History (from Greekἱστορία, historia, meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study of the past. Events occurring before the invention of writing systems are considered prehistory. "History" is an umbrella term that relates to past events as well as the memory, discovery, collection, organization, presentation, and interpretation of information about these events. Historians place the past in context using historical sources such as written documents, oral accounts, ecological markers, and material objects including art and artifacts.
History also includes the academic discipline which uses narrative to describe, examine, question, and analyze a sequence of past events, and investigate the patterns of cause and effect that are related to them. Historians seek to understand and represent the past through narratives. They often debate which narrative best explains an event, as well as the significance of different causes and effects. Historians also debate the nature of history and its usefulness by discussing the study of the discipline as an end in itself and as a way of providing "perspective" on the problems of the present.
Stories common to a particular culture, but not supported by external sources (such as the tales surrounding King Arthur), are usually classified as cultural heritage or legends. History differs from myth in that it is supported by evidence. However, ancient influences have helped spawn variant interpretations of the nature of history which have evolved over the centuries and continue to change today. The modern study of history is wide-ranging, and includes the study of specific regions and the study of certain topical or thematic elements of historical investigation. History is often taught as part of primary and secondary education, and the academic study of history is a major discipline in university studies.
Herodotus, a 5th-century BC Greek historian is often considered (within the Western tradition) to be the "father of history", although he has also been called the "father of lies". Along with his contemporary Thucydides, he helped form the foundations for the modern study of human history. Their works continue to be read today, and the gap between the culture-focused Herodotus and the military-focused Thucydides remains a point of contention or approach in modern historical writing. In East Asia, a state chronicle, the Spring and Autumn Annals, was known to be compiled from as early as 722BC although only 2nd-centuryBC texts have survived. (Full article...)
A "WikiProject" is a group of contributors who want to work together as a team to improve Wikipedia. These groups often focus on a specific topic area (for example, women's history), a specific location or a specific kind of task (for example, checking newly created pages). The English Wikipedia currently has over 2,000 WikiProjects and activity varies.
In 2007, in preparation for producing a print version, the English Wikipedia introduced an assessment scale of the quality of articles. Articles are rated by WikiProjects. The range of quality classes begins with "Stub" (very short pages), followed by "Start", "C" and "B" (in increasing order of quality). Community peer review is needed for the article to enter one of the highest quality classes: either "good article", "A" or the highest, "featured article". Of the about 4.4 million articles and lists assessed as of March 2015, a little more than 5,000 (0.12%) are featured articles, and fewer than 2,000 (0.04%) are featured lists. One featured article per day, as selected by editors, appears on the main page of Wikipedia. (Full article...)
Saratoga underway in 1942, after her lengthy refit
The outbreak of the First World War proved significant, with the withdrawal of troops for service in France compounded by the loss of more than 600 French killed at the Battle of El Herri. Lyautey reorganised his available forces into a "living barricade", consisting of outposts manned by his best troops protecting the perimeter of French territory with lower quality troops manning the rear-guard positions. Over the next four years the French retained most of their territory despite intelligence and financial support provided by the Central Powers to the Zaian Confederation and continual raids and skirmishes reducing scarce French manpower. (Full article...)
The Indiana-class was a class of three pre-dreadnought battleships launched in 1893. They were the first battleships built by the United States Navy comparable to contemporary European ships, such as the British HMS Hood. Authorized in 1890 and commissioned between November 1895 and April 1896, they were relatively small battleships with heavy armor and ordnance that pioneered the use of an intermediate battery. Specifically intended for coastal defense, their freeboard was insufficient to deal well with the waves of the open ocean. Their turrets lacked counterweights, and the main belt armor was placed too low to be effective under most conditions.
Her first duties with the newly formed United States Navy were to provide protection for American merchant shipping during the Quasi War with France and to defeat the Barbary pirates in the First Barbary War. During the War of 1812 she made several extended length cruises in company with her sister shipPresident and captured, or assisted in the capture of twenty British merchant ships. At the end of 1813, due to a lack of materials to repair her, she was placed in ordinary for the remainder of the war. In 1815 she returned to service for the Second Barbary War and made patrols through 1816. In the 1820s she helped suppress piracy in the West Indies, made several voyages to South America, and was the first U.S. warship to visit China. Congress spent her last ten years of service as a receiving ship until ordered broken up in 1834. (Full article...)
