Tag: News

History in the News: Titanic

History in the News: Titanic

The 100th Anniversary of the Titanic disaster on April 15th resulted in a flood of commemorations and special events. From the 3D version of James Cameron’s record breaking Titanic being released in theaters to the dedication of a new museum in Belfast to a sold out special cruise retracing the exact path of the doomed liner, the amount of material shows the public fascination with the disaster still holds strong.

One of the more intriguing offerings is an 18 minute program from the BBC show “In Their Own Words” which used a computer synthesizer to convert to spoken words the Morse code messages sent out by Titanic and other ships in the area on the night of the disaster. It’s an intriguing way to view the disaster as the messages, read by computer without inflection or emotion, play out the last hours of the ship as operators in 1912 would have heard it.

While its available, listen here: Titanic: In Their Own Words

History in the News: Rare Photos

History in the News: Rare Photos

Two sets of rare photos have recently popped up on the news. The first is a collection of little known photographs from the rescue efforts the morning after the Titanic disaster. The pictures depict Titanic’s lifeboats at sea, the icy waters where the ship went down, some of the survivors themselves and the S.S. Californian, one of the vessels that arrived to rescue survivors. The photos were part of a collection of over 100 items that included letters and other items. The set went under the auctioneer’s gavel on October 22nd 2011 and sold for $100570.

The second group of photos are also from an ill fated journey. In 1911 Robert Falcon Scott undertook an expedition to reach the South Pole. While he and his team eventually made it to their goal, they were beaten to the Pole by Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and died attempting to return to base camp. The photos are being published in a new book entitled “The Lost Photographs of Captain Scott.”

See a selection of the Titanic photos at :: Yahoo Titanic Slide Show

Read a news story about the Titanic photos at :: Titanic news story/

Some of the Scott photos are at :: Yahoo Scott photos

History in the News: USS Olympia

History in the News: USS Olympia

The USS Olympia is an American protected cruiser built in 1895 and renowned for being Commodore George Dewey’s flagship during the Battle of Manila Bay, one of the decisive engagements of the Spanish-American War. Olympia was retired from service soon afterwards in 1899 but returned to active duty for a variety of missions from 1902 to 1922. Since 1957 the Olympia has been a museum ship in Philadelphia. The Olympia is the oldest steel-hulled warship afloat, older than her relative contemporary the Japanese pre-dreadnaught Mikasa–also a museum ship in Yokosuka.

USS Olympia

The recent economic downtown has dealt a harsh blow to many historical institutions and Olympia may now be facing a battle it cannot win. The Independence Seaport Museum has stated it can no longer afford the upkeep for the ship and may be forced to scrap the vessel or sink it as an artificial reef. As a result, several groups have come forward and a two year plan has been put into place to find a new home for the Olympia. Although the history of the Olympia is fascinating on its own, the current plight of the ship and the quest to preserve it is intriguing as it gives a glimpse into the difficulties many institutions may face given the modern economic climate.

While several groups are in the running to take over operations of the Olympia, money is still needed to maintain and preserve the ship. Donations of any kind are welcome and the link to donate can be found below.

USS Olympia’s current home at the Independence Seaport Museum :: http://www.phillyseaport.org/

The ongoing effort to find a new home for the Olympia as well as the link to the USS Olympia National Fund, a fund established for the long term preservation of the ship ::http://www.preservationnation.org/travel-and-sites/sites/northeast-region/the-uss-olympia.html

A photographic archive of the Olympia through the years :: http://www.navsource.org/archives/04/c6/c6.htm

News: Lost Hitchcock Film Found

News: Lost Hitchcock Film Found

One of Alfred Hitchcock’s earliest films has been found in an archive in New Zealand. Archivists at the New Zealand Film Archive announced that half of the 1924 film White Shadow was discovered in their holdings and it is now believed to be the earliest existing Hitchcock film. The famed filmmaker was credited with several jobs on White Shadow, including writer, editor and assistant director. He would make his directorial debut the following year in 1925.

White Shadow survived due to the efforts of a projectionist and collector named Jack Murtagh who saved the film from destruction. After Mr. Murtagh’s death, his grandson donated his films to the NZFA. For more information on lost films, check out the MARS link in the navigation bar. The discovery of White Shadow is a hopeful reminder that there is still a chance to find some of the many films that have disappeared over the years. Future articles on Wired History will discuss lost films and the ongoing effort to recover them.

More on the story at: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/alfred-hitchcocks-earliest-surviving-film-218278