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Alpha History
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Because the Past Matters
Because the Past Matters

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"We are dealing with a human problem, a world tragedy. Let us remember that these are fellow human beings now living under conditions which frustrate hope; which make it impossible for them to take any steps, unaided, to build for themselves or their children the foundations of a new life. They live in corroding uncertainty of their future. Their fate is in our hands and must now be decided. Let us join in giving them a chance at decent and self-supporting lives."

US president Harry Truman, writing to Congress on refugees in 1947. #history #unitedstates #refugees #harrytruman #humanrights
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Donald Trump's creation of a "Space Force" has invited satire and ridicule around the world. But as Jason Daley explains, the idea that the United State must "dominate space" is hardly new. The Cold War 'Space Race' had clear military and geopolitical aims, while the US military has operated in space for decades. NASA, the country's pioneering space agency, was originally imagined as a military entity. #history #unitedstates #coldwar #space #nasa
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In June-July 1945 an American submarine, USS Barb, spent several days attacking Japanese coastal towns with deck-mounted rockets. Her attacks destroyed vital military and civilian infrastructure and sank numerous Japanese vessels. USS Barb's mission also included the only American landing on Japanese soil during World War II, during which its sailors destroyed a passenger train and killed 150 people. #history #worldwar2 #unitedstates #japan #ussdart
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In 1922-23, Albert Einstein spent several months travelling through Asia and the Middle East. The famous physicist's travel diaries, recently translated and published in English, contain troubling evidence of his racial views. Einstein was particularly dismissive of the Chinese ("more like automatons than people... industrious, filthy, obtuse"). In Einstein's writings, argues Ze’ev Rosenkranz, "other peoples are portrayed as being biologically inferior, a clear hallmark of racism". #history #alberteinstein #scientists #racism #diaries
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After the death of Joseph Stalin in 1953, several British football teams visited the Soviet Union for highly-publicised 'friendlies' against Russian clubs. These encounters helped ease Cold War tensions and for a time it seemed "the Iron Curtain was melting away". But Moscow's suppression of the Hungarian Uprising and a new crisis in Berlin - along with the Soviet Union knocking Britain out of the 1958 World Cup - brought this 'football diplomacy' to an end. #history #coldwar #britain #sovietunion #sport
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New page: On June 4th 1794, Robespierre was elected president of the National Convention with 216 of 220 votes. But within two months, he had been arrested, tried and guillotined. What events and factors led to his fall? #history #frenchrevolution #robespierre #22prairial #thermidor
The fall of Robespierre
The fall of Robespierre
alphahistory.com
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For students in North America, the Advanced Placement World History course "is a special breed of intense". AP World, as it is known, spans six phases of history from around 8,000 BCE to the modern day. Moves are now afoot to reduce this timeframe by more than 6,000 years, with claims that "teachers and students drown in information overload". But as Alia Wong explains, not everybody is happy with the proposed changes. #history #unitedstates #apworldhistory #courses #teaching
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In 1937 the Nazis, led by propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, held a public exhibition of "Degenerate Art". They declared modernist art "a swindle, a dangerous lie perpetuated by Jews, communists, even the insane, to contaminate the body of German society". The British art community responded with an exhibition that celebrated the works of German Expressionists. #history #germany #nazism #art #propaganda
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Russian historians have unearthed a secret government directive, issued in 2014, ordering the destruction of registration cards for gulag inmates. Up to 17 million people were sent to Stalin's notorious labour camps during the 1930s and 1940s. Experts believe the destruction of gulag-related evidence will hinder further research and further conceal Stalin's use of terror. #history #russia #sovietunion #josephstalin #gulags
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If you worked for the shadow National Security Agency (NSA) during the Cold War, you may have had one of these kitsch propaganda posters overlooking your desk. Using slogans like "Memorise Combinations" and the "Snooper Bowl", they constantly reminded NSA staff about the importance of secrecy and security. #history #unitedstates #coldwar #nsa #propaganda
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