Ole Miss Riot

March 13, 2014 · Posted in Black History, Civil Rights, This Day in History · Comments Off on Ole Miss Riot 

On Oct. 1, 1962 Mississippi University admitted James Meredith; their first black student.  This Federally ordered act of integration resulted in a violent mob riot on the campus. Two people were killed and hundreds injured. Mississippi had segregationist laws that Governor Ross Barnett tried to uphold despite President Kennedy’s order to obey the federal law against segregation. The fight to preserve James Meredith’s civil right to attend the University of Mississippi is sometimes referred to as “the last battle of the Civil War”.

Learn more about the facts and people involved.

The Bubonic Plague is Alive and Well

March 8, 2014 · Posted in Medicine · Comments Off on The Bubonic Plague is Alive and Well 

When we think of the plague, we imagine ages gone by, the middle ages in particular, safely contained inside the texts of detailed accounts in history books. Most of us don’t associate the plague with current times, but the truth is 10 to 20 people in the United States contract plague each year. In fact, infected mice  from a lab in New Jersey escaped in 2005 and have never been found.

In the news recently, we are warned of an increased risk of ancient diseases thawing back into existence; the Bubonic plague being one. An example is a 30,000 year old virus that has been brought back to life from its Siberian permafrost tomb. Scientist believe  that we could be vulnerable to more of these frozen enemies as climate change thaws out our planet.

The Black Death

March 8, 2014 · Posted in Medicine · Comments Off on The Black Death 
The Black Death

Hulton Archive/Getty Images
The Black Death in a European town


430 B.C.- During the second year of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides writes about a disease that is believed to have been the Plague

540 A.D.- An outbreak of Plague occurs at Pelusium, Egypt.

542 A.D.- Plague reaches Constantinople.

1334- Plague occurs in Constantinople

1339-1346- The famine occurs. This goes on for seven years and is known as “the famine before the plague.”

1347- The Black Plague began spreading through Western Europe

Fall 1347- Reports of the plague are recorded in Alexandria, Cyprus, and Sicily.

Winter 1347- Plague then reaches Italy.

Jan. 1348- Next, the plague reaches France and Germany.

1349- 1/3 of the population in Western Europe was dead from the plague. That is roughly 25 million people.

May 1349- It then reaches Norway.

1350- Afterwards the plague reaches Eastern Europe. More specifically, it reaches London, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland.

1351- The plague reaches Russia.

1353- Giovanni Boccaccio finishes writing The Decameron, a fictional narrative that opens with a description of the 1348 outbreak of Black Death in Florence, Italy.

March 1665- The Great Plague of London begins, and 43 people died by May.

June 1665- 6,137 people die by June.

July 1665- 17,036 people die by July.

Aug. 1665- 31,159 people die by August.

1666- The Great Fire of London destroys most of the rats and fleas that carry the plague bacillus.

1679- The plague devastates central Europe.

1711- Plague breaks out in Austria.

1722- Daniel Defoe publishes A Journal of the Plague Year, a fictional recounting of the great Plague of London in 1665.

1770- The Balkans battle the Plague for two years.

1877: The pandemic starts up again and flares up in Russia, China, and India.

1889: The Pandemic begins to near an end.

1894: Working independently, bacteriologists Alexandre Yersin and Shibasaburo Kitasato both isolate the bacterium that causes the Black Death. Yersin discovers that rodents are the mode of infection. The bacterium is named Yersina Pestis after Yersin.

1896: The pandemic in China and India is over.

1947: Albert Camus publishes The Plague, a novel about a fictional outbreak of plague in Oran, Algeria.

Sept. 2005: Three mice infected with Bubonic Plague disappear from a laboratory at the Public Health Research Institute in New Jersey.

How World War One Started and the Timeline That Followed

February 25, 2014 · Posted in Military History, World War l · Comments Off on How World War One Started and the Timeline That Followed 

June 28th

Francis Ferdinand assassinated at Sarajevo

July 5th

Kaiser William II promised German support for Austria against Serbia

July 28th

Austria declared war on Serbia

August 1st

Germany declared war on Russia

August 3rd

Germany declared war on France and invaded Belgium. Germany had to implement the Schlieffen Plan.

August 4th

Britain declared war on Germany

August 23rd

The BEF started its retreat from Mons. Germany invaded France.

August 26th

Russian army defeated at Tannenburg and Masurian Lakes.

September 6th

Battle of the Marne started

October 18th

First Battle of Ypres

October 29th

Turkey entered the war on Germany’s side. Trench warfare started to dominate the Western Front.


