. She tragically died in 1997, but her legacy continues to live on, especially through the early pictures of Princess Diana that show her as a fashionista, a mom, and a daughter.

Born Diana Spencer, Princess Di became a member of the royal family after she married Charles, the Prince of Wales. Her life wasn't always easy - after she married Charles their marriage was marred by infidelity and rumors. When they divorced, it became a scandal across the country. Despite this, she carried on as a role model to her two young sons William and Harry and became internationally known for her charity work. She was killed during a car chase with paparazzi in France on August 31, 1997. The world mourned the loss of the beautiful and kind Princess Diana. 

These old photos of Princess Diana show just how exceptional she was. She will be forever missed. 


Rare Photos Of Princess Diana,

Courting Prince Charles

Showing Off A Cheeky Smile

A Pensive Diana

A Kiss On The Hand

A Picture From Her Private Collection

The Young Couple

Growing Into Her Own

A Shy Girl

Aleady A Style Icon

Diana As A Toddler


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Fri, 26 May 2017 09:43:42 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/rare-princess-diana-photos/katejacobson
<![CDATA[32 Photos Of Nazi Youths That Will Give You Nightmares]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/creepy-hitler-youth-photos/carly-kiel?source=rss

The Hitler Youth was the sole official youth organization of Nazi Germany. Think there's something unsettling about children dressed up in uniforms to celebrate and impress one of the most evil people who ever lived? These creepy Hitler Youth photos present an overview of a particularly disturbing element of Nazi Germany. In early iterations, beginning in 1922, children across the country were recruited into the Hitlerjugend (HJ) to be indoctrinated in Nazi ideology.

When the Nazi Party took control of Germany in 1933, the HJ boasted more than two million members. Soon, the Reich outlawed all other youth organizations - including the Boy Scouts, on which the Hitlerjugend (HJ) was based. In December 1936, it became mandatory for all Aryan children to join and, in 1939, all German youths were automatically conscripted. If parents objected, the state threatened to take their children away. An estimated 10-20% of young German males avoided joining the HJ, but they were denied diplomas, university entry, and jobs. It certainly wasn't the worst part of Nazi Germany, but still, the whole ordeal was downright nuts.


32 Photos Of Nazi Youths That Will Give You Nightmares,

By 1930, The Organization Enlisted Over 25,000 Boys

A Junior Branch (Deutches Jungvolk Or DJ) Admitted Boys As Young As 10

When The Nazis Came To Power In 1933, Membership Reached 2.3 Million Members

Members Were Recruited By Propaganda For The Fatherland

HJ Members Were Thought To Ensure The Future Of Nazi Germany

They Were Indoctrinated In Nazi Ideology, Including Racism

Hitler Youth hold sinister flags bearing swastikas and skull, mace, and axe.


Known As The HJ, The Hitlerjugend Was Made Up Of Male Youths Aged 14 To 18

The Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth) Was The Youth Organization Of The Nazi Party

Partially Paramilitary, It Was Germany's Sole Official Youth Organization

In early years, members were used to break up other youth groups associated with churches and religion as part of Nazi Germany's kirchenkampf ("church struggle") campaign.


By 1940, There Were 8 Million Members Of The Hitlerjugend

A massive crowd attends Hitler Youth Day during one of the Nuremberg Nazi Party rallies.



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Fri, 26 May 2017 03:10:41 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/creepy-hitler-youth-photos/carly-kiel
<![CDATA[The Surprisingly Dark History Of The Rockefeller Family]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/dark-rockefeller-family-facts/harrison-tenpas?source=rss

The Rockefeller family history is steeped in industrial and political accomplishments that have played a significant role in the shaping of America. As brothers John D. and William Rockefeller rose to social prominence during the late 19th century, their company - Standard Oil - became a hulking force in the booming fossil fuels industry, and established the roots for the generational wealth that still buoy their scions to this day.

The Rockefeller's business interests, coupled with their forays into politics (with Nelson Rockefeller even ascending as high as the vice presidency), have cemented them in as one of the most famous and influential families in American history. A case could be made that much of 20th century America's growth and development can be credited to this New York City brood, as they undoubtedly impacted the lives of millions in a variety of ways - though that impact was not always positive.

However, the Rockefellers are not without their secrets or controversies. From labor disputes, to monopolies, to foreign coups, to even - yes - cannibalism, some facts about the Rockefellers cast a dark shadow over the illustrious accomplishments made of their lineage.


The Surprisingly Dark History Of The Rockefeller Family,

William A. Rockefeller Was A Con Artist

William A. Rockefeller was the father of John D. and William Rockefeller Jr. - two men who would go on to be titans of industry and amass tremendous wealth. While the two heirs achieved much of their success on the straight-and-narrow, the same could not be said for their father who was  complete con artist. 

While working as a traveling salesman, William A. Rockefeller often faked being deaf and mute, peddling miracle-remedies that were completely useless. Going by the nom de plume, "Devil Bill," the snake-oil pushing Rockefeller also took on a mistress and fathered multiple illegitimate children. However, his true magnum opus of fraud was likely his successful impersonation of a doctor named William Livingston, an eye-and-ear specialist.


The Premature Death Of John Rockefeller III

In 1978, John D. Rockefeller III was killed in a car accident. At the time, the 72-year-old philanthropist was the eldest member of the Rockefeller family. Mr. Rockefeller was struck in a head-on collision near Mount Pleasant, NY - just 12 miles north of the family's sprawling estate. Tragically, the 16-year-old boy who had been driving the other car was also killed in the crash.


The Standard Oil Monopoly Crushes The Competition

Getting his start in Cleveland in the 1860s, John D. Rockefeller grew Standard Oil into a mammoth in the oil-refining industry. By 1880, Standard Oil was responsible for refining between 90 and 95% of all the oil in America. By eliminating the competition, merging with rivals, and offering generous incentives to the railroad industry, Standard Oil became a dominant power that essentially created a monopoly. 

In 1906, the US government brought a suit against the Standard Oil Company under the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, and in 1911, the company was forced to divest of all its major holdings (33 companies in all). Though arguably weakened, Standard Oil hung around and navigated some legal loopholes. In fact, it still exists today under a few highly recognizable names such as BP, Chevron, and Exxon, to name a few. John D. Rockefeller, for his part, still went on to become a billionaire. 


Standard Oil's Role In The Ludlow Massacre

In September of 1913, nearly 11,000 coal miners in Colorado went on strike against the Colorado Fuel & Iron Corporation. The aggrieved workers were protesting low wages, dangerous working conditions, and the servitude-like relationship they had with their employer. CF&I - which was owned by the Rockefeller family and Standard Oil - responded to the work strike by evicting the workers and their families from the company-owned housing. The workers maintained their resolve, however, setting up nearby tent communities and continuing the strike.

With the aid of the National Guard, the Rockefeller-owned corporation sought to break the strike, and in April of 1914, two companies of guardsmen descended on the tent colony near the town of Ludlow. The result was a slaughter. 

After killing the strike leader - who was attempting to negotiate a truce - the guardsman began shooting at families fleeing the scene. All told, 19 were killed, including several women and children.


Was Michael Rockefeller Eaten By Cannibals?

On November 19, 1961, Michael C. Rockefeller disappeared. The 23-year-old son of then-New York governor, Nelson Rockefeller, was on an anthropological expedition off the coast of New Guinea when his catamaran tipped over. In hopes of making it to shore to get help for his fellow passengers, Rockefeller swam off into the sea and was never seen again. 

Though many concluded that Rockefeller likely succumbed to drowning, or was eaten by a shark or crocodile, some have speculated that he met a much more grim fate. At the time, there were multiple tribes that practiced cannibalism in southern New Guinea, and in 1969 a Dutch journalist ventured into a remote village to investigate Rockefeller's disappearance where he was told that Rockefeller had been killed and eaten. 

To this day, Michael Rockefeller's death remains a mystery.


A Murder-Suicide Claims Three Lives

One of the first major tragedies to befall the Rockefeller family came in 1951 when Winifred Emeny - the great niece of John D. Rockefeller - killed her two children before taking her own life. Emeny, who was a known socialite in the Greenwich, CT, scene, started two cars in her garage - in one of the cars she put her two young daughters, Josephine, 6, and Winifred, 12, while she lay on the ground between the two running vehicles. All three of them were discovered by the family's maid, dead from asphyxiation.


Rockefeller's Dark Legacy In Brazil

The Rockefeller Foundation - a philanthropic organization set up and operated by the wealthy family - began doing work in Brazil during World War I. Around this time, Brazilian elites had become infatuated with the so-called "Public Health Movement," which was a barbaric-ruse largely designed around eugenics.

In 1918, the Rockefeller Foundation helped to create the Eugenic Society of São Paulo, and in doing so directly financed programs aimed at exterminating the poor and disabled, and those of mixed-African descent throughout Brazil. 

Later, in the 1960s, David Rockefeller - a banker who controlled Chase Manhattan - publicly declared that Brazil's then-leader, João Goulart, was unacceptable to the US banking community. The Rockefeller Group went on to invest over $12 million in the 1962 Brazilian elections, and their continued support for anti-communist groups played a large role in the 1964 coup that removed Goulart and installed a military dictatorship. 


Nelson Rockefeller's Shady Death And Mysterious Mistress

Nelson Rockefeller had a long, successful political career. Prior to becoming the vice president in 1974, he served as the 49th governor of New York for 14 years. As a father of five, Rockefeller divorced his first wife in 1963 - which at that time was a major no-no for politicians - and seemed to have a reputation for being something of womanizer. He re-married in 1963 to his second wife, Happy, who was 18 years his junior.

Rockefeller then lost the 1964 Republican presidential nomination to Barry Goldwater, and it's been speculated that his extra-marital indiscretions may have had something to do with it. And it's assumed that his wandering-eye stayed with him into his old age, as when he died of a heart attack in 1979 he was with his 25-year-old female assistant, who mysteriously waited an hour to call for help.


John D. Rockefeller Hired Soldiers To Fight For Him In The Civil War

Though John D. Rockefeller considered himself to be an abolitionist, he wanted to play no part in taking up arms when the Civil War broke out in 1861. Citing the fact that he was the primary provider for his family, he received an exemption from the Union, and instead hired soldiers to go and fight on his behalf. This was not an uncommon practice for the rich, and though Rockefeller gave some vaguely remorseful statements about not fighting, his commodities business profited greatly from the war.


Clark Rockefeller, The Impostor And Murderer

The Rockefeller name comes with global recognition, so it's not unthinkable that it would make for an appealing surname for enterprising imposters. Though being part of such a prestigious bloodline would seem to be easily verifiable, Christian Gerhartsreiter - a German immigrant and con man - managed to keep up the bold charade for decades. 

Calling himself Clark Rockefeller and offering only a vague description of his relationship to the famous family, Gerhartsreiter was able to make his way into high society and attain lucrative jobs, as well as marry a wealthy woman in the process. 

But when Gerhartsreiter attempted to kidnap his own daughter, his identity unraveled, and he ended up being tied to a 1994 California murder as well. He's currently serving 27 years in prison. 



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Fri, 07 Apr 2017 05:44:49 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/dark-rockefeller-family-facts/harrison-tenpas
<![CDATA[21 Rare Photos of Benito Mussolini That You've Definitely Never Seen Before]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/benito-mussolini-photos/rylee_en?source=rss

Il Duce, otherwise known as Benito Mussolini, ruled Italy as an iron-fisted National Fascist Party Prime Minister from 1922-1943. In most of the images of Benito Mussolini that you typically see, Il Duce appears scowling and rotund, jovial only when he is lifting fascist youth into the air or hanging out with his Axis Power-wielding bro Adolf Hitler.

Certainly, you can't escape a roundup of pictures of Mussolini without him rocking some of his favorite power stances or speaking to large crowds of fascist supporters in Rome, but there are some less-circulated photos of Il Duce doing things that regular, non-dictatorial people might do, like skiing with his son and riding his favorite motorcycle. For some photos of Mussolini like you've never seen him before, you've come to the right place.


21 Rare Photos of Benito Mussolini That You've Definitely Never Seen Before,

Looking Consternated During The Fascist March On Rome, 1922

Styling On His Favorite Motorbike

Parading Through Rome With Other Fascist Leaders In 1922

Hanging Out With Hitler's Right-Hand-Man, Joachim von Ribbentrop

Escaping Italy's Invasion By The Allies In A German Aeroplane, 1943

Speaking In His 'Characteristic Pose' To A Crowd In 1934

Riding Around Munich Germany With Adolf Hitler In 1941

Getting Cheered On By A Crowd In Turin

Reading At His Desk In Rome, Italy, 1931

Skiing With His Son Romano In 1945


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Fri, 26 May 2017 07:46:14 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/benito-mussolini-photos/rylee_en
<![CDATA[33 Eye-Opening Historical Photos Of Japan After World War II]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/photos-of-japan-after-world-war-two/will-gish?source=rss

Life in postwar Japan, a period that officially lasted from 1945 to 1952, was a tumultuous proposition, as the country rocketed from a state of complete destruction and defeat to a lively hive of black market activity and nascent organized crime organizations to, finally, a burgeoning global economic powerhouse. The photos on this list, which span 1945 to about 1950, illustrate the meteoric rise of new Japan, and give some indication of what life was like in Japan after World War II. 

Surely you already know some stuff you'll find here - the devastation left in Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the atomic bombs, for instance. You'll see what Tokyo looked like after fire bombing raids that destroyed huge portions of the city, and photos of discharged Japanese soldiers on their way home. Among the most historically significant images of Japan after World War II contained herein are those of Hirohito meeting crowds of Japanese citizens, at which point an emperor considered a god by man was humanized by an expression of tremendous humility.

Explore 1940s Japan in all its tragedy and glory; these historical photos of Japan immediately after the devastating loss of World War II lay bare the psychology of defeat by visualizing the complete, brutal destruction of so many cities. Though some of these photos were taken before Japan surrendered on August 15, 1945, they do a great job of illustrating what life was like on the ground immediately after the war ended. 


33 Eye-Opening Historical Photos Of Japan After World War II,

Clearing Rubble From The Streets Of Tokyo, August 14, 1945

A Man Sits In A Buddhist Temple With Boxes Containing The Ashes Of Hiroshima Bomb Victims, September, 1945

A Repatriated Child, August 30, 1946

Allied B-29 Air Raid Damage, Hachioji, August 1, 1945

US Serviceman Photo Of A Japanese Couple Manually Threshing Rise, 1949

Note the military cap and coat he wears


A Japanese Soldier Tasked With Helping Hundreds Find Adequate Food And Shelter, Circa 1950

A Woman In A New Toyota, 1947

A Repatriated Japanese Soldier Walks Through The Blast Center In Hiroshima, September 1945

American Sgt. Charles Roman Photographs School Boys In Downtown Tokyo, September 1945

Emperor Hirohito and Empress Nagako Greet A Crowd Of Citizens, Circa 1945


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Fri, 26 May 2017 06:40:08 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/photos-of-japan-after-world-war-two/will-gish
<![CDATA[20 Historical Photos Of Joseph Stalin Kicking It Like He Wasn't A Monster]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/old-pictures-of-joseph-stalin/will-gish?source=rss

No reason to beat around the borscht: Joseph Stalin was a monster. Sure, with that big mustache, those military uniforms, his rugged handsomeness, and such a commanding presence, he was one of history's great daddies, a patrician master of naughtiness prepared to bend the whole world over his knee and spank the bejesus out of it, despite being a relatively short dude. Yet the Soviet leader's most enduring legacy is that of Joseph Stalin, horrible person extraordinaire. As the historical photos of Joseph Stalin on this list attest, he obviously didn't lose any sleep over sending millions to the gulag or starving tens of millions to death. 

Have you ever wondered what kind of expression a man like Stalin wears when kicking it with Nazis? Wonder no more. That's covered. If you find yourself hankering for historical Stalin photos of him watching parades alongside children like he wasn't one of history's most tyrannical dictators, you're going to love this slideshow. Prepare yourself for a wild pictorial ride through the annals of Soviet history; you'll be amazed how much a guy can smile in the wake of organizing the Great Purge, in which as many as three million people died. 


20 Historical Photos Of Joseph Stalin Kicking It Like He Wasn't A Monster,

Daddy Needs His Pipe To Take The Edge Off The Holodomor Thing

Stalin Clearly Wins The Battle For Sauciest Soviet Patriarch, Though Lenin Does His Best

Lenin: Keep on mugging, you dirty fool. I'll put you over my knee so fast.

Stalin: I wish you would. 

Lenin: Daddy? 

(1920s)


Broseph Wouldn't Be So Chill With Nikita Khrushchev If He Knew About Nicky's Impending De-Stalinization Of The Soviet Union; Or, A Prelude To Betrayal

1940s.


Tossing Witticisms At Truman Like They're Not About To Beef So Hard Hindus Consider Them Sacred

1945


Officially Naming An Incendiary Cocktail After His Brotégé, Vyacheslav Molotov

"Dag, Voroshilov, You Funny AF."

Sharing an intimate moment with Klim Voroshilov, 1930s.


Yukking It Up With Winnie The Church, American Statesman Averell Harriman, And The Homey Molotov As The World Burns

Summer 1942


"This Is The Most F*cked Threeway Handshake Ever. I Love It. Winnie The Church Is Buckwild. What Happens Postdam... "

July 25, 1945


"Don't Tell Me To Calm Down. I'm Relaxed AF, Just Cooling In My Chair Like Daddy Supreme."

1941


Chillin' And Smoking A Cigarette With Hitler's Foreign Minister Joachim Von Ribbentrop Like Nazis Ain't No Thang

August 1939



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Fri, 26 May 2017 04:07:27 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/old-pictures-of-joseph-stalin/will-gish
<![CDATA[20 Photos From The March On Washington You've Definitely Never Seen Before]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/march-on-washington-photos/sarah-hatheway?source=rss

On August 28, 1963, thousands of protestors made their voices heard. A crowd of over 200,000 people gathered in Washington D.C., demanding equality and social justice in the United States. Through the event, civil rights leaders and religious groups aimed to shed light on the struggles of the black community. Pictures of the March on Washington - formally known as the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom - transport you right back to a critical point in the country's history.

It's remarkable to note how modern these March on Washington photos appear. They were taken decades ago, but the concerns voiced by protestors are as relevant as ever. Scan these images, and you'll see protestors playing guitar, joining hands, and proudly sporting the American flag. You'll notice familiar faces, too - Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech at the march, and civil rights activists Bayard Rustin and Cleveland Robinson appear as well.

These photos of the 1963 March on Washington capture a significant moment in time, and remind viewers just how far the country still has to go.


20 Photos From The March On Washington You've Definitely Never Seen Before,

No U.S. Dough To Help Jim Crow Grow

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Crowd Gathers

Integrate Schools Now!

Aerial View Of The March

Bayard Rustin And Cleveland Robinson

On The Washington Monument Grounds

A Patriotic Protestor

Protestors Playing Guitar

By The Reflecting Pool


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Fri, 26 May 2017 05:29:54 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/march-on-washington-photos/sarah-hatheway
<![CDATA[27 Rare Audrey Hepburn Photos]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/rare-audrey-hepburn-photos/sarah-hatheway?source=rss

Audrey Hepburn is one of the most beloved actresses of all time. She rose to prominence in classic romantic comedies, imbuing films like Sabrina, Funny Face, and Roman Holiday with a unique charm. These rare Audrey Hepburn photos give you a glimpse into her life and career.

Despite her glamorous appearance, Hepburn's life wasn't always easy. Born in Belgium on May 4, 1929, she moved often as a child. She weathered the events of World War II, and after a brief stint in the ballet world, came to the United States in 1951. Hepburn made her American debut in the Broadway play Gigi, and Hollywood soon came knocking.

These photographs of Audrey Hepburn trace her years in film, and show behind-the-scenes looks at the productions of some of her most famous movies. From costars and romantic partners to studio portraits, these pictures of Audrey Hepburn show them all.


27 Rare Audrey Hepburn Photos,

At A Ceremony Honoring Givenchy

An Outtake From Breakfast At Tiffany's

Posing At Kew Gardens

With Billy Wilder In 1953

With Hubert De Givenchy

With Her Signature Cigarette Holder

On Set With Gary Cooper

In Character As Holly Golightly

With A Yorkie

Posing For Promotional Shots


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Fri, 26 May 2017 03:07:28 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/rare-audrey-hepburn-photos/sarah-hatheway
<![CDATA[25 Fascinating Photos And Illustrations From Gold Rushes]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/gold-rush-photos/liam-ross?source=rss

Have you ever wondered what life looked like during the gold rush? While most Americans are familiar with the California Gold Rush, there have actually been gold rushes in Alaska and Australia as well. Images from these madcap periods of entrepreneurship, expansion, and greed provide a fascinating window into the lives of people who lived for one thing: gold.

It behooves us, then, to view pictures from gold rushes as an integral part of the complex tapestry of human history. After all, the search for gold brings out both the best and worst of humanity: ingenuity and depravity, in equal measure. Still, one has to appreciate the endurance and fortitude of the people who went out to stake their claim and find their fortune in the boomtowns and mines of the gold rushes, regardless of how perilous it was to get there. So enjoy these photos and illustrations from gold rushes, and see if you can find part of yourself reflected in the prospectors and the people they lived with.    


25 Fascinating Photos And Illustrations From Gold Rushes,

The Town Of Deadwood, Dakota Territory

Two Missionaries Heading To Preach To Gold Miners In Alaska

The Main Street Of Dawson, A Gold Rush Town

An Example Of Sluice Mining In Alaska

An Elderly Miner From Allin Named "Daddy"

Australian Miners Using A Makeshift Sluice In New South Wales

Prospectors Braving The Chilkoot Pass On The Way To The Klondike Goldfields

The First Train On The Yukon Railroad

A General Store During The Height Of The Klondike Goldrush

A Line Of Prospectors Climb Stairs Cut Into The Ice Of Chilkoot Pass On The Way To Gold Claims


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Tue, 23 May 2017 10:05:35 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/gold-rush-photos/liam-ross
<![CDATA[Sad Pictures Of Hurricane Katrina's Aftermath]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/aftermath-of-hurricane-katrina-photos/katejacobson?source=rss

In 2005, a massive hurricane rolled through the Gulf Coast, devastating people from the Bahamas to Louisiana. It was Hurricane Katrina - the costliest storm in American history. The Category 5 hurricane destroyed entire towns, killed nearly 2,000 people, and became one of the deadliest storms in modern history. Photos from after Hurricane Katrina show just how horrible it really was.

The storm hit Louisiana the hardest. People living along the coast struggled to rebuild their lives in the wake of the devastation. Officials estimate the storm cost about $108 billion. It took years for people to go back to their homes, some of which were flooded or completely destroyed. The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina was horrific and life altering, and won't be forgotten anytime soon. 


Sad Pictures Of Hurricane Katrina's Aftermath,

Trying To Rebuild

A Gutted Building

What Used To Be A Liquor Store

A Doll All On Her Own

An Abandoned Wheelchair

Trying To Sort Through The Mess

A Torn Out Tree

A Pile Of Rubble

Cleaning Out A Contaminated House

A Collapsed House


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Thu, 25 May 2017 09:10:57 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/aftermath-of-hurricane-katrina-photos/katejacobson
<![CDATA[28 Rare Photos That Prove The 1930s Were Way Weirder Than You Thought]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/everyday-things-made-in-the-1930s/chwang?source=rss

The 1930s are like the forgotten middle child of the early 20th century. The decade is often overshadowed by the World Wars and the Roaring '20s, sometimes purposefully overlooked because of the deep, negative impacts of the Great Depression and the cultural memories associated with it. And, while the economic downturn was indeed horrible, the '30s have their own unique story of people fighting to live that everyday life – and succeeding in some pretty fun and quirky ways. 

This list is a compilation of photographs from the 1930s that shows society through a lens that isn't primarily focused on the tragedy of the Great Depression. Get a glimpse of the rise and fall of popular fads, innovative ideas, and unexpected things you'd be surprised to find in the '30s. 


28 Rare Photos That Prove The 1930s Were Way Weirder Than You Thought,

Television Cameras At Lord's Cricket Ground

A Magic Shop For Magicians

A Woman Does Her Daily Exercises Using A New Apparatus

Canned Beer Vending Machine

Dynasphere Wheels, A Possible Replacement For Transportation

The First Portable Milk Bar At Waterloo Station

Two Women Seated Under Lamps For Artificial Sun Bathing

Electric Manicure Device – A Manicurist Files Her Nails During A Demonstration

Owl-Shaped Ice Cream Stand In Los Angeles, California

A Dog, Baby, And Couple Traveling In One Car


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Thu, 25 May 2017 09:42:22 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/everyday-things-made-in-the-1930s/chwang
<![CDATA[Rare Photos Of The '92 Clinton Campaign]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/rare-photos-of-the-_92-clinton-campaign/rylee_en?source=rss

Rife with puffy jackets, big hair, and a legendary saxophone, the images from Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign are a true delight to behold. Do you remember when Hillary was First Lady of Arkansas, standing by her man with big 'ol smiles as they blazed the campaign trail in a bus? Can you recall when Bill amazed the nation by showing us that a President could have a little soul? Can you conjure a time when the Clintons and Gores looked like a happy, young foursome ready to double date and change the world? No?

Well, feast your eyes upon a roundup of rare images from the 1992 Clinton/Gore campaign trail. They laughed; they cried; they drank coffee with old men in New Hampshire; they got endorsed by Richard Dreyfuss. Come on, hop on the campaign bus and take a tour through early '90s American politics.


Rare Photos Of The '92 Clinton Campaign,

Double Dating On The Campaign Tour Bus

Riding Across The USA With Al Gore On Their Campaign Bus

Meeting Some Young Boys During A Tour Of Chicago Housing Authority Buildings, Chicago, IL

At A Picnic Sponsored By The Wisconsin State Democratic Party

Richard Dreyfuss Showing His Support For The Campaign At The DNC

Greeting Crowds And Kissing Babies In Ann Arbor, MI

Throwing A Football At Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati, OH

Hugging His Daughter Chelsea On Election Day, Little Rock, AR

Playing His Famed Sax, Cherry Hill, NJ

Celebrating His Victory With Hillary On Election Night, Little Rock, AR


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Thu, 27 Apr 2017 03:12:59 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/rare-photos-of-the-_92-clinton-campaign/rylee_en
<![CDATA[The 15 Bloodiest, Most Violent Family Feuds In History]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/bloody-historical-family-feuds/setareh-janda?source=rss

Forget the Montagues and Capulets; history is littered with real-life family disputes that led to violence. These bloodline battles were waged both formally and informally, through both political means and vigilante justice. Often igniting cycles of violence, these  bloody family feuds rarely had happy endings.  

From ancient times until today, the bloodiest family feuds in history are filled with stories of honor, vengeance, politics, and kinship. Though that may sound romantic, it wasn't: family feuds often resulted in horrifying acts of barbarism and cruelty, like the Black Dinner Massacre. Some violent historical family feuds – like the one between the notorious Hatfields and McCoys – involved different families warring against one another. Others – like the extended family drama that was the War of the Roses – involved civil wars within a single family unit. But no matter how they began or who they involved, the result was always the same: factionalism, violence, and death. 

The Montagues and Capulets may be one of the most infamous family feuds in literature, but these bloody family feuds in history reveal that truth is stranger than fiction.


The 15 Bloodiest, Most Violent Family Feuds In History,

The Hatfield-McCoy Feud Climaxed With The New Year's Massacre

The war between the Hatfields and McCoys is perhaps the most notorious family feud in American history. Lasting from roughly 1863 to 1891, the decades-long conflict between two proud, rough-hewn Appalachian families began over a hog, of all things. Randolph McCoy – the patriarch of the McCoy family – claimed that a Hatfield scoundrel had stolen one of his hogs. The trial – helped in no small part by the influence of William "Devil Anse" Hatfield – did not go in McCoy's favor. And so the bloodletting began: McCoys murdered and maimed Hatfields. Hatfields murdered and maimed McCoys. Young lovers were torn apart. Lives were extinguished before they began.

The feud came to a bloody climax in the New Year's Massacre of 1888. Hatfields surrounded the home of a sleeping Randolph McCoy in the middle of the night, and released a barrage of bullets. Two of McCoy's children died, though he escaped and his wife barely survived.

The Hatfield-McCoy feud had become so violent, the United States government actually got involved, and the case was taken all the way to the Supreme Court. Eventually, eight Hatfields were sentenced to life in prison, and an allegedly mentally challenged member of the family was executed. After that, the feud fizzled out.  


The Percy-Neville Feud Anticipated The Wars Of The Roses

The Percy and Neville families were two of the most powerful houses in the north of England by the middle of the 15th century. With great power, however, came great tension — they mistrusted one another and each jockeyed for power, alliances, and influence.

Tensions first broke out into actual physical confrontation in August, 1453, when the two families fought after a Neville wedding. Though the crown intervened in the feud later that year, it actually did little good: their bitter rivalry echoed in the ensuing Wars of the Roses, with each family taking sides and escalating the conflict.


The Civil War Never Ended For The Lees And The Peacocks

Texas, 1867. The Civil War ended two years earlier, but that didn’t mean tensions dissolved. Bob Lee, for one, remained an unrepentant Confederate. So when Lewis Peacock was actively collaborating with the Reconstruction government and protecting Union sympathizers, Lee simply could not abide it.

