Aus­­t­ral­ia’s first surf life saving clubs arose on Sydney’s ocean beach­es in response to a shift in beach culture in the early 1900s. Sur­f­ing had been prohibited in daylight hours in Sydney until Rand­wick City Council lifted its ban, in response to drought in 1902. As oth­er coun­­cils followed, bathing became more pop­ular, causing a…

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As the National and University Library of Iceland commemorate the 250th anniversary of Joseph Banks’s expedition to Iceland with an exhibition, we are publishing a series of blogs on all things Icelandic in the British Library collections. For those who want to know more about Joseph Banks’s expedition to Iceland,...

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Helen DuncanBirminghamLiveThe last English execution for witchcr­aft was 1684. James I's st­atute was repealed in 1736 by George II. The Scottish church out­lawed witchcraft in 1563; by the time of the last execution in 1722, 1,500 Scottish witches had been put to death. Parliament pass­ed the 1736 Witchcraft Act repealing the old laws against witch­craft…

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King Charles II was crowned at Westminster Abbey, 1661.WikiThere was a widely-held belief that British Cath­olics were actively plotting the overthrow of church and state, to establish Britain as a satellite state under the control of an all-powerful Catholic monarch.In the late 1670s, anxieties were raised by the succession issue. King Charles II (1630–85) had no legitimate…

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Far N.E China, close to Russia and Mongolia.Often -30CJews have lived in China for centuries. But the story of Harbin, in a remote province of NE China between Siber­ia and North Korea, began with a modern rail­road. As late as 1896 there were only small fishing villages on a river. Amazing, since Harbin today has…

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The following text is a transcript of a talk I gave in 2019 for the Decolonising Science Narratives workshop held at the Science Museum in London, UK. Although I have since changed my mind a bit on the topic (see my follow-up seminar talk I gave here), I feel like its important to have my…

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                                Purple = Russian Empire, brown = Japanese Empire and yellow = Chinese EmpirePress to see Port Arthur and Sakhalin Island marked in blackThe Russians entered the region in the Sino/China-Japanese War of 1894–5. Along with Germany and France, Russia was a part…

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Map of Czech Republic,note Zlin near the eastern border with SlovakiaPress to expandThe small town of Zlín in SE Moravia dates back to the late C14th. More recently industries app­eared in the mid-C19th. The town's connect­ion with the wider world st­arted to improve with the opening of a post of­f­ice in 1848. Castle owner Baron…

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Crippen features on the front of the Mirror in 1910 The title Dr is in inverted commas.Executing a criminal is murder, by hanging, gas chamber, injection or firing squad. Firstly the execut­ioner bec­omes a murd­erer himself, as destructive as the criminal he is killing. Secondly noone knows who was responsible for the crime with 100%…

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Sen Edward Kennedy in a neck brace,  after Chappa­quidd­ick July 1969,SmithsonianU.S senator from Massach­usetts Ted Kennedy (1932–2009) was the last surviving son of Joseph Kennedy. After the wartime death of Joseph Jr and the assassin­ations of John and Robert, Ted was the family’s last hope for a run at the presidency. [I had liked the 3 brothers…

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Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyivstill intact,, sofar!There were plenty of articles about Russia’s worst war crime i.e the slaughter of civilians. Now UNESCO’s Director-General has added a les­ser war crime saying: We must safeguard the cultural herit­age in Ukr­aine, as a testimony of her past and as a catalyst for fut­ure peace and cohesion. In…

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Leonard Warwick and his daughter on a hunting trip, c1982Guns in Australia were not illegal back then, but they were not a good look.In a progressive programme of the Whitlam Federal Government, the Australian Fam­ily Court started in Jan 1976. But despite the high ideal­ism of the court's creators, they failed to realise one truth: that…

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Casanova, attributed to Francesco Narichi1760Many words have been incorporated into our normal vocabulary, to connote the qualities that their namesakes were noted for. In fact there are many names of historical figures and fictional characters that have become part of common parlance. Ruth Beloff went back to see who the men and women were, whose names…

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During WW1 Richborough Camp was built on the River Stour, the start­ing point of a ferry service across the Channel for troops and munitions to Fran­ce and Bel­g­ium. A railway was built from the main line to the banks of the Stour, so thou­s­ands of soldiers could be transported. But by late 1918, this British…

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IsraAID search-and-rescue crew in blue t-shirts, earthquake Nepal, 2015Give LivelyFirstly two terms to be explained. A] Tzedakah is Hebrew for social justice, in which the donor benefits from giving, just like the re­cipients benefit. That’s because tzedakah builds trusts, and requ­ir­es contributions of time and effort. My grandparents & pa­r­ents gave 10% of their net…

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The following post is an article that was originally written and published for Lady Science, a wonderful online magazine that has now sadly ended its publication . I am very grateful for the chance to originally publish with the amazing team behind Lady Science, who gave me the confidence and the support necessary to write…

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Guest post by Laurentius Alvin Laurentis Alvin is a Master’s student at Bonn University in Germany (Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität). They hold a BA in history of art and musicology. Their academic […]

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This is a guest post by Sherine Hamade with consultations from the Hades beta tester, Cian Sutherland. Sherine Hamade (they/them) is a graduate student studying Public History at the University […]

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