Newsletter: August 1st, 2016
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Projects and Pages for early August:

inside big stone building
Chartres Cathedral, France

TRAVELLING: Going on vacation? Check out our suggestions for travelling with kids in Paris, London, or Rome. Will you be leaving Paris? There's more on travelling in the rest of France, too. Our short entries on cathedrals, castles, Chinese architecture, Indian architecture, and the Parthenon in Greece will tell you just what you want to know without going on and on.

big white cloud over ruined buildings
Hiroshima

HIROSHIMA: August 6th, 1945: The United States Air Force dropped the first-ever nuclear bomb using fission power on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, followed three days later on August 9th by a second nuclear bomb on the nearby city of Nagasaki. The bombs killed tens of thousands of people immediately, and many more died of radiation poisoning.

BATTLE OF CHAERONEA: August 2nd, 338 BC - Philip of Macedon defeats Athens and Thebes in a great battle (where his son Alexander fought) and adds all of Greece to his growing empire. This is the end of Athenian and Theban independence as city-states.

BATTLE OF CANNAE: August 2nd, 216 BC - The Carthaginian general Hannibal, from North Africa, defeats a Roman army in Italy, and takes over a lot of southern Italy (though in the end Carthage loses the Second Punic War).

black man
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

JUSTINIAN: August 1st, 527 AD - Justinian becomes the new Roman Emperor. He reconquers first North Africa, then Italy and part of Spain for the Roman Empire, and builds a great new cathedral, Hagia Sophia.

VOTING RIGHTS ACT: August 6th, 1965 - After many protests led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the US President Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act into law. The Civil Rights Act makes it a federal crime for any business or government to make rules against people because of their gender, their religion, or the color of their skin.

WHAT TO DO THIS WEEK: Learn to fold paper cranes in memory of the people who died at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

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New page this week:

painting of white man with beard
Leonardo da Vinci

LEONARDO DA VINCI: Leonardo da Vinci was a famous Renaissance Italian artist and inventor of the early 1500s AD. He lived in Florence, where he knew Michelangelo, and he painted the Mona Lisa. But what did Leonardo da Vinci really invent or discover?

New discoveries this week:

bone with circular holes in it
Rope-making tool (Europe, 40,000 BC)

ROPE-MAKING: Spinning was first developed to make rope for fishing nets, rather than for clothing. But long before spinning, 40,000 years ago, people in Europe used this mammoth ivory tool to twist reeds and nettles into rope.

WATER MILLS AND SALMON: Medieval water mills left a lot of sand and dirt on the bottom of streams, so salmon couldn't lay their eggs there. Suddenly about 1400 AD there were much fewer salmon in Europe. Then other animals that ate the salmon also died out.

POLYNESIANS IN CALIFORNIA?: It's all about fishing this week, and I think that reflects a growing sense that fishing is really very, very important in human history. This article argues that Californians learned how to build boats for deep-sea fishing from visiting Hawaiians about 600 AD.

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Seasonal food of the week:

CORN: With the first really good corn of the season coming in, try adding corn to practically anything. You can microwave corn right on the cob, unshucked - just stick it in the microwave for a minute or two, then peel and eat. For a more complex recipe, try making spicy corn with cherry tomatoes, or corn pudding. But also, try adding corn to your avocado soup, or in corn pancakes or corn fritters. Or use corn in the form of polenta, or as masa, to make tacos.

Also check out our seasonal and budget recipes at Gevirts.com.

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Syrian Refugees (September 2015)

History of Iran (August 2015)

Music in Ancient Africa

Women in the Roman Empire

How did people evolve to have eyes?

Riots and the Cancellation of Debts

Why do bees like flowers, and flowers need bees?

Where did chocolate come from?

Why do horses like apples and carrots?


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Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
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