Tensions between the two escalated to the point of bloodshed. Each family amassed various allies in the area, and eventually the U.S. Cavalry had to intervene between the warring clans.  


Clan Conflict Led To A Monumental War In 12th-Century Japan

Two of Japan's most powerful clans in the 12th century were the Taira and the Minamoto. One, however, had more power than the other: the Taira basically ran the imperial government. Though the Minamoto had risen against the Taira, it didn't end well for them in 1160. Twenty years later, they gathered their forces again, this time with a vengeance.

War broke out between the two families, with the Minamoto successfully convincing other clans to join their cause. Battles grew and conflict escalated in size until they plagued the country. The war lasted five years. By the time the Genpei War (as we know it today) ended in 1185, tens of thousands of people lost their lives, and a new shogunate was established with the Minamoto in charge. 


The Pazzi Conspired To Kill The Medici In The Very Cathedral They Helped Build

By the late 15th century, Florence was more or less Medici turf. The famous banking family was on the cusp of becoming a dynasty. The problem? The Pazzi, another wealthy Florentine family, didn’t want that to happen.

So on April 26, 1478, members of the Pazzi attacked and attempted to assassinate the two most prominent members of the Medici clan at High Mass in the Duomo, the city’s main cathedral that the Medici themselves had funded. The Pazzi assassins successfully murdered Giuliano de Medici, but his brother Lorenzo managed to escape.

The repercussions were swift: the conspirators were executed and the entire Pazzi family was banished from Florence. For proud Florentines in the 15th century, that was a fate worse than death. 


The Sutton-Taylor Feud Was A Texas-Style Family War

In 1868, Texas was an untamed land where the law wasn't always held in the highest regard. The Taylors – bleeding-heart Confederates – bit their thumb in the face of U.S. federal law. In the years following the Civil War, racial tensions were high, especially in the South. In 1866, a member of the Taylor family fired the first shot of the feud: he killed an African American man at a dance. In the following years, Taylors would shoot both African Americans and U.S. soldiers, symbols of the Reconstruction government that the Taylors loathed.

The Suttons, on the other hand, were lawmen, and the Taylors became a thorn in their side. So, when a Sutton killed a Taylor suspected of being a thief, the blood feud began to spiral out of control. Dozens of people on both sides died, and the feud did not end until 1876, when Texas Rangers intervened and put an end to it.


A Stewart King Served Death À La Douglas At The Black Dinner

Though the Stewarts had been the Scottish royal family since the 14th century, they didn't command everyone's love and respect by the 1400s. Case in point, the Douglas family rivaled the Stewarts in terms of prestige and power, and they didn't always play nice with the royals. So in 1440, the 10-year-old King James II invited two prominent Douglases (Dougli?) to dinner at Edinburgh Castle, and promptly had them murdered at the table.

The so-called "Black Dinner" was only one bloody moment in the troubled history between the Stewarts and the Douglases. A few years later, the king himself plunged a knife into William Douglas and tossed him from a window at Stirling Castle. Finally, the conflict came to a head when the Douglases and Stewarts met on the battlefield in 1455. The Stewarts prevailed, establishing a central monarchy that ruled Scotland through the Late Middle Ages. 


Members Of The Campbell Clan Massacred The MacDonalds Of Glencoe

The Campbells and the MacDonalds were two rival Highland clans in the late 17th century. Theirs was the worst kind of rivalry in Scotland: a cattle rivalry. MacDonalds stole Campbell cattle, and vice versa. Things came to a head in February 1692, when members from Clan Campbell participated in one of the most infamous events in British history: the Glencoe Massacre.

After MacDonalds from Glencoe didn't sign a loyalty oath to the new King William and Queen Mary on time, the government sought to brutally punish the family for their impudence, and make an example of them for other Highland clans. The Campbells were all too eager to take part in the bloodshed.

So, an army of men – including, but limited to, Campbells – traveled to Glencoe and requested hospitality, claiming they needed to camp on MacDonald land. After the MacDonalds had given the group hospitality – they gave them food, drink, and entertainment – for nearly two weeks, the men turned on the clan, killing men, women, and children as they slept in their beds. Most of the MacDonalds who managed to flee the scene of frenzied murder ultimately died in the hills, as a result of the bitter February weather. To this day, some claim the Campbells are still cursed for breaking the laws of hospitality.


The Graham-Tewksbury Feud Erupted Into Open Warfare In The Wild West

The Grahams and the Tewksburys were two successful ranching families in the Arizona territory at the end of the 19th century. In the beginning, the two families were actually friendly and cooperated with one another. Enter: James Stinson, another rancher who accused the Tewksburys of stealing his cattle.

In a move the Tewksburys would never forgive, he wooed the Grahams to take his side. For an entire decade, the Tewskburys and the Grahams were at war. The conflict featured shootouts, vengeful cowboys, and assassins, the so-called "Pleasant Valley War" claimed at least 25 lives between 1882 and 1892.


The Wars Of The Roses Were Basically A Brutal Family Soap Opera

Family feuds don't have to be between rival clans. In fact, some feuds erupt within genetic lines. Such was the case of the Wars of the Roses, when no less than the English throne was at stake.

The Houses of York and Lancaster were two branches of the same royal family, and they all descended from King Edward III. So when King Henry VI – a Lancastrian king – proved to be a weak and unstable ruler, his York cousins took advantage and claimed the throne for themselves.

For three decades, England was engulfed in an aristocratic interstitial war, and a bloody family soap opera. Thousands died on and off the battlefields of England during this turbulent period. The throne passed back and forth until 1485, when yet another cousin – Henry Tudor – defeated the Yorkist King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field.



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Tue, 25 Apr 2017 08:58:02 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/bloody-historical-family-feuds/setareh-janda
<![CDATA[Incredible Photos From The Fall Of The Berlin Wall]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/berlin-wall-fall-photos/kellie-kreiss?source=rss

What started out as a makeshift barbed wire and concrete barricade separating the already politically divided nation of Germany, quickly became a symbol of the Cold War and the historic clash between capitalistic and communistic idealism. In response to the droves of people who were attempting to flee Eastern Germany for greater economic opportunity in the west, the GDR (or, the communistic German Democratic Republic) began constriction on the Berlin Wall.

From the beginning of its construction on August 13, 1961, until its eventual destruction on November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall strictly limited the movement of East German citizens to the west, separating them from their families and their jobs, and forcing many people into economic desperation. Over the years, East and West Germans worked together to find effective ways of helping East German citizens escape to the west by ramming barricades with cars, jumping out of the windows of buildings along the wall, as well as escaping through sewers and tunnels that were dug beneath the wall. And though over 150 people were killed trying to escape, over 5,000 East Germans were successful.

For nearly 30 years, a politically and physically divided Berlin anxiously anticipated the end of the Cold War and reunification of the country. So, when an announcement was made by the GDR on November 9,1989, that they would again provide visas to East German citizens, people took it as a sign that the war was reaching its end, and the very idea of reunification inspired citizens to take their future into their own hands. The rest, of course, is history: Germans on both sides began hammering away at the oppressive wall, climbing over it, and celebrating the fact that they had found their freedom as a unified nation once again.

The photographs documenting this monumental occasion are an inspiring reminder of people's ability to persevere under the harshest of circumstances - and of their ability not only to endure, but to overcome.


Incredible Photos From The Fall Of The Berlin Wall,

After The News Broke Of The Potentially Reunified State, Crowds Quickly Gathered Around Boarder Checkpoints

Germans On Both Sides Of The Wall Took The Destruction Into Their Own Hands

Many East Germans Made Their Way West Through Checkpoints Such As Checkpoint Charlie, Celebrating With Everyone They Met

The Decision To Allow Visas Was Quickly Embraced By Both East And West Germans, Who Believed It To Be A Sign Of The Country's Reunification

In Light Of The Announcement, Guards Attempted To Quell Excited Crowds In Berlin

On November 9, 1989, The East German Government Announced Its Decision To Again Provide Exit Visas To East German Citizens

Guards Remained Present At Various Entry Points Along The Wall

Families From East Berlin Were Anxiously Welcomed Back Into West Berlin

East And West Germans Joined Together In Celebration Of The Long-Awaited Fall Of The Berlin Wall

East And West Germans Celebrated A Unified Berlin With Drinking And Dancing In The Streets And On Top Of The Wall


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Wed, 24 May 2017 08:55:54 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/berlin-wall-fall-photos/kellie-kreiss
<![CDATA[Bra-Burningest Photos From The Women's Rights Movement]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/photos-of-the-womens-rights-movement/rylee_en?source=rss

Despite the undulating, ever-changing nature of what feminism means, is, and might be, many people still associate it with the bra-burning, equal-pay-for-equal-work, piece-of-the-pie, Gloria Steinem-ized imagery of the Women's Movement of the 1960s. To many, that's what feminism looks like. And why not? Of all the waves of feminism, this one – the so-called second wave – is the most widely recognized in terms of its iconography. 

Women gathered in the streets to protest bridal shows, sick and tired of the legalized meat market that relegated them to second-class citizenship inside the home for the rest of their lives. Though they likely didn't really burn them, 1960s feminists did ditch their bras, collectively throwing them into trash cans as a big ol' middle finger to all the restrictions holding them back from the kind of lives they saw men getting to lead. 

This list takes a trip back to that heady time of consciousness raising and collective ungirdling. So grab your sisters, gather round, and let these images help you plot the revolution.


Bra-Burningest Photos From The Women's Rights Movement,

Protesting The 1968 Miss America Pageant, Atlantic City, NJ

Women's Lib Demonstrator Arguing With Police, 1973

Campaigning For Anti-Discrimination, 1973

Fighting For Women's Lib In The Netherlands, 1970

Angela Davis Shortly Before Being Fired From UCLA, 1969

Women's Liberation Movement Demonstrating Against The Miss World Contest, London, 1970

Marching A Dummy With Women's Clothing Through Trafalgar Square, London, 1971

Protesting For Women's Lib In Switzerland, 1971

Gloria Steinem At The DNC, Miami, FL, 1972

Jane Fonda Protesting Vietnam And Nixon At The RNC, 1972


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Wed, 24 May 2017 09:26:51 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/photos-of-the-womens-rights-movement/rylee_en
<![CDATA[24 Grim Pictures From The Aftermath Of The Pearl Harbor Attack]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/pearl-harbor-photos/chwang?source=rss

Tragedy struck the young United States nation in the early morning of December 7, 1941. Japan's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, a naval base in Hawaii, was made as a preemptive strike to dissuade America from interfering with their empire expansion in Southeast Asia. The devastating attack resulted in over 2,000 deaths, destroyed 12 ships, and demolished 160 aircrafts in just under two hours. 

What would swiftly follow was a call to arms, with President Roosevelt declaring war on Japan. The US stepped onto the battlefield of WWII with a vengeance, holding onto the painful memory of Pearl Harbor while grimly marching forward. It led to some great American patriotism and also the worst civil rights violations faced by Japanese Americans, forced to relocate or face internment. Gathered below are photographs of the Pearl Harbor attack that thrust America into steely action, immortalized in the words, "a date which will live in infamy."


24 Grim Pictures From The Aftermath Of The Pearl Harbor Attack,

USS Shaw Explodes During Attack

Crew Forced To Abandon USS California

Ocean Burns From Oil

Improvised Machine Gun Pit At NAS Kaneohe In Response To Attack

A Burned B-17C Aircraft Rests At Hickam Field After Attack

A Dead Man In A Car Riddled With Shrapnel From A Bomb Dropped By A Japanese plane

USS West Virginia Burning In Pearl Harbor

The USS Oklahoma Floats Capsized Near The USS Maryland (Both Ships Ultimately Destroyed)

Mass Grave Of Pearl Harbor Dead

Damaged Warships In Pearl Harbor


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Wed, 24 May 2017 08:13:14 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/pearl-harbor-photos/chwang
<![CDATA[Old Photos Of People Riding The Tube]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/old-public-transportation-photos/sarah-hatheway?source=rss

Since 1863, the London Underground - more commonly known as the Tube - has shuttled millions of passengers all over the sprawling city. It began with one simply railway, and expanded over the decades to become one of the busiest metros in the world. But as these old photos of the London Tube prove, technology may have changed, but commutes remain the same.

Vintage photographs of the London Underground provide a fascinating window into the past. Through them, you'll see what the very first trains in the system looked like. You'll glimpse how the subterranean network doubled as a shelter during World War II, where citizens huddled to chat, listen to music, and wait out air raids from enemy forces. And you'll get a peek at some of the Tube's famous commuters - like the Queen herself.

These old snapshots of London's trains celebrate the rich history and enduring legacy of the seemingly humble realm of public transportation.


Old Photos Of People Riding The Tube,

Edgeware Road Station, 1863

Concert In The Aldwych Station, 1940

A Crowded Car, Late 20th Century

Smoking On The Piccadilly Line, 1976

Taking A Ticket, Early 20th Century

The Queen Takes The Tube, 1969

Reading Lady Chatterley's Lover, 1960

Hiding From Air Raids In Bounds Green, 1940

Control Room, Early 20th Century

Morning Reading, 1980s


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Wed, 24 May 2017 01:44:43 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/old-public-transportation-photos/sarah-hatheway
<![CDATA[21 Incredible Photos of Marilyn Monroe You've Never Seen Before]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/rare-marilyn-monroe-photos/sarah-hatheway?source=rss

Marilyn Monroe continues to allure audiences, decades after her untimely death. And as these rare photographs of Marilyn Monroe prove, her one-of-a-kind charm shines through even in still images.

Born Norma Jeane Mortenson, the woman who would become Marilyn had a difficult childhood in Los Angeles. In her late teens, she began modeling as a pin-up girl, and Hollywood came knocking. Monroe's sultry beauty and signature breathy voice made her the ideal starlet for the era. But despite her on-screen success, Monroe's private life was anything but glittering: she struggled with depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. She died at the age of 36 following a drug overdose.

Marilyn Monroe pictures give a glimpse into the life of this complicated, fascinating woman. Here, you'll see her posing with leading men (including Marlon Brando, Clark Gable, and Laurence Olivier). You'll discover behind-the-scenes snapshots of Marilyn Monroe on set, filming favorites like Some Like It Hot and The Misfits. And you'll see candid shots of her with some of her famous partners, including Joe DiMaggio. Her appeal is clear in every frame.


21 Incredible Photos of Marilyn Monroe You've Never Seen Before,

Sharing A Laugh With Ronald Reagan

Toasting Marlon Brando

A Candid Laugh

Sunbathing

Relaxing In Palm Springs

With Joe DiMaggio

Sharing A Secret With Laurence Olivier

A Quick Run-Through

A Thoughtful Moment

Filming Some Like It Hot


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Tue, 23 May 2017 09:49:32 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/rare-marilyn-monroe-photos/sarah-hatheway
<![CDATA[30 Haunting Photographs From The Second Sino-Japanese War]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/second-sino-japanese-war-photos/chwang?source=rss

Some historians argue that the Second Sino-Japanese War served as the catalyst for World War II. Beginning in 1937, the Nationalist Republic of China finally had enough of the territorial disputes with Japan. The Japanese expanded their empire and their borders, knowing they had military superiority over other countries in the region. China found itself losing too much and decided to make a stand, and Japan retaliated with a full-scale attack. Early in the war, Japan actually won two staggering victories, resulting in the capture of Shanghai and Nanking. However, the Japanese soon found themselves stretched thin over the large lands of China. By 1939, a stalemate arose.

Then, on December 7, 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and the United States declared war on them the very next day. The continued pressure of atomic bombings and the interference of US forces eventually led Japan to surrender in 1945, despite controlling a vast amount of Chinese lands. Compiled below are photos of the Second Sino-Japanese War. Though China ultimately won, it paid a hefty price in ideals, resources, and lives. Historians contribute the fall of the Chinese Nationalist party and the rise of communism to the horrific Second Sino-Japanese War. Viewing the Second-Sino Japanese War in pictures sheds new understanding on the largest conflict in Asia in the 20th century.


30 Haunting Photographs From The Second Sino-Japanese War,

Japanese Soldiers Take Position In An Ancient Chinese Traditional Building, 1938

Refugees Fleeing Chungking As It Is Bombed By Japanese Troops, Leaving 5,000 Dead, 1939

The Shanghai South Station Bombing Left Nearly All Dead, 1937

Young Man With Dead Child, 1937-45

Black Saturday Bombing Of A Chinese Amusement Park, 1937

Mother And Children Amid Debris Following Japanese Airstrike In Chungking, 1937-39

Japanese Soldiers Taunt A Pair Of Young Chinese Prisoners Before They Are Executed, 1938

Chinese Woman With Her Dying Husband, 1940

Canton Women's Defence Corps Training, 1938

Japanese Soldiers Feeding Young Chinese Child, 1938


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Tue, 23 May 2017 09:02:33 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/second-sino-japanese-war-photos/chwang
<![CDATA[Chain Gangs Were The South's Answer To Freeing The Slaves]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/brutal-chain-gang-facts/justin-andress?source=rss

For years following the end of the Civil War, men throughout the United States - and the South in particular - were forced to pay their debt to society chained to a string of fellow prisoners and breaking their backs in the hot sun. The brutal realities about chain gangs mark some of the most shameful chapters in the history of the American correctional movement. The day-to-day life of chain gangs in the Southern states was exceptionally unforgiving.

In 1912, the National Committee on Prison Labor decried chain gangs as "the last vestige of the slave system," claiming that hundreds and possibly thousands of prisoners had lost their lives as a result of abuse and malnutrition. Southern chain gang facts chronicle one of the darkest moments in the often sordid timeline of the United States.

What were chain gangs like for prisoners? How did chain gangs work? They were more than a means of passing the time for prisoners and their jailors - simply put, they were terrifying.


Chain Gangs Were The South's Answer To Freeing The Slaves,

They Were Touted As Humanitarian Achievements

In the toxic environment of the post-Civil War South, the mostly-white authorities thought that chain gangs could kill two birds with one stone. They would relieve overcrowding in the prisons, and would help restore the South’s infrastructure. Of course, the thought of putting a white prisoner in chains and having them work in the blistering sun was "an intolerable inversion of a divinely ordained social hierarchy."

As a result, the authorities put thousands of black men in chains and congratulated themselves for it. One convict labor advocate, Joseph Hyde Pratt, even said, "Life in the convict road camp... is more conducive to maintaining and building up the general health and manhood of the convict than when he is confined behind prison walls."


Southern Reconstruction Spawned The First Chain Gangs

The Southern states may have started the Civil War, but they also took the biggest beating. Most of the war was fought in the South in Virginia and Tennessee.

In the years following the Civil War, the South was in ruins. Most of the jails were completely destroyed. Those that weren’t were stuffed to the gills. The post-war chaos was a breeding ground for criminals, and the draconian laws of the Southern states had a way of ensnaring newly freed black men. It was here that the first chain gangs were implemented.


Some States Would Compound Prisoners’ Sentences With Extra Fees

Julius Hoy was convicted as a thief in Mississippi. He was fined for his crime and sentenced to work at the Covington County chain gang to fulfill his time.

"He is being charged 60 cents per day for board," a local attorney noted, "and at present the fine and accumulated board amounts to approximately $89.20, and it will never be possible for him to serve out his time."


The Attire Was Intended To Be Humiliating

In several states, chain gangs were given instantly recognizable black-and-white-striped uniforms. Combined with the uncomfortable chains that bounds them together, this apparel was a constant source of embarrassment.

Quaker humanitarian groups were horrified by the prisoners' response to the clothes. Some said they would rather die than continue working in the chain gang.


Sleeping Conditions Were Inhumane

Often, prisoners on the chain gang weren’t afforded the luxury of a decent night’s sleep. They weren’t even allowed to sleep unchained, on the ground. In several camps, prisoners who were working on site for an extended period of time were corralled into caged wagons for the night.

These wagons measured eight feet by 18 feet, and sometimes housed as many as 18 prisoners. The men were given a small stove to heat themselves, a container of water to share, and a "night bucket" to answer the call of nature.


Working Conditions Were Brutal

Around the turn of the century, the average temperature in the Southern states in the summer was about 80 degrees. Most chain gang prisoners were forced to work in the heat without cover and with few breaks.

What's worse, guards were equipped with shotguns and whips. The latter could be used freely if a prisoner wasn’t keeping pace.


Prisoners Broke Rocks And Dug Ditches

The work that prisoners on chain gangs were expected to complete was the worst kind of back-breaking labor. They were mostly sent in to "pound rocks and shovel dirt."

Their job was to clear terrain. Through slow dredge work, shackled to other men, the prisoners worked for weeks at a time before being packed into wagons and transported to a different part of the state.


African Americans Made Up The Vast Majority Of Chain Gangs

African Americans were overwhelmingly sent to work in chain gangs, while white prisoners were sent to serve their terms in jail. One report from 1918 attempted to explain the reasoning behind this decision:

"The absence of white men from the gang has further raised the score there being now no question of separation of the races either at work or in camp. The foreman stated to us that the authorities have decided to work no more whites on the chain gang but to send them to the Penitentiary or allow them to serve their sentences in jail. This is a wise decision."


The Chains Imperiled Every Prisoner On The Crew

Because they were constantly chained together, the men on the chain gang relied on each other to stay safe. One small misstep, for instance, could cause every man to fall. Prisoners were also chained too close together to get out of the way if one man was the target of a beating. As a result, several men might end up injured.


The Men Were Never Unshackled

The first state to implement the chain gang was Georgia; the authorities began putting prisoners to work in the 1890s. In order to prevent escape, five men were chained together at the ankles. That way, even a combined escape effort would be too awkward to be successful. As a result, the cost of guarding prisoners was much cheaper in a chain gang.

Unfortunately, that precaution meant that the chains stayed on the prisoners all day and all night. Whether they were eating, working, or sleeping, the men were chained together. That constant contact led to ulcers, abrasions, and infections on their ankles and feet.



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Fri, 07 Apr 2017 04:37:00 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/brutal-chain-gang-facts/justin-andress
<![CDATA[10 Murder Plots That Would Have Radically Changed History (If They Succeeded)]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/thwarted-takeover-plots-from-history/peterdugre?source=rss

Powerful leaders walk around everyday with bull's-eyes on their backs. And the world would likely be a much different place had many of the failed takeover plots and assassination attempts on the world's most controversial leaders worked - forever altering the course of history. However, nobody can say what would have happened if Hitler hadn't escaped the explosions intended to take his life and the attempted takeovers aimed at ending his reign, or if any of the over 600 assassination attempts on Fidel Castro would have succeeded and completed shifted Cuba's future. Nearly all of the world's leaders have endured threats and attempts on their lives, and below are just a few examples of the times some of them got away.


10 Murder Plots That Would Have Radically Changed History (If They Succeeded),

Adolf Hitler

Surely, either you or someone you know has said: "If I could go back in time, I'd kill Hitler." However, it turns out he wasn't an easy man to assassinate. There are over 20 documented plots to take down the Fuhrer between 1934 and 1944, but two in particular stand out because he escaped by pure luck. 

Most famously, he survived a plot on July 20th known as Operation Valkyrie, in which Claus von Stauffenberg and other conspirators planted a bomb near a conference room table at Hitler's hideout, the Wolf’s Lair in East Prussia. It went off, but had been coincidentally repositioned behind a table leg that happened to be sturdy enough to shield Hitler from its full impact. The bomb injured six, four of whom eventually died, and singed Hitler’s pants. The sophisticated conspirators had begun their attempts to kill Hitler in 1943 when Nazi war efforts were deteriorating, and they felt Germany needed to pivot toward a post-Hitler, post-war footing.

The other infamous attempt involved Johann Georg Elser, a German worker and feverish opponent of Nazism, who prepared a bomb in 1939 and carried out intricate, obsessive plans to assassinate Hitler. He hollowed out a hole in a pillar near a podium where Hitler was to give a speech on the anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch and timed the explosion for what he thought would be a midway point in the oratory. Alas, the blast happened 13 minutes too late, but had Hitler still been delivering the speech, the ceiling would have collapsed on him. Seven died from the explosion.


Continental Army

A mutiny over wages could have made the Revolutionary War very difficult to win for the colonies. In Newburgh, NY, in March 1783, the fatigued Continental Army nearly turned on General George Washington because they hadn’t been properly paid. However, the Newburgh Conspiracy was quickly nipped in the bud by the crafty Washington.

The gripes of the troops eventually climbed to higher-ranking officers who circulated an anonymous letter urging a mutiny by the underpaid soldiers. The missive, written under the nom de plume Brutus, suggested that soldiers abandon the war effort and storm government coffers to take the money that was rightfully theirs. Having caught word of the growing conspiracy, Washington confronted the dissenting officers by surprise at a secret meeting, persuading them to fight on in an impassioned speech.


Elizabeth I of England

Queen Elizabeth I of England caught a lot of Catholic-flak for her Protestantism. On several occasions, those wishing to see Catholicism restored to England sought to install Elizabeth's cousin, Mary Queen of Scots, to the throne and kill Elizabeth to clear the way. However, Elizabeth's agents of espionage always remained a step ahead of the competition. 

In another thwarted attempt, the Throckmorton Plot of 1583, was discovered by Elizabeth's secretary of state, Francis Walsingham. His surveillance led to the discovery of correspondences describing the takeover plan leading all the way back to Mary. Throckmorton was tortured and killed, and Mary was locked up. The Spanish, also motivated to bring Catholicism back to England, were tied to the plot and all ambassadors were banished.

Then conspirators were at it again in 1586 - this time headed by conspirator Anthony Babington, who gave his name to the failed Babington Plot. The uncovering of a second plot against Elizabeth resulted in the execution of Mary, who had previosuly been imprisoned. Elisabeth's top spy, Walsingham, sent in a double agent to carry messages to and from Mary, thus entrapping her and implicating her in the ongoing threats against the queen.


Fidel Castro

Former Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro once said, "If surviving assassination attempts were an Olympic event, I would win the gold medal." Although the CIA has long denied ordering any attempts at assassinating foreign leaders, a Senate investigation in 1975 substantiated that the CIA failed to kill Castro at least eight times between 1960 and 1965. Apparently, the US couldn't manage to take down the Cuban leader who was sitting just 90 miles off shore, ready and willing to do the bidding of the USSR at the height of the Cold War. 

Agents targeted Castro in his element, attempting to poison his cigars and contaminate the avid scuba diver's wet suit with a deadly fungus. The CIA even reportedly attempted to rig a colorful underwater conch shell with explosives hoping to lure a curious Castro to fiddle with it on a dive and be blown to smithereens. Castro's former protector, Favian Escalante, claimed that the grand total of known assassination attempts on Castro was 638.


Franklin D. Roosevelt

Before Franklin Delano Roosevelt was inaugurated in 1933, a group of powerful industrialists - armed with the dangerous idea that their coming president was not in fact the answer for their ailing country - began a plot to overthrow the president-elect. The group (allegedly including JP Morgan) stashed away millions of dollars and weapons while ruminating on how a fascist regime should seize control of the US government. They believed that absolute power was the only way to lift the nation out of the Great Depression.

The paranoid clique of power brokers attempted to enlist a popular Marine Corps General, Smedley Butler, to recruit an army loyal enough to him to execute the coup d'état. Instead, Butler reported the indecent proposal to Congress and an investigation ensued. Nobody was prosecuted as a result of the investigation, but several accounts including that of William Dodds, US Ambassador to Germany, indicated that well-heeled industrialists were colluding with Germans to overthrow the US Democracy and install a fascist dictatorship. Of course, FDR was re-elected and the rest is history.


Gunpowder Plot

Many Britons still celebrate Guy Fawkes’ Day on November 5, the anniversary of the failed 1605 Gunpowder Plot, when King James I and all of Parliament almost suffered the blast of dozens of barrels of gunpowder planted beneath the House of Lords.

A group of Catholics led by Robert Catesby had planned the insurrection for a year with the intent of overthrowing King James I, an anti-Papist. The conspirators rented a cellar at the House of Lords and rolled in over 30 barrels of gunpowder. When Parliament was called to order on November 5, the plan was to blow King James I and the entire government to bits.  

One conspirator got cold feet on November 4 and urged the politician Lord Monteagle to steer clear of the House of Lords on November 5. Monteagle reported the mysterious message to police, and on the eve of the plot, a search turned up Guy Fawkes, who had been charged with detonating the rudimentary explosives. Fawkes confessed under torture in the Tower of London and all implicated were killed - some after a trial and some before.


Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte didn't begin executing his ambitious takeover of Europe until 1803 - three years after the plot of the rue Saint-Nicaise. At the time of the 1800 plot, Napoleon, as First Consul of France, was on a speedy trajectory toward gaining absolute control of the French government, but his dissenters aimed to stop him in his tracks.

The conspirators plotted to park an explosive-filled barrel, AKA Machine Infernale, that would detonate and spray shrapnel at the motorcade of carriages escorting Napoleon to the opera on Christmas Eve. A plotter who was to signal his collaborator when to light the fuse panicked, so the plan unraveled. The bomb went off too late, killing many including an innocent 14-year-old girl who had been paid to keep an eye on the carriage holding the Machine Infernale - she thought it was a barrel of grain.


