Why Belgium?; History of awkward international greetings; rise and fall of the E.R.A; yes, slavery caused secession; lots of bones & murdered royals

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As it should be, today’s big story is the horrific events in Brussels. This is a product of a global problem, of course, but we have to ask, “why Belgium? The answer may be in its history. 

We all saw Obama’s strange moment with Raul Castro yesterday when the Cuban President tried to lift their hands up in triumph (perhaps trying to copy Castro’s famous pic with Kruschev?) and Obama would have none of it. But was it the most awkward world leader greeting/handshake in history? Hardly. Here are just a few hilarious examples.

Over on the excellent We’re History site, they’ve posted an essay from Professor Katherine Mergel of Dalton State College providing a succinct history of the rise and ultimate defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment. Why did an amendment that had so much congressional and public support fail to get ratified by the states?

And while we are on We’re History: Heather Cox Richardson has a new essay up in which she  insists that slavery caused the South to secede, thus causing the Civil War. “Don’t we already know this?,” you may ask. Yes, we do, but we’ve seen a lot of proof lately that the Lost Cause has not been defeated yet, especially on the internet. So the more of these kinds of essays posted, the better. Fight on.

Lots of bones in the news today:

From Smithsonian: a recent discovery in a cardboard box (of all things) may prove that humans were in Ireland 2,500 years before previously thought.

Latest interesting Egyptology news: recent body scans suggest that Ramesses III was attacked and murdered by multiple assailants from his own household, and that embalmers tried to cover up the fact.

And while we are on the brutal murder of a leader: new evidence suggest that the legends about the 1160 attack and decapitation of Swedish King Erik IV are in fact true.

 

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