Late this winter, I visited the Cayman Islands National Museum in George Town, Grand Cayman. I’d been there once before, but this time, a video caught my eye that I hadn’t seen the last time around. It very briefly told the story of the Wreck of the Ten Sail.

At first, we thought the Ten Sail was particularly large ship that had wrecked, but it turned out that our conclusion was far less dramatic than what really happened. Ten sail wrecked off the coast of Grand Cayman in 1794. Not one ship with ten sails … ten entire ships. It was the worst shipping disaster in Cayman Islands history.

Show notes and source list are here. 

What’s more fun than a historical character associated with an elixir of youth, time travel, immortality, alchemy and royalty? The count got around in his own time, but his post-mortem legend has legs of its own.

Show notes are here.

ischadie asked: There seems to be an error on all of the How Stuff Works podcast sites when it comes to browsing by tag. The "next" button on pages like tag/british-history/ on your site doesn't work. Hope the How Stuff Works webmasters can figure it out (I'm sorry, the site doesn't seem to have a way to contact a webmaster, only the podcast hosts). Love the podcast and always look forward to the next episode.

Thanks for writing about this! I believe this bug has been tagged and is being looked at by our dev. team, but I will pass along your feedback. /H

Our episode today comes from the listener suggestion box: Katy wrote to us way back in August of 2013 to recommend that we look into the Pig War. And oh, how glad I am that she did. Essentially, in 1859, the United States and the British Empire very nearly got into a shooting war over somebody killing somebody else’s pig. It was all part of a much bigger border dispute between the U.S. and Canada, but it’s a story of egos and posturing and a conflict that would have been completely prevented had the telephone been in common use.

Here’s a link to our notes and research.

Today’s episode has some themes in common with our recent story on Crown Prince Sado of Korea, including a royal family with a history of mental health issues and an ultimately murderous end. This time, it’s from Sweden. Eric XIV’s doesn’t lend itself to a straightforward, chronological telling, so today’s episode is thematic, winding through his childhood, his courtships with a number of princesses, and the murders that ended it all.

Here’s a link to our notes and research.

Within days of our joining the podcast, listeners started asking Holly and me to do a Shroud of Turin episode sometime around Easter. That first spring, it just wasn’t possible – we started in March, and we would have had to pull together a very complex episode in just a few days. So this year, I started way in advance … but I realized almost immediately that just separating the wheat from the chaff in the world of Shroud of Turin research was going to be a monumental undertaking. I finally figured out that it’s a subject that requires much more time and care than we can really devote to just one episode of the podcast (or even a two-parter).

I didn’t want to bypass Easter entirely, though, and I eventually wound up reading about the historical context of crucifixion. In ancient Greece and Rome, crucifixion was simultaneously a common form of capital punishment and a subject so taboo that contemporary historians were reluctant to write about it in detail. This episode looks at how the historical record on crucifixion compares to common knowledge about it, and about what attitudes about crucifixion meant for early Christians in the first few centuries after the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth.

Here’s a link to our notes and research.

One of Marie Antoinette’s many claims to historical fame was her inordinately large collection of opulent, dramatic gowns. Her legendary wardrobe has been criticized and envied to no end. Today’s episode is about the woman who created much of that finery: Rose Bertin, a milliner with humble origins who became stylist to royalty.

Here’s a link to our notes and research.

pbsthisdayinhistory:

March 31, 1889: The Eiffel Tower Opens
On this day in 1889, the Eiffel Tower was dedicated in a ceremony in Paris. Built in commemoration of the French Revolution, it was the tallest building in the world when it was unveiled at the Paris World’s Fair.Although it has been surpassed in height by many skyscrapers since then, Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel’s chocolate-brown, 984-foot open-lattice wrought-iron tower remains one of the world’s premiere tourist attractions.Learn some fast facts about the Eiffel Tower with Building Big's Wonders of the World Databank.Image: View of the World’s Fair, Paris, France, engraving 1889 (Wikimedia Commons).

pbsthisdayinhistory:

March 31, 1889: The Eiffel Tower Opens

On this day in 1889, the Eiffel Tower was dedicated in a ceremony in Paris. Built in commemoration of the French Revolution, it was the tallest building in the world when it was unveiled at the Paris World’s Fair.

Although it has been surpassed in height by many skyscrapers since then, Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel’s chocolate-brown, 984-foot open-lattice wrought-iron tower remains one of the world’s premiere tourist attractions.

Learn some fast facts about the Eiffel Tower with Building Big's Wonders of the World Databank.

Image: View of the World’s Fair, Paris, France, engraving 1889 (Wikimedia Commons).

medieval:

Three cats: sleeping, reaching into a bird cage, and lifting a mouse off a nest of eggs.
13th. c. MS. Bodl. 764 


This is so weird and surreal and I love it.

medieval:

Three cats: sleeping, reaching into a bird cage, and lifting a mouse off a nest of eggs.

13th. c. MS. Bodl. 764 

This is so weird and surreal and I love it.

archivesofamericanart:

So by now you know that art historians were heavily involved in the Monuments Men efforts, but did you know that librarians played a significant role as well? This is a list of “Men with Library Experience” compiled by curator W. G. Constable when he was working for the American Defense Harvard Group (a precursor to the Monuments, Fine Arts & Archives Section). 
For more on the Monuments Men, come see our exhibition (open through April 20th, 2014).
W.G. Constable list of men with library experience considered by the American Defense Harvard Group, 1943? W. G. Constable papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

archivesofamericanart:

So by now you know that art historians were heavily involved in the Monuments Men efforts, but did you know that librarians played a significant role as well? This is a list of “Men with Library Experience” compiled by curator W. G. Constable when he was working for the American Defense Harvard Group (a precursor to the Monuments, Fine Arts & Archives Section). 

For more on the Monuments Men, come see our exhibition (open through April 20th, 2014).

W.G. Constable list of men with library experience considered by the American Defense Harvard Group, 1943? W. G. Constable papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.