Weekend Reading

• Little known fact… Before industrialization, most western Europeans had two separate periods of sleep each night. Usually nodding off at sunset, they would rise around midnight, spend some time awake, and then return to bed for “Second Sleep.” Read on to learn how they filled those early morning waking hours… (H/T Matthew Schmitz)

Lady Anne Clifford
Lady Anne Clifford (1590-1676), writer and patron of other writers

• “Shakespeare’s Sisters“: meet some of the greatest English and European women writers of the 16th and 17th centuries.

• The history of Monopoly (the board game) turns out to have a lot to do with the history of monopolies (the economic practice common to late 19th century America).

• The histories of two things that never happened: first, the Confederate invasion of California

• …then second, Adolf Hitler’s plans to remake Berlin into “Germania.” For Roger Moorhouse, “Germania was in many ways a rather perfect representation of Nazism,” grandiose in vision and devastating in terms of the anticipated human cost.

• On the 70th anniversary of the founding of the camps where Japanese-Americans were interned during World War II, the Japanese American National Museum announced a partnership with Ancestry.com, called The Remembrance Project. Click through to watch the introductory video featuring actor George Takei, who spent part of his childhood in one of the camps. (H/T God’s Politics)

• More than twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, countries like Poland and Bulgaria are starting to come to terms with their Communist pasts.

• The history of a name: Paul Harvey of Religion in American History reflects on the meaning of “Southern” Baptist in light of that group’s decision to suggest a new name (“Great Commission Baptists”) while keeping the legal name (“Southern Baptist Convention”).

• Fifty years and 60,000 terms after the project started, the Dictionary of American Regional English reached its last entry: zydeco.

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