Pope Sixtus IV

For 300 years the Medici family ruled Florence, Italy. Part of their platform was their opposition to papal rule - a slap in the face that didn't sit well with Pope Sixtus IV, who ended up being behind the Pazzi Conspiracy in 1478. The pope allied himself with members of the Pazzi family, rivals to the Medicis, and together they conspired to assassinate brothers Lorenzo and Giuliano de' Medici and take over the city government. In a brazenly sacrilegious ambush, four men - including two priests - attacked the brothers at Sunday mass. Giuliano died from 20 stab wounds, but Lorenzo got away with just a grazing of his shoulder. The Medici family fought back along with their supporters, who slaughtered more than 200 alleged Pazzi conspirators. The Pazzi family was then banned from Florence and stripped of its wealth.


Vladimir Lenin

Russian revolutionary Fanya Kaplan confronted Vladimir Lenin following his speech at the Hammer & Sickle factory in Moscow on August 30, 1918, and fired three rounds from a pistol at the Russian leader. One entered through his neck and remained lodged near his collarbone and another made it into his shoulder - but the bullets did not kill Lenin. For fear others would attempt to take his life, Lenin refused hospital care and was hurried away to his apartment where doctors treated him, but could not remove the bullets.

Kaplan, who had spent years in a Siberian prison camp and was nearly blind, would not implicate any others in her plot. She said she had acted alone and had wanted to kill Lenin for a long time because he was an enemy of the revolution. She was linked to the Socialist Revolutionaries who had been excluded by Lenin's Bolshevik party.

Only hours after the nearly successful attempt on Lenin's life, the period of Red Terror began and all perceived enemies of the state were brutally wiped out. However, the bullets might have eventually done their job - their impact on Lenin's health were attributed to the numerous strokes he suffered and to his ultimate demise in 1924 at the age of 53.


Yalta Conference

The Nazi war effort had begun to crack by 1943, so desperate times called for desperate measures. Enter Operation Long Jump: an alleged German plan to kill allied leaders Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt at the Tehran Conference in Iran. Russian agents have been credited with thwarting the German assassins before they could execute their brazen plan, and the Russian media loved to trumpet the heroic triumph of successfully saving Stalin and his frenemies. British and American intelligence considered the Russian report to be baloney, maintaining that it never actually happened.



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Thu, 27 Oct 2016 04:33:01 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/thwarted-takeover-plots-from-history/peterdugre
<![CDATA[U.S. First Ladies That Are Probably Smarter Than Their Husbands]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/smartest-first-ladies/mel-judson?source=rss

When they say behind every great man lies a great woman, it comes as no stretch to assume the smartest First Ladies of the United States outranked their husbands in terms of intelligence. Though they may not lead the country, the First Lady involves herself in politics, human welfare, and numerous other roles that require her intelligence as much as her poise. As the other half of the president, it stands to reason she too influences his decisions. With that in mind, which First Lady was the smartest? 

As First Lady of the United States, the President's wife constantly finds herself under public scrutiny. Although no official roles exist for First Ladies, many of the smartest First Ladies stepped up to take on all sorts of responsibilities including helping with political campaigns, managing the White House, and leading social causes. Some notable First Ladies include Hillary Clinton, Eleanor Roosevelt, Laura Bush, Michelle Obama, and Jacqueline Kennedy. Some First Ladies even launched their own political careers, lending more credence to the idea that the smart wives of presidents may not outrank them in security clearance, but they definitely do in brains.


U.S. First Ladies That Are Probably Smarter Than Their Husbands,

Abigail Adams

Barbara Bush

Dolley Madison

Eleanor Roosevelt

Hillary Clinton

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Laura Bush

Melania Trump

Michelle Obama

Nancy Reagan


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Fri, 19 May 2017 05:51:24 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/smartest-first-ladies/mel-judson
<![CDATA[17 Rare Photos of 20th Century Military Experiments]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/20th-century-weapons-test-photos/chwang?source=rss

Weapons and defense systems, for better or worse, play an important and pivotal role in government and diplomacy, and as such must be tested to determine their usefulness or lack thereof. When countries find themselves threatened, they pour resources into military advancements and arsenals, some of which are never used. From there, all guns, planes, and even bomb shelters must be tested before being used, and one photographer, Hulton Deutsch, captured these crazy weapons and defense tests pictures for the world to see.

Compiled here are photographs of scientists and engineers from the 20th century testing their creations for power and durability. The 1900s saw multiple, devastating wars like World War II that led to the insanely fast development of technology. Both chilling and fascinating, Deutsch's insane weapon and defense photos below provide a window into the fascinating and foreboding process of combat developments in the West during the 20th century. 


17 Rare Photos of 20th Century Military Experiments,

US Airmen Inspect Bullet-Proof Glass, 1940

British Army Troops Test Their Flame-Throwers, 1941

Men Test Armor Plate Glass, 1942

Testing The Efficiency Of Air Raid Shelters, 1939

A Lustraphone Bugging Device, 1965

155 MM Howitzer Fires At Night, 1952

US Army Engineers Test A Barricade To Stop Lightweight Tanks, 1942

Scientist Testing Solar Cell In Van De Graaf Accelerator, 1960

Mushroom Cloud From Ivy Mike During A Nuclear Test Of Operation Ivy, Which Completely Destroyed Elugelab Island, 1952

British Anti-Aircraft Balloons In Their First Test Launch To Act As A Barrier Against Attacking Aircraft, 1938


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Mon, 22 May 2017 08:40:04 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/20th-century-weapons-test-photos/chwang
<![CDATA[6 US Presidents Who Have Ties To The Supernatural]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/us-presidents-and-the-supernatural/christine-aprile?source=rss

In addition to wielding a tremendous amount of power and influence, there are a handful of US presidents who believed in the supernatural or had experiences with the occult, welcoming the unknown into the White House. Whether they hoped to contact the spirits of deceased love ones or experienced top-secret psychic phenomenon, some presidents may have had contact with the spirit world. And it's not just presidents from the early years of the US, either - even 21st-century President Bill Clinton made the list. Keep reading to discover the mysterious side of several US presidencies.


6 US Presidents Who Have Ties To The Supernatural,

Abraham Lincoln

The Civil War killed an estimated 620,000 American men, creating an understandable national obsession with supernatural contact. During the wartime presidency of Abraham Lincoln, the White House held quite a few séances organized by his wife Mary Todd. While Abraham was skeptical about these gatherings, he indulged his wife’s interest as she grieved the death of their 11-year-old son.

In a strange twist of fate, one of the mediums who held a séance at the White House did attempt to warn the president of his coming assassination. Charles Cholchester was a popular spiritualist in Washington, and had struck up a friendship with the well-known actor John Wilkes Booth during his stay at the National Hotel. It is believed that Colchester attempted to warn the president of Booth’s plan, but after being exposed at as a charlatan at one of his White House séances, his warning was ignored.


Bill Clinton

As we all know, many rumors swirled during Bill Clinton’s presidential terms. In his book The Choice: How Bill Clinton Won, Bob Woodward included a cryptic passage describing a supposed White House séance where Hillary Clinton attempted to communicate with the ghost of former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

It appears that these conversations with the other side were blown out of proportion by Woodward, and further exaggerated by the media. The event in question involved to a series of creative brainstorming sessions for Hillary’s book It Takes a Village using a technique developed by Dr. Jean Houston. Whether Bill Clinton himself had any interest in these activities is unknown, although he did issue a public statement maintaining that these were only imaginative exercises and not actual attempts to contact the dead.

Interestingly, both Bill and Hillary Clinton have past associations with the Rockefeller Initiative, which was a mid-'90s push by billionaire Laurance S. Rockefeller to get the government to release any and all information it had about UFOs and the 1947 Roswell incident. Ufologists have long believed Bill and Hillary to be sympathetic to their cause, though they've been hesitant to speak about the subject publicly.


Franklin D. Roosevelt

Considered one of America's greatest presidents, Franklin D. Roosevelt led the country through the Great Depression and World War II, creating legislation and public projects that still define the country today. With so many contributions to US history, many overlook one subtle mark left by FDR: the inclusion of the all-seeing eye onto the dollar bill.

FDR was a Freemason, a fraternal order whose membership includes many former US presidents. Freemasonry has become a source of speculation for many conspiracy theorists, due to the its use of occult symbolism and penchant for secrecy. In 1935, Roosevelt added the image of the pyramid and all-seeing eye to the dollar, with the Latin phrase “novus ordo seclorum,” or “new order.” It's unlikely Roosevelt had any notion of the occult implications of the all-seeing eye, or the controversy his decision would incite in the future. But with all the secrecy surrounding the Freemasons at the time, one does have to wonder about Roosevelt's spiritual beliefs.


Franklin Pierce

The Victorian era was a golden age of the séance in the US, and many prominent figures of the time engaged in the Spiritualist movement, hoping to reconnect with deceased loved ones through mediums, spirit communication, and other somewhat questionable practices. When tragedy struck Franklin Pierce, the 14th president of the United States, shortly after his inauguration in 1853, his wife Jane turned to help from the other side to cope with the loss.

Pierce and his family were involved in a train accident that claimed the life of their only remaining son, sending his already morose wife into a tailspin of grief. In her desperation, she contacted the famous spiritualists the Fox Sisters, who conducted a séance at the White House, but it was only a temporary comfort for the mourning first lady. Pierce did all he could to help his wife overcome the loss, but to no avail. The president turned to alcohol to numb his pain, neglecting his duties as Commander-in-Chief and, after he left office, watching helplessly as his country descended into the Civil War.


Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter ran on a platform of transparency during his presidential campaign, publicly acknowledging his own UFO sighting that occurred in 1969. This promise was easier said than done and, throughout his term, he remained quiet on the issue due to “defense implications.” Carter did, however, seek a greater awareness of defense operations, and was briefed about Stargate, a secret CIA project that aimed to use psychic abilities to gather foreign intelligence.

During the height of the Cold War, the US intelligence community became interested in rumors of a Russian psychic spy agency and, with help from the Stanford Research Institute, decided to perform their own research and experiments on ESP. Many years after his presidency, Carter disclosed an instance when this psychic “remote viewing” was used to locate a downed plane in Africa. The woman involved in the experiment delivered the exact coordinates of the plane, astounding Carter and challenging his empirical reasoning.


Ronald Reagan

While it’s well-known that Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy frequently consulted the astrologist Joan Quigley during his two terms as president, Reagan’s interest in the occult did not stop there. The 40th president was influenced by the writings of Manly P. Hall, a writer, lecturer and mystic best known for his 1928 work The Secret Teachings of All Ages.

Hall was an early icon of the burgeoning metaphysical movement in the 1920s, and it appears that a certain young Hollywood-actor-turned-politician was a fan. Several of Reagan’s essays and speeches appear to reference Hall’s 1944 book The Secret Destiny of America, which describes the mystical significance of the American pursuit of religious freedom and self-governance.

Reagan’s idealistic vision for the country blended perfectly with Manly’s story of divine intervention, and despite his low approval ratings at the time, Reagan’s power of positivity has helped him remain one of the 20th century's most influential presidents.



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Fri, 05 May 2017 10:46:27 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/us-presidents-and-the-supernatural/christine-aprile
<![CDATA[16 Fascinating Historical Artifacts Stored In The Library of Congress]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/weird-old-library-of-congress-objects/karen-lindell?source=rss

The Library of Congress (LOC) is a bastion of historical holdings, with some really old objects you’d expect to find, like Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural Bible, a rough draft of the Declaration of Independence, and Walt Whitman’s notebooks. However, there's also no dearth of weird artifacts in the Library of Congress. In fact, the world’s largest library, founded in 1800, contains plenty of antiquated items that are perhaps less than venerable but still fascinating. Along with books, the library’s 164 million items include old films, sheet music, maps, comics, advertisements, recordings, recipes, posters, photographs, newspapers... and hair.

Yes, the LOC has locks of hair in its collections, from the revered heads of Thomas Jefferson and Walt Whitman, among other famous figures. Many of these weird old objects in the Library of Congress (including the hair cuttings) are available for viewing in digital format, although most are not digitized – understandably – because the Library adds about 12,000 items each day. So, what's the strangest thing in the Library of Congress? It's too hard to choose, but here are some of the lesser-known and downright weirdest artifacts in the Library of Congress.


16 Fascinating Historical Artifacts Stored In The Library of Congress,

Fred Ott's Sneeze

“Ah-CHOO.” Sneeze and you’ll miss this five-second movie, the first motion picture to be copyrighted in the United States. Fred Ott's Sneeze is a black-and-white, silent kinetoscopic film shot in 1894 by William Kennedy-Laurie Dickson, one of Thomas Edison’s assistants. In the film, Fred Ott, an Edison employee known for his comic antics, takes a pinch of snuff and sneezes. According to the Library of Congress, it was filmed "for publicity purposes as a series of still photographs to accompany an article in Harper’s weekly.”


Bizarre Health Product Labels

Weight watchers in the U.S. at the turn of the century were more worried about being too thin (unhealthy) than being too fat (a sign of vim and vigor). This color lithograph from the Library of Congress, published circa 1895, is an advertising label for fat-producing products called Loring's Fat-Ten-U food tablets and Loring's Corpula food. A drugstore ad for the products, complete with skinny before and corpulent after drawings, said they were “guaranteed to make the thin plump and rosy with honest fleshiness of form."  


Amelia Earhart's Palm Print

Palmistry is the practice of studying someone’s hands as a way to interpret the person’s personality. Palmist Nellie Simmons Meier examined the hand prints of famed aviator Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, in 1933 – four years before Earhart mysteriously disappeared during a flight over the Pacific Ocean. In Meier's book Lions’ Paws: The Story of Famous Hands (the book’s original prints and character analyses were donated to the Library of Congress), she wrote the following about Earheart:

“The length of the palm indicates the love of physical activity, but the restraining influence shown by the length of the fingers, indicative of carefulness in detail, enables her to make careful preparation toward accomplishing a definite goal.”


Locks Of Famous People's Hair

"Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen... hair." Well, not so much anymore. These locks have lost their luster, but the Library of Congress does have samples of hair from famous people, including Thomas Jefferson, Walt Whitman and James Madison. Jefferson's family took the cuttings from his deathbed. Whitman's housekeeper chopped off a few strands of his hair. Madison's clippings are tidily braided inside a velvet-lined gold case.


A Monopoly Board Game Precursor

Before Parker Brothers started selling the popular game Monopoly in 1935, the company dabbled in economics and business via a board game called “The Office Boy,” released in 1889. According to the Museum of Play, the game was produced during the days of Horatio Alger’s stories about young men achieving the American Dream. Players work their way up in the company from stock boy to traveling salesman to junior partner to head of the firm. “Carelessness” and “temperance” set players back; “integrity” and “promptness” put them on the path to promotion. The Office Girls didn't even get to pass Go.  


America's Birth Certificate

The “birth certificate” is actually a world map described as the first document printed with the name “America.” Created by cartographer Martin Waldseemüller in 1507 CE and acquired by the Library of Congress in 2003, the world map has a mouthful of a Latin name: “Universalis cosmographia secundum Ptholomaei traditionem et Americi Vespucii aliorū que lustratione,” which translates to “A drawing of the whole earth following the tradition of Ptolemy and the travels of Amerigo Vespucci and others.” To Americans today, the map probably looks fairly accurate, but to long-ago Europeans, “America” was a big chunk of unknown continent. The document is also the first map to show a separate Western Hemisphere and Pacific Ocean.


The First Road Map/Guide Book Of The U.S.

Before geography jumped into our phones and GPS systems, travelers relied on printed maps. Someone, of course, had to map out the maps. Christopher Colles was one such person. The engineer-surveyor-cartographer created what is considered the first road map of the U.S., A Survey of the Roads of the United States of America, published in 1789 (the year George Washington became president). Each page contains maps that cover a somewhat short distance, making navigation easier and more detailed than perusing a larger map.


Movie Etiquette Slides

Modern-day movie theater annoyances that necessitate pre-film and on-screen warnings generally refer to turning off cell phones. In the early days of cinema, the big offenders were less technical but equally obtrusive: ladies’ hats. The Library of Congress has a collection of slides from old movie theaters in the early 1900s with “movie etiquette” suggestions like “Applaud with hands only” and “If annoyed when here please tell the management.” Or, for women with towering headgear, “Madam how would you like to sit behind the hat you’re wearing.”


The Contents Of Abe Lincoln's Pockets When He Died

Abraham Lincoln was honest, honorable, and one of our most esteemed presidents, but he was also an ordinary guy. When Lincoln was assassinated in Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., on April 14, 1865, his pockets were full of everyday items: two pairs of glasses, a six-blade pocketknife, a quartz-and-gold watch fob, a linen handkerchief with “A. Lincoln” stitched in red, newspaper clippings, and a leather wallet – with, of all things, a $5 Confederate note inside. These artifacts, given to Lincoln’s family after his death, first went on display at the Library of Congress in 1976 to "humanize" the former president. 


'Red Hot Democratic Campaign Songs For 1888'

Today, politicians get in trouble for using popular songs during their campaigns that haven’t been approved for that purpose by the artist. Solution: self-penned campaign ditties, like “The Other Candidate," part of a book of sheet music called Red Hot Democratic Campaign Songs for 1888 at the Library of Congress. The song (for “male voices”) starts out “You may cheer for the grand old party, / As you cheered in the years before, / But her prestige has all departed, / And shorn are her pride and power.” Oh, and the word “eighteen eighty-eight” is in the song, too; it rhymes with “candidate.”



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Fri, 12 May 2017 03:51:27 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/weird-old-library-of-congress-objects/karen-lindell
<![CDATA[The Insane Story of The Slave Who Literally Mailed Himself To Freedom]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/henry-box-brown-facts/amandasedlakhevener?source=rss

The life of Henry "Box" Brown is so notable because he was an Antebellum-Era Virginia plantation slave who managed to mailed himself to freedom in a wooden box. The big question here is: how did he do it? Easy! He had the help of abolitionists on both ends of his journey. However, his story does not end there. What did Henry "Box" Brown do once he reached freedom? He spoke out against the institution of slavery, worked as a magician, and lived a very interesting life. Among other Henry "Box" Brown facts are his marriage to a white Englishwoman as well as the fact that Frederick Douglass didn't like him. 

Henry "Box" Brown was born around 1816 in Virginia, and lived in several other countries until his death in Canada in 1897.


The Insane Story of The Slave Who Literally Mailed Himself To Freedom,

The Day That He Escaped, He Badly Burned His Hands - On Purpose

Before Henry "Box" Brown could begin his escape, he first had to come up with a legitimate plan to get out of the fields that day. Only very extreme injuries could keep a slave from working - things like sprained ankles and pulled muscles weren't enough of an excuse. So, Brown pulled out some sulfuric acid, also known as oil of vitriol, and burned his hands very badly, practically to the bone. This was enough to get out of that day's work. However, he still had to travel in his box to freedom with his hands hurting due to the burns, as there was no way that he could receive any first aid while in transit.


He Had A Wife And Three Children Who Were Sold On The Slave Market

At some point prior to 1848, Henry "Box" Brown married a fellow slave - a woman named Nancy who was owned by another slave holder. He had to obtain permission from both his owner and hers in order for the marriage to be officiated. Although slaves didn't legally marry like free people did during the time (there were no government forms or marriage licenses involved in their unions) a ceremony still took place. Brown and Nancy went on to have several children, all of whom were considered the property of Nancy's owners. She was also sold more than once during their marriage. One of her owners, Samuel Cottrell, took money from Brown in exchange for promising not to sell her and the children again. Of course, he went back on his word and sold them in August, 1848. Brown never saw them again, and historians have not located them in any existing plantation records. 

Brown was criticized later in his life for not doing more to find his wife and children. People believed that since he made money on the lecture circuit and, later, for his stage performances, surely he could have found them and purchased them their freedom. 


After Making It To Freedom, He Became A Speaker For The Anti-Slavery Society

Henry "Box" Brown spent less than a year speaking out against the horrors of slavery at conventions and gatherings organized by the Anti-Slavery Society. The group was founded by Arthur Tappan and William Lloyd Garrison, and its membership consisted of Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, Robert Purvis, and other famous abolitionist supporters. One of their most famous speakers was Frederick Douglass. Brown was among the elite when he spoke at their conferences.

Together with James C.A. Smith (the free black man who helped him escape) Brown put together a panorama of slave scenes. At the time, panoramas consisted of multiple pictures that were printed on large pieces of canvas. The panorama would spin, allowing people to see all of the images without having to move. Smith and Brown started calling their show the "Mirror of Slavery."


The Box Was Shipped To And Received By The Philadelphia Vigilance Committee

On March 24, 1849, the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee - a group of abolitionists - received the crate that Henry "Box" Brown had hidden himself in. His journey was treacherous, as no one knew that the box contained human cargo. He even spent some of the trip upside down, which increased the pressure in his eyes. Thankfully, the committee was expecting human cargo, and opened the box immediately. Brown popped out of the box, and quickly passed out. All that he had had to eat and drink for the past 27 hours was a few crackers and a small amount of water. Once he was conscious again, he burst into song, reciting his own version of a psalm from the Bible - he was free. 


He Mailed Himself In A Handmade Wooden Crate That Was Three Feet Long By Two Feet Wide

After his wife and children essentially vanished (they were sold to a plantation outside of Richmond, Virginia), Henry "Box" Brown came up with a plan to escape. He hired a local abolitionist and storekeeper, Samuel Smith, as well as a free black man named James C.A. Smith, to help him with his scheme. James C.A. Smith built Brown a wooden box that was three-feet long, two-feet wide, and around two-and-a-half-feet deep. It was just large enough to hold a man, albeit one in a very uncomfortable, knees-bent position. Samuel Smith mailed the crate - using his storefront as a cover - to Philadelphia. 


He Received His Nickname At An Antislavery Convention

After Henry "Box" Brown arrived in Philadelphia, he received a lot of attention. Accounts of his journey to freedom were published in the newspaper and Brown was asked to speak at several antislavery conventions, and he received his nickname, "Box," at one of them. Prior to this, he was simply Henry Brown. The nickname fit, and differentiated him from the other freed slaves. 


He Was Born Into Slavery In Virginia

Henry "Box" Brown was born in the state of Virginia in either 1815 or 1816. (Although records were kept of plantation slaves - which Brown was - they weren't always accurate when it came to recording births). In 1808, the United States banned all slave imports, meaning that any new slave workers had to be those who were born on American soil. It sounds ridiculous now, but at the time, many southern states encouraged slave "breeding" programs, treating them like cattle. Plus, Virginia was one of the harshest slave states, full of labor-intensive tobacco growing plantations. Slaves in this state were also not permitted to learn how to read and write. 


He Fled To England With His Antislavery Panorama

Henry "Box" Brown became spooked when the U.S. government passed the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850. According to the law, any person deemed a fugitive slave could be captured in free states by slave catchers, who could then return the slave to his or her master. Since Brown wasn't a legal, free citizen - he was, in fact, a fugitive slave - he quickly moved to England, where no slave catcher could find him. He took the "Mirror of Slavery" with him, and had an unfortunate falling out with James C.A. Smith over money. 


He Had A Grand Idea For Ending Slavery

In the 1851 narrative of his life, Henry "Box" Brown outlined his plan for "curing" America of slavery. He wanted slaves to be given the right to vote, for a new President of the United States to be elected (at the time, the unremarkable Millard Fillmore was president), and for the northern states to come down hard on what he called the "spoiled" southern states. He believed that by being allowed to vote - and ostensibly run for office - enslaved blacks would end slavery.


Frederick Douglass Wasn't Thrilled That He Shared The Details Of His Escape

Frederick Douglass criticized Henry "Box" Brown several times for publicizing the way in which he escaped slavery. Douglass believed that other slaves could have used the same method of mailing themselves had the details been kept quiet. In fact, several slaves attempted to have the same duo - Samuel Smith and James C.A. Smith - build and ship them in crates as well, but their plans were thwarted by suspicious people who had heard of Brown's story. 



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Fri, 21 Apr 2017 09:17:16 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/henry-box-brown-facts/amandasedlakhevener
<![CDATA[The Craziest Mexican Murals and the Revolutionary History Behind Them]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/crazy-mexican-murals/jessica-holom?source=rss

The 1920s spurred a new art movement south of the US border: Mexican muralism. Catalyzed largely by the Mexican Revolution, the new government hoped to reunify the nation through promoting political and social messages via artworks. The movement was led by three artists, known as “the big three” – Diego Rivera (husband of famed painter Frida Kahlo), David Alfaro Siqueiros, and José Clemente Orozco.

The Mexican Muralism Movement lasted more than 50 years, from the 1920s to the '70s. During this time, many artworks were commissioned by the Mexican government, and a large number of public buildings were plastered with social, political, and nationalistic allegories in the form of aesthetically powerful and vibrant murals. Most of the murals highlighted Mexico's impressive history and the destruction of morality through war, imperialism, dictatorships, and industrialization.

Orozco described muralism as "the highest, the most logical, the purest (form of art), because it is for the people. It's for everyone." It inspired regional evolution of art in the Americas, serving as the cornerstone for the Chicano Art Movement in the US.


The Craziest Mexican Murals and the Revolutionary History Behind Them,

Man at the Crossroads

Diego Rivera's Man at the Crossroads was commissioned by the Rockefellers in 1934 and appeared momentarily in Rockefeller Center in New York City. The mural was hugely controversial at the time, because it was created during the surge of global communism and showcased a Soviet May Day parade with Lenin at center stage. In fact, the mural brought such bad publicity that Rockefeller ordered it destroyed, in spite of artist protests. Black-and-white photographs of the original mural exist, which Rivera used to reconstruct the fresco in Mexico City, calling it Man, Controller of the Universe. The mural, as stands today, depicts contemporary aspects of culture at the time, both social and scientific.


Tenochtitlán (1945)

Founded in 1345 CE, Tenochtitlán was an Aztec city in the middle of Lake Texcoco, where tributes and sacrifices were brought to offer up to the gods. It served as inspiration for Diego Rivera's 1945 mural of the same name in the Palacio Nacional de Mexico, which has been described as "an encyclopedic presentation" of the Aztec marketplace. The mural is complete with the services and products offered at market, as well as the personages of the time. Though the market is said to symbolize imperialism, the mural doesn't focus on it, but rather, it emphasizes the impressive evolution of this ancient city.


The Polyforum Cultural Siqueiros (1960s)

This epic creation by David Alfaro Siqueiros was designed in the 1960s on a decagon-shaped building, now known as the Polyforum Cultural Siqueiros. The facility in Mexico City is dedicated to cultural, social, and political discovery and houses galleries, a theater, and the biggest mural in the world, The March of Humanity on Earth and Toward the Cosmos: Misery and Science. The mural's theme is the eternal struggle for a better society throughout human history. The artist describes the work as:

“Naked people close to the soil, a woman with a child on her lap, and smaller children raising their arms begging for bread. They are hungry, the oldest, doubled over under a bundle of firewood, walks off in search of a livelihood; groups of women running pell-mell knock each other to get a crumb of bread thrown away by others---an unending struggle to solve the basic problem of existence.” 


Eagle And Snake Of The Mexican National Emblem (1924)

The Mexican coat of arms depicts an eagle – which symbolizes the sun god Huitzilopochtli – devouring a serpent – symbolizing evil. The emblem has religious significance, as well as deep-rooted cultural connotations for the indigenous Mexica people, who referred to themselves as the "People of the Sun." Artist Jean Charlot had deep Mexican roots, himself. Though he was born in Paris, his great-grandfather had immigrated to Mexico and married a half-Aztec woman, which created a myth that Charlot was a descendant of Aztec royalty. This depiction of the national emblem in the Escuela Nacional Preparatoria celebrates Mexican culture and mythology.


Liberation (1963)

Liberation, AKA The man is released from the misery, is a 1963 tryptich painting by Jorge González Camarena in Mexico City's Palacio de Bellas Artes. The mural brings together the artist's political ideology and aesthetic perceptions. While many read the painting differently, most believe that it moralizes how truth and knowledge can free – morally and physically – enslaved men and women. Instead of calling for revolution by means of violence, González Camarena calls for spiritual revolution. He calls on society to condemn ignorance and abandon representative ideologies... particularly those represented in the revolutionary art by the "three greats" – Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros. And he critiques many of the political ideologies that drove the Mexican Revolution. A definite burn via art form.


The Spaniards Disembarking And The Cross Planted In New Lands (1922)

Painted on one of the walls in Mexico City's San Ildefonso College, The Spaniards Disembarking and the Cross Planted in New Lands is a work by Ramon Alva de la Canal. It has been dubbed the "first fresco of the twentieth century." Canal was famous for his frescoes and is one of the pioneers of the Mexican Muralism Movement. It depicts the Spaniards arriving in the New World, where they find a Christian cross. The mural is simple but illustrates a significant moment in Mexican history – the moment of colonial contact. 


