History in Pics

Shigeki Tanaka

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Survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bomb, Shigeki Tanaka won the Boston Marathon in 1951.

Tanaka was 13 and living 20 miles from Hiroshima at the time of the 1945 Hiroshima atomic bombing. After his victory, he recalled, “We saw a bright light and heard a little noise. But no one thought anything about it at the time… three days later, we heard the terrible news.”

Tanaka’s win inspired in Japan an enduring enthusiasm for distance running and an affection for the Boston Marathon. In 1998, Tanaka’s house was ransacked and his Boston Marathon winner’s medal was stolen.


Canine Soldier

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A dog is dressed up by a German soldier, 1940.


Soviet Students

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Female Soviet college students studying for their exams in a park in the late 1960s.


Selling Mummies

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Street vendor selling mummies in Egypt, 1865.

So brisk was the trade in mummies to Europe that even after ransacking tombs and catacombs there just were not enough ancient Egyptian bodies to meet the demand. So fake mummies were fabricated from the corpses of the executed criminals, the aged, the poor and those who had died from hideous diseases, by burying them in the sand or stuffing them with bitumen and exposing them to the sun.

Many mummies were also used for commercial purposes, such as fuel for steam engines, ground up to make pharmaceuticals, and likely also attempted to be used to make paper. Mark Twain, during a trip to Egypt, once wrote:

“I shall not speak of the railway, for it is like any other railway—I shall only say that the fuel they use for the locomotive is composed of mummies three thousand years old, purchased by the ton or by the graveyard for that purpose and that sometimes one hears the profane engineer call out pettishly, “D–n these plebeians, they don’t burn worth a cent—pass out a King …”


Bernie Sanders

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Bernie Sanders carried away by police during a protest, 1963.

In the mid-1960s, protests over segregation in the area raged over mobile classrooms dubbed “Willis Wagons,” named for then-Chicago Schools Superintendent Benjamin Willis. The phrase “Willis Wagons” was believed to have been coined in 1963 by Rosie Simpson, a leader in education reform in Chicago. She was describing the trailers that Willis set up for black children instead of sending them to white schools.

Sanders was arrested Aug. 12, 1963, and charged with resisting arrest. He was found guilty and fined $25.

5 COMMENTS

  1. I find it amusing how people talk about the Nazi’s like the christians haven’t done the same thing during the Inquisition and the crusades. Nazi’s are still reviled, yet christians are popular? Make a choice, hypocrites, or shut the he!! up.

    • You clearly know nothing about the Crusades or the Inquisition.

      The Spanish Inquisition, though draconian by our standards, was actually more lenient, and ended in more not guilty verdicts, than the civil courts run by the King and his government. Most of the Inquisition’s horrors were played up by English Protestants as propaganda, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I when a Spanish invasion seemed imminent.

      And the Crusades were a response to several centuries of Islamic incursions into Christian lands. The First Crusade began because Seljuq Turks conquered half the Byzantine Empire and began slaughtering Christian pilgrims on the road to Jerusalem. Infamous battles, like the Massacre of Jerusalem, were indeed brutal, but were, in fact, entirely common in the warfare of the Middle Ages. Everyone acted the same way. Not two hundred years later, Muslim armies would commit atrocities in Georgia and Turkey that were far greater than the deaths at the hands of Crusaders, and razed the city of Jerusalem to the ground so no one would want it.

      Also, look at you, edgelord. You can say Hell, your mom’s not going to find out.

    • Really, how far back you want to go? It is true that crimes of this nature have been committed since the dawn of time. However, this does not justify the crimes committed by the Nazis and their allies. Those criminals earned their fate. And, those who support their ideals will also get their appropriate Justice.
      BTW, the Spanish Inquisition executed 39 person at the pyre, 2 of them in effigy. Lord Calvin executed 6,000, including the Jesuit priest that discovered our circulatory system.

    • The ability for humans to inflilct suffering on others is born out of weakness and lack of insight in the individual, and fostered by the flaw in all of us as a group, in our inability to create a society which is a product of the finest of our knowledge, in justice, equity, compassion, creative will, and love for each other. Our tragedy is that we are lost in a sea of competing ideologies, political contests, hidden schemes to control wealth, religious traditions, and power struggles, while the simple truth blunders on waiting for catastrophe to shape us, while the gift of choice is ignored.

  2. Having just looked up the total deaths during the inquisition, it seems to vary from 30,000 up to the millions. Though we cannot arrive at accuracy, we do know that 50,000,000 people died in the world wars recently, and no one was a victor! German fascism rose out of a frustrated Germany burdened with debt after the first world war. We are now burdened with debt once again, and the arms makers are itching for excuses to use them, so lets be careful eh? As to Arabs and terrorism, the school kids recently blowing off their immaturity are catching up to terrorist executions of innocents as we speak, but few are seeing the real ill behind all this. Since our churches are proving to be little more than international pedophilia rings, where are the moral arbiters of the modern age? You certainly cannot look to the governments, muslims, christians or fascists for that can you??

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