World War I Facts

July 7, 2014 · Posted in Military History, World War l · Comments Off 

World War 1 began on July 28, 1914 and lasted until November 11, 1918. Differences in foreign policies were to blame, although the immediate cause was the assassination of Austria’s Archduke Ferdinand.

The two main sides were the Allies, which included France, Great Britain and Russia; and Germany and Austria-Hungary. In total, 30 countries were involved in the conflict. Italy, once part of the Triple Alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary, fought on the side of the Allies.

Soldiers fought largely in trenches during the war, and thousands suffered from stress, known as shell-shock. The British and French trenches were often squalid, whereas the German trenches were almost luxurious in comparison, with bunks and decent cooking facilities. (Click here to learn more about life in the trenches)
By the end of WW1, over 9 million soldiers had been killed, and another 21 million wounded. Over a million soldiers were killed in the infamous Battle of the Somme alone, including about 30,000 in just one day.

Around 11 percent of the population of France was killed or wounded during the war. About 116,000 Americans were killed, even though the US was only in the war for about 7 months.

World War 1
During World War 1, dogs were used to carry messages in capsules attached to their body. Dogs also carried and placed telegraph wires in important areas.
Pigeons were also used during the war. About 500,000 pigeons were regularly dropped into enemy lines by parachute, and then sent back with messages.

On Christmas Eve, 1914, both sides declared an unofficial truce and sung Christmas carols to each other. A football match was played in no-man’s land (the area between the German and British) trenches, and German and British soldiers exchanged food and souvenirs. The following Christmas, sentries on both sides had orders to shoot any soldier who did this.

Cannons and artillery were often extremely loud. In 1917, the explosives used to destroy a bridge in France could be be heard over 130 miles away in London.

Many new weapons were invented or first used during World War 1. Big Bertha was one of the most famous; it was a 48 ton gun capable of firing a shell over 9 miles. It took 200 men several hours to assemble the gun.

Tanks were so called because of early attempts to disguise them as water tanks. They were also known as male and female tanks; male tanks had cannons and female tanks had machine guns.

Folk Singer Pete Seeger Dies

June 18, 2014 · Posted in America, Civil Rights, Famous Song Writers and Singers · Comments Off 

Known for such popular hit songs: “If I Had a Hammer,” “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” and “Kisses Sweeter Than Wine” and anthem for civil rights, “We Shall Overcome.”  has died at the age of 94.

Read More

 

The Trail of Tears

June 2, 2014 · Posted in American Indian, Oklahoma History · Comments Off 

Millions of acres of American Indian ancestral land (in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina and Florida) was stolen by the Federal Government. The reason? So that white settlers could move in and use the land for their advantage in such endeavors as growing cotton.

The removal of native people from their lands and homes of many generations began in the early 1830s, when nearly 125,000 Native Americans began their tragic journey known as the Trail of Tears. They were sent to live in Indian Territory what eventually would become the state of Oklahoma. Oklahoma meaning: “red people”. The translation is from the Choctaw Indian words okla and humma.

Source: http://www.history.com/topics/native-american-history/trail-of-tears

European Town Graves Reveal Historical Clues

April 16, 2014 · Posted in America · Comments Off 

Two years following Christopher Columbus ‘s journey across the Atlantic in 1492, Columbus and colonists took off on a second trip. The result of their subsequent voyage was the foundation of the first established European town in the New World. It was given the name La Isabela.

La Isabela had a short four year existence. The demise of the town has always been believed by historians to have been the result of the diseases smallpox, influenza, and malaria.

However, recent findings from the town’s graves, from the bones that remained, also show that the colonist suffered as well from a condition known as scurvy. To be sure scurvy would have made the towns people vulnerable targets to the diseases that befell them.

Scurvy is a condition developed from low levels of Vitamin C. Before 1747 when James Lind was able to prove the connection between scurvy and vitamin c depletion, people did not know the importance of eating citric fruit and other fresh foods that contain Vitamin C. Therefore in the 15th century town of La Isabela scurvy was rampant and contributed to the vulnerability of the immune system to fight off disease.

Read more in National Geographic:

Severe Scurvy Struck Christopher Columbus’s Crew

IBM Introduces the System/360

April 7, 2014 · Posted in Firsts in History, Science, This Day in History · Comments Off 

May the computers unite and with that revolutionary concept the IBM System/360 was born. Before the uniting of computers into a network of systems, each was its own creation uniquely customized for each of IBM’s clients.

It has been 50 years since the 360 mainframe was introduced in 1964. It boasted the first mainframe computers that IBM customers could optimize from a lower cost model to something upgraded in power. ABC News

 

 

Ebola Virus: One of Its Most Deadly Forms

March 26, 2014 · Posted in Medicine · Comments Off 

The history of the Ebola virus is believed to date back to the beginning of our planet, though it was only first discovered in 1976. A clue that indicates an ancient origin is that the molecule’s genetic code is one of the most primitive and ancient  having a single strand of RNA. The Hot Zone

The recent outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, upon careful DNA analysis, is determined to be of the most deadly of the Ebola viruses known as the Zaire strain. This version of the Ebola virus typically kills up to 80 percent of the victims it infects. The name is derived from the 1976 outbreak in northern Zaire; for the Ebola River in Zaire (see table below from WHO International for exact number of deaths)

It takes only a small number of particles contracted through Blood-borne pathogens for an “extreme amplification” to erupt in Ebola Zaire’s host.

 

Table: Chronology of major Ebola haemorrhagic fever outbreaks (as of May 2012)

 

Year Country Virus subtype Cases Deaths Case fatality
2011 Uganda Ebola Sudan 1 1 100%
2008 Democratic Republic of Congo Ebola Zaire 32 14 44%
2007 Uganda Ebola Bundibugyo 149 37 25%
2007 Democratic Republic of Congo Ebola Zaire 264 187 71%
2005 Congo Ebola Zaire 12 10 83%
2004 Sudan Ebola Sudan 17 7 41%
2003 Congo Ebola Zaire 35 29 83%
(Nov-Dec)
2003 Congo Ebola Zaire 143 128 90%
(Jan-Apr)
2001-2002 Congo Ebola Zaire 59 44 75%
2001-2002 Gabon Ebola Zaire 65 53 82%
2000 Uganda Ebola Sudan 425 224 53%
1996 South Africa (ex-Gabon) Ebola Zaire 1 1 100%
1996 Gabon Ebola Zaire 60 45 75%
(Jul-Dec)
1996 Gabon Ebola Zaire 31 21 68%
(Jan-Apr)
1995 Democratic Republic of Congo Ebola Zaire 315 254 81%
1994 Cote d’Ivoire Ebola Ivory Coast 1 0 0%
1994 Gabon Ebola Zaire 52 31 60%
1979 Sudan Ebola Sudan 34 22 65%
1977 Democratic Republic of Congo Ebola Zaire 1 1 100%
1976 Sudan Ebola Sudan 284 151 53%
1976 Democratic Republic of Congo Ebola Zaire 318 280 88%

The Ebola Zaire strain

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/03/24/293754812/ebola-breaks-out-in-west-africa-for-the-first-time

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