La América Tropical (1932)

La América Tropical is the name given to the mural painted by David Alfaro Siqueiros on the second floor of Olvera Street's Italian Hall in Los Angeles, California. The work radically depicts the literal and figurative crucifixion of Native Mexicans and Americans at the hands of colonial forces, specifically US imperialism. In the center of the mural, a crucified Indian "peon" is displayed on a cross with a bald eagle overhead. In the background of the mural, Mayan ruins are barely discernible through the thick vegetation that grows over them. At the time of its unveiling, Siqueiros's work proved too radical for the downtown Los Angeles scene, and it was painted over. However, in the 1960s, the paint began to peel, and the mural again became visible. It reemerged, fully renovated, in 2012.


The History Of Mexico (1929-1935)

As one of Diego Rivera's most famous murals, The History of Mexico is an astounding masterpiece created by the artist between 1929 and 1935 at the National Palace in Mexico City. Rivera was the leading muralist hired for the Herculean task. As the title suggests, the mural covers Mexico's extensive history, from ancient to modern times, including invasions by the French and Spanish and the dictators that have ruled the nation. The government-sponsored mural project was initiated after the Mexican Revolution with the objective to justify the revolt and highlight the promising future that would accompany the new government's rule. The History of Mexico depicts the struggles of the Mexican people under foreign powers and dictatorships – and the justice and hope brought forth by the Revolution.


From The Dictatorship Of Porfirio Diaz To The Revolution – The People In Arms (1957-1965)

David Alfaro Siqueiros's mural painted from 1957-65, From the Dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz to the Revolution, depicts the historical unfolding of the Mexican Revolution. The mural is located in the Hall of the Revolution in Mexico City's National History Museum. Parts of the paneled mural depict the revolutionaries, martyrs, leaders, and ideologues of the Revolution. Porfirio Diaz, the Mexican dictator, was ousted on May 25th, 1911. The mural illustrates what happened from that day forward.


Portrait Of Mexico Today (1932)

Painted in 1932, Portrait of Mexico Today was created by David Alfaro Siqueiros in Los Angeles, California, where he had sought asylum as a political refugee. Though Siqueiros painted three murals in the US, Portrait is the only surviving one from the famous artist that hasn't needed reconstruction as a result of active destruction or neglect. The mural was done inside of filmmaker Dudley Murphy's garden in the Pacific Palisades. In 2001, it was donated to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. The entire building was moved to the museum for preservation so that future generations can benefit from the social and political commentary, as Siqueiros presented his perspective on his native Mexico's relationship with the US. 



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Thu, 11 May 2017 02:29:41 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/crazy-mexican-murals/jessica-holom
<![CDATA[Everything That Had To Go Wrong For The Battle Of The Alamo To Happen]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/how-the-alamo-battle-happened/nida-sea?source=rss

One of the most important battles in US history was the Battle of the Alamo. While most people know about the outcome of the battle, do you know what happened before the Alamo? Thanks to the glamour of Hollywood cinema, everyone envisions the Alamo as one of the most incredible sieges. The battle is seen as a romanticized epic war between Mexico and some of America's most legendary figures, such as Colonel James Bowie and Davy Crockett. 

While the battle was a significant and pivotal moment in American history, the hard facts of the Battle of the Alamo are not as glorious as many people believe. In fact, historic research concludes that the actual fighting only lasted about 20 minutes in total. This is because then-Mexican president Santa Anna and his large army of over 2,000 well-trained soldiers invaded the Alamo mission and massacred the 200 sleeping civilians who occupied the building. This gave the small army very little time to draw weapons or fight properly. 

In the end, due to a series of unfortunate events that led up to the beginning of the battle and the downfall of the Alamo, Texans were defeated. But the massacre inspired hundreds of people to take up arms for Texan independence. Take a leap back in time and learn about everything that had to go wrong for the Battle of the Alamo to end as disastrously as it did.


Everything That Had To Go Wrong For The Battle Of The Alamo To Happen,

Mexico's Government Changes To A Dictatorship Model

Because of practices like slavery and the fact that settlers were claiming territories beyond what was permitted by the Mexican government, Mexico decided to tighten their control. The Mexican government began to shift from the Federalist government model into a dictatorship model. This caused settlers to rebel against the dictatorial policies and the Mexican government.


Alamo Troops Were Greatly Outnumbered And Lacked Supplies

Santa Anna began the siege to take the Alamo on February 23, 1836. While the Texans were struggling to put together the supplies, weaponry, and manpower that was needed for the ongoing siege, Santa Anna marched into San Antonio with approximately 1,500 troops. This left the Alamo mission defenders, who were 188 strong, greatly outnumbered. Many of the Texas soldiers were volunteers, who were green and improperly trained as fighters.


Settlers Snubbed Mexico's Laws

When Southern settlers moved into Texas, they had hopes of owning property to build cotton plantations. At the time, the cotton industry in Mexico was big business. However, the stipulation for settlers to live on the Mexican-owned land was that they had to agree to become Catholics, as well as registered Mexican citizens. Many settlers ignored these stipulations and further angered the Mexican government by bringing slaves for the labor. 


Writing Letters For Aid Did Nothing

Due to the lack of provisions and manpower, some of the acting commanders of the Alamo wrote letters for help. Colonel James Neill wrote to General Sam Houston, pleading their case, but because they lacked a way to transport the weaponry needed, Houston denied them.

Upon discovering this, James Bowie pleaded his case to the Texas provisional government, stating that they needed more troops and weaponry to withstand the siege. However, the Texas government was in complete disarray, as they had become disbanded after a Texas governor was impeached. In addition, neither Bowie nor Travis realized that Santa Anna was preparing his attack earlier than they had anticipated.


American Soldiers Did Not Receive News That Mexico Would Take No Prisoners Of War

Mexican president Santa Anna grew more furious with each passing day of the Texas Revolution. He demanded the Texas rebellion to surrender or suffer the consequences. The Texans said no and were declared traitors of Mexico. Santa Anna swore that there would be no prisoners of war. He even sent a warning letter to President Andrew Jackson, but the letter was not widely distributed and failed to notify American recruits that Mexico would not be sparing anyone. 


Leadership And Control Wavered

In December of 1835, Sam Houston, Commander-in-Chief of the Texas army, ordered James Neill to take command over the San Antonio mission. However, only a few months into his command, Neill left to care for his ill family and transferred command over to Lieutenant Colonel William B. Travis, who was the highest-ranking officer at that time.

Upon hearing this, Bowie and some of the soldiers were not pleased with Travis being the leader and elected Bowie into the role, stating he was a better fit as commander because of his fierce fighting reputation. However, Bowie celebrated his new position by getting very drunk, causing a stir among the soldiers that eventually led him to agree to share joint leadership with Travis. 


Many Texas Soldiers Bailed Out Early

After the Battle of Gonzales, many of the settlers who had helped defeat the Mexican soldiers stationed in the region went home. The reason behind their departure was simple: they didn’t have adequate provisions to prepare them for a long camp. Because of this, the once large army dwindled down to less than 200 men. Upon their departure, there wasn’t enough manpower, let alone firepower, left that would be needed to secure the Alamo building.


The Alamo Was Not Built For Intense Battles

The Alamo building in San Antonio was originally a mission, which is a religious station used as a base for supplies and communication for missionaries. Later, the Mexican army converted the mission into a makeshift fort to protect them from the Native Americans that lived near the area.

Because the building was re-purposed from an old outpost, it wasn’t designed to withstand heavy artillery and was only meant to withstand attacks carried out by native tribes. In addition, the Alamo lacked firing ports for riflemen, so catwalks were constructed to allow defenders to fire over the walls of the building. However, this method left the rifleman's upper torso fully exposed when he stood.


Texans Refused To Hand Over A Cannon

In October 1835, the Texas Revolution began with the Battle Of Gonzales. However, the catalyst for this battle was actually a small cannon that Colonel Domingo de Ugartechea of the Mexican army wanted retrieved just a few days prior. Little did he realize it would start a skirmish between the Texan settlers living in Gonzales and his Mexican forces.

Texans refused to give the cannon to Mexican forces when they came to fetch it. 18 men put a flag over the cannon, with the words, "Come and take it!" Over two days, the Texan numbers grew to 167. They launched a successful surprise attack on their enemies, and this battle marked the beginning of the Texas Revolution


Colonel Bowie Collapsed During The Second Day Of The Siege

Suddenly, on February 24, Colonel James Bowie fell ill. Contrary to popular belief, Colonel James Bowie was not able to physically assist his men in the defense of the Alamo as he was bedridden. He was occasionally carried out to encourage and rally the troops, but seeing their leader so sick had to be demoralizing. Bowie transferred his half of leadership to Travis in the bleak remaining days of the Alamo. 



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Fri, 07 Apr 2017 10:18:27 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/how-the-alamo-battle-happened/nida-sea
<![CDATA[Insane Things Women Could Be Arrested For In Shockingly Recent History]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/crazy-things-women-could-get-arrested-for/justin-andress?source=rss

If you’re a member of the American public who still has faith in the legislating power of the people on Capitol Hill, then you’re in the vast minority (and, by the way, you might not care about sexist laws in America). According to a May 2017 Gallup poll, 74% of Americans don’t approve of the work being done by Congress.

In short, the members of Congress really stink at their job – the passage and enforcement of laws. You don’t even have to look very far to find mountains of proof that legislators at every level of government are sort of stupid; take a look at the bizarre state laws that get passed if you're feeling doubtful. 

In addition to its general ineffectualness, only one in five members of Congress is female. So, Congress is especially terrible at representing and protecting the interests of women from all walks of life. From arcane marriage laws to laws against women’s rights to legislation governing daily life, laws against women's rights are everywhere. You might be amazed by the crazy things that women could get harassed, victimized, or even arrested for since the beginning of the United States, some of which still linger and impact people to this very day. If you're a woman, however, you might be intimately familiar with some of this insanity.


Insane Things Women Could Be Arrested For In Shockingly Recent History,

Women In Carmel, California Need A Permit To Wear Heels

According to this law — which is still on the books — any woman wearing high heels in Carmel, California, needs a permit to do so because she is putting herself and the city’s “urban forest character” in jeopardy.

In the words of the statute:

“The maintenance of an urban forest throughout the City necessarily involves some informality in the lighting, location and surfacing of street and sidewalk areas, which in turn involves greater risk to those wearing high heeled shoes more adaptable to formal city life.”

Heels are defined as shoes “which measure more than two inches in height and less than one square inch of bearing surface upon the public streets and sidewalks.” The price of a permit isn’t specified.


Credit Cards Still Actively Discriminate Against Female Customers

In 1973, it was absolutely legal to ask any woman who applied for a credit card a number of insulting questions that essentially amounted to: will you eventually be able to enlist a man to help you pay this bill? Some banks actually required divorcees and widows to bring a guy along when they were applying for a credit card. Then, in 1974, Congress passed the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, which made such practices illegal.

That doesn't mean that everything is fair, though. As of 2012, women were paying half a point more interest on their credit cards than men, a seemingly negligible number that can amount to hundreds of dollars over the life of a given card.


Birth Control Was Illegal Until The Mid-'60s

The freedom for a woman to decide when she was capable (or incapable) of having a child wasn't established by the Supreme Court until 1972. Until that time, it was essentially impossible in some parts of the country to find effective birth control.

In fact, all forms of birth control were illegal until 1938. In 1965, married couples got the right to use birth control, but that right wasn't granted to every woman until seven years later.


The Boston Marathon Had A Series Of ‘Bandit Runners’ Enter The Race

Though the race was originally founded in 1897, the first 75 years of the immensely popular tradition saw women actively banned from entering the race. As a result, several women entered the Boston Marathon on the sly in order to join in the fun.

In 1966, Roberta Gibb hid in the bushes until a strategic turn in order to spring into the race — she finished with an unofficial time of 3:21:40. In ’67, Kathrine Switzer registered as a man and eluded authorities until halfway through the race when an official was sent to forcibly remove her from the course. The best part is that Switzer couldn't be caught; she finished the Boston Marathon with a time of 4:20:00.

Thankfully, Boston eventually came to its senses, and women were allowed to race in 1972.


Michigan State Law Forbids Unapproved Hair Cuts

Some still-active state laws outline a variety of ridiculously specific crimes for women. In Michigan, for example, there’s still a statute that allows a man to exert a huge amount of control over his wife. The law prohibits women from getting a haircut without their husband’s express approval.

Whether or not that needs to be written approval is unclear.


People Are Still Finding Ways To Prosecute Women For Self-Induced Abortions

Okay, so everyone knows that abortion was a criminal act in several parts of the United States until the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, which guaranteed those women who wanted one the right to a healthy abortion. What you might not know is that there are still several parts of the country that have found ways to skirt Roe v. Wade in an attempt to actively persecute women forced to have self-induced abortions.

In the time since Roe v. Wade, at least two dozen women have been prosecuted for self-induced abortions. Since 2009, a legal team devoted to the issue has represented eight women who were “investigated, charged, or prosecuted for trying to end pregnancies.” Several of these women have been charged with capital crimes like homicide.


States Used To Ban Women From Serving On Juries

For several decades, women could be dismissed from juries based solely on their gender. The Supreme Court actually issued a ruling in 1879, which allowed states to exclude women on the basis of a “defect of sex."

In fact, as late as 1961, the Supreme Court unanimously decided that it was totally fine to exempt women from jury duty. Not only did women's duties as wives and mothers need to come first in the eyes of the Court, but women also needed shielding from the gory details of the cases. Oh, and women were naturally too sympathetic to criminals to do a good job on a jury. The Supreme Court said: 

“We cannot say that it is constitutionally impermissible for a State, acting in pursuit of the general welfare, to conclude that a woman should be relieved from the civic duty of jury service unless she herself determines that such service is consistent with her own special responsibilities.”

“Special responsibilities” included being a wife and mother.


In North Carolina, It’s Illegal For A Woman To Change Her Mind About Consent

In 2010, a football player raped a young high school girl who, in turn, tried to report him. Unfortunately, a decades-old law prevented her from having her rapist tried.

In a 1979 NC Supreme Court ruling, State vs. Way, North Carolinian legal minds determined that a woman didn't have the right to change her mind once she’d already said yes. As a result, the judge in the case dropped the charges and concluded that no crime had taken place. Although attorneys continue to submit bills amending State vs. Way to the Senate, none have made it off the NC Senate floor.


Women Could Get Fired For Being Pregnant Until 1978

Though politicians originally intended for the issue to be covered in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 14 years later, Congress had to come back and write the The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. The Act specifically amended the Civil Rights Act to include language that precluded corporations from firing women for pregnancy.

Before that time, it was totally legal for a company to outright fire a woman purely because she found herself in the family way. Such instances were reportedly so numerous as to be uncountable. Even in the wake of the passage of the act, companies still have remarkable leniency in establishing the terms with which women can keep their jobs while simultaneously raising a family.


Sexual Harassment At Work Was Totally Okay Until 1980

These days, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has very well-defined guidelines concerning sexual harassment in the workplace. That being said, the very idea that sexual harassment was a thing that existed wasn't acknowledged until 1977, after being coined by activists at Cornell University in 1975.

Once sexual harassment had been acknowledged, it still took the EEOC another three years to take the necessary steps to specifically define the term and discuss ways to expunge it from the workplace. Even in celebrating the legislation, the EEOC acknowledged that the issue garnered a lot of controversy in its passage.



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Tue, 04 Apr 2017 07:24:24 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/crazy-things-women-could-get-arrested-for/justin-andress
<![CDATA[West Point Goats In The Civil War]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/west-point-civil-war-goats/mel-spera?source=rss

The term "Goat" holds a special place in U.S. Army tradition, and there were plenty of West Point Goats in the Civil War. The term refers to the cadet graduating from West Point Military Academy with the lowest Grade Point Average (GPA) or, as the 1909 Howitzer Yearbook put it, “the man who would have stood first if he had boned (i.e. studied).” Rather than being a badge of shame, it recognizes the tenacity or foolhardiness it takes to be the last graduate of the best of the best. 

Prior to administrative changes in the ‘70s, the order of graduation was based on class rank; therefore, everyone knew the last person presented with their diploma was the class Goat. And, because of their low ranking, Goats were usually shunted off to Infantry or Cavalry branches – becoming the very people who are most likely to see combat and be directly responsible for leading their troops into harm’s way. Though, nowadays, class rank is a closely held secret, the graduating class still manages to find it out prior to the ceremony. Graduating cadets give a riotous cheer when the Goat receives the diploma, and then they present the Goat with a silver dollar.

Everyone who has taken an American History class knows the names of Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, J.E.B. Stuart, William Tecumseh Sherman, Ulysses S. Grant, and Phillip Sheridan, as well as their actions during the Civil War. But there were plenty of West Point failures who became Civil War generals. So, what mark on history did the West Point Goats in the Civil War make?


West Point Goats In The Civil War,

Albert Gallatin Edwards

Edwards, Albert Gallatin, Class of 1832, Union. After graduation from West Point, Edwards was stationed near St. Louis, Missouri, with the Mounted Rangers and Dragoons. He retired shortly after his marriage to Louise Cabanne and became a merchant and bank commissioner. He was appointed Brig. Gen. of the Missouri Volunteers. Although he didn't see any action, President Lincoln appointed him as Assistant Secretary of the U. S. Treasury. In 1887, at the age of 75, he founded the brokerage firm A.G. Edwards & Son Stock and Bond Traders.


George Armstrong Custer

Custer, George Armstrong, Class of 1861, Union. Custer graduated from Alfred Stebbin’s Young Men’s Academy at the age of 16. He returned home to become a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse, but Custer wasn't happy with his circumstances. He wanted to become a famous soldier or an educator at a prestigious Eastern college. So, Custer saw West Point as a means to achieve his life’s ambition. He reached West Point in June 1857 and graduated as the Goat in a class of 34 men. Some historians have postulated that Custer deliberately kept his rank low so he would be assigned to the Infantry or Calvary. He saw extensive action as a Union cavalry officer in the Civil War at the First Battle of Bull Run, Battle of Antietam, Battle of Chancellorsville, Battle of Gettysburg, Siege of Petersburg, and Appomattox. Custer reached the wartime rank of Major General. Throughout the Civil War, Custer narrowly escaped death and any severe wounds. Seven of his horses were not as lucky. After the war, he was made Lieutenant-Colonel of the Seventh Cavalry on America’s western frontier. During the Plains Indian War, he fought at the Battle of Washita River and most famously died at the Battle of Little Bighorn. 


George Pickett

Pickett, George Edward, Class of 1846, Confederate. Ironically, Pickett would become one of the most famous Virginians in history, but he was appointed to West Point from Illinois. Pickett was a popular cadet. According to Brig. Gen. William M. Gardner, he was "a man of ability, but belonging to a cadet set that appeared to have no ambition for class standing and wanted to do only enough study to secure their graduation." Pickett amply displayed bravery in the face of the enemy during the Mexican War and while fighting Indians in the Pacific-Northwest. During the Civil War, he led men at the Second Battle of Petersburg (VA), Gettysburg, and Appomattox. He led his men in the disastrous assault on Union positions on the last day of the Battle of Gettysburg, which is known as Pickett’s Charge. Fearing a court martial after the War Between the States, he and his family fled to Canada where they remained until 1866. In 1866, they returned, and Pickett took up the careers of insurance agent and farmer in Norfolk, Virginia. It was said that he was haunted by the loss of his men until his death in 1875

His widow, LaSalle, liked to embellish her husband’s exploits. She convincingly told the tale that young Pickett unknowingly met Congressman Abe Lincoln and confessed his desire to be a soldier. Soon afterward, he received his appointment to West Point. The tale quickly unravels because Pickett had already graduated when Congressman Lincoln was in office.


Henry Heth

Heth (pronounced Heath), Henry “Harry,” Class of 1847, Confederate. A cousin of George Pickett, Heth chalked up his first two demerits on his first day at West Point for “[laughing] in ranks in morning parade.” He maintained that he didn't care about his class ranking. For Heth, his time at West Point was one of merriment. In the summer of 1844, he was mercilessly harassing a plebe (first year cadet) on sentinel duty until the plebe hurled his rifle at him. The bayonet pierced Heth’s thigh and narrowly missed his femoral artery. Heth fought at the Battle of Chancellorsville, Battle of Gettysburg, and Siege of Petersburg. He commanded a division at Gettysburg and is blamed for starting the battle because he sent approximately 7,500 men into the town before the rest of the army was ready. After the American Civil War, he fought against the Plains Indian War, the most notable of which was the Battle of Ash Hollow against the Lakota. Heth also wrote the first U.S. Army Marksmanship Manual. 


Hugh McLeod

McLeod, Hugh, Class of 1835, Confederate. McLeod resigned his commission within a year after graduating to fight for Texas independence. He served on the frontier battling Native Americans. As a Brig. Gen., he commanded the 1841 Santa Fe expedition, but he was taken captive by the Mexicans, who released him in 1842. He served Texas as Inspector General and as a member of the Texas House of Representatives. When the Civil War broke out, he was appointed a Col. Of the First Texas infantry regiment. However, he died of pneumonia in Virginia while en route to Gen. Robert E. Lee.


So, How Many Pieces Does a 12-pound Artillery Shell Break Into?

Borland, Harold, Class of 1860, Confederate. Borland and George W. Vanderbilt of New York ran a neck-and-neck race to the bottom. During an exam, Borland was asked how many pieces would a 12-pound shell burst into. After pondering over the answer for some time, he responded with “more than two.” When Borland accepted his diploma and walked back to his seat, his fellow graduates broke out in a loud cheer. He was assigned to the Mounted Rifles, but he resigned to join the Confederate Army as an infantryman. He became the assistant adjutant on Gen. Slaughter’s staff. It was under these circumstances that he was captured aboard the Alice Vivian, which was trying to run the Mobile-Havana blockade. He spent a little over a year in a prison in Boston Harbor – until he was exchanged for Major Forbes of Boston on October 1, 1864. After the war, he became a federal tax collector.


The Goat Who Exemplified The True Meaning Of The Term

Crittenden, William Logan, Class of 1845, American. While Crittenden died before the Civil War, his spirit and bravery make him the epitome of the Goat. After graduation, he fought with merit in the Mexican-American War. In 1851, he resigned his commission to take part in the liberation of Cuba from Spain. He joined the Narciso Lopéz expedition. He and his men were cut off from the main forces, and he made the decision to return to Florida. They commandeered four small fishing boats, but they were captured by the Spanish warship Habanero and returned to Havana where they were brought up on charges of piracy and condemned to death by firing squad. The condemned were led out to the execution site in groups of 10. The firing squad commander demanded that Crittenden order his men to turn their backs to the firing squad and to kneel. Crittenden responded plainly, “[a] Kentuckian turns his back on no man and kneels only to God.” The execution was carried out on August 16, 1851. 


West Point’s First Goat

Pratt, John Taylor, Class of 1818, Did Not Fight in the Civil War. Pratt was denied his commission because of partisan politics, so he returned to Kentucky and became a merchant and state senator. When the Civil War broke out, he volunteered to do his part since he was still vigorous in his old age. His offer was politely declined by the Confederate forces.


This West Point Goat Vowed To Never Surrender

Baker, Laurence Simmons, Class of 1851, Confederate. Upon graduation, Baker was assigned to the Mounted Rifles and served on the frontier in Kansas, Dakota Territory, Texas, and New Mexico. He joined the Confederate Army in 1861 and, within a year, commanded the First North Carolina. Baker and Custer were both at the scrimmage near Rummel Farm during the First Battle of Gettysburg. Both forces fought each other in savage saber to saber fighting, but Custer and Baker did not fight each other personally. Both managed to survive the fight unscathed – though Custer lost 219 men from his brigade. On July 31, 1863, Baker lost his right arm, leaving him permanently disabled. He was sent to North Carolina where he was given command to organize the defense of the state. 

On April 12, 1865, Baker received orders to reinforce Gen. Joseph E. Johnston near Raleigh, NC. On April 13, 1865, Baker was leading his small group of men when he heard that Lee had surrendered on April 9, 1865, and the Army of North Virginia received parole.  Baker and his men didn't believe that the war was over and decided to continue onwards. Baker’s honor would not allow him to surrender. They evaded capture until April 18, 1865 when they discovered that Johnston had surrendered. Naler issued General Order No. 25 disbanding his troops. Baker rode home, head unbowed and honor intact.


A Goat Who Didn't Make It Home

McIntosh, James McQueen, Class of 1849, Confederate. McIntosh could trace his lineage back to England’s Jacobite uprising in 1715, and most of his clan emigrated to America in 1739. His father died at Molino del Rey during the Mexican-American War; however, McIntosh was the first in his family to receive a military education. He believed, though, that, once he was tested on a subject, he no longer had need of the knowledge and performed a “spec and dump,” a term still used at West Point. McIntosh started his military career as a Federalist but quickly changed his mind while stationed at Ft. Smith, AR. He resigned his commission, and, while en route to Atlanta, GA, he met Salon Borland, father of Harold Borland, who had raised a calvary brigade and was marching on Ft. Smith. McIntosh volunteered to take a leading role in organizing a Confederacy frontier force. He was commissioned as a Major in the Confederate Army and rose to the rank of Colonel of the Second Arkansas Mounted Rifles. He served with distinction, but he missed all the grand battles of the Civil War. He died at the Battle of Pea Ridge (AR) on March 7, 1862.



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Fri, 05 May 2017 03:45:50 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/west-point-civil-war-goats/mel-spera
<![CDATA[Buckwild Facts About Mata Hari, The Exotic Dancer Who Became A WWI Spy]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/mata-hari-facts/setareh-janda?source=rss

Who was Mata Hari? Exotic dancer, courtesan, seductress, spy, and femme fatale: Mata Hari was many things to many different people. But she is perhaps best remembered for the fact that she was executed during World War I for espionage.

“Mata Hari” was actually a stage name - and an invented persona. She was born Margaretha “Gertha” Zelle in the Netherlands in 1876 to a wealthy, if unexceptional, family. At the age of 18, she fled her boring life in the Netherlands for the Dutch East Indies where she became an officer’s wife. The new Mrs. MacLeod didn’t find happiness there, but she did develop an interest in Indonesian dance.

When Gertha returned to Europe, she reinvented herself as an exotic dancer. “Mata Hari” took the continent by storm. By the time World War I erupted in 1914, her profile brought her to the attention of French, British, and German officials. As WWI changed the world, she, too, experienced drastic changes in her life.  

Why was Mata Hari executed? The French accused her of being a double agent, a damning charge especially in a time of war. And so Gertha joined the ranks of other famous people executed by a firing squad. Added together, facts about Margreet MacLeod reveal a complex figure who is far more fascinating than her tragic end.


Buckwild Facts About Mata Hari, The Exotic Dancer Who Became A WWI Spy,

When She First Arrived In Paris, She Worked As A Circus Performer

After her divorce from MacLeod, Gertha had to financially support herself somehow. So, she became a circus performer in Paris. Though she began as a horse rider using the name "Lady MacLeod," she eventually transitioned to exotic dancing. 


After Their Separation, Her Husband Basically Coerced Her Into Giving Up Custody Of Their Child

When Gertha and her husband divorced, she was granted custody of their only surviving child, Non. However, she struggled with providing financially for her daughter as her husband put ads in the local papers, warning people to not help her. Gertha eventually returned Non to her husband. Without her daughter, Zelle believed there was nothing left for her in Holland and set her sights on Paris. 


Her Husband Was A Huge Douche

Gertha's decision to sail off to Indonesia and marry someone she didn't know was a risk that would not pay off. Norman John MacLeod turned out to be an abusive alcoholic. Their marriage wasn't happy and the arrival of two children - only one of whom would survive babyhood - did nothing to bring the couple together. When the small family returned to Holland, Gertha and John separated in 1902 and officially divorced four years later.


French Intelligence Officers Actually Commissioned Her To Seduce The Kaiser's Son

French officers believed that Gertha's career as Mata Hari and her international contacts might be of use to them during the war. Specifically, they hoped that she could seduce Crown Prince Wilhelm, Kaiser Wilhelm II's son and heir. So, they offered her one million francs if she could successfully seduce the prince and learn German secrets. She thus began her spy career for the French with the intention of seducing her way up the German ranks.


She Took Up Dancing To Abate Her Loneliness In Indonesia

Life on the island of Java was often difficult and lonely for the young Dutch bride. Her relationship with her husband, who was roughly twice her age, was strained. So as a way to occupy herself, Gertha began studying local culture and took up Indonesian dancing. It would be an investment in her future and independence.


She Became A Classifieds Bride To A Colonial Officer To Escape Her Hum-Drum Life

With an unstable family life, Gertha set her sights beyond the Netherlands. So at the age of 18, she took a bold step: she responded to a newspaper advertisement for a bride in the Dutch East Indies. The would-be groom was Norman John MacLeod, a Scottish-born Dutch East Indies officer. After exchanging letters and pictures, Gertha made the decision to travel to Java to be his bride.


The Love Of Her Life Was Shot Down And Necessitated Her Turn As A French Spy

Throughout her life and career, Gertha had been involved with a variety of men. But it wasn't until 1916 that she met the love of her life. Captain Vadim Maslov was a dashing, young Russian pilot who was stationed in France. In 1916, his plane was shot down and he was hospitalized. Desperate to see him, Gertha applied to visit him at the Front. The authorities agreed, but on the condition that she would agree to become a spy for France. So for love and money, Gertha said yes.


