The History Portal
(c. 484 BC – c. 425 BC), often considered the "father of history"
History (from Greek ἱστορία, historia, meaning 'inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation') is the past as it is described in written documents, and the study thereof. Events occurring before written records are considered prehistory. "History" is an umbrella term that relates to past events as well as the memory, discovery, collection, organization, presentation, and interpretation of information about these events. Scholars who write about history are called historians.
History also includes the academic discipline which uses a narrative to examine and analyse a sequence of past events, and objectively determine the patterns of cause and effect that determine them. Historians sometimes debate the nature of history and its usefulness by discussing the study of the discipline as an end in itself and as a way of providing "perspective" on the problems of the present.
Stories common to a particular culture, but not supported by external sources (such as the tales surrounding King Arthur), are usually classified as cultural heritage or legends, because they do not show the "disinterested investigation" required of the discipline of history. Herodotus, a 5th-century BC Greek historian is often considered within the Western tradition to be the "father of history", or by some the "father of lies", and, along with his contemporary Thucydides, helped form the foundations for the modern study of human history. Their works continue to be read today, and the gap between the culture-focused Herodotus and the military-focused Thucydides remains a point of contention or approach in modern historical writing. In East Asia, a state chronicle, the Spring and Autumn Annals, was known to be compiled from as early as 722 BC although only 2nd-century BC texts have survived.
Ancient influences have helped spawn variant interpretations of the nature of history which have evolved over the centuries and continue to change today. The modern study of history is wide-ranging, and includes the study of specific regions and the study of certain topical or thematical elements of historical investigation. Often history is taught as part of primary and secondary education, and the academic study of history is a major discipline in university studies.
A South American dreadnought race
, and Chile
began when the Brazilian government announced its intention to purchase three dreadnoughts
whose capabilities far outstripped older vessels in the world's navies—in 1907. Two ships of the Minas Geraes class
were laid down immediately with a third to follow. The Argentine and Chilean governments immediately canceled a naval-limiting pact between them, and both ordered two dreadnoughts (the Rivadavia
and Almirante Latorre classes
, respectively). Meanwhile, Brazil's third dreadnought was canceled in favor of an even larger ship, but the ship was laid down and ripped up several times after repeated major alterations to the design. When the Brazilian government finally settled on a design, they realized it would be outclassed by the Chilean dreadnoughts' larger armament, so they sold the partly-completed ship to the Ottoman Empire
and attempted to acquire a more powerful vessel. By this time the First World War
had broken out in Europe, and many shipbuilders suspended work on dreadnoughts for foreign countries, halting the Brazilian plans. Argentina's two dreadnoughts were delivered, as the United States remained neutral in the opening years of the war, but Chile's two dreadnoughts were purchased by the United Kingdom. In the years between the First and Second World War
, many naval expansion plans, some involving dreadnought purchases, were proposed. While most never came to fruition, in April 1920 the Chilean government reacquired one of the dreadnoughts taken over by the United Kingdom. No other dreadnoughts were purchased by a South American nation, and all were sold for scrap
in the 1950s.
(April 25, 1906 – July 13, 1964) was a Hungarian sailor and odd-job man who became known for his role during the Holocaust
in trying to save the Hungarian-Jewish community from deportation to the Auschwitz concentration camp
. Described by historian Yehuda Bauer
as a brave adventurer who felt at home in underground conspiracies and card-playing circles, Brand teamed up with fellow Zionists in Budapest to form the Aid and Rescue Committee
, a group that helped Jewish refugees in Nazi-occupied Europe
escape to the relative safety of Hungary, before the Germans invaded that country too in March 1944. Shortly after the invasion, Brand was asked by SS
officer Adolf Eichmann
to help broker a deal between the SS and the United States or Britain. Eichmann said he would release up to one million Hungarian Jews, if the Western Allies would supply Germany with 10,000 trucks and large quantities of soap, tea, and coffee.
The negotiations, described by The Times as one of the most loathsome stories of the war, became known as the "blood for goods" proposal. Nothing came of it and historians can only guess whether Eichmann's offer was genuine. There are theories that it was a trick intended to persuade the Jewish community to board the trains to Auschwitz thinking they were being resettled, or that it was a cover for high-ranking SS officials to negotiate a peace deal with the U.S. and Britain that excluded the Soviet Union and perhaps even Adolf Hitler himself.
Did you know...
On this day
July 22: Feast day of Saint Mary Magdalene (Christianity); Pi Approximation Day
Rock inscribed by Alexander Mackenzie
- 838 – Arab–Byzantine wars: The forces of the Abbasid Caliphate defeated Byzantine Empire troops, led by Emperor Theophilos himself, at the Battle of Anzen near present-day Dazman, Turkey.
- 1793 – Scottish explorer Alexander Mackenzie inscribed his name on a rock (pictured) near Dean Channel after becoming the first recorded person to complete a transcontinental crossing of North America north of Mexico.
- 1933 – Wiley Post became the first pilot to fly solo around the world, landing after a seven-day, nineteen-hour flight at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, New York City.
- 1975 – Stanley Forman took the Pulitzer Prize-winning photo Fire Escape Collapse, which spurred action to improve the safety of fire escapes across the United States.
- 2002 – The Israel Defense Forces dropped a bomb on the home of Salah Shehade, the leader of the military arm of Hamas, killing him, his family and some neighboring civilians, among them seven children.
Sobhuza II (b. 1899) · James Whitcomb Riley (d. 1916) · Harold Larwood (d. 1995)
Strike an enemy once and for all. Let him cease to exist as a tribe or he will live to fly in your throat again.
— Shaka, 19th century Zulu king
"The ultimate binding element in the medieval order was subordination to the divine will and its earthly representatives, notably the pope."
— Irving Babbitt
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