history

This year is the 75th anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor, an event that launched the United States into World War II and helped save the world from a Nazi takeover.

But a month before the America’s involvement in crushing the Nazis, Pearl Harbor was just another island paradise. America had yet to involve itself in socking it to Mr. Hitler, and Pearl Harbor represented “proof of American naval power.”

TIME dug through an issue of LIFE magazine that profiled the Navy in October 1940 and colorized some of the photos. Check out what life was like before America put the Nazis in their place, and for the black and white versions, check out TIME.

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The First Rockefeller Christmas Tree Was a Real Charlie Brown Tree
Via: TIME
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The annual Christmas tree lighting at 30 Rockefeller Center in New York City is a hallmark of the holiday season and has been since long before the “War on Christmas” began. Heck, it’ll probably be there long after the “War on Christmas” ends, if a day ever comes.

94 feet tall, the Norway spruce that lights up 30 Rock has five miles of mult-colored LEDs and a Swarovski star packed with 25,000 crystals. Modesty is not this tree’s strong suit. The same could not be said for the first Rockefeller Christmas tree, however. 

85 years ago, on Christmas eve 1931, construction workers stopped building Rockefeller Center long enough to put up a 20-foot-tall balsam tree, which they decorated with cranberries, paper, and tin cans. You can see this Charlie Brown-esque tree in the photo above, along with a foreman “standing on a wooden crate and passing out holiday checks and bonuses to laborers wearing overalls and boots coated in dust,” says Time.

via Randar

This was all during the depression, so everyone was understandably pretty miserable. In fact, Rockefeller Center construction was responsible for putting tens of thousands people back to work. “It was also the single largest and most expensive private development in the history of the world at the time,” says Daniel Okrent, author of Great Fortune: The Epic of Rockefeller Center and a former LIFE magazine managing editor.

Two years later, in 1933, the official Christmas tree lighting ceremony kicked off “when a 40-ft.-tall tree illuminated with 700 lights debuted outside the old RCA building. And while NBC broadcasted the festivities on the radio, the first televised tree lighting ceremony took place in 1951 on The Kate Smith Show.”

via Peanuts

 Man Looking for Toilet Finds Evidence of Australia's Oldest Human Civilzation
Via: The ABC
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“You better go before we leave because we’re not stopping.”

Sounds like a fair warning before a road trip, but it’s that kind of authoritarian driving that keeps people from discovering the oldest settlement in Australia. Sound crazy? It’s not.

ABC reports that an Australian man, Clifford Coulthard, looking for a bathroom stumbled across 49,000-year-old evidence of Australia's oldest human settlement. So next time someone tells you that they can’t stop because they’re “making great time,” remind them that there are ancient civilizations to be uncovered.

via Make a Gif

"A man getting out of the car to go to the toilet led to the discovery of one of the most important sites in Australian prehistory,” said Giles Hamm, an archaeologist and PhD student at La Trobe University.

“The site, known as Warratyi, shows Aboriginal Australians settled the arid interior of the country around 49,000 years ago,” says ABC. “Some 10,000 years earlier than previously thought.”

Coulthard and Hamm were surveying gorges in the area when they made the discovery, so it helps to kind of know what you’re looking for. Regardless, the excavations at the site have been successful, thus far. The crew has found 4,300 artifacts and 200 bone fragments dating back 46,000 to 49,000 years ago.

Road trip passengers, when nature calls, answer.

via Gif Sec

money history president Harriet Tubman Will Replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 Bill
Via: justinjm1
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Originally, the plan was to replace Alexander Hamilton on the ten dollar bill but fans of Hamilton (presumably the man and the musical) protested due to his influence on creating the modern American economy. 

Instead, she will replace Andrew Jackson on the 20 dollar bill although he will probably still be featured on the back. 

History can be a tough subject but don't worry, Twitter's got you covered. You'll never forget these important moments in history now that they've been told in memes.

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hitler history Historic Medical Records Suggest That Hitler Had a Micro-Penis
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It turns out that Hitler's medical records show that he had some serious issues with his manhood. New documents have been discovered that go into more detail. Historians Jonathan Mayo and Emma Craigie wrote about it in their new book Hitler's Last Day: Minute by Minute which was quoted by the Telegraph

Hitler himself is believed to have had two forms of genital abnormality: an undescended testicle and a rare condition called penile hypospadias in which the urethra opens on the under side of the penis.
 

According to The Telegraph, hypospadias often leaves the sufferer with a micro-penis. So, there you have it. 

They say size doesn't matter but that hasn't stopped the internet from speculating. 


via @JohnRLucas

History Lesson of The Day: Academic Claims Australians Have Accent Because Settlers Were Always Drunk
Via: The Age
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Have you ever wondered why Australians don't finish the ends of their words and generally sound like they're super chill?

It's because their ancestors were super chill. And super drunk.

Dean Frenkel, a communications expert at Victoria University in Melbourne, claims that early Australian settlers from Britain were big fans of alcohol. So much so, that they developed a slurred accent that lives on today.

"Our forefathers regularly got drunk together and through their frequent interactions unknowingly added an alcoholic slur to our national speech patterns," he wrote in The Age.

"For the past two centuries, from generation to generation, drunken Aussie-speak continues to be taught by sober parents to their children."

He says the average Australian only speaks at two-thirds capacity and with improper articulation.

What does the queen have to say about this lazy approach to language?

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