She Had A String Of Important, Influential Lovers

Gertha's fashionable dancing career as "Mata Hari" put her into contact with wealthy, influential men. So she took up a secondary career as a courtesan. Men ranging from millionaire industrialists to military officers became her lovers. Her international affairs meant that, when war broke out in 1914, she was busy crossing borders


The Headmaster At Her School Creepily Put The Moves On Her

Gertha was born in 1876 to a hatmaker who invested in oil. For the first 13 years of her life, Zelle wore extravagant dresses and lived a lavish lifestyle. However, the family lost all their money in 1889 and Gertha's mother passed away in 1891. She was then sent to live with her godfather, who sent her to school in Holland. 

The first scandal in Gertha's life involved the headmaster of her school. The man began inappropriately flirting with the teenaged girl. She was quickly withdrawn from the school, thus ending her ambitions of becoming a kindergarten teacher. After the incident, Gertha fled to her uncle's home. Whether or not she wanted it, the young Gertha was already attracting attention.


She Became Europe's Favorite Exotic Dancer

After spending an unhappy young adulthood in the Dutch East Indies, Margaretha decided she had an opportunity to reinvent herself. To help her dancing career, she posed as a Javanese princess, thus adding even more exoticism to her performances. She took the stage name “Mata Hari," which means “Eye of the Day” in Indonesian. 

Gertha used Europe's orientalism to her advantage. She drew upon the skills that she had learned in Indonesia and performed Eastern-inspired, exotic dances. The scandalous part? She was sometimes nude and often nearly-nude when she performed. In an era when women still had full-body bathing suits, Mata Hari’s willingness to show skin was downright shocking. When she wasn’t nude, she would wear a skin-color bodystocking, which gave the illusion of nudity. Men across Europe went wild for her scandalous dances. 



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Mon, 24 Apr 2017 05:50:56 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/mata-hari-facts/setareh-janda
<![CDATA[Blush-Inducing Facts About And Images From The Scandalous Flap Books of 16th-Century Venice]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/venetian-flap-book-facts-images/melissa-brinks?source=rss

The Renaissance was a time of great innovation, including in the world of art and printing. Sixteenth century Venice made a reputation for itself as having liberal attitudes toward sexuality and pleasure, and the combination of imaginative thinking and eroticism led to an unusual invention - Venetian flap books. These fascinating books are sort of like pop-up books with a satirical, smutty, or otherwise salacious bent, with images hidden beneath flaps that can be lifted up by the reader.

With content ranging from undressed women to skeleton legs, these flap books are the ultimate book-lover porn, sometimes literally. Recently added to the New York Public Library in an exhibition on love in Renaissance-era Venice, these flap books offer a unique look at what 16th-century Venetians were up to.


Blush-Inducing Facts About And Images From The Scandalous Flap Books of 16th-Century Venice,

Flap Books With Nudity Were Often Used For Satire Or Humiliation

Though Venice's flap books were not the first to include scandalous material, they were likely among the few that did so for titillation rather than mockery. Many similar books that included a peek beneath a person's clothes did so for humiliation, such as one that depicted Martin Luther lifting up his robes. Another showed a woman riding a donkey that, when lifted, revealed a man beneath, a sort of satirical look at what results from giving women power.


Erotic Flap Books Were Mostly Made For Tourists

Because Venice was such thriving place of art and culture, it was a popular destination for tourists. These risqué flap books represented a clear opportunity for artists like Donato Bertilli to capitalize on the Republic's image - a sexy little book was something you could likely only get there, which made it a great souvenir. Rather than being books that depicted every-day life in Renaissance Venice, flap books were likely produced for those who were making a quick stop in the Republic.


Donato Bertelli Created Two Erotic Flap Books

The two flap books in the New York Public library collection were created by Donato Bertelli, a printmaker and bookseller in 16th-century Venice. These engravings, created in 1578, include Le vere imagini e descrittioni, or "True images and descriptions," which is an image of a Venetian courtesan whose dress can be lifted up to peer at her underclothes hidden beneath. Another depicts a woman on a boat escorted by a chaperone, but underneath the flap the woman is being embraced by her lover.


There Were Multiple Kinds Of Flap Books

Venice's erotic flap books are only one example of the innovative art form. In fact, most flap books, and other books with moveable pieces, were used for studying anatomy, where moving the flaps would reveal different layers of the body, such as skeletal structure, organs, and so on. Others contained star charts, secret code wheels, or other information rather than delivering exciting stories or titillating pictures.


Flap Books Have Been Around Since The 13th Century

Flap books are basically an early form of modern-day pop-up books, but rather than having shapes, characters, or other features that pop up from the book, flap books just have flaps that can be lifted, rotated, or otherwise manipulated to reveal more information or imagery. The first known book with moveable pieces was created in the 1300s and included a wheel chart that could be rotated to show different holy days. At this point in time, flap books were primarily for study.


Venice Embraced Their Sexually Liberated Image Through A Connection To Venus

Venice doesn't just sound like Venus, the Roman goddess of love and beauty - during the 16th century, there was a deliberate attempt to connect the two in Venetian society. Like Venus, Venice is closely connected to the sea as a port city, and its indulgent, romantic nature led to a celebration of the connection between a personified Venice and the Roman goddess. This furthered the image of Venice as a place where love and beauty reigned supreme, as honoring the figure of Venus demonstrated the values the Republic wanted to embody.


These Venetian Flap Books Were Designed For Titillation

Erotic art was not invented in Venice, but these flap books weren't quite pornographic either. The illustrations in these books were more about the thrill of the forbidden, a secret peek at something titillating, rather than overt, outright sexuality. The difference might sound subtle, but peeking beneath a woman's dress in a flap book is quite different than being presented with a naked woman right off the bat. It's a bit of a tease with a hint of anticipation, making it more sexy than sexual.


Though Tame By Modern Standards, These Books Were Erotic For The Time

While a woman in underwear is hardly taboo by modern standards, it was quite scandalous for the time period. The woman whose underwear you can reveal in the flap book is tame compared to the average lingerie ad on the subway - it reaches her knees and covers everything, making it quite a bit less sexy. And despite Venice's relaxed attitude toward sex and romance, this was still taboo. The mixture of the forbidden and the inherent attraction of seeing a woman in her underclothes meant that, no matter how much of her was covered, these illustrations were still erotic enough for their intended audience.


Venice Was A Port City, Making It More Open Minded Than Others

Because the Republic of Venice was a port city, it attracted various kinds of people from all different areas. It also had a thriving economy, which meant artists and artistry could survive there and develop a unique Venetian style. Even more important was Venice's reputation as a tolerant, open city that celebrated love, romance, and sexuality. The perception of the city as a place where eroticism and indulgence were part of the environment directly fed into the creation of these erotic flap books.


Flap Books Were Almost Universally Made For Adults

We typically think of pop-up books as being for children, but in the early days these manipulatable books were mostly developed for adults, specifically scholars. In fact, most books in general were targeted at adults, not just the manipulatable ones. Though children's literature did make an appearance in the 16th century, it didn't become popular until the 18th century. So, even though the content of the erotic Venetian flap books is unique, the adult audience is not.



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Fri, 07 Apr 2017 06:18:34 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/venetian-flap-book-facts-images/melissa-brinks
<![CDATA[History's Most Fascinating Female Assassins]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/historical-female-assassins/melissa-brinks?source=rss

We tend to think of assassins as being men, but there were plenty of historical assassins who were women. Women throughout history have held lower statuses than men, but that often gave them an edge in espionage or assassin work – few people suspected that women were capable of such things when they were looked upon as being inferior. But societal expectations didn't stop any of these women assassins, with many of them changing the course of history through a well-placed poisoning or strategic stabbing. Though some of their assassination strategies may have been bizarre, all of these women were effective in their mission to take someone – or more than just one – out.

Of course, not all female assassins in history were fighting for causes one could truly call noble. Some were downright nasty, and the people they killed were those who could have had a great positive influence on the world. Still, any person who resorts to killing others for political influence or social gain is a captivating figure, especially when so many deliberately used the fact that they were women to avoid suspicion or achieve their ends.


History's Most Fascinating Female Assassins,

Brigitte Mohnhaupt

Brigette Mohnhaupt, a German woman associated with organizations like the Socialist Patients' Collective and the Red Army Faction, was accused of the assassinations and assassination attempts of at least four high-ranking people, including a banker, a US general, and a chief federal prosecutor. The Red Army Faction believed in rampant corruption in the German government and moved from anti-capitalist-based arson and other activities to kidnapping and murder, such as those in which Mohnhaupt participated. One assassination – that of Juergen Ponto, the chief executive of a major bank, which took place on July 30, 1977 – involved Mohnhaupt, along with two co-conspirators, ringing the target's doorstep and offering a bouquet of roses and an invitation to tea. Upon being invited in, the three shot the target and fled. Mohnhaupt has expressed no remorse and never applied for clemency, but she was released from prison in 2007 after 24 years.


Charlotte Corday

Charlotte Corday, a French revolutionary, was known as the Angel of Assassination for killing her target, the Jacobin leader Jean-Paul Marat on July 13, 1793. Marat had been in power during the Reign of Terror, and specifically the September Massacres, in which some 1,300 people were executed as potential enemies of the state. Corday entered Marat's apartment by claiming she had information of an uprising elsewhere in France and stabbed him with a kitchen knife in revenge for the massacres, knowing she'd be put to death for it. She was executed just four days after the assassination, with her actions consolidating a new era in gender relations in France. 


Kim Hyon-hui

Kim Hyon-hui, like many of the assassins on this list, is a fascinating person who committed deplorable actions. In 1987, as part of the North Korean spy network, she was tasked with blowing up Korean Air Flight 858, which was flying between Baghdad, Iraq, and Seoul, South Korea. She was told that this would be her last assignment, and that, if she was able to pull it off, she could live in peace with her family. She, along with another spy, successfully left a bomb aboard the plane and disembarked in Abu Dhabi. The two were apprehended, and Kim was unable to commit suicide with cyanide, unlike her co-conspirator. She was sentenced to death but ultimately pardoned as she was believed to be brainwashed by the North Korean government.


Lucrezia Borgia

Though it's possible that Lucrezia Borgia – a member of the inimitable 15th-century Borgia clan – never actually murdered anybody, she's long been painted as a homicidal woman known for poisoning her enemies and unwanted husbands alike. Her family's enemies spread stories that she had a hollow ring that she would use to poison people at dinner parties when she could not persuade them to her position through more peaceful means. There's no historical evidence for any of this other than rumors, but they paint a fascinating picture of a woman whose outward persona was one of piety and purity to conceal her power-hungry nature.


Violet Gibson

Unlike many assassins, Anglo-Irish aristocrat Violet Gibson's motivations remain something of a mystery. Gibson attempted to shoot Benito Mussolini, the fascist leader of Italy, after he finished a speech he'd made on modern medicine in Rome, Italy, in 1926. She fired twice, but the first shot only grazed him, and the second misfired. Some people believe that she was insane at the time of the shooting and that she had no clear motive, especially because she lived the remainder of her life in a mental asylum after her deportation for the attempted assassination. Mussolini himself requested that she be released without charge.  


Judith of Bethulia Killed A Man To Prove A Point

Though the Biblical Book of Judith is generally considered to be a parable rather than a historical account, the titular Judith is still a fascinating example of a historical female assassin. Judith, who believed that God would save her fellow countrymen from their conquerors, set out with a maid to dispatch Holofernes, an enemy general. By promising to provide him with information, she gained his trust and entered his tent one night while he was passed out drunk. Judith cut off his head and returned it to her home, and the general's death caused the dissolution of the Assyrian army, saving her country from their occupation.


Idoia Lopez Riano's Reputation Earned Her A Fearsome Nickname

Though Idoia Lopez Riano has since renounced violence, that doesn't erase the 23 people she's accused of assassinating in the 1980s in her quest for Basque independence from Spain. Lopez was given the nickname La Tigresa – the tigress – because of her rumored sexual prowess, as she was known to seduce policemen prior to attacks. Her numerous killings led to a 1,500-year prison sentence in 2003 (when she was finally apprehended in France and tried for her crimes). ETA, the organization to which Lopez belonged, has since disbanded.


Fanny Kaplan Was A Revolutionary From A Young Age

A member of the "Socialist Revolutionaries" in Russia, Fanny Kaplan was a political activist from a young age. She was arrested for her involvement with a bomb plot at just 16 years old. After serving time in a Serbian work camp, she lost most of her sight but not her desire to make change. Because of the conflict between the Socialist Revolutionaries and the Bolsheviks, she gained a great dislike for Vladimir Lenin. After a meeting at the Hammer and Sickle, Kaplan shot Lenin three times, with two of the bullets doing serious damage. He survived, and Kaplan refused to name any accomplices, leading to her execution in 1918.


Mistress Marcia Helped Murder A Roman Emperor

Marcia was not solely responsible for the death of Emperor Commodus, an inept leader of ancient Rome, on New Years Day in 193 CE, but her actions as part of a murder plot proved important nonetheless. Commodus, believing himself to be the reincarnation of Hercules, planned to fight in the arena despite his advisors' urgings. He threatened to accuse them – including his mistress, Marcia – and add them to a list of people he wanted executed for subversion. Their response was to launch an orchestrated assassination attempt. Marcia slipped him poison in his wine, which failed to kill him as he vomited it up, but, in his weakened state, he was strangled by his fitness coach.


Shi Jianqiao Assassinated Her Father's Killer In Public And Wasn't Punished

Shi Jianqiao isn't famous for killing loads of people; rather, she's known for offing one specific person who had wronged her family. In 1925, Sun Chuanfang, a warlord in China, beheaded Shi Jianqiao's father for leading an opposition force against him and paraded the head in public. Shi Jianqiao tracked Sun Chuanfang for 10 years before shooting him three times. Instead of fleeing, she stuck around the scene to explain her actions by means of pamphlets, and, instead of being punished, she was freed because the act was determined to be an example of filial piety.



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Tue, 18 Apr 2017 02:23:10 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/historical-female-assassins/melissa-brinks
<![CDATA[Counting Down The Most Insane Things That Happened Every Year of The 1960s]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/crazy-things-that-happened-in-the-1960s/justin-andress?source=rss

For a lot of people — even those who weren’t alive at the time — the 1960s in America represent a time of immense promise and purpose. The children of World War II veterans were coming of age and fighting to have their voices heard on the world stage. American politicians were in mortal fear of a worldwide communist menace. It was the birth of the flower child movement, the highest point of tension in the Space Race, and the beginning of a conflict that would mark an entire generation – the Vietnam War.

There were endless crazy things that happened in the 1960s, large and small, amazing and horrible. It seemed that every day of that wondrous decade the world changed just a little. There’s a reason that so many facets of 1960s culture have endured into modern times.

More than four decades later, the world is still fascinated by a 10-year stretch in the middle of a turbulent, transformative century. And here’s why.


Counting Down The Most Insane Things That Happened Every Year of The 1960s,

1968 – The Violence Rages In Vietnam

The year is dominated by horror stories of atrocities committed in Vietnam, with the North Korean Army and Viet Cong violating a longstanding peace treaty during the Tet Offensive and American troops visiting horror upon the people of My Lai.

What Happened: The Viet Cong launch the Tet Offensive and attack the US Embassy in Saigon; Madison Square Garden opens; LBJ vows not to seek re-election; American troops in Vietnam kill dozens in the My Lai massacre; 2001: A Space Odyssey premiers; Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated; Hair opens on Broadway; Tommie Smith and John Carlos raise their fist in a black power salute at the Mexico City Olympic Games; Richard Nixon defeats Hubert Humphrey in the presidential election; and the Zodiac Killer begins his reign of terror in San Francisco


1967 – The Public Outcry Is Officially Unavoidable

This is the year that everyone stands up and demands that things turn around. Crowds of thousands gather in San Francisco and New York to oppose racism and the Vietnam War, while thousands more riot in cities across the country.

What Happened: The Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the first Super Bowl; The Doors’ self-titled album is released; The ABA is formed; McDonald’s releases the Big Mac; Aretha Franklin demands “Respect”; Thurgood Marshall is confirmed as the first black member of the Supreme Court; The Summer of Love woos San Francisco; John F. Kennedy is laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery; 10,000 people flock to Central Park for a "be-in"; Muhammad Ali refuses military service; The Six-Day War cements Israel’s place in Gaza; Jimi Hendrix releases Are You Experienced


1966 – An Investment In Every American Pastime

As the Vietnam War reached its height, the American public searched for any relief from the mounting discontent in the world. The Sound of Music lulled crowds with its upbeat(ish) tale; the NHL added two new franchises; and the nation watched in awe as the Baltimore Orioles swept the World Series for the club’s first championship.

What Happened: The NYC public transit strike stops the nation’s biggest city in its tracks; Lyndon Johnson remains committed to the War in Vietnam; John Lennon says the Beatles are “more popular than Jesus now”; The Sound of Music beats Doctor Zhivago for Best Picture; there are 250,000 troops in Vietnam; Topeka, KS, is obliterated by a tornado registering F5 on the Fujita Scale; Charles Whitman kills 13 people and wounds 31 at the University of Texas at Austin; Star Trek premiers on NBC


1965 – Violence Roars Through City Streets

In perhaps the bloodiest year of the decade, protestors clash with authorities on several different occasions and for a wild variety of reasons. The most prominent issues among these often violent clashes are Civil Rights and the Vietnam War.

What Happened: LBJ wants to work for a “Great Society”; Malcom X is assassinated in Manhattan, NY; 200 Alabama State troopers and 525 Civil Rights workers clash violently in Selma, AL; Sandy Koufax pitches a perfect game against the Cubs; Martin Luther King, Jr. responds by organizing a peaceful march through Selma; The Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Social Security Act of 1965 are passed; My Fair Lady wins eight Academy Awards; The first organized skateboard championship is held; Bob Dylan goes electric; The Watts Riots shake up an entire city; A Charlie Brown Christmas premiers on CBS


1964 – Meet The Beatles

In the wake of the national tragedy that was JFK's assassination, the youth of the United States took refuge in the dulcet tones of a guitar-and-drums quartet from Liverpool, England. The scruffy fellas who would become the one of greatest pop bands of all time were just beginning to make waves in the middle of the 1960s.

What Happened: Meet the Beatles! hits shelves; Lyndon B. Johnson declares a "War on Poverty"; Building plans for the World Trade Center are announced; The Beatles make their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show; Cassius Clay whoops Sonny Liston in Miami Beach, FL; Jimmy Hoffa is convicted of jury tampering; LBJ signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Malcolm X leaves the Nation of Islam; Jeopardy! debuts; The Ford Mustang ignites an automotive revolution; The Berkeley Free Speech Movement is born; Young people across the country protest the Vietnam War


1963 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Begins His Crusade

After working for several years to achieve peaceful social change in the United States, Martin Luther King, Jr. gains national attention for a series of daring protests and profound public statements.

What Happened: George Wallace is elected Governor of Alabama (and attempts to bar the entry of the University of Alabama’s first black students); The CIA begins domestic operation; Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique is published, and the Women's Movement is awakened; Iron Man debuts in Marvel Comics's Tales of Suspense; Alcatraz closes; Martin Luther King, Jr. is arrested during a Birmingham protest and subsequently issues his famous "Letter from Birmingham Jail"; MLK delivers his “I Have a Dream” speech; ZIP codes are introduced; John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, TX; Four little girls are killed in a church bombing in Birmingham, AL


1962 – A Year For Dramatic Change

The poets, musicians, TV stars, and movie makers all had their say in 1962, as Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? opened on Broadway, Johnny Carson made his debut, the Golden Age of Radio ended, and a luminous star took her last, tragic bow.

What Happened: The first MLB game gets played at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA; James Meredith becomes the first African American student to register at the University of Mississippi; the first Wal-Mart opens in Rogers, Arkansas; Marilyn Monroe is found dead in her home; the Navy SEALs are formed; the NBC Peacock is first used; Wilt Chamberlain scores 100 points in a single game; Johnny Carson takes over on The Tonight Show


1961 – The Battle Lines Are Drawn

In 1961, a new generation would find its mouthpiece in several wildly different locations: the burgeoning music scene of Greenwich Village, interstate bus trips that challenged segregation, the Moon, and 1,000 other front lines that get drawn across generational lines.

What Happened: Eisenhower officially severs ties with Cuba; The phrase “military-industrial complex” is first uttered by Dwight D. Eisenhower in his Farewell Address; Roger Maris hits 61 homers against all odds; John F. Kennedy takes the Oath of Office and botches the Bay of Pigs; The Fantastic Four is released, launching the Marvel Universe; Bob Dylan arrives in New York City; The US Freedom Riders take to the bus in interstate trips; The race to the Moon begins in earnest


1960 – The Beginning Of Something Different

The first year of a new decade marked a beginning of a new hope and an air of change in the United States. John F. Kennedy – a handsome Irish Catholic Democrat from New England – won the presidency, and in February, four young African Americans staged a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth’s counter in Greensboro, NC, initiating the Civil Rights Movement that would span across the decade. Though a hard road lay ahead, an air of change permeated the nation.

What Happened: In November, JFK is elected, the youngest President of the United States to date; Sit-ins begin across the country in support of Civil Rights; 3,500 troops are sent to Vietnam; President Eisenhower signs the Civil Rights Act of 1960 into law; Theodore Maiman fires the first laser; Psycho is released; Cassius Clay wins an American Gold Medal in boxing


1969 – The End Of The '60s In Spirit And Date

The spirit of the '40s didn’t really end in ’49. The '70s groove went well into the early '80s. But it’s fair to say that 1969 represents the figurative and literal end to the spirit of the 1960s. Bookended by Nixon's ascension into office and the first draft since WWII, the transition into the slightly more dour, more desperate 1970s was swift.

What Happened: The People's Park begins in Berkeley, CA; The Stonewall Riots help launch the Gay Rights Movement; Elvis stages his comeback; The first victim of the AIDS epidemic succumbs to a mysterious illness; Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is released; Nixon is sworn into office; The first US troops withdraw from Vietnam; Woodstock happens in upstate New York; The Manson Family commits a string of notorious Murders; Altamont turns violent



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Mon, 03 Apr 2017 06:55:27 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/crazy-things-that-happened-in-the-1960s/justin-andress
<![CDATA[Historical Immurement: People Who Were Bricked Up Or Buried Alive]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/people-who-were-immured/cheryl-adams-richkoff?source=rss

Immurement, or the complete enclosure of a human being into a small space with no escape, was historically a common form of punishment across cultures throughout history. Indeed, history is full terrifying tales of people who were bricked up or buried alive. Enclosing a person into a tiny box was considered one of the slowest forms of torture. However, some immurements were a deliberate personal choice, particularly among the devout of several religions, such as priests, monks, and nuns.

Trapping someone in a tight space was also one of the forms of torture used on women in particular. These immurements might last weeks, months, years, or until death. Some among the immured were sacrificial; some were unwitting victims. Certainly, in horrific stories of historical immurement, anyone even slightly claustrophobic would have struggled immensely and, as time passed and food and energy diminished, immurement must have seemed like a particularly harsh hell. If you want to know what it was like to suffocate slowly in an enclosed space, read on to get a taste of what it was like to be immured and left for dead. 


Historical Immurement: People Who Were Bricked Up Or Buried Alive,

Clerics Who Molested Boys Were Starved To Death In A Suspended Coffin

In 1409, four Christian clerics in Augsburg, Bavaria, were found guilty of pederasty, or sexual conduct with young boys. Pederasty was not only considered immoral, but also illegal. The traditional method of punishment for the offense was immolation (death by burning). The four clerics in question must have been super special sex criminals because the church in Augsburg decided that immolation was too merciful - instead, they locked the guilty men into wooden coffins, suspended them with ropes from high inside a tower, and left them to starve. 


Bodies Trapped In A Wall For Entertainment Purposes

Jazzar Pasha was a notorious 18th century governor of Lebanon and Palestine. He was known for committing unspeakable cruelties to anyone who angered him. At some point during his rule, he decided to build a new wall around the city of Beirut. And not just any wall - he wanted a structure that was strong, decorative, and entertaining. To that end, he captured a great many Greek Christians and had them essentially built into the wall.

The heads of the Christians were left outside while their bodies became part of the wall. And so, Jazzar Pasha and his friends were able to watch his victims suffer, starve, and die. Their skulls remained as a type of decor. 


Holy Women Liked Being Bricked Up With Little Boys Or Girls

These immurements were pitched as a type of religious ritual, but they were more a case of "misery loves company." An adult holy woman, such as Julian of Norwich, would sometimes request to be bricked in for a time (decades were not unusual) with a young child under the age of ten. Such children could be orphans, but often were "gifts" from their parents to the Church. The idea was that the child would serve as a symbol of innocence and purity, as well as a companion to the willingly immured. What an awful way to grow up.

The nun and her "companion" would receive food through a small slit in the bricked up wall, but they would never, ever go outside the enclosed chamber. There is no known record of any child surviving such an experience. Probably not something the Church would want the public to know either way.


Writers Have Used Fictional Immurement To Enhance Stories

It's well known that the human mind and creativity are boundless, so it's no surprise that writers have used fictional examples of immurement to make their stories more exciting and frightening. The Ancient Greek playwright, Sophocles, is one of the first to use immurement in fiction. His heroine, Antigone, and her lover are imprisoned in a cave with the opening bricked shut. They eventually killed themselves, so their immurement was tragic, but brief.

Dante certainly could not resist using immurement in his Divine Comedy. In Inferno's ninth circle, the father of the Italian language has one of his greatest enemies and his two sons immured in a tower. British Romantic author, Walter Scott, delights in the immurement of an unchaste nun in his poem, "Marmion." He writes, "And now the blind old abbot rose, To speak the chapter's doom. On those the wall was to enclose, Alive, within the tomb."

Edgar Allan Poe relies on immurement several times in his work, including the immurement of a protagonist's enemy beneath the floor of a pallazzo. In Poe's "The Black Cat," the narrator's pet cat accidentally suffers immurement, but is discovered and rescued. The cat's rescue leads to the discovery of the body of the narrator's wife, since the cat was walled in with it after the murder. 


The Perfect Punishment For Lustful Vestal Virgins

Ancient Roman religion was taken seriously by its leaders, practitioners, and even the secular government. As with most societies, there was also an ongoing concern over the chastity of women and how a woman's natural lust was overwhelming and thus, had to be controlled. Vestal Virgins, or female temple priestesses of the goddess Vesta (goddess of hearth and home), were held to a particularly high standard of conduct. All took a solemn vow of chastity.

However, the priestesses were human, and sometimes faltered. This was not a problem unless their "lustful" activities were discovered. On such occasions, a guilty priestess received capital punishment. This most often took the form of permanent immurement.

The Vestal Virgin would be stripped, beaten, dressed in the clothing of a corpse, and then placed in a catacomb or cave. Typically, she would be locked or bricked away with a small supply of food, water, and candles or lamps. She might share her immurement with skeletons of previous residents.


King Richard II Of England Was Bricked Up

King Richard II of England ruled during the age in which Geoffrey Chaucer wrote his famous Canterbury Tales. It was a time of chivalry and Richard's court was considered one of beauty and fashion. He was so interested in beauty, art, and culture that he lost track of political situations in his country.

Richard was deposed by a powerful rival. Having lost his crown, he was sent off to a castle where he was locked in a room for a few months, where he starved to death. Apparently, his murderers felt immurement was the best method to rid themselves of the former king, since starvation would not show any marks or damage to the body. 


Infants Were Abandoned And Immured

In some cases, immurement was the cause of death for infants. Bricking up or enclosing a wall or entrance wasn't even necessary, since little babies are unable to attempt escape. But why would anyone immure a newborn? Some answers include: poverty, fear, and shame.  

Very poor families could not afford another mouth to fed, so infants were left in abandoned buildings, caves, or even in churches. An illegitimate birth instilled fear and shame in the hearts of some women, who hid away their newborns in similar places. Some of these women included nuns, who had become "lustful" (and pregnant) with the child of a lover, who was likely a priest or monk. In some cases the nun became pregnant from rape or clerical sexual abuse.

Whatever the reason, babies were abandoned in catacombs, cloisters, cisterns, and cells. They were left to die, their only crime existence. 


Slaves And Family Members Were Sacrificially Immured

Ancient cultures are full of examples of sacrificial immurement. Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs like King Tut have funeral art accurately portraying the immurement of royal servants and attendants. The first emperor of the Chinese Qin Dynasty made sure to immure his many concubines when he was buried in 102 BCE. Just in case anyone thought about escaping or sneaking in, he also immured every craftsman who worked to build his tomb.

The burial of a great Mongol Khan included the ritual killings of more than 100 members of his family, followed by his interment and the immurement of several favorite slaves, both male and female. He kindly remembered to request that the slaves be buried with several vessels of drink. Such a nice guy. 


People Were Immured Into Building Foundations As A Good Luck Charm

When you've created something you're proud of, you want to make sure it has the good luck to last forever. Such was the thinking of those who immured people - including children - in the foundations of a building. Especially under the cornerstone. It was a good luck charm sort of thing.

Some ancient cultures scaled back their approach and went with the "immurement" of amphorae of olive oil or grains as a symbol of the source of their sustenance. Others sacrificed livestock and birds, burying the bodies beneath a foundation afterwards. However, a handful of cultures took the final step and involved human immurement as part of their dedication of a new structure.

