Monthly Archives: July 2015

Murdered Prostitutes Are Just More Interesting Than Live Activists

Last year, a developer submitted a plan for a new museum in London’s East End. The idea was to take a derelict storefront on Cable Street, just a couple blocks from the Tower of London, and turn it into the UK’s first women’s history museum. The idea was to “recognise and celebrate the women of the East End who have shaped history, telling the story of how they have been instrumental in changing society. It will analyse the social, political […]

Love and Cake: The True(?) Story of the First Tiered Wedding Cake

Anyone who has ever glanced at Pinterest has seen them: wedding cakes, stacked three or four tiers high, layered in fondant and buttercream and marzipan, decked out with flowers and flourishes. Classic or “creative,” it’s the confectionary centerpiece of the modern bride’s special day. Most wedding books give at least an abbreviated history of the wedding cake, from grim little oat cakes thrown at brides to bestow fertility, to the stacks of small cakes and biscuits heaped on tables to […]

Mayor Versus Museum: Harrisburg Battles Over Fate of National Civil War Museum

As the nation-at-large debates the removal of Confederate flags and monuments across the Deep South, on the other side of the Mason-Dixon Line, a Civil War museum finds itself in a very different battle for survival. This fight is not so much about history as cold, hard cash. Eric Papenfuse, mayor of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has set his political guns on the city’s National Civil War Museum, which, depending on your perspective, is a either multi-million dollar boondoggle strangling the economic […]

New Film Of Royal Family “Nazi Salute” Reinvigorates An Old Debate

On September 9, Queen Elizabeth II will pass another royal milestone: she will become the longest-reigning monarch in British history, surpassing the 63-year, 216-day term of her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria. But even an 89-year old monarch can be still embarrassed by old home movies, as she found last week when the tabloid The Sun published a sensational photo and brief film clip seeming to show the then six-year-old Elizabeth and her sister Margaret being encouraged to perform the Nazi salute […]

What’s Going On Here? The Story Behind the Seal of Whitesboro, New York

Every couple of years, the Internet discovers the curious official seal of the Village of Whitesboro, New York. Every time, the question is the same: why is that white dude tackling that Indian dude, and why would you put it on your town seal? And every time this story is discovered anew, the poor mayor has to explain: no, it’s not what you think. So what is going on here? Let’s roll back the clock about 230 years. The white guy […]