The History Portal
History is the discovery, collection, organization, analysis, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean a continuous, typically chronological record of important or public events or of a particular trend or institution. Scholars who write about history are called historians. It is a field of knowledge which uses a narrative to examine and analyse the sequence of events, and it sometimes attempts to objectively investigate the patterns of cause and effect that determine events. Historians debate the nature of history and its usefulness. This includes discussing the study of the discipline as an end in itself and as a way of providing "perspective" on the problems of the present. The stories common to a particular culture but not supported by external sources (such as the legends surrounding King Arthur) are usually classified as cultural heritage rather than as the "disinterested investigation" needed by the discipline of history. Events of the past prior to written record are considered prehistory.
Amongst scholars, fifth century BC Greek historian Herodotus is considered to be the "father of history"; the methods of Herodotus along with his contemporary Thucydides form the foundations for the modern study of history. Their influence (along with other historical traditions in other parts of their world) has spawned many different interpretations of the nature of history which has developed over the centuries and are continuing to change. The modern study of history has many different fields, including those that focus on certain regions and those that focus on certain topical or thematic 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.
The last voyage of HMCS Karluk
, flagship of the Canadian Arctic Expedition
, ended with the loss of the ship and the subsequent deaths of nearly half her complement. On her outward voyage in August 1913 Karluk
, a brigantine
formerly used as a whaler
, became trapped in the Arctic
ice while sailing to a rendezvous point at Herschel Island
. After a long drift across the Beaufort
seas, the ship was crushed and sunk. In the ensuing months the crew and expedition staff struggled to survive, first on the ice and later on the shores of Wrangel Island
. In all, eleven men died before help could reach them.
The Canadian Arctic Expedition was organised under the leadership of Canadian-born anthropologist Vilhjalmur Stefansson, and had both scientific and geographic objectives. Shortly after Karluk was trapped, Stefansson and a small party left the ship, stating that they intended to hunt for caribou. As Karluk drifted from its fixed position, it became impossible for the hunting party to return; Stefansson then devoted himself to the expedition's other objectives, leaving the crew and staff aboard the ship under the charge of its captain, Robert Bartlett. After the sinking Bartlett organised a march to Wrangel Island, 80 miles (130 km) away. Conditions on the ice were difficult and dangerous; two parties of four men each were lost in the attempt to reach the island.
After the survivors had landed, Bartlett, accompanied by a single Inuk companion, set out across the ice to reach the Siberian coast. From there, after many weeks of arduous travel, Bartlett eventually arrived in Alaska, but ice conditions prevented any immediate rescue mission for the stranded party. They survived by hunting game, but were short of food and troubled by internal dissent. Before their rescue in September 1914, three more of the party had died, two of illness and one in violent circumstances.
Sir Raphael "Roy" Welensky
(20 January 1907 – 5 December 1991) was a Northern Rhodesian
politician and the second and last prime minister
of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland
. Born in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia
) to parents of Jewish
ancestry, he moved to Northern Rhodesia, became involved with the trade unions, and entered the colonial legislative council in 1938. There, he campaigned for the amalgamation of Northern and Southern Rhodesia (the latter under white self-government, the former under the colonial office). Although unsuccessful, he succeeded in the formation of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, a state within the British Empire
that sought to retain predominant power for the white minority while moving in a progressive political direction, in contrast to apartheid South Africa
Becoming Prime Minister of the Federation in 1957, Welensky opposed British moves towards native African rule, and used force to suppress politically motivated violence in the territories. After the advent of African rule in two of the Federation's three territories (Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland, now Zambia and Malawi respectively), it collapsed in 1963. Welensky retired to Salisbury, where he re-entered politics and attempted to stop Rhodesia (formerly Southern Rhodesia) from unilaterally declaring itself independent. With the end of white rule in 1979, and the independence of Rhodesia as Zimbabwe under Robert Mugabe in 1980, Welensky moved to England, where he died in 1991.
Did you know...
On this day
April 24: Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day
Library of Congress Building, Washington, D.C.
- 1547 – Schmalkaldic War: Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, led Imperial troops to a decisive victory in the Battle of Mühlberg over the Lutheran Schmalkaldic League of Protestant princes.
- 1800 – The Library of Congress (building pictured), the de facto national library of the United States, was established as part of an act of Congress providing for the transfer of the nation's capital from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C.
- 1914 – The Franck–Hertz experiment, a pillar in the development of quantum mechanics, was presented to the German Physical Society.
- 1980 – Eight U.S. servicemen died in Operation Eagle Claw, a failed attempt to rescue the hostages in the Iran hostage crisis.
- 2013 – A building in the Savar Upazila of Dhaka, Bangladesh, collapsed, resulting in over 1,100 deaths, making it the deadliest accidental structural failure in modern history.
Xu Guangqi (b. 1562) · G. Stanley Hall (d. 1924) · Kelly Clarkson (b. 1982)
Our march to freedom is irreversible. We must not allow fear to stand in our way.
"There is but little room for doubt that Egypt led the way in the creation of the earliest known group of civilizations which arose on both sides of the land bridge between Africa and Eurasia in the fourth millennium B.C."
— James H. Breasted
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