Clare Hollingworth scooped the world on the invasion of Poland

Clare Hollingworth circa 1940s (Source: Clare Hollingworth Collection)

AAny woman wanting to be a war correspondent faced plenty of obstacles. These included a belief they couldn’t handle the stress of warfare and the concerns regarding whether special facilities were necessary. Even if a woman gained access to a war zone, she often was limited to covering the “woman’s…

Lawsuit objects to teams playing home games in New Jersey

The logos of the New York Giants and the New York Jets (Wikimedia Commons)

Each year brings bizarre lawsuits. And 2022 kicked off early.

On January 4, Abdiell Suero sued the NFL, the New York Giants, and the New York Jets on behalf of himself and the teams’ fans in the State of New York. Why? Both teams play their home games at MetLife…

Scathing Treasury Department report prompted action by President Roosevelt

Jews deported by Nazis looking from railroad car (Wikimedia Commons)

AAntisemitism was an overt pillar of Adolf Hitler’s political philosophy and, from 1933, official German policy. Nevertheless, it still took years before America took tangible steps to help European Jews. In part, the change came about, thanks to the Department of Treasury accusing the State Department of obstructing rescue efforts.

Reconstruction of design on which Cluny Abbey was based (Wikimedia Commons)

Cluny Abbey’s original charters contained some remarkable provisions

Humble origins don’t preclude the accumulation of power, especially if accompanied by safeguards. The founding of Cluny Abbey in France proves this. It grew to become one of medieval Europe’s most influential religious institutions.

St. Berno of Cluny was born to a wealthy noble family in Burgundy, France, around 850…

Tales about popes can tend toward the fantastic

Sculpture of St. Peter in Vatican’s St. Peter’s Square (Photo by iam_os on Unsplash)

LLegends and history both tell stories of the past. Given its power and antiquity, the papacy has plenty of both. Some legends have a basis in fact; others are simply apocryphal. Here are four of the more offbeat.

A Papal Tiara Shows the Pope is the Antichrist

Although the Book of Revelation dates to the late 1st century, some…

“Heretic” sentenced nearly 350 years after Inquisition began

Cayetano Ripoll (Great Catalan Encyclopedia)

WWhether as shorthand for claiming an investigation or proceeding is unfair or a source for Monty Python sketches, the Spanish Inquisition echoes today. Although generally thought of as a medieval phenomenon, Catholic Church’s oppressive hunt for heretics lasted far longer. …

British bombed German ships with prisoners days before World War II ended

The Cap Arcona afire after RAF attack (Wikimedia Commons)

InIn early 1945, Nazi concentration camps still held some 700,00 prisoners. The SS emptied the camps as Allied forces pushed into Nazi territory, moving the prisoners into Germany. So many thousands died on these forced transfers that are known to history as “death marches.” …

One theory suggests the decision came on December 12, 1941

1945 photo of the “Gate of Death” at Auschwitz II-Birkenau extermination camp (Wikimedia Commons)

TThere exist no written orders authorizing Adolf Hitler’s “Final Solution” — the systematic extermination of Europe’s Jews. It’s unknown if one ever existed or, if so, if it was destroyed before the end of World War II. History shows high-ranking Nazis met in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee on January…

Plymouth Colony created America’s first legal codes, including principles followed today

U.S. Capitol painting of signing of Mayflower Compact (Wikimedia Commons)

AtAt least according to legend, it was 100 years ago that pilgrims at New Plymouth (or “Plimoth”) Colony and members of the Wampanoag Indian tribe celebrated what is now America’s Thanksgiving. But, while debate may continue over historical fact and fiction, that isn’t the only cultural legacy of the Plymouth…

Winston Churchill and Joseph Goebbels (Library of Congress/U.S. Holocaust Museum)

Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels used it several times before Churchill made it famous

Undoubtedly, “Iron Curtain” was one of the most-used Cold War phrases. Popular history attributes the metaphoric barrier separating Soviet-controlled Europe from the rest of the continent to former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. …

Tim Gebhart

Retired Lawyer. Book Addict. History Buff. Lifelong South Dakotan. Blog: prairieprogressive.com

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