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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 »

1M Minutes of History Now on YouTube

AP, Movietone upload enormous newsreel archive

(Newser) - If you're a history buff, you may be about to lose a huge chunk of your day. In what the AP says is "the largest upload of historical news content" to be placed on YouTube, the agency's newsreel archives and those of British Movietone are now online.... More »

New Texas Texts: Slavery Was 'Side Issue' of Civil War

It was mainly states' rights that was war's impetus, per state education standards

(Newser) - About 5 million Texas schoolchildren will get their hands on brand-new social studies textbooks when school starts up again, the Houston Chronicle reports—textbooks that USA Today says are "misleading, racially prejudiced, and, at times, flat-out false." The beef with the new primers: They're in keeping with... More »

Japan's Secret WWII Tunnels Finally Open

Site served as Imperial Navy headquarters in war's final days

(Newser) - On a hillside overlooking a field where students play volleyball, an inconspicuous entrance leads down a slope—and seemingly back in time—to Japan's secret Imperial Navy headquarters in the final months of World War II. Here, Japan's navy leaders made plans for the fiercest battles from late... More »

Panama Shipwreck's Tale Is Finally Told

Researchers came upon Spanish ship Encarnacíon in 2011

(Newser) - It's been some four years since researchers discovered a shipwreck at the mouth of Panama's Chagres River; now, they're finally revealing its secrets. The Encarnacíon, built in Mexico, sank in 1681, and it tells a tale of a key historical moment, archaeologist Filipe Castro tells National ... More »

'Priceless' Gold Coins Found in Record Israel Haul

Israeli diving club at first thought the coins were toy versions

(Newser) - Many divers search long and hard for sunken treasure, but an Israeli diving club out for a recent dive in their local harbor struck literal gold by chance: 2,000 priceless gold coins that had been sitting on the seabed for about 1,000 years, the largest stash of gold... More »

Discovered: How Oscar Wilde's Wife Died

Constance Wilde's early passing may have been tied to misguided surgery

(Newser) - The cause of Constance Wilde's death at age 40 has long been a mystery, but now, 116 years later, it appears to have been solved. Family letters unveiled by Oscar Wilde's grandson suggest that the writer's wife died within days of a gynecological operation gone wrong, the... More »

Authors: Here's Why We Think Van Gogh Was Murdered

His wound likely wasn't self-inflicted: outside expert

(Newser) - Back in 2011, a pair of biographers argued that the accepted theory of Vincent Van Gogh's death may have been wrong. He didn't commit suicide, they suggested; instead, it was a local teen who killed him. Their theory was met with some serious pushback, but they stand behind... More »

King-Protecting 'Witchmarks' Uncovered in Home

Though King James I never made it to the Knole estate in Kent

(Newser) - Most old homes bear normal signs of wear and tear. The strange gouge marks beneath the floorboards of "one of Britain's most important historic houses," however, tell a pretty interesting story, the Independent reports: They were intended to guard King James I from witches and other evil... More »

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