The French resistance in Lille that saved time for the British to be evacuated in Dunkirk

If we talk about battles of the Second World War, the names of some that are already inevitable references will come to mind, from Stalingrad to Berlin to El Alamein, Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, the Bulge and several more very famous ones. But there were others that are not so well known, even if some of…Continue readingThe French resistance in Lille that saved time for the British to be evacuated in Dunkirk

Corsican Republic, the small and ephemeral independent state that held the first modern constitution

In 1775, on the occasion of the outbreak of the American War of Independence, a group of students from King’s College (now Columbia University), among whom was Alexander Hamilton, George Washington’s future right-hand man, founded a militia which, under the motto God and our right (the same as the British crown Dieu et mon droit…Continue readingCorsican Republic, the small and ephemeral independent state that held the first modern constitution

Carsten Niebuhr, the scientist who crossed the Middle East disguised as an Arab as the only survivor of the Royal Danish Expedition

Scientific travel became widespread among European countries from the mid-18th century following the establishment of the Enlightenment. And although the most famous were led by the great powers of the time (United Kingdom, France, Spain …), there were other nations that joined the trend. One of them was Denmark, which in 1761 organized an expedition…Continue readingCarsten Niebuhr, the scientist who crossed the Middle East disguised as an Arab as the only survivor of the Royal Danish Expedition

Bartolomeu Português, the lusitanian buccaneer who created the code of piracy

In its different variants, a black flag with a skull and crossbones is today synonymous with adventure, almost always linked to literature or cinema. In reality, this is only the romantic image that was given of piracy in the 19th century to exalt the free spirit of those who were not willing to submit to…Continue readingBartolomeu Português, the lusitanian buccaneer who created the code of piracy

Miami, the city founded in 1896 on the land of a sole person

On September 14th, 1898, a few weeks after the US and Spain signed an armistice in the Spanish-American War and the Spanish army capitulated to the US in Manila, meningitis killed a middle-aged woman who left a series of debts but was buried in a preferential place at the Miami cemetery. It was only fair,…Continue readingMiami, the city founded in 1896 on the land of a sole person

The Chinese woman who became queen of piracy with a fleet of hundreds of ships

The classic image we have of piracy is that of a masculine and Caribbean world, something that would have to be quite nuanced. Firstly, because although it is true that buccaneers and filibusters operated basically in the Caribbean and its surroundings, it is also true that piracy is probably one of the oldest occupations in…Continue readingThe Chinese woman who became queen of piracy with a fleet of hundreds of ships

Mariya Oktyabrskaya, the Soviet woman who paid for the manufacture of a tank and drove it personally to avenge her husband’s death

Although women’s participation in World War II was more active than it may seem at first glance, their role was primarily in the rearguard, working in the war industry or in auxiliary positions in logistics, for example. Of course, there was no shortage of cases of female partisans and guerrillas, but the almost absolute protagonism…Continue readingMariya Oktyabrskaya, the Soviet woman who paid for the manufacture of a tank and drove it personally to avenge her husband’s death

North American Plains Sign Language, older than European and Ottoman Sign Languages

We often see in Westerns how Indians manage to communicate with each other or with the white man through a series of hand gestures, sometimes accompanied by a phonetic transcription with the infinitive cliché introduced by Fenimore Cooper in his novel The Last of the Mohicans. Such a transcription should be unnecessary, although it is…Continue readingNorth American Plains Sign Language, older than European and Ottoman Sign Languages

Gonzalo Guerrero, the Spanish castaway who became a Mayan and fought against the conquistadors

When we talk about miscegenation in reference to the ethnic and cultural fusion that the conquest of America by the Spanish meant, there is a character that embodies it almost emblematically. He is Gonzalo Guerrero, a shipwrecked man who, after years of living with a Mayan tribe, became naturalized, formed a family and even fought…Continue readingGonzalo Guerrero, the Spanish castaway who became a Mayan and fought against the conquistadors

The scientist who captured the Russian Empire in colour photographs before they were invented

Photography has improved so much, technologically speaking, that today we see images from only twenty years ago and they almost seem prehistoric to us; in fact, many people probably don’t even know what rolls were or how the processing was done. It would be even worse if we go back a little further, to black…Continue readingThe scientist who captured the Russian Empire in colour photographs before they were invented