The occupiers looted and destroyed much of Poland's cultural and historical heritage, while persecuting and murdering members of the Polish cultural elite. Most Polish schools were closed, and those that remained open saw their curricula altered significantly. (Full article...)
The Royal Navy anticipated being outnumbered by the combined German and Japanese battleships in the early 1940s, and had therefore started building the Lion-class battleships. However, the time-consuming construction of the triple-16-inch turrets for the Lion-class would delay their completion until 1943 at the earliest. The British had enough 15-inch (381 mm) guns and turrets in storage to allow one ship of a modified Lion-class design with four twin-15-inch turrets to be completed faster than the Lion-class vessels that had already been laid down. (Full article...)
Born in Benalla, Victoria, Waller entered the Royal Australian Naval College at the age of thirteen. After graduating, he served with the Royal Navy in the closing stages of World War I. Between the wars, he specialised in communications and was posted as signals officer to several British and Australian warships. He gained his first seagoing command in 1937, as captain of the destroyerHMS Brazen. In September 1939, he took charge of HMAS Stuart and four other obsolete destroyers that together became known as the "Scrap Iron Flotilla". In 1940, these were augmented by other ships to form the 10th Destroyer Flotilla, supporting Allied troops in North Africa. (Full article...)
After graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point, Buckner became an instructor there. He took a hiatus from teaching to serve in the Mexican–American War, participating in many of the major battles of that conflict. He resigned from the army in 1855 to manage his father-in-law's real estate in Chicago, Illinois. He returned to his native state of Kentucky in 1857 and was appointed adjutant general by Governor Beriah Magoffin in 1861. In this position, he tried to enforce Kentucky's neutrality policy in the early days of the Civil War. When the state's neutrality was breached, Buckner accepted a commission in the Confederate Army after declining a similar commission to the Union Army. In 1862, he accepted Ulysses S. Grant's demand for an "unconditional surrender" at the Battle of Fort Donelson. He was the first Confederate general to surrender an army in the war. He spent five months as a prisoner of war. After his release, Buckner participated in Braxton Bragg's failed invasion of Kentucky and near the end of the war became chief of staff to Edmund Kirby Smith in the Trans-Mississippi Department. (Full article...)
Apollo 11 (July 16–24, 1969) was the spaceflight that first landed humans on the Moon. Commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin formed the American crew that landed the Apollo Lunar ModuleEagle on July 20, 1969, at 20:17 UTC (14:17 CST). Armstrong became the first person to step onto the lunar surface six hours and 39 minutes later on July 21 at 02:56 UTC; Aldrin joined him 19 minutes later. They spent about two and a quarter hours together outside the spacecraft, and collected 47.5 pounds (21.5 kg) of lunar material to bring back to Earth. Command module pilot Michael Collins flew the Command Module Columbia alone in lunar orbit while they were on the Moon's surface. Armstrong and Aldrin spent 21 hours, 36 minutes on the lunar surface, at a site they had named Tranquility Base upon landing, before lifting off to rejoin Columbia in lunar orbit.
"The Trumpet Calls", a recruitment poster for the Australian Army in World War I. When the United Kingdom declared war on Germany, Australia followed without hesitation. This was considered to be expected by the Australian public, because of the very large number of British-born citizens and first generation Anglo-Australians at the time. A total of 331,814 Australians were sent overseas to serve as part of the Australian Imperial Force with a casualty rate (killed or wounded) of 64%.
Petra is an archaeological site in Jordan, lying in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Wadi Araba, the great valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. It is famous for having many stone structures carved into the rock.
A Chola dynasty sculpture depicting Shiva. In Hinduism, Shiva is the deity of destruction and one of the most important gods; in this sculpture he is dancing as Nataraja, the divine dancer who unravels the world in preparation for it being remade by Brahma.
