history

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Department of Defense

On Nov. 2, 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson made a private phone call to a friend of Richard Milhous Nixon, and bluntly accused the Republican presidential candidate of treason.

Treason.

There was no doubt, said Johnson, that Nixon’s campaign team was trying to scupper peace talks aimed at ending the Vietnam War. They were afraid that peace in Vietnam would help Nixon’s Democratic rival, Hubert Humphrey, to clinch the election.

What to expect when you're expecting a baby dinosaur? Expect to wait.

That's the conclusion of a study by researchers at Florida State University who determined how long it took dinosaurs to hatch from their eggs by studying their teeth. Much like tree rings, teeth have growth lines called lines of von Ebner that can be used to estimate the age of an animal.

A Jewish farming couple from Canada says it has shepherded the sheep of the bible back to the Holy Land after centuries in exile.

With donations from Jewish and Christian supporters, and some help from the Israeli government, Jenna and Gil Lewinsky have airlifted 119 furry members of the Jacob Sheep breed from their farm in Abbotsford, British Columbia, to Israel.

Finally, after more than 120 years, Paul Smith has recovered something he never knew was missing in the first place.

The headmaster at Hereford Cathedral School, near the boundary between Wales and England, had been looking at his mail earlier this month when he noticed a package wrapped in brown paper addressed to him. Smith guessed immediately that the package contained a thick book — but it wasn't until he read the note that came with it that he realized just how long that very book had been around.

As Ben Franklin noted, some of you have "the Power of changing, by slight means, the smell of another discharge ... our water. A few stems of asparagus eaten, shall give our urine a disagreeable odour." Apparently this is so common a power that the 18th century French botanist Louis Lémery wrote that asparagus causes "a filthy and disagreeable smell in the urine, as everybody knows."

Everybody except me, anyway.

Trials of former Nazis accused of aiding in the Holocaust continue to wind their way through the German legal system even now.

Oskar Groening was a guard at Auschwitz concentration camp from 1942-1944.  A German court last year found the 95-year-old Groening guilty of 300,000 counts of accessory to murder. His conviction was upheld by an appeals court last month.

“It’s the idea that living to an old age does not absolve you of guilt,” said Andrew Nagorski, author of the book The Nazi Hunters.

M. Aden/WLRN

We first published this story on September 28, 2016. We're bringing it back now because Benjamin Ferencz will speak tomorrow (Tuesday, Dec. 13) in Boca Raton at a U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum public program at B'nai Torah Congregation. The discussion, A Relentless Pursuit: Bringing Holocaust Perpetrators to Justice, is free, but registration is required. Click here to find out more information or call 561-995-6773.

The prosecutor in one of the biggest murder trials in history lives now in a small bungalow with faded roof in a senior community in Delray Beach. 

The surprise find of smallpox DNA in a child mummy from the 17th century could help scientists start to trace the mysterious history of this notorious virus.

Smallpox currently only exists in secure freezers, after a global vaccination campaign eradicated the virus in the late 1970s. But much about this killer remains unknown, including its origins.

Marking the day in 1941 that thrust the U.S. into World War II, Americans are honoring veterans and remembering those who lost their lives in Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. We're also remembering how the nation responded to what President Franklin Roosevelt called a "date which will live in infamy."

Sarah Lohman has made everything from colonial-era cocktails to cakes with black pepper to stewed moose face. She is a historical gastronomist, which means she re-creates historical recipes to connect with the past.

Italian archaeologists discovered the plundered tomb of Queen Nefertari in Egypt's Valley of the Queens in 1904, and amid the debris, they found a pair of mummified knees.

Now, for the first time, researchers have conducted a broad array of tests on the knees and say they are confident they belong to Nefertari, who was the wife of Pharaoh Ramses II and one of the most famous of Egypt's queens.

David Santiago / El Nuevo Herald

Fidel Castro's death will no doubt spark a robust debate about what Cuba would be like today if he had never come to power in 1959.

But here's another important question: What would Miami be today without Castro and the thousands of exiles his communist revolution drove to South Florida?

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In March 1942, a schoolgirl in Amsterdam took out a pen and paper and began copying a poem encouraging her close friend to work hard. "Dear Cri-Cri, if you do not finish your work properly and lose precious time, then once again take up your task and try harder than before ... "

Cri-Cri was a pet name for Christiane van Maarsen — and the girl who wrote to her was 12-year-old Anne Frank. Three months after writing to Cri-Cri, Anne and her family disappeared into hiding from the Nazis. She was eventually killed at Auschwitz. 

More than a year ago, the world first heard the official cast recording of the most successful Broadway musical in recent memory. The album would ultimately go double-platinum and top Billboard's rap chart, owing in part to fired-up fans hitting repeat, memorizing lyrics and absorbing the show's richly textured world.

When scientists want to know what our ancient ancestors ate, they can look at a few things: fossilized animal bones with marks from tools used to butcher and cut them; fossilized poop; and teeth. The first two can tell us a lot, but they're hard to come by in the fossil record. Thankfully, there are a lot of teeth to fill in the gaps.

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