A Brief History On August 25, 1835, the New York newspaper The Sun published the first of 6 articles about alleged new scientific discoveries concerning the moon, specifically that a civilization had been found thriving there.  People bought the newspapers in eager anticipation of each new report about this fabulous discovery.  Throughout history people have been fooled by tricksters that perpetrate hoaxes, sometimes for profit, sometimes just for fun.  Here 10 of those hoaxes are listed.  What other hoaxes would you include?  Digging Deeper 10. Cardiff Giant, 1869. In an effort to make fun of Biblical references to giants, George Hull,…

A Brief History On August 25, 1939, in a move meant to dissuade Germany from attacking Poland, the United Kingdom (Britain) signed a military alliance treaty with Poland which promised that if either were attacked, the other would come to their assistance.  Meanwhile, in a deal made with the devil (you pick which side is the devil, both qualify!), the German Nazi government led by Adolf Hitler signed a “non-aggression pact” with the Soviet Union known as the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact in which each country promised not to attack the other. Digging Deeper Both of these agreements were not worth the paper…

A Brief History On August 24, 1349, the Black Death broke out in the Prussian town of Elbing in Northern Germany.  This horrifying illness became synonymous with death in the Middle Ages!  Beginning in the fifth century and ending with the death of Richard III in the fifteenth century, the Middle Ages in Europe are sometimes referred to as the Medieval period.  People in Medieval Europe had an average life expectancy of somewhere in the 30s-40s, far less than our own today.  This article presents 10 ways people died during this time period.  Some of the deaths were common; others rather unconventional. Digging Deeper 10.  Infection from a Dead Man’s Bite! A Viking earl by the name…

A Brief History On August 24, 1349, 6,000 Jews were massacred in Mainz, Germany by being burned alive.  Blamed for so many ills, this time they were held responsible for spreading the bubonic plague.  History and Headlines Fact:  Mainz is the birthplace of the Gutenberg moveable type printing press. Digging Deeper On this same date in 1391, at least 300 Jews were murdered in Palma on the Balearic island of Majorca (Mallorca).  All across Spain Jews were being massacred, and their only hope for survival would be to readily agree to being baptized in the Christian faith and to convert to Christianity.  Previously,…

A Brief History On August 23, 1942, the Battle of Stalingrad commenced during World War II.  The German 6th Army was destroyed, and the decisive Soviet victory marked the beginning of the decline of the Axis forces on the Eastern Front.  Many historians therefore consider the Battle of Stalingrad to have been the turning point of the European theater of World War II. Digging Deeper There were many important battles during World War II; some only had a few thousand casualties, whereas others had over one million casualties. With a total of 22 to 25 million military deaths, including deaths in captivity of about 5 million prisoners of war, World War…

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