Weekend Reading

• A few years ago we had a student write her Senior Seminar paper on the Lost Colony at Roanoke Island, North Carolina. New research may have shed some light on the fate of those early British colonists…

The goat who sailed around the world twice and received a pension from the British Admiralty in the 1770s.

• Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris writes a brief history of identification, touching on everything from Herman Melville’s photo-less passport to a Mark Twain story to the strange case of two prisoners who shared the same name and looked like twins, but had slightly different fingerprints.

Isaac Israel Hayes: the Quaker doctor and Arctic explorer who left the United States in July 1860 in search of the North Pole and returned in October 1861 to find his country torn in half.

• The origins of the American Pledge of Allegiance center on a dissimilar pair: an Italian adventurer whose name you know well and a Christian socialist whose name you’ve probably never heard.

• The history of the British khaki uniform shows it to be anything but uniform.

• The Associated Press reporter who was fired for breaking the news of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender was given a posthumous apology by the head of the AP.

Mao and Khrushchev
Mao Zedong and Nikita Khrushchev, 1958 – Library of Congress

• “History as a literary art,” an evergreen 1946 essay by Samuel Eliot Morison.

• Hipsters, the first Russian musical in half a century, is hitting American movie screens. The Star Tribune review (3.5/4 stars) describes it as a “Khrushchev-era ‘Footloose,'” which puts it squarely in the same time period covered by two exhibitions at The Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis (about which we blogged recently).

• And one more Khrushchev post: what his lack of swimming ability had to do with the split between the Soviet Union and China in the late 1950s.

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