There was a Serbian tradition where a building project may not progress until the wife of one of the owners of the new building was immured into the foundation. The Magyars give a similar legendary account of the building of the city of Deva, where the goodwill of the landowning spirit was obtained by means of sacrificing the wife of one of the builders. An old Romanian ballad tells the story of a master mason in charge of building a church, and how his young wife was chosen as the immurement sacrifice in the church foundation. 


Immurement Did Not Necessarily Mean Death - Unless They Forgot About Leaving You There

Many cases involving immurement were doled out to intentionally serve as very slow death penalties. However, immurement could also be a temporary condition which was used in one of two ways: as a form of punishment or by choice for a given length of time. The medieval Christian church used temporary immurement as a method to punish sinners, particularly those who committed sins of the flesh. Such individuals were locked away deep in a monastery or bricked up inside of rooms with a tiny opening for food and water for months or even years.

Centuries later, this type of immurement was still being used, but as a form of punishment. A good example comes from the unfortunate end of James Hepburn, third husband of Mary, Queen of Scots, who was accused of treason and other high crimes. He fled Scotland, but was apprehended in Denmark where they imprisoned him beneath Dragsholm Castle, outside of Copenhagen. He was put in a hole that was not large enough for him to stand in, tossed scraps of food, chained, and in complete darkness. 

The Danish considered his case for a time, but eventually, as politics changed, Hepburn was forgotten. Five years later, they remembered Hepburn and observed that he was more like a wild animal than a human. Snarling, crawling, and pacing back and forth on his chain, Hepburn died shortly after the observation.

Some cases of immurement had willing participants. Christian monks and anchoresses (a type of nun) participated in immurement as a spiritual experience. They would choose the method, location, and length of time involved. Some remained silent, others wrote music (such as Hildegaard of Bingen), and a few wrote religious texts and testaments. 



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Mon, 03 Apr 2017 07:48:35 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/people-who-were-immured/cheryl-adams-richkoff
<![CDATA[Heartbreaking Facts About Mary Todd Lincoln, America's Most Tragic First Lady]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/sad-mary-todd-lincoln-facts/setareh-janda?source=rss

Mary Todd Lincoln does not command the same amount of love and affection that her famous husband, Abraham, does. In fact, she is perhaps one of the most controversial First Ladies in American history. Mary Todd Lincoln's biography is full of both fascinating and heartbreaking facts. She may not have been America’s favorite First Lady, but she was indisputably one of its most tragic.

Born in Kentucky in 1818, Mary Todd spent her childhood in the lap of luxury and privilege. Then, in 1842, her life changed when she married an up-and-coming lawyer by the name of Abraham Lincoln. The Lincolns then moved to Washington in 1860 after Abraham's historic presidential win. But life in Washington was difficult, and Mary Todd Lincoln often faced challenges as First Lady thanks in no small part to the Civil War and the premature death of her children. In fact, Mary Todd Lincoln’s siblings, many of whom were confirmed Confederates, did no favors for her reputation in the nation's hostile capital.

In 1865, her life changed again when her husband was murdered at Ford’s Theater. What did Mary Todd do after Abraham’s assassination? Tragedy and heartache continued to follow her, even in widowhood. Sad Mary Todd Lincoln trivia reveals a woman who had been ridiculed and dismissed, both in her lifetime and in the history books.


Heartbreaking Facts About Mary Todd Lincoln, America's Most Tragic First Lady,

Many Of Her Brothers Fought For The Confederacy

During the Civil War, Kentucky was a divided state. Though it was not officially part of the Confederacy, many men took up arms for the South. The Todds, who were one of Kentucky's most prominent families, were just as divided as their home state. The First Lady herself had close relations fighting against her husband's government and a handful of her brothers were Confederate officers. Her younger sister, Emilie, was even married to a Confederate general, but this did not stop her from visiting the White House during the war. 


She Was Born Into A Family Of Slaveholders

Robert Todd, Mary Todd's father, was one of the most influential men in the state of Kentucky. And like many prominent men in the state, he owned slaves in order to run his large household in Lexington. Thus, the future wife of the so-called "Great Emancipator" grew up being waited upon by slaves. In adulthood, however, she would take up anti-slavery views


Three Of Her Four Sons Died Before She Did

Though Mary Todd Lincoln had four sons during her marriage to Abraham Lincoln, she buried three of them in her lifetime. Eddie and Willie both died in childhood - at an age when their personalities had already started to develop - and Tad died at the age of 18. Her last surviving son was Robert, the only one who reached adulthood and outlived his parents. After experiencing so much loss in her life, it is no wonder she became increasingly anxious later in life. 


She Was Committed To An Asylum By Her Own Son

Following the assassination of her husband in April 1865, Mary Todd became increasingly depressed and agitated. It got to the point where Robert, her only surviving son, actually conspired to have her committed her to an asylum outside of Chicago in 1875. To do so, he had to prove her presumed insanity in a court of law, which he did successfully. Mary Todd Lincoln was committed to Bellevue Sanitarium in Batavia, Ill, ultimately orchestrating her own release from the institution a few months later and retiring to France.


She Had A Wicked Stepmother

Mary Todd was only six years old when her mother died. Her father soon remarried, giving his brood of seven children a new stepmother named Betsey Humphreys. Mary Todd routinely butt heads with her stepmother and Humphreys certainly did not make life easy for her new stepchildren. She relied on shame, humiliation, and embarrassment as punishments and even referred to Mary Todd as a "limb of Satan." 


She Was Labeled A "Hellcat"

Mary Todd Lincoln had a hard time pleasing her critics in Washington. So, when she took it upon herself to redecorate the shabby White House and give the president's office some added legitimacy and class, it was an opportunity for her to win the respect of those who disliked her. Unfortunately, her project ran over budget, which only emboldened her critics. Between her redecorating scheme and her shopping sprees (she was said to own over 300 pairs of gloves) it was easy to label her a spendthrift - a horrible charge during a time of war.

It wasn't just her spending that attracted criticism, she could also be moody and volatile at times. And her husband's private secretary did her no favors when he called her a "hellcat."


People Thought She Went Crazy After Her Husband's Death

Already grief-stricken by the loss of two of her children, Mary Todd Lincoln was absolutely heartbroken by the death of her husband in April 1865. Her behavior became increasingly paranoid and erratic, especially upon the untimely death of her youngest son, Tad, in 1871. Adding to her depression was her fear of poverty and the paranoia that assassins lurked around every corner. She also shopped compulsively and suffered from migraines.


After Her Husband's Death, She Wore Black For The Rest Of Her Life

As was the custom of the day, Mary Todd Lincoln went into mourning after her husband's assassination. But, in this, she was an over-achiever. She was so bereft that she decided to wear black for the rest of her life, not just for the customary two years that mourning ritual dictated. In a bold and financially motivated move, Mary Todd decided to auction off all of the colorful clothes that she would no longer be able to wear. The decision earned her even more criticism from a population that already supported her very little.


She Was Holding Her Husband's Hand When He Was Shot

Mary Todd Lincoln was not just sitting next to her husband when he was shot - she was actually holding his hand. The Lincolns were sitting in a box at Ford's Theater on April 14, 1865, with their two guests, Henry Rathbone and his fiancée Clara Harris. Mary Todd was apparently holding her husband's hand when she asked Abraham, "What will Miss Harris think of my holding onto you so?" Her husband replied, "She won't think anything about it." Her hand did not leave his - they were still holding onto each other minutes later, when John Wilkes Booth stalked into the booth and fired a bullet into the back of her husband's head.


Medications From Doctors May Have Contributed To Her Erratic Behavior

Mary's adulthood was plagued by both physical and emotional pain. Apart from the personal losses she sustained, she also suffered from migraines and insomnia. To ease her suffering, her doctor prescribed her chloral hydrate in 1873. Among other things, an overdose of chloral hydrate can produce hallucinations, which might explain her paranoia. 

That's just one theory about what was contributing to Mary Todd Lincoln's health issues. Historians and medical professionals have put forth many other theories - some claim she had pernicious anemia, while others claim she was bipolar



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Tue, 18 Apr 2017 01:15:24 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/sad-mary-todd-lincoln-facts/setareh-janda
<![CDATA[13 Extremely Strange Pregnancy Test Methods From History]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/weird-ways-people-used-to-test-pregnancy/nathan-gibson?source=rss

In the olden days, there were weird notions and beliefs about pregnancy that informed women of the changes that were to come during the next nine months. What was weirder still was the methods that people used to tell if a woman was pregnant. While there are strange ways to predict the sex of the baby, stranger still are the bizarre ways that people used to test pregnancy. 

Medical knowledge in the 21st century allows people to determine the presence of particular hormones in a female's urine to find out if she is pregnant. Such methods were unavailable in the past, meaning that cultures utilized different techniques to detect whether a woman was with child or not. This list is a compilation of the incredibly strange pregnancy tests used in older times, to various degrees of success. 


13 Extremely Strange Pregnancy Test Methods From History,

Forcing Women To Vomit Repeatedly

Perhaps emerging from the observation that pregnant women would often experience morning sickness, several tests in the ancient world revolved around forcing them to vomit. One particular method involved soaking a ribbon in the woman’s urine and burning it in front of her face. If she vomited from the smell, it was believed that she was pregnant. Another technique originating from Ancient Egypt was to mix various concoctions that a woman would drink to test for pregnancy. Sickness and vomiting was usually a positive sign in these instances.


By Looking Into Her Eyes

Jacques Guillemeau claimed in the 1600s that it was entirely possible to tell if a female was pregnant simply by looking into her eyes. He wrote many texts on women and childbirth during his career and came to the conclusion that the eyes were the most reliable way to determine pregnancy as he believed they would change significantly during gestation. According to the Guillemeau, “a pregnant woman gets deep-set eyes with small pupils, drooping lids and swollen little veins in the corner of the eye.”


Inspecting The Color, Texture, And Thickness Of Urine

Similar to the pee prophets who tried to psychically predict whether a woman was pregnant, uroscopists would examine and analyze urine. These professionals would look at the color and other characteristics of the urine sample to determine whether a female carried a child. Unfortunately, because uroscopists didn’t have the necessary knowledge or adequate medical understanding, their methods were not very accurate or dependable.


Sprinkling Urine Onto Wheat And Barley

Arguably, the earliest known method of trying to determine whether a woman was pregnant was an ancient Egyptian technique known as the wheat and barley test. It essentially tasked a person with spreading their urine on seeds of wheat and barley for several days and waiting to see if any of the crops sprouted. Wheat meant the baby was a girl and barley indicated a boy. Bizarrely, this test might actually have been up to 70% accurate in detecting pregnancy, though it was not effective at determining the gender of the baby. 


Using A Key Or Latch Placed In A Basin

The latch test was yet another method of testing for pregnancy that involved urine. This technique, which was first revealed in The Distaff Gospels, involved a women’s urine being placed into a basin. A key or latch would then be laid on the bottom of the container for three hours with the pee. After the time had elapsed, the key was removed from the mixture. If the outline of the key or latch remained in the basin, it meant that the woman was pregnant. 


Pee Prophets Would Try To Predict Pregnancy

Before medicine advanced to the stage when proper analysis of urine could take place, many people would go to see special pee prophets. These prophets used psychic powers to try to predict the future and detect the fates of their customers. Similar to palm reading or other types of clairvoyance, these psychics would use the shapes and bubbles within the urine to attempt to tell whether a woman was pregnant or not.


Dissecting Rats To Inspect Their Ovaries

Prior to African Frog testing, the most well known pregnancy test was developed by two German scientists named Selmar Aschheim and Bernhard Zondek. They discovered that a hormone present in the urine of a pregnant woman would also affect the physiology of rats and other rodents. The pee would be directly injected into the creatures and after a few days, they would be killed and dissected so that their ovaries could be examined. Large masses and growths in the sexual organs meant that pregnancy was confirmed.


Examining The Color Of A Women’s Private Parts

Discovered around 1836 by French doctor Étienne Joseph Jacquemin, Chadwick’s sign is a discoloration of the vagina and surrounding areas. The blue tinge to the private parts can be seen as early as eight weeks into a pregnancy and is a rather trustworthy indicator. The discoloration is the result of increased blood flow in the area. This method was brought to public attention by James Read Chadwick some 50 years later.


Injecting Urine Into Live African Frogs

Up until the 1960s, the most effective way to test if someone was with child was to inject their urine into a South African frog. When South African scientists Lancelot Hogben discovered that he could control the ovulation of the amphibians using hormones, others figured out that it could be used as a reliable test. The urine is injected directly into the frog and if the hormone indicating pregnancy is present, the frog will begin to produce eggs within 24 hours. As it was so fast and dependable, the method was soon used through Europe and North America until cheaper chemical alternatives were invented. 


Ancient Egyptians Used Garlic Placed Near The Cervix

According to historical sources, in both Egypt and Greece, a common way of detecting whether a woman was pregnant was to use either garlic or onions. The woman would go to sleep in her bed as normal with food placed near or even into the vagina. In the morning, they would then be tested to see if the smell from the garlic had moved through her body onto her breath. If not, this would mean she was pregnant as the baby was blocking the aroma from traveling through the body by clogging the womb.



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Fri, 07 Apr 2017 09:28:04 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/weird-ways-people-used-to-test-pregnancy/nathan-gibson
<![CDATA[What Did Famous Presidential Candidates Who Lost Get Up To After Their Defeats?]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/presidential-also-rans-post-election-careers/philgibbons?source=rss

What do presidential candidates do after losing the election? Getting that close to the most prestigious political and professional responsibility in the world and failing would seemingly make for a post-election life filled with regret. That goes double for candidates who endured especially crazy election cycles.

Presidential also rans responded to their difficult situation in lots of ways. Many candidates who lost presidential elections were career politicians who merely dusted themselves off and continued serving in their original positions. Some were so devastated that they never attempted to run for political office again. And a few switched careers entirely, finding new purpose in academia or architecture. It's hard to blame these politicians for wanting to take a break after grueling or controversial elections. Perhaps their defeats were blessings in disguise.


What Did Famous Presidential Candidates Who Lost Get Up To After Their Defeats?,

Aaron Burr

Because of a quirk in the Electoral College, Aaron Burr was almost elected President in 1800. He tied Thomas Jefferson in the electoral vote, despite the fact that both men belonged to the same party. The House of Representatives eventually selected Jefferson as president and Burr as vice president, but Jefferson and his allies believed that Burr had secretly schemed to win the election. Burr was completely isolated as vice president, and when he ran for governor of New York in April of 1804, he suffered a humiliating defeat. He blamed his political losses on the machinations of Alexander Hamilton. When Burr killed Hamilton in a duel in July of 1804, his political career was finished. He was forced to flee the New York area.

Burr headed for the western territories. He leased huge tracts of land in the Spanish-ruled Texas territory, and allegedly began to recruit men as part of a plan to establish a sovereign nation under his rule. Unfortunately, Burr's conspirators realized that the plan was doomed, and informed President Jefferson of his plans. Burr was arrested in February of 1807 and placed on trial for treason in Virginia. He narrowly escaped a guilty verdict and a likely sentence to hang.

Burr, still in disgrace, fled to Europe, and returned to the U.S. anonymously four years later. He spent the rest of his life in debt and obscurity, dying in a Staten Island boardinghouse in 1836 at the age of 80.


Al Smith

Alfred E. Smith, Governor of New York, ran for president twice. He failed to get the Democratic nomination in 1924, but in 1928 he ran against Republican Herbert Hoover. Smith was the first Catholic to seek the presidency, and he openly advocated relaxing and even abolishing prohibition, a controversial stance in the rural regions that dominated the Electoral College. Smith suffered a momentous defeat. He made a feeble effort to secure the nomination again 1932, to no avail.

Smith entered the private sector and became president of Empire State, Inc. the firm that built the Empire State Building. Smith, possibly embittered by his catastrophic presidential defeat, became quite hostile to Franklin D. Roosevelt. He publicly opposed the policies of the New Deal, and actually supported Republican presidential candidates in 1936 and 1940. He died of a heart attack in 1944.


Bob Dole

Five term U.S. Senator Bob Dole resigned as Senate Majority Leader in June of 1996 to devote himself full-time to his campaign against incumbent President Bill Clinton. However, as the oldest first-time nominee in U.S. history at age 73, Dole appeared lethargic. Clinton was re-elected by a wide margin.

Bob Dole left politics permanently after his defeat. Only a few days after the election, he made a self-deprecating appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman and became a pitchman for everything from Dunkin' Donuts to Viagra. He also became a registered lobbyist for various entities and foreign governments.

Dole is the only major party member to run for both president and vice president and not win either office. He is also the last nominee to be a veteran of World War II.


George McGovern

Senator George McGovern's 1972 presidential nomination was seen as the dawn of a new progressive age for the Democratic Party. That was one of the factors that would lead to a catastrophic defeat by incumbent President Richard Nixon. Party bosses did nothing to help his candidacy, and his outspoken opposition to the Vietnam war was viewed by some as unpatriotic. When election day arrived, McGovern ended up with the second worst electoral college showing in American political history.

McGovern was re-elected to the Senate in 1974, but was ousted in the Reagan landslide of 1980. McGovern left Washington, and purchased a Connecticut motel and a Montana bookstore. He remained active in political media and wrote numerous books, but suffered a tragedy in 1994 when his daughter, a mentally ill alcoholic, froze to death while intoxicated in harsh weather in Madison, WI.

McGovern received a 1997 appointment from Bill Clinton to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, which brought him from his Mitchell, SD, home to Rome. McGovern eventually returned to South Dakota and lived modestly, establishing a library and leadership center at Dakota Wesleyan University. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2000, and died in 2012 at age 90.


Henry Clay

Henry Clay wasn't ever elected president, but not for lack of trying. The founder of the Whig party, Clay served in Congress starting in 1806, and died in office as a U.S. Senator on June 29, 1852. He ran for president five times and earned the nomination on three occasions, in 1824, 1832, and 1844. He came closest to winning the office in 1844, but an ambiguous position on slavery and a less-than-enthusiastic attitude about western expansion cost him the election to Democrat James Polk.

Rather than retire, Clay attempted to win the Whig nomination again in 1848. However, demand for a newer, possibly more successful candidate led the party to pick Zachary Taylor, a hero of the Mexican War.

Clay returned to the Senate for the last time in 1849, sick with tuberculosis. He announced that he would retire in the fall of 1852, but died in June before leaving office. Lincoln would later refer to the man known as the "Great Compromiser" as "my beau ideal of a statesman."


John W. Davis

John W. Davis was a former U.S. congressman and solicitor general under Woodrow Wilson. He also served as the ambassador to Great Britain for three years at the end of Wilson's administration. He became the compromise Democratic nominee for president at the 1924 convention, when the party stalemated over two other candidates after 102 ballots. The public seemed equally lukewarm about him; Davis suffered a crushing defeat by Calvin Coolidge.

Following his political defeat, Davis returned to practicing corporate law. Here, he made his mark: he argued more cases before the Supreme Court than any other litigator in the modern era. Unfortunately, his conservative outlook put him on the wrong side of such cases as Brown v. Board of Education, where he argued on behalf of "separate but equal" and against federal judicial intervention. Davis practiced law until his death in 1955 at the age of 81.


Michael Dukakis

In July of 1988, Democratic nominee and Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis led his opponent, George H.W. Bush, in the polls by 17 points. But soon, a disastrous Dukakis campaign - complete with dreadful debate performances and comically bad imagery - turned the campaign into a rout for sitting Vice President Bush.

Dukakis left politics soon after losing the election. He became a professor of political science at Northeastern University and a visiting professor at UCLA. He still teaches today.


Stephen A. Douglas

Stephen A. Douglas was a career politician, congressman, and senator who sought the Democratic nomination for president on several occasions. In 1858, he faced re-election to the U.S. Senate from Illinois, facing off against a Republican candidate named Abraham Lincoln. This campaign led to the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates, during which the men discussed topics including slavery and state's rights. Douglas was re-elected over Lincoln.

Lincoln won the 1860 Republican nomination for President. Douglas ran against him as the official Democratic nominee, but Lincoln easily won the presidency. After the election, the Lincoln recruited Douglas to travel to the border states to encourage support for the Union cause. However, Douglas died in Chicago only six months after the election.


William Jennings Bryan

William Jennings Bryan was the Democratic nominee for president three times. His loss in 1896 to Republican William McKinley was so heated and close that a rematch in 1900 became a foregone conclusion. McKinley prevailed again by a similar margin. Bryan waited out the popular administration of Theodore Roosevelt, and ran against William Howard Taft in 1908 - and lost again. He briefly served as Secretary of State under Woodrow Wilson, but resigned due to ideological disagreements with the president.

"The Great Commoner" began to make money by giving speeches, and campaigned in favor of prohibition and women's suffrage. He also began speaking out against evolution, and famously participated in the Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925. Bryan eventually won the case, but the trial overshadowed his earlier career. Bryan died on July 26, 1925, just five days after the trial ended, at the age of 65.


Thomas Dewey Resumed His Career As Governor Of New York

Thomas Dewey achieved political prominence after his racket-busting prosecutions in New York City put many gangland criminals, including Lucky Luciano, in prison. He sought the Republican presidential nomination in 1940, but he was considered too young. He became the Governor of New York in 1942 instead. Dewey was a practically unanimous choice for the presidential nomination in 1944, but he was defeated by the immensely popular President Franklin Roosevelt.

Dewey received the nomination again in 1948, and ran against the incumbent President Harry Truman. America was suffering from postwar economic recession, and Dewey and the Republicans were confident of victory. Truman and most Americans went to bed on Election Day assuming that Dewey would win. The next day, Truman was still president.  

Dewey was re-elected governor of New York in 1950, but was never a force in national politics again. After finishing his third term as governor, he left politics to re-join the world of law. Dewey died of a heart attack in 1971, at age 68.



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Tue, 18 Apr 2017 02:02:44 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/presidential-also-rans-post-election-careers/philgibbons
<![CDATA[The Insane, Untold Story of the Anarchist Unabomber of 19th Century France]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/ravachol-anarchist-bombings-aftermath-parisian-chaos/melissa-sartore?source=rss

Excess, commerce, and innovation ruled Paris in the late 19th century. In the aftermath of the French Revolution, the country struggled for political stability before establishing the Third Republic in 1871. It was a time of radical Parisian politics, and the rise of a militant working class left in the 19th century is evidenced in tales of historical anarchists.

During the 1870s, Paris was bustling with beauty, extravagance, and debauchery, as the elite celebrated progress while being increasingly disconnected from the struggles of the worker. France was divided among the aristocracy, immigrants, and newly rich, and Paris became the wealthiest and poorest city in the country. These conditions created a pressure cooker of political violence between wealthy and poor, which led to the establishment of the Paris Commune, and the formation of a revolutionary government in 1871.  

The Commune lasted two months, but the anarchist movement, and radical anarchists like Ravachol, were born out of its ashes. Fiery radicals with hard line political beliefs who were disilusoined when the commune fell apart as the French army advanced, anarchists were embittered and cynical. Convinced violence was the only measure of recourse in a seemingly totalitarian society, and inspired by examples set by Russian anarchists, young radicals became a spree of 19th century anarchist bombings, which was ignited by a disaffected man turned radical left martyr, Ravachol.


The Insane, Untold Story of the Anarchist Unabomber of 19th Century France,

Ravachol

Francois-Claudius Ravachol experienced first-hand the type of disparity and oppression anarchists believed the State imposed upon the poor and working classes. Born in 1859 in Saint-Chamond, in central France, he and his family were abandoned by his Dutch father when he was a young boy. Poor and ashamed of his ragged clothes and shabby appearance, Ravachol grew up Catholic, worked odd jobs, and, with increasingly long terms of unemployment, turned to anarchism for solace. He played music, sold alcohol on the black market, robbed graves, and got into counterfeiting to survive. 


He Was Ratted Out By A Waiter And It Took 10 Cops To Arrest Him

On the same day as the army barracks bombing, after the March 11 blast and before the second judge bomb went off, Ravachol treated himself to dinner out. He chatted with his waiter, engaging him in a conversation about anarchy, and mentioned he dabbled in bombing his enemies. At least, that's the story according to Luc Sante

John M. Merriman gives a slightly different account. As per Merriman, Ravachol did indeed hold forth on anarchism with his waiter, though mentioned nothing about his bombs. Rather, the water saw some scars on his hands and did a bit of amateur detective work. After putting things together for himself, the intrepid serveur contacted the police. 

In both versions of the story, when Ravachol returned to the restaurant a few days later, on March 30, the authorities stormed in. It took ten cops restrained the anarchist, as he kicked, punched, and fought his way into custody.   


Ravachol's First Acts As Anarchist Avenger Was Aimed At Judges Who Were Harsh On His Peers

On May 1, 1891, a shoot-out erupted between police and anarchists in Clichy, an urban area adjacent to the 17th arrondissement in northwest Paris. What began as a demonstration ended in violence, for reasons on one knows. Two of the anarchists involved in the incident were given stiff prison terms by unsympathetic judges. 

On March 11, 1892, Ravachol planted a bomb at the home of one the judges. Two weeks later, he did the same in the home of another judge. Neither bomb resulted in fatalities, though both caused serious property damage. 

The same day as the Clichy shootout, workers in Fourmies, France, demonstrated in favor of an eight-hour workday. The demonstration led to clashes with the police, which prompted officers to fire into a crowd. Nine civilians died. Ravachol was in part inspired to action by this loss of life, as well as the judicial system's treatment of his fellow anarchists. 


It Was Briefly Assumed He Bombed An Army Barracks, But This Crime Was Eventually Pinned On Someone Else

In between the explosion of Ravachol's first bomb, on March 11, 1892, and his second two weeks later, a bomb went off in an army barracks near the St Gervais church in Paris's 4th arrondissement. No one claimed responsibility for the attack, and it resulted in no causalities. According to Luc Sante, author of The Other Paris, everyone assumed Ravachol was to blame

As John Merriam asserts in his study of 19th century French political bombings (The Dynamite Club) Theodule Meunier set the bomb, which was called "nicely symbolic" by L'En-Dehors, an individualist anarchist newspaper. 

The amry barracks bomb plus Ravachol's two judge bombs caused 40,000 francs worth of damages. Unfortunately, there's no easy way to figure out what this means in 21st century American money, given the complex conversions necessary to go from francs to euros to dollars, across a span of 120+ years.


He Murdered A Hermit In 1891 Out Of Desperation And It Came Back To Haunt Him

In 1891, at the age of 32, Ravachol was supposedly arrested for the murder of an old hermit in Montbrison, a town not far from his own. He allegedly committed the crime to steal a small fortune the hermit hoarded in his residence, equivalent in 1891 to £600, or £69,957.30 in 2016 ($90,636.68), all of which was amassed begging for alms. Ravachol escape police custody as he was being transported in a wagon, and fled to Paris. This crime became a focus of his trail in the wake of his bombings. 


It's Possible His Early Alleged Crimes Were Pinned On Him By The Court And Crime Papers

Ravachol was tried twice in 1892, and the court really wanted to make an example of him. To this end, he was accused of all manner of crimes that had nothing to do with his political activity. For instance, he was accused of robbing the grave of a famous countess, and of the murder of a wealthy hermit. As Luc Sante mentions in his book The Other Paris, a detailed study of the history of the Parisian underclass, it's unlikely Ravachol had anything to do with either crime. 

Wikipedia states Ravachol admited to the hermit murder and denied all other allegations during his trial. A biography on Marxists.org by historian Mitch Abidor corroborates this, stating Ravachol did in fact kill the famous hermit and steal his money. However, it makes no mention of his admitting it during is trial. 

John M. Merriman's account of French anarchist anti-state violence, The Dynamite Club, goes into detail on Ravachol's trials. As per Merriman, Ravachol admitted to murdering the old hermit, and suggested he'd murdered a number of other people as well. Merriman quotes Ravachol as saying "See this hand? It has killed as many bourgeoisie as it had fingers." Whether or not he meant that literally or to strike fear into the heart of the anti-anarchist status quo, is unclear. 

While it's possible Ravachol robbed graves and murdered a wealthy hermit, it's also possible Ravachol's contemporary biography is at least in part a product of disparaging narratives created by his enemies during a major press blitz designed to make the state look like a benevolent father and Ravachol a petulant child.   


European Anarchy Has A Long History Of Acts Of Violence Against Oppressive Governments And Classes

To Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, the so-called ‘"father of anarchy," too much government and too much large-scale land ownership served the interests of the army and the wealthy, at the expense of the working class. European anarchists took hold of Proudhon’s ideas and exercised the “propaganda of the deed,” taking radical action meant to inspire others and serve as a catalyst for revolution, by committing acts of terror against the government. Russian anarchists such as Mikhail Bakunin and Peter Kropotkin (the Russian Prince who coined the term) used deeds to try to spark revolution and set an example for others during the 1870s, much like Ravachol would do some twenty years later in France The goal for these anarchists and others was to destroy the State and capitalism.