January 19th

The first Zeppelin raid on Britain took place

February 19th

Britain bombarded Turkish forts in the Dardanelles

April 25th

Allied troops landed in Gallipoli

May 7th

The “Lusitania” was sunk by a German U-boat

May 23rd

Italy declared war on Germany and Austria

August 5th

The Germans captured Warsaw from the Russians

September 25th Start of the Battle of Loos

December 19th

The Allies started the evacuation of Gallipoli


January 27th

Conscription introduced in Britain

February 21st

Start of the Battle of Verdun

April 29th

British forces surrendered to Turkish forces at Kut in Mesopotamia

May 31st

Battle of Jutland

June 4th
Start of the Brusilov Offensive

July 1st

Start of the Battle of the Somme

August 10th
End of the Brusilov Offensive

September 15th

First use en masse of tanks at the Somme

December 7th

Lloyd George becomes British Prime Minister


February 1st

Germany’s unrestricted submarine warfare campaign started

April 6th

USA declared war on Germany

April 16th

France launched an unsuccessful offensive on the Western Front

July 31st

Start of the Third Battle at Ypres

October 24th

Battle of Caporetto – the Italian Army was heavily defeated

November 6th

Britain launched a major offensive on the Western Front

November 20th

British tanks won a victory at Cambrai

December 5th

Armistice between Germany and Russia signed

December 9th

Britain captured Jerusalem from the Turks

March 3rd

The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was signed between Russia and Germany.

March 21st

Germany broke through on the Somme

March 29th

Marshall Foch was appointed Allied Commander on the Western Front

April 9th

Germany started an offensive in Flanders

July 15th

Second Battle of the Marne started. The start of the collapse of the German army

August 8th

The advance of the Allies was successful

September 19th

Turkish forces collapsed at Megiddo

October 4th

Germany asked the Allies for an armistice

October 29th

Germany’s navy mutinied

October 30th

Turkey made peace

November 3rd

Austria made peace

November 9th

Kaiser William II abdicated

November 11th

Germany signed an armistice with the Allies – the official date of the end of World War One.

Post-war – 1919

January 4th

Peace conference met at Paris

June 21st

The surrendered German naval fleet at Scapa Flow was scuttled.

June 28th

The Treaty of Versailles was signed by the Germans

The Triangle Waist Factory Fire On March 25, 1911 in New York City

February 23, 2014 · Posted in This Day in History · Comments Off on The Triangle Waist Factory Fire On March 25, 1911 in New York City 

List of 146 Who Died
Adler, Lizzie, 24
Altman, Anna, 16
Ardito, Annina, 25
Bassino, Rose, 31
Benanti, Vincenza, 22
Berger, Yetta, 18
Bernstein, Essie, 19
Bernstein, Jacob, 38
Bernstein, Morris, 19
Billota, Vincenza, 16
Binowitz, Abraham, 30
Birman, Gussie, 22
Brenman, Rosie, 23
Brenman, Sarah, 17
Brodsky, Ida, 15
Brodsky, Sarah, 21
Brucks, Ada, 18
Brunetti, Laura, 17
Cammarata, Josephine, 17
Caputo, Francesca, 17
Carlisi, Josephine, 31
Caruso, Albina, 20
Ciminello, Annie, 36
Cirrito, Rosina, 18
Cohen, Anna, 25
Colletti, Annie, 30
Cooper, Sarah, 16
Cordiano , Michelina, 25
Dashefsky, Bessie, 25
Del Castillo, Josie, 21
Dockman, Clara, 19
Donick, Kalman, 24
Driansky, Nettie, 21
Eisenberg, Celia, 17
Evans, Dora, 18
Feibisch, Rebecca, 20
Fichtenholtz, Yetta, 18
Fitze, Daisy Lopez, 26
Floresta, Mary, 26
Florin, Max, 23
Franco, Jenne, 16
Friedman, Rose, 18
Gerjuoy, Diana, 18
Gerstein, Molly, 17
Giannattasio, Catherine, 22
Gitlin, Celia, 17
Goldstein, Esther, 20
Goldstein, Lena, 22
Goldstein, Mary, 18
Goldstein, Yetta, 20
Grasso, Rosie, 16
Greb, Bertha, 25
Grossman, Rachel, 18
Herman, Mary, 40
Hochfeld, Esther, 21
Hollander, Fannie, 18
Horowitz, Pauline, 19
Jukofsky, Ida, 19
Kanowitz, Ida, 18
Kaplan, Tessie, 18
Kessler, Beckie, 19
Klein, Jacob, 23
Koppelman, Beckie, 16
Kula, Bertha, 19
Kupferschmidt, Tillie, 16
Kurtz, Benjamin, 19
L’Abbate, Annie, 16
Lansner, Fannie, 21
Lauletti, Maria Giuseppa, 33
Lederman, Jennie, 21
Lehrer, Max, 18
Lehrer, Sam, 19
Leone, Kate, 14
Leventhal, Mary, 22
Levin, Jennie, 19
Levine, Pauline, 19
Liebowitz, Nettie, 23
Liermark, Rose, 19
Maiale, Bettina, 18
Maiale, Frances, 21
Maltese, Catherine, 39
Maltese, Lucia, 20
Maltese, Rosaria, 14
Manaria, Maria, 27
Mankofsky, Rose, 22
Mehl, Rose, 15
Meyers, Yetta, 19
Midolo, Gaetana, 16
Miller, Annie, 16
Neubauer, Beckie, 19
Nicholas, Annie, 18
Nicolosi, Michelina, 21
Nussbaum, Sadie, 18
Oberstein, Julia, 19
Oringer, Rose, 19
Ostrovsky , Beckie, 20
Pack, Annie, 18
Panno, Provindenza, 43
Pasqualicchio, Antonietta, 16
Pearl, Ida, 20
Pildescu, Jennie, 18
Pinelli, Vincenza, 30
Prato, Emilia, 21
Prestifilippo, Concetta, 22
Reines, Beckie, 18
Rosen (Loeb), Louis, 33
Rosen, Fannie, 21
Rosen, Israel, 17
Rosen, Julia, 35
Rosenbaum, Yetta, 22
Rosenberg, Jennie, 21
Rosenfeld, Gussie, 22
Rothstein, Emma, 22
Rotner, Theodore, 22
Sabasowitz, Sarah, 17
Salemi, Santina, 24
Saracino, Sarafina, 25
Saracino, Teresina, 20
Schiffman, Gussie, 18
Schmidt, Theresa, 32
Schneider, Ethel, 20
Schochet, Violet, 21
Schpunt, Golda, 19
Schwartz, Margaret, 24
Seltzer, Jacob, 33
Shapiro, Rosie, 17
Sklover, Ben, 25
Sorkin, Rose, 18
Starr, Annie, 30
Stein, Jennie, 18
Stellino, Jennie, 16
Stiglitz, Jennie, 22
Taback, Sam, 20
Terranova, Clotilde, 22
Tortorelli, Isabella, 17
Utal, Meyer, 23
Uzzo, Catherine, 22
Velakofsky, Frieda, 20
Viviano, Bessie, 15
Weiner, Rosie, 20
Weintraub, Sarah, 17
Weisner, Tessie, 21
Welfowitz, Dora, 21
Wendroff, Bertha, 18
Wilson, Joseph, 22
Wisotsky, Sonia, 17
Source: https://www.ilr.cornell.edu/trianglefire/victimsWitnesses/victimsList.html?victimid=108