A crying Sudeten woman salutesAdolf Hitler as German forces sweep into Czechoslovakia, October 1938. Originally published in the Völkischer Beobachter, it supposedly showed the intense emotions of joy which swept the populace as Hitler drove through the streets of Cheb, 99% of whose inhabitants were ardently pro-Nazi Sudeten Germans at the time. In contrast, when the photo was published in the U.S., it was captioned, "The tragedy of this Sudeten woman, unable to conceal her misery as she dutifully salutes the triumphant Hitler, is the tragedy of the silent millions who have been 'won over' to Hitlerism by the 'everlasting use' of ruthless force." It is unknown what the true circumstances surrounding the photo are.
A lithograph of a watercolour painting depicting soldiers transporting winter clothing, lumber for huts, and other supplies through a snow-covered landscape, with partially buried dead horses along the roadside, to the British camps, during the Siege of Sevastopol of the Crimean War. In the winter, a storm ruined the camps and supply lines of the Allied forces (France, Britain and the Ottoman Empire). Men and horses became sick and starved in the poor conditions.
A baseball team composed mostly of child laborers from an Indiana glassmaking factory, as photographed by Lewis Hine in August 1908. Hine (1874–1940) was an Americansociologist who promoted the use of photography as an educational medium and means for social change. Beginning in 1908, he spent ten years photographing child labor for the National Child Labor Committee. The project was a dangerous one, and Hine had to disguise himself – at times as a fire inspector, post card vendor, Bible salesman or industrial photographer – to avoid the factory police and foremen.
A drawing of the Vegetable Lamb of Tartary (Agnus scythicus), a zoophyte of Central Asia. Botanist Henry Lee described it as both a true animal and a living plant, although he did allow for the possibility that the lamb was the fruit of the plant. The lamb was believed to have blood, bones, and flesh like that of a normal lamb. It was connected to the earth by a stem similar to an umbilical cord that propped the lamb up above ground. The cord could flex downward allowing the lamb to feed on the grass and plants surrounding it. Once the plants within reach were eaten, the lamb died, at which point its cotton-like wool would be harvested and used to make textiles.
Edward Gibbon (1737–1794) was an English historian who published The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in six volumes between 1776 and 1788. Born in Putney, Surrey, he became a voracious reader while being raised by his aunt, and was sent to study at Magdalen College, Oxford, and in Switzerland. Returning to England, in 1761 Gibbon published his first book, Essai sur l'Étude de la Littérature. This was well received, but Gibbon's next book was a failure. In the early 1770s Gibbon began writing his history of the Roman Empire, which was received with great praise.
Jews captured by SS and SD troops during the suppression of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising are forced to leave their shelter and march to the Umschlagplatz for deportation. The SD trooper pictured second from the right, is Josef Blösche, who was identified by Polish authorities using this photograph. Blösche was tried for war crimes in Erfurt, East Germany in 1969, sentenced to death and executed in July of that year.
Malcolm spent his adolescence living in a series of foster homes or with relatives after his father's death and his mother's hospitalization. He engaged in several illicit activities, eventually being sentenced to 10 years in prison in 1946 for larceny and breaking and entering. In prison, he joined the Nation of Islam, adopted the name MalcolmX (to symbolize his unknown African ancestral surname), and quickly became one of the organization's most influential leaders after being paroled in 1952. MalcolmX then served as the public face of the organization for a dozen years, where he advocated for Black empowerment, Black supremacy, and the separation of black and white Americans, and publicly criticized the mainstream civil rights movement for its emphasis on nonviolence and racial integration. Malcolm X also expressed pride in some of the Nation's social welfare achievements, namely its free drug rehabilitation program. Throughout his life, beginning in the 1950s, Malcolm X endured surveillance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). (Full article...)
Truth alone will endure, all the rest will be swept away before the tide of time. I must continue to bear testimony to truth even if I am forsaken by all. Mine may today be a voice in the wilderness, but it will be heard when all other voices are silenced, if it is the voice of Truth.
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