Ravachol read, and was greatly impressed by, Marie-Joseph Eugene Sue’s The Wandering Jew. The book recounts deeds of the nobility that took place at the expense of the underclass, and further solidified Ravachol’s socialist and atheist beliefs. His disdain for capitalism grew, and when he arrived in Paris in 1892, he associated with numerous anarchists, heard stories about how they were treated, and undertook a series of political attacks to avenge the anarchist cause. 


Anarchism Took Hold With French Workers Thanks To Extreme Class Divide

The French Revolution of the late 18th century saw the rise of the democratic ideals under the National Assembly, the warping of those notions during the Reign of Terror, and led to an Emperor named Napoleon. The 19th century was characterized by a return to monarchy, a second attempt at a republic, yet another empire under Napoleon III, and finally, the establishment of the Third Republic, in 1871.

As the economic divide in France grew, the poorest citizens turned to whatever forms of employment they could to survive. From the perspective of the wealthy, the poor were lazy and avoided real work. From the point of view of the lower classes, the wealthy and the State oppressed them, took away their opportunities, and forced them to steal, lie, and fight on the margins of society. Anarchism offered a path of resistance to and escape from this dreary existence by promising a government without oppression and a society in which each person would be equally free to pursue personal goals as the next. 


He Was Put On Trial Twice, Once For Political Crimes And Once For Alleged Robberies And Murders

Ravachol's case was big news in Paris, and the perfect opportunity for the government to make an example of anti-state agitators (terrorists, if you prefer the nomenclature of the oppressors). He was first tried for the bombings, which, because no one was injured, were political crimes against property. For these, he was sentenced to hard labor

Next, Ravachol was tried, outside Paris, in his old stomping grounds of central France, for a litany of things he may or may not had a hand in, among them the murder of a hermit and episodes of grave robbing. Some accounts suggest Ravachol was tried twice because he bragged about murders he got away with while in state custody. As per Luc Sante, Ravachol was brought in on whatever charges could be unearthed, in order to ensure nasty crimes stuck and he went to the guillotine: "In court [Ravachol] was accused of a long list of unsolved crimes... none of which could be realistically linked to him."


The Restaurant In Which He Was Arrested Was Bombed Not Long Thereafter

On April 25, 1892, Le Véry. the restaurant in which Ravachol was arrested just three weeks earlier was bombed. The device was placed in a suitcase purchased just for the occasion and left in the cafe. Two people died in the blast, including Monsieur Véry himself. The primary intended victim was Lhérot, the waiter who gave Ravachol up, though the act was also heavily symbolic, a strike against capitalism and its collusion with the police state. 



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Wed, 26 Apr 2017 05:57:09 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/ravachol-anarchist-bombings-aftermath-parisian-chaos/melissa-sartore
<![CDATA[12 Terrifying Details About The 1952 London Fog That Killed Over 12,000 People]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-the-1952-killer-london-fog/amandasedlakhevener?source=rss

The 1952 Great Smog of London lasted for only four days – from December 5th to the 9th – but in that time it killed thousands. Also known as the Big Smoke, this deadly London fog was no ordinary weather event. The fog blanketing London consisted of tiny particles of sulfuric acid and other compounds that sickened hundreds of thousands – and killed 12,000 London residents.

The killer London fog overtook a city that was already mired in industrial pollution, and it led to a number of environmental regulations being put into place to keep it from happening again. For the city's residents in 1952, however, it was a terrifying experience.


12 Terrifying Details About The 1952 London Fog That Killed Over 12,000 People,

The Ambulance Service Stopped Functioning

Since the ambulance drivers couldn't see where they were going - some had helpers walk slightly in front of their vehicles to help guide them - the service eventually shut down. Not only were thousands of people sickened by the fog and in need of hospitalization, but they had to get to the hospital on foot. Firefighters had the same problem traveling in their vehicles. The fog made it difficult for them to fight the fires as well, although they did already have masks to keep from breathing in the toxic air. 


The Foggy Air Contained Particles Of Sulfuric Acid

Scientists studying the problematic fogs in China recently came to the conclusion that the 1952 London fog consisted of tiny particles of sulfuric acid, produced by the after-effects of burning coal for heat. That particular winter had been very cold, and coal was the only method of heating homes and businesses at the time. However, coal is messy, and burning it produces a lot of dirty air, especially without air scrubbers in place.

In this case, coal burning produced a mixture of nitrogen and sulfur dioxide, which turned into sulfuric acid. Anyone familiar with basic chemistry understands the dangers of sulfuric acid - imagine having it overtake the atmosphere for several days. 


The Fog Was Yellow And Black In Color And Left Behind A Greasy Residue

The fog that blanketed - attacked, really - London in December 1952 was not white and wispy. Instead, it consisted of yellow and black particles that clung to various surfaces. People's faces were left with blackened stains, just by going outside. Sidewalks became greasy and slippery, and the city was generally filthy.


An Anticyclone Trapped The Cold Air Close To The Ground

The fog was caused by an anticyclone, a large body of warm air that moved in and essentially pushed the existing cold air to the ground, trapping it in place. Usually when this happens, winds come along and move all of the air along. However, that didn't happen in 1952. Instead, there were no winds, so everything stayed in place for days, essentially grinding life to a halt. 


Criminals Took Advantage Of The Fog

Since the fog made it tough to see more than several feet in front of you at a time, the crime rate went up. Burglars broke into homes under the cover of fog, and thieves stood on street corners in what was left of broad daylight and snatched women's purses when the opportunity arose. No one could see the purse snatchers, who only had to walk away and disappear into the fog where law enforcement couldn't find them. 


Every Source Of Transportation Shut Down

The thickness of the fog made it very tough for anyone to see where they were going, which made traveling by vehicle incredibly dangerous. People couldn't see the traffic signals at intersections and pedestrians couldn't see oncoming traffic. In order to keep the residents of the city safe, an entire shutdown was needed. Trains were stopped, boats on the Thames couldn't continue on their paths, and cars stayed in the streets where their owners left them in order to head home on foot. The only thing operating was the Tube, as that was underground and safe from fog.


Thousands Of Animals Died

The Smithfield Show was an annual event that took place at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London. People came from all over England to show off their well-bred livestock. Unfortunately, the show was going on during the fog. Eleven prize heifers choked to death on the acrid air that smelled like rotten eggs, and owners had to quickly create gas masks out of burlap in order to save the others. On top of this, birds, unable to see where they were going in the thick air, ran into buildings, breaking their necks. In all, thousands of animals died over the four days of fog. 


More Than 12,000 People Died As A Result Of The Fog

The fog that blanketed the city of London in December of 1952 wasn't the standard kind that comes about when cold air is trapped on the ground by large pockets of warm air. It was toxic and hazardous to breathe. During the immediate aftermath of the fog, officials believed that the effects - bronchitis, pneumonia, and cardiovascular problems - killed 4,000 people. However, recent research has raised that number to a whopping 12,000


Visibility Was At Less Than Three Feet For Four Days

For the entirety of the four days that the fog lingered around London, people couldn't see more than a few feet in front of them. Anyone walking on the streets had to be careful not to run into people coming the other way, who would appear seemingly from out of nowhere. Before all vehicle traffic was shut down, crossing the street became hazardous, and people reportedly couldn't even see their own feet. 


Pharmacies Sold Smog Masks

Pharmacies (or "chemists," to use the British term) took advantage of the fog and came up with a series of smog masks to sell to the public. Unfortunately, these masks were both expensive and hard to come by, so many people had to use what they had on hand. Handkerchiefs, scarves, and basic strips of fabric were wrapped around the nose and mouth for extra protection when venturing outside. 



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Mon, 19 Dec 2016 01:56:36 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-the-1952-killer-london-fog/amandasedlakhevener
<![CDATA[14 Facts About Victoria Woodhull, The First Woman To Ever Run For President]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/victoria-woodhull-facts/amandasedlakhevener?source=rss

Who was Victoria Woodhull? You might not know her name, but once you hear her story, you'll never forget her. She was the first woman to run for President of the United States, and as a third-party candidate, no less. She started a newspaper, and was a women's suffrage pioneer. Woodhall also became one of the first female stockbrokers on Wall Street and even ran her own brokerage - all during a time period in which women weren't supposed to work and didn't have the right to vote. 

Woodhull was born on September 23, 1838, in the tiny hamlet of Homer, OH. Victoria Claflin, as she was then named, was the seventh of ten children. Her childhood was unconventional: her mother, Roxanna, was a follower of the new Spiritualist movement, while her father, Reuben (nicknamed "Old Buck") was a snake oil salesman. From Ohio, Woodhull went to New York, and later England. After living a very full and somewhat controversial life, and having an immeasurable influence on politics, Woodhull died at the age of 88 in Worcestershire, England, on June 9, 1927.

From her unusual childhood to her groundbreaking political career, Victoria Woodhull is an eccentric and fascinating historical figure.


14 Facts About Victoria Woodhull, The First Woman To Ever Run For President,

She Ran For President In 1872

Hillary Clinton may have been the first woman to run for president on the ticket of a major party, but Woodhull was the first woman to ever run for the position, period. Woodhull declared her candidacy back in 1870 for the 1872 election. She ran under the banner of a small, independent party: the Equal Rights Party, previously known as the People's Party. Her opponents were Ulysses S. Grant, the Republican incumbent, and Horace Greeley, the Democratic candidate. Woodhull's running mate was Frederick Douglas, even though he never agreed to the position. In fact, Douglas gave public speeches in favor of Grant.

On election day, Woodhull couldn't even vote. Women didn't have the right at the time, but Woodhull also spent that day in prison for sending obscene material in the mail (her newspaper had revealed Henry Ward Beecher's infidelity). Woodhall didn't receive any electoral votes, but it's unclear whether she received any popular votes.


She Believed In Free Love

Woodhull was married three times. She married her first husband, Dr. Canning Woodhull, when she was 15; they had two children, Byron and Zula. The family moved to San Francisco, where Woodhull reportedly worked as a topless waitress. They eventually wound up in New York City, where Woodhull's husband deserted the family after 11 years of marriage.

Woodhull divorced her first husband, and then took up with Colonel James Harvey Blood, a Spiritualist who supported her free love beliefs. They divorced in 1876. Her third marriage, to John Biddulph Martin, ended with his death in 1901.

Although divorce was greatly frowned upon during the 1800s, Woodhull didn't seem to care about her reputation. She felt that women should have the right to leave marriages that were unbearable, not stay simply because that was the expected thing to do. The doctrine of free love espoused at the time supported this ability to choose one's relationships.


She And Her Sister Were The First Women To Start A Newspaper In The U.S.

Woodhull and her sister, Tennessee Claflin, started a newspaper in 1870. Called Woodhull & Claflin's Weekly, it was published from 1870 until 1876. The paper focused on a number of controversial topics, such as women's suffrage, free love, and Spiritualism, all things that Woodhull supported. The newspaper was the first U.S. publication to run Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto, and also exposed the extramarital affairs of Henry Ward Beecher.

Woodhull & Claflin's Weekly was the first newspaper in the United States to be financed, run, and published by women. Although The Revolution - a women's rights newspaper run by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony - began publication in 1868, it was financed by men.


She Worked As A Magnetic Healer, Clairvoyant, And Spiritualist

Woodhull's parents put her to work as a clairvoyant at a young age. She reportedly starting having visions when she was ten, and her sister, Tennessee Claflin, had premonitions. Woodhull's mother was a follower of the burgeoning Spiritualist movement, and she and her husband pushed the girls to go on a traveling circuit so that they could earn money for the family. On the road, they told fortunes and held seances.

Woodhull worked as a magnetic healer as well, helping the sick and injured with a series of "healing" magnetic devices. She and her sister were so successful that they were able to set up their magnetic healing practice in New York City as adults.


She Testified Before Congress In Support Of Women's Suffrage

On January 11, 1871, Woodhull became the first woman to speak before a Congressional committee. She gave a speech to the House Judiciary Committee, in which she claimed that the newly ratified 14th and 15th Amendments gave women the right to vote. Woodhull had gotten the invitation from Benjamin Butler, a Republican from Massachusetts whom she had befriended.

Woodhull's assertion that women could vote under the new amendments didn't pan out; women finally received the right to vote in 1920, thanks to the 19th Amendment. But for a short period of time, she had the ears of lawmakers.


She Started The First Women-Run Stock Brokerage On Wall Street

In 1870, with the financial backing of Cornelius Vanderbilt (who was rumored to be Tennessee Claflin's lover), Woodhull and her sister opened the first Wall Street brokerage run by women. Called Woodhull, Claflin and Co., the brokerage employed other women as well.

Woodhull and Claflin quickly became known as the "bewitching brokers" and were very successful. Following stock tips from Vanderbilt, as well as coming up with some of their own, the two made millions.


She Was Arrested For Publishing "Obscene Information"

In November of 1872, a special issue of the Woodhull & Claflin Weekly was sent out. This particular issue contained a number of scandalous claims, one of which attacked Henry Ward Beecher, a popular preacher and abolitionist. According to an article written and published by Woodhull, the married Beecher - who frequently criticized Woodhull's free love philosophy - had been having an affair. Other pieces claimed that Wall Street broker Luther Challis had seduced several underage girls.

Some historians think that this issue either was designed to drum up support for Woodhull's presidential run, or that she and her sister had been blackmailing these men, and when they refused to pay up, the duo went public. Either way, this special issue led to the arrest of Woodhull and Tennessee Claflin on the charge of sending obscene information through the U.S. mail.


She Was Close With The Vanderbilts

While Woodhull lived in New York City, she became very close to Cornelius Vanderbilt (nicknamed the "Commodore"). He gave her stock tips and helped her start her Wall Street brokerage. There were rumors that Woodhull and Vanderbilt were lovers (or that he and her sister Tennessee Claflin were lovers), but this hasn't been proven.

Upon Vanderbilt's death, his son and heir, William Henry Vanderbilt, gave a large amount of money to Woodhull. Some historians believe that this was a pay off to ensure that she kept quiet about her relationship with the Commodore. Whether it was or not, Woodhull took the money offered and set up a new life in London, where she worked as a lecturer.


She Supported Legalizing Prostitution

Woodhull frequently fought rumors that she was a prostitute. She wasn't one, as far as historical evidence can tell, but she did support legalized prostitution. That was just a part of her free love philosophy that pointed out the negative effects of monogamy. Woodhull was upset by the fact that women in New York City were arrested for prostitution, and even centered part of her presidential campaign around legalizing it. However, she was up against a very prim and proper Victorian society, as well as the new Comstock Act, which made it difficult to obtain any materials deemed "obscene."


She Joined The Marxist International Workingmen's Association

The International Workingmen's Association was an organization of leftist thinkers run by supporters of Marxism. The group, also called First International, started in London, but quickly opened up branches throughout Europe and the United States.

Woodhull was a member of the women's section of the association, and she published articles supporting the group's socialist cause in her newspaper, Woodhull & Claflin Weekly. Unfortunately, her support for Marxism damaged her reputation after she began her Presidential campaign. She was already a controversial public figure, but her connection to the group just made it worse.



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Tue, 18 Apr 2017 02:57:26 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/victoria-woodhull-facts/amandasedlakhevener
<![CDATA[11 President/Vice President Pairs That Absolutely Hated Each Other]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/presidents-and-vice-presidents-who-hated-each-other/philgibbons?source=rss

Throughout American political history, there have been numerous White House feuds and bad presidential pairs, which created administrations consisting of presidents who hated their vice presidents. Each of these situations was unique in its specifics, but all were fundamentally driven by the reality – especially as the American executive branch evolved in the 19th and 20th centuries – that the US vice presidency was merely a ceremonial position, rarely involved in any substantive governmental process.

Frequently exploited during an initial presidential campaign for their regional or home-state connections and quickly discarded once an administration began to wield power, any accomplished, egotistical politician would quickly become embittered by a process that reduced him to a non-entity in the post of vice president. Such an environment was bound to produce hostility and resentment, a situation that occurred many times involving American presidents and vice presidents who didn't get along.   


11 President/Vice President Pairs That Absolutely Hated Each Other,

Thomas Jefferson And Aaron Burr's Antagonism Changed The Electoral College

In 1800, only a decade after its development, the American presidential electoral process faced a dilemma that clearly demonstrated that the elections were still a work in progress. After all votes were cast and electors designated, the two Republican Party candidates, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, were tied with 73 electoral votes. In those days, parties did not designate a combined ticket, so it was possible for electors to cast two votes for any of four candidates. The one with the clear majority would win, and the one who came in second would become vice president. In the 1800 election, the Republican Party decided they wanted Jefferson to win the presidency and Burr to win the vice presidency.

However, things didn't exactly go as planned when the vote went to the House of Representatives. It took 36 ballots, but Jefferson eventually prevailed, chiefly because some of the Federalists in Congress – at the urging of Alexander Hamilton – abstained, throwing the election to Jefferson. For finishing second, Burr became the vice president but was immediately ostracized by Jefferson, who suspected that he had actually attempted to obtain the presidency for himself during the lengthy maneuvering and chicanery that went on during the election. Any of Burr's requests for official appointments in the new cabinet were ignored, and he was quickly isolated. By 1804, it was a foregone conclusion that he would be dropped from the ticket. When his unsuccessful 1804 campaign for Governor of New York was impacted negatively by Alexander Hamilton, Burr's political frustration boiled over into the notorious duel that killed the former Secretary of the Treasury and rendered the Vice President a political pariah.

Angered by his banishment from American politics, Burr left the US and hatched a misguided plot to seize the western territories and place himself at the head of his own country. The plan never got off the ground, and Jefferson's animosity prompted a trial for treason, with the President fully intending to hang his former Vice President. Luckily for Burr, Chief Justice John Marshall, who presided over the trial, set a very high standard of guilt, and Burr was acquitted. Still, the hostility of the political establishment and the President was so great that Burr fled to Europe and did not return for four years. 

The election of 1800 caused such turmoil that the 12th Amendment to the Constitution was passed, which would subsequently allow electors to vote for a president and vice president instead of two votes for president.


Calvin Coolidge Got Angry With Charles Dawes When The VP Slept In

Charles Dawes was not Calvin Coolidge's first choice for VP when Coolidge ran for re-election in 1924. The position was actually offered to another politician who turned it down. Dawes's public tirades and stubbornly opinionated attitude were at odds with the President known as "Silent Cal." When Dawes slept through a cabinet vote in the Senate that barely rejected a Coolidge nominee, he became a public laughingstock. Greatly upset, Coolidge, who declined to run in 1928, made it clear that he would consider the nomination of Dawes in 1928 a personal insult. The party nominated Herbert Hoover instead.


Richard Nixon Wanted To Get Rid Of Spiro Agnew Because He Considered Him A Lightweight

Initially, Richard Nixon was happy with his running mate, Spiro (Ted) Agnew, who campaigned well in a very close 1968 election. But this relationship quickly turned sour based on what Nixon considered ineffectual governance, a public persona of hostility with the press, and a lack of depth on the part of Agnew. He wanted to dump Agnew in 1972, but, by then, the Vice President had ingratiated himself with the far-right conservative wing of the party with such colorful phrases describing media hostile to the Republicans as "impudent snobs" and "nattering nabobs of negativism."

Under normal circumstances, Nixon might have been ambivalent when Agnew had to resign the Vice Presidency in October of 1973 over bribery and extortion charges that occurred while he was Governor of Maryland. But Nixon was already battling his own scandal with Watergate, and Agnew's behavior only blackened the reputation of Nixon's administration in the eyes of the American people even further, adding more fuel to the fire of suspected corruption. After Agnew's resignation, the two men never spoke again, with Agnew refusing to take Nixon's eventual conciliatory phone calls. 


John Adams And Thomas Jefferson Were From Different Political Parties

It was inevitable that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson would not get along as President and Vice President. Adams was a Federalist; Jefferson was a Republican; and their election was the result of the second-place finisher in electoral votes being elected vice president, regardless of party. The Federalists and Republicans differed fundamentally on political issues, especially on attitudes towards England and France and civil liberties.

Although Adams's and Jefferson's personal relationship remained civil throughout Adams's Presidency, Adams's last-minute appointments of individuals of his own party before Jefferson's inauguration was perceived by Jefferson as a blatant attempt to sabotage his Vice Presidency. He stopped communicating with Adams for 10 years and only resumed a correspondence after the intervention of a mutual friend. In 1811, Adams rekindled the friendship of the two men, which would last until their deaths, coincidentally on the same day, July 4, 1826.


Dwight Eisenhower Thought Richard Nixon Was An Overly Ambitious Weirdo

Dwight Eisenhower's Vice President, Richard Nixon, was the result of a convention selection that Eisenhower was not wild about. He disliked the young Nixon's anti-communist hysteria and grasping ambition. In 1956, with Eisenhower's health a major issue, the question of who would be on the ticket in 1956 loomed large. Ike attempted to get Nixon to take himself out of the running and accept a cabinet post, but Nixon didn't take the hint. In the end, Nixon remained on the ticket, but President Eisenhower's attitude about him was clear, both privately and publicly. As an aside during a 1956 discussion with party officials Eisenhower stated:

"I can't understand how a man can come so far in his profession and not have any friends."

In a public news conference in 1960, Eisenhower made an offhand remark that was meant to be humorous – but was actually devastating – when asked by reporters to come up with a Nixon idea that Ike had adopted while President. His response:

"If you give me a week, I might think of one. I don't remember."

In this case, Eisenhower's passive-aggressive relationship with Nixon was not very passive.


Fate Forced Theodore Roosevelt On William McKinley

William McKinley never really liked Teddy Roosevelt. He felt his demands for war during his administration were really about Roosevelt wanting to get military service on his political resume. Against his better judgment, he appointed Roosevelt Assistant Secretary of the Navy, a position that Roosevelt publicly used to beat the drums for war against Spain. Behind his back, after McKinley explained his reluctance to get involved in armed conflict, Roosevelt said of the President:

“He has all the backbone of a chocolate eclair.”

McKinley, a veteran of the Civil War with first-hand knowledge of its horrific consequences, eventually asked Congress to declare war, and Teddy Roosevelt was commissioned as a Lieutenant Colonel in the famed "Rough Riders" contingent. He was immediately fitted in a Brooks Brothers uniform, and Roosevelt issued a press release complete with numerous photos of himself in uniform – this before he even left New York for Puerto Rico.

Roosevelt's maneuver would have been a mere annoyance except for a development that changed American history. McKinley's trusted Vice President, Garret Hobart, was stricken with heart disease and died in December of 1899. Because Roosevelt had so alienated party bosses in NY, they were hoping to get rid of him by sticking him in the powerless office of vice president where McKinley could isolate him. Roosevelt initially did not want to run for VP but agreed, thinking that it might help him escape from potential defeat in New York politics. Predictably, Roosevelt's first six months in office were trivial and uneventful. That changed when an assassin shot and killed President McKinley in September of 1901. The man nobody wanted or liked was now the President.


Andrew Jackson Literally Threatened To Kill His VP, John Calhoun

Thomas Jefferson's legal and criminal pursuit of Aaron Burr would not be the last time a president threatened the physical well being of a vice president. John Calhoun was one of only two men to serve different presidents, a historical oddity perpetuated by the Electoral College's practice of having distinct competitions for president and vice president. Andrew Jackson and Calhoun's ticket in the 1828 campaign against John Quincy Adams was a match of convenience, and Jackson and Calhoun immediately began to clash over the issue of tariffs, which the VP felt discriminated against Southern states and favored the North.

This dispute escalated to the point that Calhoun threatened to use the legal concept of "nullification" in which a state ignored a federal law it felt was unconstitutional. Calhoun even threatened to secede from the Union, a threat that prompted Jackson to ask Congress to pass the 1833 Force Bill, which allowed the federal government to use military action to force state compliance. By then, Calhoun was a Senator, having resigned from his White House post in December of 1832. At one point during the dispute, Jackson famously stated: “John Calhoun, if you secede from my nation I will secede your head from the rest of your body.”

Andrew Jackson, who engaged in as many as 100 duels in his lifetime, probably wasn't kidding.


Al Gore Blamed Bill Clinton For His 2000 Defeat

By October of 2000, Al Gore and Bill Clinton were no longer even speaking to each other. Initially quite close during their two successful presidential campaigns, the two men drifted apart as the web of scandal engulfed Bill Clinton's second term. As early as 1999, Gore publicly criticized the President for his conduct concerning his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky and privately disliked the authority given to Hillary Clinton, which he felt came at his expense. Clinton began to be irritated by this attitude as well as Gore's deliberate refusal to campaign with him and believed that Gore also wanted to prove that he could get elected on his own. When Gore lost an excruciatingly close election in 2000, he blamed Clinton's personal conduct for the loss, igniting a tense White House confrontation in December of 2000. They would patch up their relationship after 9/11.


John F. Kennedy And Lyndon Johnson's Massive Egos Made For A Difficult Relationship

In 1960, John F. Kennedy was nominated for President after a very contentious primary campaign in which Kennedy's chief competition was Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson. Johnson, a powerful Senator and take-no-prisoners campaigner used Kennedy's Catholic faith and health against him in his bid for the nomination. Because JFK knew the election would be difficult, he acquiesced and put Johnson on the ticket, which probably won him the election. But the Northeastern intellectuals who made up Kennedy's cabinet and administration belittled Johnson and shut him out of any meaningful role in the new government. The President rarely met with Johnson personally, and his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, openly feuded with Johnson in public. Johnson was reduced to globetrotting around the world, an assignment that he felt was a way to humiliate him and get him out of Washington.

His treatment would result in a deep resentment that was expressed forcefully when President Kennedy was assassinated. When Jackie Kennedy and other administration officials returned to Air Force One for the flight back to Washington after Kennedy's assassination, they were confronted with Lyndon Johnson already in the President's cabin, having refused Jackie's request to remain in this prestigious location for one last time. This attitude was the final chapter in a relationship that deeply embittered Lyndon Johnson and permanently estranged him from the Kennedys, but he didn't care. Now, he was the President.


Franklin D. Roosevelt May Have Run For A Third Term To Prevent His VP From Being Elected President

FDR initially got along well with his plainspoken Vice President, John Nance Garner. Garner, a hard-drinking, no-nonsense Texan, once claimed that the Vice Presidency wasn't "worth a pitcher of warm piss." Nicknamed "Cactus Jack" for his acerbic manner, Garner eventually soured on FDR's liberal, New Deal program, which clashed with his conservative perspective. Even worse, with the 1940 election approaching and Garner in his 70s, the former House Speaker figured that it was now or never if he ever wanted to be President. Garner also further alienated Roosevelt with isolationist foreign policy views and the belief that federal troops should have been used to put down labor strikes in the late '30s, an alternative at odds with the labor base of the Democratic Party.

When Garner openly challenged Roosevelt, he was outmaneuvered when the President allowed himself to be "drafted" as a candidate, a strategy that enabled him to avoid scrutiny for breaking the unwritten "two term" rule that was presidential tradition. Garner essentially retired from politics and went back to Texas, thinking that he wasn't going to live much longer, anyway. Surprisingly, he lasted another 27 years and died in 1967, aged 98 years, 350 days.   



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Tue, 04 Apr 2017 09:25:21 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/presidents-and-vice-presidents-who-hated-each-other/philgibbons
<![CDATA[The Most Beautiful Historical Artifacts Destroyed By Terrorists Around The World]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/historical-artifacts-destroyed-by-terrorists/jim-jacobi?source=rss

The practice of armies pillaging perceived treasures from conquered territories and destroying what remains is nothing new. Throughout history, communities, religious groups, and entire cultures have been victims of barbaric destruction, mostly in the name of primitive intolerance for any number of ideologies—race, ethnicity, religion, etc. While lovers of culture may lament the loss, there's nothing particularly radical about art destroyed by terrorists in the name of a cause. 

In the 2010s, the Middle East leads the way in the destruction of art and artifacts, most of them ancient; the number of historical sites destroyed by ISIS increases each year. The collective power vacuum that came in the wake of the Arab Spring allowed swaths of land to fall under ISIS control. ISIS fighters come from all over the world, including the United States, and they almost unanimously prefer any variation of "ISIS" over the term "Daesh." Well, f*ck what they want. The remainder of this list will refer to them only as Daesh.

Daesh's isolated interpretation of religion fuels an incendiary agenda to violently rid the world of non-Islamic symbols of faith. The organization seems intent on having history erased by demagogues. This list purposely focuses on historical sites and beautiful artifacts destroyed by terrorists in lieu of the additionally horrendous loss of life that accompanies such extreme iconoclasm.


The Most Beautiful Historical Artifacts Destroyed By Terrorists Around The World,

Buddhas of Bamiyan

A group of monumental standing Buddha statues dating to the 6th-7th century CE, which stood for more than 1,700 years, was reduced to rubble in a matter of weeks in March 2001. Coverage of the Taliban has fallen to the wayside in lieu of Daesh, but the political party’s history is not without atrocities. After nearly a decade of violent political upheaval after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in '88 - '89, the Taliban dominated worldwide news (before 9/11) when it completely destroyed the historic landmarks. Unsatisfied with damage caused by artillery and anti-aircraft weapons, the Taliban resorted to drilling holes to place dynamite throughout the statues. The detonations obliterated the Bamiyan Buddhas.


Temple of Bel

Barely three months after wiping away the Temple of Baalshamin, Daesh focused its destructive efforts on the nearby Temple of Bel. Its namesake was a Mesopotamian title applied to various gods throughout the ancient Near East. The Temple of Bel was less than 1,000 meters from the Temple of Baalshamin.