Sacred Text

January 25, 2014 · Posted in Ancient History · Comments Off on Sacred Text 

Sacred Text Describes Successful Brain Surgery in Ancient Tibet

The history of brain surgery may date back as far as the late Stone Age, and some medical historians consider it the earliest operation ever performed. Recently, a specialist on Tibetan culture uncovered an intriguing account of ancient brain surgery in the 2,900-year-old Tibetan Tripiaka, a collection of Buddhist texts passed down orally for thousands of years before being recorded in Sanskrit during the third century B.C. Perhaps most significantly, the description suggests that ancient Tibetan doctors conducted craniotomies and related procedures to ease patients’ symptoms and not as part of a religious ritual, as some scholars have suggested.

The Tibetan Tripiaka.

Karma Trinley, an associate professor of Tibetan language and literature at Tibet University in Lhasa, found the passage on brain surgery after studying the Tripiaka for four decades. In it, a veteran surgeon performs the operation on a man who suffers from such severe headaches that he would resort to banging his head on hard objects to relieve the pain. Tsogyel, a young Indian doctor who happens to be watching the procedure, counsels the surgeon to heat his tweezers, presumably in order to disinfect them.

“Tsogyel was a well-reputed doctor and was good at all medical practice except brain surgery,” Trinley told Xinhua News, China’s state-run news agency. “But the surgeon followed his advice and the surgery later proved successful.” Tsogyel’s sterilization technique went on to improve recovery rates for brain surgery during that time and helped him establish his own career as a surgeon, Trinley said.

Evidence of ancient brain surgery on the Tibetan Plateau first surfaced in 1998, when archaeologists unearthed human skulls bearing cracks that had healed before death. Researchers surmised that these early craniotomies, some performed more than 5,000 years ago, were intended to heal the spirit rather than the body. “Some believed it was a religious ritual to dispel evils or bring happiness, while others held that it was a therapy used by witches and wizards,” Trinley explained.

Because it includes details on the patient’s symptoms, the brain surgery scene in the Tripi?aka implies that doctors performed at least some of these operations for legitimate therapeutic reasons, Trinley said. Brain surgery is not the only medical treatment that appears in the Tripi?aka, which aggregates the teachings of Buddhism’s founder, Siddh?rtha Gautama (also known as ??kyamuni), and commentary by his disciples. “The Tibetan Tripi?aka contains ??kyamuni’s classifications of 440 ailments that were believed to be associated with wind, bile and phlegm, and were categorized accordingly,” Trinley said, adding that some of this knowledge is still used by Tibetan doctors today.

Many other ancient civilizations used brain surgery for both religious and medical purposes hundreds or even thousands of years before the advent of modern medicine, including the Egyptians, Romans, Greeks and some pre-Incan societies.

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