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Austria Wants to Seize Hitler's Birth Home

The vacant building, sometimes a Neo-Nazi hot spot, is proving quite a headache

(Newser) - In an effort to prevent the "increasingly decrepit" building from falling into further disrepair, Austrian officials say they plan to draft a law that would allow them to seize Adolf Hitler's birth home in Braunau, a quaint town of 17,000 on the German border, reports the New ... More »

Horse Manure Helps Crack Ancient Military Mystery

Researchers think they know where Hannibal crossed the Alps

(Newser) - Ace history students might remember that Hannibal led his Carthagian army across the Alps around 200BC and soundly defeated the Roman army in one of the most epic military maneuvers of all time. But not even actual historians can tell you with any degree of certainty where Hannibal crossed those... More »

Note That Led to Falklands War Up for Sale

It can be yours for $34K

(Newser) - Have $34,000 to spare? A scrap of paper that helped bring about the Falklands War could be yours. On March 18, 1982, members of the British Antarctic Survey set out for whaling stations on the island of South Georgia, 1,400 miles east of the Falklands Islands. A day... More »

Lone Bullet Backs Up Lawrence of Arabia's Story

Scientists have unearthed evidence that aligns with tales from Great Arab Revolt

(Newser) - Ten years into a broader hunt throughout the Arabian desert, archaeologists have unearthed a bullet they are "almost 100% certain" is the one Lawrence of Arabia claimed to have fired in 1917 in a guerrilla attack on the Hallat Ammar train. Many, including his own biographers, have suspected that... More »

Our Greatest Con Man Remains a Mystery

'Count Victor Lustig' once sold the Eiffel Tower

(Newser) - He called himself Count Victor Lustig. Others knew him as "the smoothest con man that ever lived" and a "top man in the modern world of crime." After all, he did sell the Eiffel Tower. And his counterfeit US banknotes were so authentic that authorities were concerned... More »

Hidden Notes in Old Bible Shed Light on Reformation

It was a 'slow, complex' process, not a clean break, says researcher

(Newser) - The scribbles sat hidden for nearly 500 years. Then, while perusing one of seven surviving copies of England's first printed Bible, historian Eyal Poleg of Queen Mary University made a surprising discovery. "At empty spaces at the end of prologues and sections, or at blank margins, a very... More »

America's Oldest European Settlement Has Been Found

The colony in Pensacola predates Jamestown by nearly 50 years

(Newser) - The Pensacola News Journal has a highly interactive and informative look at a major discovery out of Florida: the oldest multi-year European settlement in the United States. “This is one of those almost once-in-a-lifetime type things,” University of West Florida professor John Worth says. "I didn’t... More »

1st Basketball Game Was Basically a Giant Fight

According to a newly discovered audio recording of James Naismith

(Newser) - If any of the old-timers at your holiday gatherings this year complain about how basketball players have gotten soft and the fouls aren't as hard as they used to be, tell them to blame the game's inventor. A newly discovered audio recording of James Naismith—thought to be... More »

Alabama Junkyard Scraps Important Piece of NASA History

50-year-old lunar rover prototype was spotted in tiny town

(Newser) - Some deep document diving by Motherboard brings us this story of a massive and massively historical NASA lunar rover prototype and the Alabama junkyard that destroyed it for some reason. Motherboard reports a US Air Force historian was visiting his mother in Blountsville, Alabama—population 1,700—when he spotted... More »

Plague Found in 5K-Year-Old Human Skeleton

That's 3K years earlier than scientists knew the disease even existed

(Newser) - The plague is apparently a lot older than we thought. Scientists says the disease was responsible for a massive migration of people across Europe and Asia during the Bronze Age—approximately 3,000 years earlier than it was believed to have existed, according to a study published Thursday in Cell ... More »

Thomas Jefferson's Lost Chemistry Lab Found

The 200-year-old chemical hearth was preserved by accident

(Newser) - A worker renovating the Rotunda at the University of Virginia made an unexpected discovery when he crawled through a hole in the wall: part of a chemistry lab partly designed by Thomas Jefferson nearly 200 years ago, the Charlottesville Newsplex reports. The brick chemical hearth—one of the only remaining... More »

Lost Henry V Ship May Be Buried Beneath English Mud

Historian hopes to resurrect the Henry V's Holigost after six centuries

(Newser) - A British historian may have discovered the wreck of one of the four "great ships" built by King Henry V for his war on France six centuries ago, the BBC reports. "These great ships were floating symbols of power and prestige," Dr. Ian Friel tells the Guardian ... More »

Expert: Lost Photo Shows Jesse James and His Killer

Forensic artist Lois Gibson says she's 'positive it's Jesse James'

(Newser) - Few photos have been found of notorious outlaw Jesse James. Even fewer show James and his assassin Robert Ford—but one has apparently just been authenticated. Lois Gibson, a forensic artist with the Houston Police Department, says an undated tintype photo shared with her shows James seated next to Ford,... More »

4 'Bystanders' Who Changed History Forever

Sometimes you're just in the right place at a significant time

(Newser) - The people who were actively involved in historical events are important, of course—but in many cases, so are the bystanders, the witnesses, the people who just so happened to be in the right place at the right, or at least a significant, time. Ozy looks at six such people... More »

World's Oldest Wooden Statue Twice as Old as Pyramids

New dating puts Shigir Idol at 11K years old, 1.5K years older than thought

(Newser) - When scientists first tried in 1997 to date the famous Shigir Idol wooden sculpture —originally found in a Siberian peat bog in 1890—radiocarbon dating suggested the art was so old the findings were widely disputed. Now, armed with better tech, scientists turned to one of the world's... More »

Scientists Study Lost Site of Largest Native American Massacre

Cavalrymen killed at least 250 Shoshone men, women, children in Idaho in 1863

(Newser) - By the end of that frigid day in January 1863, the blood of at least 250 men, women, and children stained the ground in Idaho. But rather than occupying a dark place in American history, the victims of the nation's single largest Native American massacre—Shoshone Indians slaughtered in... More »

Scurvy: Horrific as It Was Deadly for Sailors

The 'plague of the sea' was not a pleasant way to go

(Newser) - A ship's chaplain in the 1740s wrote of sailors' gums that would grow out of control until they protruded from the mouth and rotted away, leaving a horrific case of bad breath, the BBC reports. So it turns out that not only was scurvy once incredibly dangerous, it was... More »

University Moving Statue of Confederate President

Jefferson Davis will no longer be on Main Mall at University of Texas

(Newser) - In the midst of a continued backlash against Confederate symbols following the deadly shooting at a black church in South Carolina, the University of Texas at Austin said today it will be relocating a statue of Jefferson Davis, the Dallas Morning News reports. The statue of the Confederate president, which... More »

After Strange Saga, Oswald's Gravestone Is Moved 900 Miles

Bar owner spends hundreds of thousands in court to bring it home to Texas

(Newser) - Dallas bar-owner David Card spent nearly four years of his life and a "brutal" amount in legal fees for the right to return the grave marker of Lee Harvey Oswald, who he calls "the most famous assassin in the history of civilization," home to Texas. And, last... More »

MLK's First 'I Have a Dream' Speech Is Revealed

Long-lost reel-to-reel tape turned up in North Carolina library

(Newser) - Thanks in part to the "mysterious appearance" of a box containing an old reel-to-reel tape and bearing the message "Please do not erase," Martin Luther King Jr.'s original "I Have a Dream" speech has been replayed in public for the first time. It's... More »

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