The location of the Temple of Bel has archeological signs of human occupation dating back to 3,000-2,000 BCE. The structure itself wasn’t built until much later (over the course of the first and second centuries), though it was dedicated in 32 CE. So, the Temple of Bel managed to last more than 1,900 years, in a location that has been used for nearly 5,000 years, but the sadistic tunnel vision of Daesh reduced it to ashes in August 2015.


Various Artifacts & Ruins - Nimrud, Iraq

Nimrud was a major Assyrian city between the first and second millennium BCE. Its strategic geographical location between the Tigris and Great Zab rivers made Nimrud a massive population center. Its lands were later discovered to be so rich in culturally historical artifacts and ruins that excavation efforts began as early as 1845. In 1850, Sir Henry Rawlinson identified Nimrud as the Biblical city of Calah, and discoveries from Nimrud have been on display in museums all over the world for decades.

After Daesh took control of the region in spring 2015, the organization posted a series of videos online in which members vowed to destroy all remaining artifacts and ruins. In November 2016, Daesh retreated from Nimrud, and when Iraqi forces retook the city many historians’ fears were realized. As local resident Hassan Mahmoud recalled, “thousands of years was finished off in one night.”


Dair Mar Elia - Mosul, Iraq

Also known as St. Elijah’s Monastery, Dair Mar Elia was the oldest Christian monastery in Iraq, and originally belonged to an ancient branch of Eastern Christianity. Founded more than 1,400 years before its destruction, in 595 CE, the monastery operated until 1743, when the occupying monks were massacred by Persians after refusing to convert to Islam. The structure stood as a testament to Christianity’s historical significance in the region, and even served as a refuge during WWI.

At the start of the Iraq War in 2003, the monastery suffered damage from Saddam’s Iraqi tank units, American forces inscribing graffiti on the walls, and looters rolled through. US military chaplains took control of St. Elijah’s Monastery and began to reverse some of the damage inflicted. In 2014, Daesh experienced a surge of territory gains in Iraq, starting with the hard-fought cities Fallujah and Ramadi, before taking Mosul. The group blew up Dair Mar Elia twice, then leveled the remains with bulldozers.


Shrines of Muslim Holy Men - Timbuktu, Mali

In the summer of 2012, Mali witnessed a violent push from the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MOJWA) to gain more control in West Africa. Originating from a branch of Al-Qaeda, MOJWA took control of the three largest cities in Mali with the help of Ansar Dine, another Al-Qaeda-backed group. Newly acquired territory included Timbuktu, also known locally as “the city of 333 saints,” which housed several centuries-old shrines and mausoleums of Muslim holy men.

Because the mausoleums in Timbuktu primarily housed Sufi Muslims, the Al-Qaeda-inspired fanatics dismantled the UNESCO heritage sites with pickaxes and Kalashnikovs. As French-Malian forces advanced on a terrorist stronghold at the Timbuktu Airport, the jihadis set fire to thousands of ancient manuscripts before retreating.


Ancient City Of Hatra - Hatra, Iraq

One of the oldest sites on this list, the ancient city of Hatra is believed by some to have been founded by Alexander the Great’s successors as early as 300 BCE. It’s been speculated that Hatra was the capital of perhaps the original Arab Kingdom that spanned across modern-day territories of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. The fortified city withstood centuries of sieges from would-be conquerors, although it did have a laundry list of rulers throughout history. Its structural layout and temples to ancient gods such as Poseidon and Apollo made it a revered example of a Parthian city, and it was even used for filming the opening sequence of The Exorcist. Only a few short days after Daesh’s destruction of Nimrud, the organization turned its bulldozers to Hatra in March 2015.


Tomb Of Jonah - Mosul, Iraq

Jonah was a prophet with historical significance in Christianity (Jonah), Judaism (Yonah), and Islam (Yūnus). He is the only one of the Twelve Minor Prophets from the Bible mentioned by name in the Qur’an. In the ancient city of Nineveh, the Mosque of the Prophet Yūnus was built atop what's believed to be the Christian burial site of Jonah. Even though the mosque was a place for prayer, the notion that it was constructed on a Christian site was enough motivation for Daesh to detonate mass explosives inside the building in July 2014.

After Daesh was driven out of Mosul in early 2017, a tunnel system was discovered under the mosque as a result of the damage. In the tunnels, archeologist Layla Salih discovered artifacts believed to date back to the Assyrian empire in 672 BCE. Daesh’s ill-fated efforts to rid the world of artifacts resulted in a remarkable archeological find filled with idols for the world to worship. 


Lion Of Al-lāt - Palmyra, Syra

As Syria devolved into chaos during civil war, Maamoun Abdulkarim, Director-General of Antiquities and Museums, took desperate measures to protect any and all historical artifacts from indiscriminate crossfire and shelling. The Lion of Al-lāt, deserving of such protection, and was covered with metal plates and sandbags. But that was before the city fell to Daesh.

Dating to the 1st century CE, the lion was constructed as a tribute to Al-lāt, a name applied to multiple goddesses worshiped in pre-Islamic Arabia. The lion was older than Islam itself, which is apparently unacceptable to Daesh. Abdulkarim declared its destruction “the most serious crime they have committed against Palmyra’s heritage.”


Temple Of Baalshamin - Palmyra, Syria

As stated by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, “Palmyra contains the monumental ruins of a great city that was one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world.”

The entire city of Palmyra is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its famously well-preserved Greco-Roman ruins, and the Temple of Baalshamin was among the most intact structures in the region. It was substantially rebuilt and converted from a temple to a church in 131 CE, to keep pace with the spread of Christianity. It stood in this form for nearly 2,000 years.

Daesh took control of Palmyra in May 2015, and callously continued its doctrine of destroying any artifact deemed “pagan.” The Temple of Baalshamin was in the cross hairs, and was completely destroyed with explosives in July or August 2015. UNESCO declared the act a war crime.


Arch Of Triumph/Monumental Arch - Palmyra, Syria

Before it became one of the most recognizable ancient sites in Palmyra, the Monumental Arch once served as an homage to Roman victories over the Parthians. The arch was built at the turn of the 3rd century CE, during the reign of Roman Emperor Septimium Severus, over the ancient city’s famed colonnaded street that linked the Roman Empire to Persia. The Arch of Triumph, as it was also known, led to the ancient Temple of Baal, and remained largely intact for 1,800 years. That is, until Daesh rigged it with explosives in October 2015.



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Tue, 18 Apr 2017 09:02:26 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/historical-artifacts-destroyed-by-terrorists/jim-jacobi
<![CDATA[How Did A French Military Commander Become King of Sweden And King of Norway?]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/carl-john-bernadotte-facts/michael-coast?source=rss

Charles XIV John of Sweden's reign was not much different than that of other kings. He sat on the throne during a time of relative domestic peace, prosperity, and stability. But his biography reveals a startling fact: he was not a man who was born to be a king. He was not from royal blood. He did not marry into a royal family. He wasn’t even Swedish.

The man who would become Charles XIV John of Sweden was born Jean Bernadotte in France in 1763, and he had a memorable life even before he took the Swedish crown. Bernadotte was a soldier during the French Revolution and the wars waged in its aftermath. He served as a field marshal under Napoleon Bonaparte and saw action in some of the biggest battles in the Napoleonic Wars. Bernadotte even obtained a royal title before the one he more famously possessed in Sweden.

Who was Jean Bernadotte? And how did Jean Bernadotte become king of Sweden? The details reveal the truly surreal life of the man who would be king.


How Did A French Military Commander Become King of Sweden And King of Norway?,

Napoleon Gave Him An Early Promotion

Upon declaring himself Emperor in 1804, Napoleon also elevated 18 generals to marshal status - including Bernadotte. The newly formed marshalate was an eclectic mix. It was made up in part of older commanders for whom the distinction was little more than a ceremonial token of appreciation, Bonaparte loyalists who were being rewarded for their backing of Napoleon’s rise, and young up-and-comers for whom the title was an investment in their future.

Bernadotte fell into a fourth category: potential rivals for power who needed to be appeased. He hadn't supported Napoleon in the coup of 18 Brumaire, the ploy that effectively made him ruler of France. Perhaps Napoleon felt that the new title would keep Bernadotte loyal.


His Wife Was Nearly Napoleon's Wife

Désirée Clary was just as unlikely a queen as her future husband was a king - and yet she was nearly an empress as well. When her sister married Joseph Bonaparte, Clary came into the orbit of his younger brother Napoleon. The two became engaged in 1795, but never married. Napoleon broke off the engagement to marry Josephine de Beauharnais. Clary, meanwhile, married Bernadotte in 1798.


He Was Anti-Royal In His Youth

For a man who would later become a king, Bernadotte was staunchly anti-royal in his youth. When the French Revolution erupted in 1789, Bernadotte was among the many who sided with the new Jacobin republican regime. According to some sources, he even had "death to all kings" tattooed on his arm.

Bernadotte distinguished himself and rose through the ranks during France’s subsequent wars. He remained a Jacobin sympathizer, even as France shifted back toward monarchy under Napoleon.


He Almost Became A Lawyer

Bernadotte’s father, Jean Henri Bernadotte, was a prosecutor in southwestern France. Before embarking on his career as a soldier, the younger Bernadotte had planned to follow in his father’s footsteps. He began an apprenticeship, and seemed on track to take up the family business alongside his older brother. However, when his father died, Bernadotte decided to seek his fortune in the military instead.


He Was Elected Crown Prince Of Sweden

In 1810, Charles XIII of Sweden was aging, childless, and without a proper heir. A new Crown Prince had to be found in a hurry. Through machinations within the Swedish Riksdag of the Estates, Bernadotte was chosen as the successor. Napoleon was less than enthused with this development - he called Bernadotte "a serpent whom I was nourishing in my bosom" - but eventually released him from his obligations to France.


Napoleon Fired Him In The Middle Of A Battle

The Battle of Wagram in 1809 was one of Napoleon’s last great successes. But at one point in the battle, it seemed as if his Austrian enemies might prevail. They overwhelmed a portion Napoleon’s army - a portion led by Bernadotte. As Bernadotte galloped to get ahead of his fleeing troops in order to rally them, he was spotted in what looked like outright flight by his commander.

Napoleon reportedly said to the unlucky marshal, "I herewith remove you from command of the corps which you have handled so consistently badly. Leave my presence immediately and quit the Grand Armee within twenty-four hours."


He Was Shot In The Neck - And Survived

Despite his less-than-distinguished showing in Prussia in 1806, Bernadotte retained his command. The following year, he was on campaign with Napoleon in Eastern Europe fighting the allied Prussian-Russian forces. During a skirmish in the days before the Battle of Heilsberg, Bernadotte was felled by a musketball to the neck.

Writing to the Chief of Imperial Staff, Bernadotte said, "I have been wounded by a ball in the neck. I do not believe my wound is dangerous, but it gives me great pain. Nevertheless, I have not left the field of battle, and you can assure the Emperor that I shall remain on the field so long as my strength enables me to do so."

Miraculously, Bernadotte was back in command within months.


He Narrowly Dodged Being Tried For Treason

Despite his powerful position within the Empire, Bernadotte was nearly punished for treason. During Napoleon's campaign against Prussia, the French won great victories at the battles of Jena and Auerstadt in 1806. But Bernadotte hadn't really contributed to the wins - caught between the two battle fronts with ambiguous orders, Bernadotte and his troops did next to nothing. Napoleon accused him of deliberately attempting to sabotage the battles and, according to his reminisces in exile, came close to court-martialing Bernadotte for his actions (or lack thereof).


His Name Is On The Arc De Triomphe

After his victory at Austerlitz, Napoleon commissioned a monument to France’s greatness (and, of course, his own). That monument was the Arc de Triomphe, located right in the heart of Paris. Construction took nearly 30 years to complete, and Bernadotte had been long gone from France by the time the monument was finished. However, the name "Bernadotte" is still inscribed on the northern pillar.


He Became The Prince Of Ponte-Corvo

1805 was perhaps the high water mark of Napoleonic France, marked by dazzling military victories for the new Emperor. During this period, Bernadotte performed so well in battle that Napoleon rewarded him with a royal title, as he sometimes did with his family and his favorite marshals. The former anti-royal revolutionary now lorded over a piece of Italy, and styled himself the Prince of Ponte-Corvo.



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Mon, 17 Apr 2017 08:08:22 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/carl-john-bernadotte-facts/michael-coast
<![CDATA[4 Facts That Prove Godzilla Is The Most Thoughtful Movie About Nuclear War Ever]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/godzilla-nuclear-war-metaphor/christopher-myers?source=rss

A great monster movie is about much more than creatures. Monsters are the embodiment of a society's fears, metaphors for the very real but abstract forces threatening humanity; the best monster movies play out political, practical, and moral debates. King Kong was about the domestication of man. Frankenstein, the hubris of science. Among the great monster movies that are metaphors, the original Godzilla, or Gojira, stands tall. It's one of the great nuclear metaphors in Japanese cinema, and, more generally, one of the best films about nuclear war. 

Godzilla tackled its subject and themes with artful subtlety. No film since has matched it. Most monster films of some geopolitical relevance live in the massive shadow of the classic original Gojira; it's the granddaddy of monster movie metaphors. While the 2016 series reboot was a strong showing of politics in monster movies, it didn't have the haunting bleakness of the original, which appeared in theaters just nine years after WWII ended, and only two years after the Allied occupation of Japan officially finished. At the time of its release, on November 3, 1954, Gojira was revolutionary, and it continues to have an impact into the 21st century.

If you've only ever seen the American, Raymond Burr cut of the film (Godzilla: King of the Monsters!) in which an American radio announcer played by Raymond Burr was inserted into the action and much of the movie's heavy thematic content cut out, go watch the original Japanese version right now. No offense to Burr, but that version, while enjoyable, completely changes the meaning of the film. The edits made weren't simply done to appeal to American sensibilities, but as a form of censorship. A movie about the horrors of nuclear war wouldn't translate well to 1950s America, which was caught up in post-WWII patriotism and Cold War fervor. What's more, it would be a constant reminder to audiences that America nuked Japan. Twice.

When Godzilla premiered, no films had been made in Japan about nuclear war, in part because movies made during the Occupation were subject to censorship from SCAP (the Supreme Commander of Allied Powers), which banned, among other things, any references to the Occupation, and nearly all period pieces, for the fear they would reinvigorate feelings of extreme patriotism and loyalty to the emperor. Even since, no Japanese film has addressed the feelings and carnage caused by the atomic bombs quite like Godzilla. Its scenes of destruction and death weren't just reflections of what would happen in the case of a giant mutant dinosaur attack. They were reflections of a grim reality all too familiar to the Japanese at the time.


4 Facts That Prove Godzilla Is The Most Thoughtful Movie About Nuclear War Ever,

The Film's Impact Can Still Be Felt Rippling Through The World Like A Shock Wave

The original Godzilla spawned 29 Toho sequels and counting, as well as two American remakes. Almost immediately, these sequels morphed into campy, juvenile monster flicks (with a handful of exceptions). A big reason for this change from serious to campy was the impact of the 1956 American cut of the film, Godzilla: King of the Monsters!, which removed most references to radioactivity, destruction, and the bomb, turning Godzilla into a more traditional monster film. The overwhelming popularity of that version (including in Japan) inspired Toho to give fans more of the same. By the time the first sequel, Godzilla Raids Again, was released, the grim tone was already lost.

While this simplified vision of Godzilla as a force of nature repaying mankind for its hubris had staying power, many of the deeper implications of the original were lost and forgotten. Fans of later Kaiju films saw Godzilla as a sometimes comedic defender of Japan fighting other, more sinister monsters. While these films are good in their own way, and often dealt with somewhat serious themes, they never managed to capture the gravity of the original. Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster (1971), for instance, is a bit on the nose. One thing that remains throughout, though, is the idea that Godzilla and the problems surrounding him are unintentional and man-made. This is a bed humans made and now have to sleep in.

In 2004, many Americans got their first view of the uncut, subtitled, original Japanese Gojira when it was released in theaters to coincide with the 50th anniversary of its release. It (finally) received critical acclaim from American critics, who had never seen it in its true form. In 2006, the original was released on DVD in the US alongside King of the Monsters!. Audiences were surprised to find such a serious and sobering film about the monster they had come to know as a campy, B-movie icon, an image that probably wasn't helped by Nike's whole Godzilla vs. Charles Barkley thing or some seriously bizarre Dr. Pepper commercials

It wasn't until 2014 a real attempt at a serious Godzilla movie was made (perhaps with the exception of a 1985 reboot that flopped with critics but, with the distance of history, is pretty good). In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the timing was right for Godzilla to return to his allegorical roots, this time in an American film. Gareth Edwards's Godzilla (2014) directly references Fukushima, then takes a dive into the powerlessness of humans in the face of nature. It received mixed reviews and isn't perfect, but the reception was largely positive, especially compared to the 1998 version (an installment even the most ardent Godzilla fans would like to forget).

The 2016 reboot Shin Godzilla (AKA Godzilla: Resurgence), from Toho, is the first official reboot of the series and succeeded in being more than just another entry in a long line of campy monster films. It's a throwback to the original - a serious, sometimes very funny political commentary told in a distinctly Japanese way. Shin Godzilla tackles issues such as the bureaucratic nature of Japanese society, the Japanese self-defense force, and changing the post-WWII pacifist constitution, which has been a hot-button issue in the 2010s. When the main character in the film is reprimanded for losing his temper, you can't help but laugh. Shin Godzilla (which means "new Godzilla")  was critically acclaimed in Japan, where it received several awards, and the limited American release was a huge success.

On top of all this, Godzilla is a landmark film in a genre Guillermo del Toro has helped restore to prominence through films like Pan's Labyrinth. While del Toro frequently cites Frankenstein and H.P. Lovecraft as major inspirations, it's hard not to see the ghost of Godzilla's epic wartime tragedy in the filmmaker's Spanish Civil War work. 

While no film will match the quality of the 1954 Godzilla, Shin Godzilla at least does it justice. It is with this renewed hope fans of Godzilla everywhere anticipate Godzilla: King of the Monsters! and Godzilla vs. Kong, set for released by Legendary Pictures in 2019 and 2020, respectively. As Godzilla continues to make an impact (and money), new films will be made. There's a reason Shinjuku (a ward in Tokyo) named Godzilla its official cultural ambassador in 2015. No other giant, radioactive, allegory for nuclear war has touched the lives of so many people around the world.


The Film Is About So Much More Than A Giant Lizard, It's Amazing More People Didn't Realize It

Unlike many of its sequels, Godzilla is not an action film. The heroes don't rush to fight a monster, guns blazing. Instead, they make difficult moral choices. While the initial idea for the film, thought up by Toho producer Tomoyuki Tanaka, was inspired by 1953's The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (which touches upon the potential dangers of nuclear power, but is mostly a classic corny monster movie), Godzilla is not a typical monster film. Rather, it's a drama that uses the language of science fiction to convey its message, with the titular monster representing the destructive force of a nuclear weapon.

The life preserver on the boat in the opening sequence of Godzilla is inscribed with the number 5, a subtle but overt reference to the Lucky Dragon 5 incident. One man survives the incident only to be killed by Godzilla later on, at Odo Island. This parallels the experience of the radio operator on Lucky Dragon, Aikichi Kuboyama, who died of radiation poisoning six months after the event.

Though Godzilla never explicitly mentions the US as to blame for the atomic testing that awoke and mutated the titular monster (if you're unfamiliar, he's an ancient sea creature), the underlying implication reflects the tense political relationship between the countries. The Diet scene (the National Diet is the legislative branch of the Japanese government, or its Congress) underscores this tension; an argument breaks out on whether to keep the information on the monster secret or to release it to the public. This debate references a very real issue in Japan at the time, that of anti-nuclear sentiment pitted against a desire to maintain good relations with the US (Japan's early nuclear power plants were built in cooperation with UK and US-based companies). 

Nothing of consequence is accomplished in the Diet scene in Godzilla, as the meeting breaks down into petty infighting. Ultimately, the film shows both the government and military to be impotent, while the hope of humanity rests in the hands of the scientific community and ordinary individuals.

Takashi Shimura, fresh from Kurosawa's Seven Samurai and called one of the best actors in the world by Bosley Crowther of the New York Times for his work in 1952's Ikiru ("[he] measures up through his performance in this picture with the top film actors anywhere"), gave Godzilla gravitas with his portrayal of Dr. Yamane. Star power like his was a dead giveaway Godzilla wasn't just a B-monster movie.

Dr. Yamane's role in the film is particularly interesting in that he seems to be the only character who doesn't want to destroy Godzilla. Rather, Yamane wants to study the monster, to discover how it survived massive doses of radiation, a practical reason driving his scientific inquiry. This desire comes into direct conflict with his duty to obey the government, which decides to destroy Godzilla, and his duty to prevent the loss of life. Shimura's understated acting belies the understated nature of the film's message, suggesting there really isn't an easy answer to the character's dilemma. His sorrow upon witnessing the destruction of Godzilla provides a sharp contrast to the jubilance seen in typical creature films upon the monster's defeat.

Running parallel to Yamane's story is that of fellow scientist Dr. Serizawa (Akihiko Hirata). Serizawa has made a massive scientific breakthrough (the Oxygen Destroyer), but keeps his discovery secret for fear it will be used as a weapon. While Yamane wants to increase scientific knowledge at the possible expense of life, Serizawa wants the reverse. In the context of the nuclear arms race, the symbolism of the Oxygen Destroyer is obvious. The device is the only thing more powerful than Godzilla. Serizawa's insistence that the Oxygen Destroyer dies with him is a veiled appeal to the scientific community. 

What's more, Serizawa is disfigured by war; he's blind in one eye, an obvious comment on the scientific community of the time. The film suggests the scientific community has a moral duty to keep destructive breakthroughs in military technology secret, even if the use of such technology will save lives in the short term. When Serizawa finally agrees to use the Oxygen Destroyer, he burns his notes and commits suicide in the process, so the secrets of the weapon die with him.

The scenes of Tokyo on fire during Godzilla's attack are a direct reminder of Allied firebombings at the end of WWII, while scenes of the destroyed city are reminiscent of the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Godzilla destroys many prominent buildings during his rampage, such as the National Diet Building, the Hattori Clock Tower, and the Nichigeki Theater, at which the film showed during its first run. Throughout the destruction, the human toll is hammered home. Like the atomic bomb, Godzilla destroys indiscriminately, killing women and children.

Images of suffering children are used repeatedly to move heroes to action (children being a metaphor for the future), such as when Emiko Yamane (Momoko Kōchi), Dr. Yamane's daughter, decides to give away the secret of the Oxygen Destroyer after seeing a young girl watch her mother die. The film doesn't pull any punches; you see people dying not only during Godzilla's rampage, but in the halls of overcrowded hospitals in the aftermath of the attack. At one point, a doctor examines a child with a Geiger counter, then turns to Yamane shaking his head. As horrible as the initial attack is, death won't end there.

As for the Geiger counter, Godzilla has atomic breath. In perhaps the most obvious reference to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he douses Tokyo with radiation. For as much damage as the monster causes in his initial rampage, the toll taken upon those who survived but were heavily radiated remains unknown and incalculable. 

The downbeat ending (which involves Serizawa's suicide and Yamane's lamentation), coupled with the destructive imagery throughout the film, shows deep pessimism reflective of the overall mood of Japan, at a time during which postwar optimism was clearly wearing thin (at least for artists). This grim feeling differentiates Godzilla from other monster films. The focus is less on the monster (who receives relatively little screen time) than the impact of destruction on the ordinary people. Godzilla reflects the helplessness and fear felt by Japanese people caught up in forces far beyond their control and demonstrates the complex moral choices that come with nuclear weaponry.


Director Ishiro Honda Drew On His Personal WWII Experience To Make The Film

Godzilla director Ishiro Honda served in the Imperial Army during WWII. He enlisted in an army infantry regiment in 1935 and spent years in China and Manchuria. Honda ended up as a POW in '45 and heard about the atomic bombs during his six months in prison. Upon his return to Japan, he, like many returning soldiers, repatriated through the port of Hiroshima. The devastation had a deep impact on him, and from that moment he sought to make a film about nuclear war.

Honda was a lifelong friend of Akira Kurosawa, who gave the eulogy at Honda's funeral in 1993. The two collaborated on several of films, including Kurosawa's Stray Dog, Kagemusha, and Dreams (a segment in Dreams about a soldier returning from war is theorized to be taken from Honda's personal experience). In 1955, just a year after the release of Godzilla, Kurosawa premiered I Live in Fear (AKA Record of a Living Being), a film about a Japanese man driven insane by his fear of nuclear war, which examines the violent past living in the shadows of postwar boomtown Tokyo. 

After graduating from Nippon University in 1933, Honda went to work at a movie studio later subsumed by Toho Studios. His career was interrupted by military service, but Honda got a position as an assistant director at Toho after the war, where he befriended fellow assistant director Kurosawa. During his early years, Honda also worked on some war films, but it wasn't until Godzilla he fully realized his personal vision. 

Toho clearly believed in Godzilla, giving Honda three times the normal budget for a film at that time in Japan. Honda co-wrote the screenplay, intent on making an impactful film about the dangers of nuclear weapons. He succeeded, drawing on what he saw in Hiroshima to portray the complete devastation wrought by a nuclear bomb through its proxy, the monster Gojira. By focusing on the human toll of disaster, and keeping politics between the lines, Honda was able to create a uniquely impactful film that appeals to audiences long after the context of postwar Japan has faded from the minds of most audiences.

After Godzilla's success—it was produced for ¥62 million and grossed ¥152 million—Honda went on to direct a number of monster films, including Rodan, Mothra, and several other Godzilla sequels. He became known as the master of Kaiju (giant monster) films. None of his subsequent films had the serious, dark atmosphere of the original Godzilla, which Honda described as uniquely his vision. However, these films weren't completely bereft of meaning. Mothra is about an isolated island civilization violently modernized when bomb testing irradiates it and capitalists arrive intent on exploiting the residents and terrain. 

Throughout his work, Ishiro Honda helped define what it meant to be a monster, saying, "Monsters are born too tall, too strong, too heavy; that is their tragedy."


The Film Was Made In The Fearful And Tense Context Of Postwar Japan

In the postwar period of the late '40s and early '50s, Japan was caught between two powerful forces: modernization and recovery from the devastation of war. Nowhere was this battle clearer than nuclear technology. In nuclear technology, humanity found both the means to power a city and completely destroy it. This is the razor's edge Godzilla walked with a brilliant subtlety that was unfortunately lost on most Western audiences for years.

In the immediate aftermath of WWII, strict and sometimes arbitrary censorship was enforced by Allied personnel. Anything deemed dangerous to peace was banned, as were references to the Occupation, such as English-language signs or American troops (for a fascinating look at how filmmakers subverted censorship, check out Kurosawa and the Censors on the Criterion Collection release of Kurosawa's Drunken Angel). Suffice to say, a cinematic exploration of nuclear destruction was out of the question in the immediate aftermath of the war. By 1954, when the film premiered, the American film censors had left Japan, but a film directly referencing the atomic bombs and commenting on the ongoing nuclear arms race was still extremely provocative.

Japan's relationship with the United States was complicated in the '50s. By 1954, the Japanese economy was well on the road recovery, due to a number of factors, such as the Korean War, the country's postwar socialist fervor, the rise of keiretsu (a unique Japanese corporate structure), and the collusion of organized crime, government, and business. During that time, Japan acted as a major arms supplier and military hub for the US. With no small bit of irony, Japan's rapid recovery from the devastation of war came, in part, from capitalizing on another war. To further complicate matters, the country wasn't really in any position to say no, given its relationship with the US. 

While even Westerners can see obvious references to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Godzilla, Japanese audiences immediately recognized the first scene of the film as a reference to the Lucky Dragon 5 incident. Just eight months prior to the premier of the film, a Japanese fishing boat called Lucky Dragon 5 ventured too close to a US hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll (though it was well outside the naval exclusion area) and received a heavy dose of radiation.

The crew saw the fireball of the bomb, but was unaware of the peril until a thick layer of radioactive fallout clouded on the ship. The crew reeled in nets and headed for port, and showed signs of radiation poisoning almost immediately. While Japanese doctors recognized the symptoms from their experience with Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the US denied the diagnosis. The ship's radio operator, directly referenced in Godzilla, died six months later. The event caused a significant tuna scare in Japan, with concerns about radioactivity in fish.

This set the stage for Godzilla, which, perhaps not coincidentally, appeared in theaters the same year Japan started its nuclear program. The film's monster represents the destructive force of nuclear weapons. Japan was a tiny, defeated, disarmed nation sitting between the Soviet Union and the US, both of which actively tested hydrogen bombs so powerful they made the atomic bombs dropped on Japan look like cherry bombs. An atmosphere of impending doom hung over the country, epitomized by the idiom shikata ga nai ("nothing can be done"). Despite this deep, almost resigned pessimism, Godzilla director Ishiro Honda attempted to show a way forward in his masterpiece of cinema.



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Wed, 15 Feb 2017 09:43:55 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/godzilla-nuclear-war-metaphor/christopher-myers