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.
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.
Phan Đình Phùng
(1847 – January 21, 1896) was a Vietnamese
revolutionary who led rebel armies against French colonial
forces in Vietnam. He was the most prominent of the Confucian
court scholars involved in anti-French military campaigns in the 19th century and was cited after his death by 20th-century nationalists as a national hero
. He was renowned for his uncompromising will and principles—on one occasion, he refused to surrender even after the French had desecrated his ancestral tombs and had arrested and threatened to kill his family.
Born into a family of mandarins from Hà Tĩnh Province, Phan continued his ancestors' traditions by placing first in the metropolitan imperial examinations in 1877. Phan quickly rose through the ranks under Emperor Tự Đức of the Nguyễn dynasty, gaining a reputation for his integrity and uncompromising stance against corruption. Phan was appointed as the Imperial Censor, a position that allowed him to criticise his fellow mandarins and even the emperor. As the head of the censorate, Phan's investigations led to the removal of many incompetent or corrupt mandarins.
Upon Tự Đức's death, Phan almost lost his life during a power struggle in the imperial court. The regent Tôn Thất Thuyết disregarded Tự Đức's will of succession, and three emperors were deposed and killed in just over a year. Phan protested against Thuyet's activities, was stripped of his honours and briefly jailed, before being exiled to his home province. At the time, France had just conquered Vietnam and made it a part of French Indochina. Along with Thuyết, Phan organised rebel armies as part of the Cần Vương movement, which sought to expel the French and install the boy Emperor Hàm Nghi at the head of an independent Vietnam. This campaign continued for three years until 1888, when the French captured Ham Nghi and exiled him to Algeria.
Did you know...
- ... that the Japanese aircraft carrier Amagi (wreck pictured) capsized on 29 July 1945 as a result of cumulative damage inflicted by American airstrikes on 24 and 28 July?
- ... that Scandinavian influence in Scotland, still evident today, was probably at its height during the time of Thorfinn the Mighty?
- ... that, after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Bassetki statue, which is more than 4,200 years old, was found in a cesspool?
- ... that in medieval art, angels were often depicted wearing feather tights?
- ... that 49% of German military losses happened in the last 10 months of the Second World War in Europe?
- ... that Joshua L. Goldberg, the first rabbi to serve as a World War II U.S. navy chaplain, was a Russian army deserter?
- ... that Richard Nixon chose the Wilson desk as his Oval Office desk because he believed it was used by Woodrow Wilson, but it was actually used by Henry Wilson, Vice President under Ulysses S. Grant?
- ... that some of the nominally silver Roman coins from the Bredon Hill Hoard only have a 1% silver content?
The Trinity nuclear test was the first nuclear detonation in the world. Conducted by the United States Army on July 16, 1945, the successful test would set the stage for the coming Atomic Age. This image, captured by Berlyn Brixner, shows the fireball that developed 0.016 seconds after ignition; the explosive had a yield of 20 kilotons of dynamite.
On this day
December 14: Martyred Intellectuals Day in Bangladesh (1971); Monkey Day
Japanese battleship Haruna
- 557 – A large earthquake severely damaged the city of Constantinople.
- 1836 – The Toledo War, the mostly bloodless boundary dispute between Ohio and the adjoining Territory of Michigan, unofficially ended with a resolution passed by the controversial "Frostbitten Convention".
- 1913 – Haruna (pictured), the fourth and last ship of the Kongō-class, was launched, eventually becoming one of the Japanese workhorses during both World Wars.
- 1981 – The Knesset extended Israeli "laws, jurisdiction and administration" to the Golan Heights, effectively annexing the territory.
- 1992 – War in Abkhazia: During the Siege of Tkvarcheli, a helicopter carrying evacuees from Tkvarcheli was shot down, resulting in at least 52 deaths, which catalysed more concerted Russian military intervention on behalf of Abkhazia.
Princess Alice of the United Kingdom (d. 1878) · Helle Thorning-Schmidt (b. 1966)
My heart is a stone: heavy with sadness for my people; cold with the knowledge that no treaty will keep whites out of our lands; hard with the determination to resist as long as I live and breathe.
— Tecumseh, Native American tribal chief
"In my dreams I hear again the crash of guns, the rattle of musketry, the strange, mournful mutter of the battlefield."
— Douglas MacArthur
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