16 Stories

Copy of Declaration of Independence Was Hidden Behind Wallpaper

In order to keep it out of Union hands during the Civil War

(Newser) - When John Quincy Adams was not yet president but secretary of state, he ordered that 200 copies of the Declaration of Independence be made, as the then-40-year-old calfskin document was already becoming tough to read. And so it was done, with the copies—thought to be made over a two-year... More »

New JFK Records May Explain Oswald's 'Raleigh Call'

But historians generally don't expect to see any smoking guns emerge in final document release

(Newser) - On Thursday, the US is expected to make public the last sealed government documents related to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. President Trump has the authority to block the move, but he has tweeted that he (probably) won't do so. Historians and armchair sleuths generally don't expect... More »

ISIS Documents Set Out Rules for Sex Slaves, Beards

Fighters advised to 'enjoy' underage girls

(Newser) - As ISIS retreats from villages surrounding Mosul, detailed evidence of the group's harsh rule is emerging. In documents discovered by Reuters in recently abandoned ISIS offices near the Iraqi city, the group sets out strict requirements for beard-growing, the proper way of praying—and the treatment of sex slaves.... More »

Dark Details of France's WWII Vichy Regime Exposed

French law requires documents be made public now that 75 years have elapsed

(Newser) - The town of Vichy, France, has long tried to shake its sinister image: After Germany invaded the country in 1940, the collaborationist government established in Vichy under Marshal Philippe Pétain helped deport 76,000 Jews, including children, reports the BBC . But that effort may be about to stall out... More »

Attic Find: 'One-of-a-Kind' 1775 Revolution Letter

A Continental Congress plea to the British people for reconciliation

(Newser) - A "one-of-a-kind document" James Madison once raved about has been discovered in the attic of George Washington's headquarters during the Revolutionary War. Emilie Gruchow of Manhattan's Morris-Jumel Mansion stumbled upon the yellowed, 12-page plea from the Continental Congress to the British people for reconciliation last summer in... More »

Romney's Bain Story Doesn't Match SEC Filings

He told the SEC he was CEO until 2002, not 1999

(Newser) - Mitt Romney was Bain Capital's CEO up until 2002, or about three years longer than he's been publicly saying he was, according to documents filed with the SEC. Romney has said he left the firm in February 1999, in part to shield himself from criticism about Bain's... More »

US Releases bin Laden Letters

Documents show he was frustrated with al-Qaeda

(Newser) - By the time SEAL Team Six ended his life a year ago, Osama bin Laden had grown pretty frustrated with al-Qaeda. The US today released some of the documents SEALs made off with when they raided bin Laden's Abbottabad compound, the Washington Post reports, and they reveal that the... More »

Your Guide to Wikileaks' Next Bombshell

Docs may touch on secret prisons, IEDS, Iran

(Newser) - Wikileaks is prepping for the biggest leak of military intelligence ever: A trove of documents from the toughest years of the Iraq war. The leak will include up to 400,000 reports from 2004-2009, notes Wired , and may shape America's tenuous relationship with the Iraqi people. Here's what to... More »

Sweat Lodge Guru Sat in Shade as Victims Roasted

'You are not going to die,' James Arthur Ray told those inside

(Newser) - James Arthur Ray sat outside a sweat lodge in a shaded chair as the guru’s adherents died inside, and even discouraged onlookers from aiding those struggling with the intense heat, say newly released police documents. It would be “sacrilegious” to disassemble the structure, he told one woman who... More »

Iran Continues Secret Nuke Tests: Documents

In 2007, regime planned 4-year push to develop bomb trigger

(Newser) - Iran was testing a crucial component of a nuclear bomb as recently as 2007, leading many experts to believe the country is currently engaged in a weapons program despite its protestations to the contrary. Secret 2007 documents obtained by the Times of London describe a four-year plan to work with... More »

Lea & Perrins Original Recipe Discovered

Find sheds light on Worcestershire's long-secret flavors

(Newser) - What looks to be the original and long-secret recipe for Lea and Perrins legendary Worcestershire Sauce has been found. A woman in England discovered it among her late father's leather-bound notebooks. He worked as an accountant for Lea and Perrins and found the 19th-century document in the trash at the... More »

Algorithm Can 'Fill in the Blanks' of Ancient Texts

Algorithm could also be basis of search engine for old docs

(Newser) - A new computer algorithm could soon take some of the guesswork out of deciphering ancient texts, Reuters reports. The program, developed in Israel and currently used with ancient Hebrew, works with digital copies of unreadable texts and uses pattern recognition to “fill in the blanks,” says one of... More »

Megrahi Knows 'Truth,' Wants Lockerbie Inquiry

Convicted bomber says he has documents that would exonerate him

(Newser) - Convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi has always maintained his innocence and now he wants an inquiry into the 1988 plane explosion that killed 270 people, the London Times reports. Megrahi claims to hold documents that could shed light on the real culprits and says that interest among the victims’... More »

Plan Could Divine Missing Watergate Minutes, CSI-Style

Archivist pushes plan to uncover lost pages' imprints

(Newser) - A Watergate hobbyist has a plan to discover what was discussed during the 18½ minutes erased from a taped conversation between President Nixon and his chief of staff after the break-in. Phil Mellinger doesn’t want to examine the tape itself; that's been done without success. He says the answer... More »

Brits Find Rare Copy of Declaration of Independence

(Newser) - An original print of the Declaration of Independence has been discovered stashed away in the British National Archives in West London, the Daily Mail reports. One of 26 known surviving copies from the document’s initial print run, it's thought to be worth more than $8 million. The archive doesn’... More »

CIA Denies Cheney Request for Torture Docs

Bush-era order on docs under pending litigation stymies ex-VP

(Newser) - The CIA today denied Dick Cheney’s request that documents possibly proving the effectiveness of enhanced interrogation techniques be declassified, MSNBC reports. An executive order “excludes from review information that is the subject of pending litigation,” the CIA said. The two documents “contain information that falls into... More »

16 Stories