On the Spot: Anne Applebaum

On the Spot: Anne Applebaum

History Today

‘What will future generations judge us most harshly for? That we allowed Donald Trump to violate the US constitution.’

[[{“fid”:”42486″,”view_mode”:”default”,”fields”:{“format”:”default”,”field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]”:false,”field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]”:false,”external_url”:””},”link_text”:null,”type”:”media”,”field_deltas”:{“1”:{“format”:”default”,”field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]”:false,”field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]”:false,”external_url”:””}},”attributes”:{“style”:”margin-top: 15px; margin-bottom: 15px;”,”class”:”media-element file-default”,”data-delta”:”1″}}]]Why are you an intellectual historian?I watched communism collapse as a journalist in Warsaw in 1989 and ever since I’ve been trying to understand how the regimes came to power in the first place.What’s the most important lesson history has taught you?Nothing is inevitable; change a few decisions and everything could have been different. Think of the Berlin Wall.Which book has had the greatest influence on you?Robert Conquest’s The Great Terror. I read it as a teenager.What book in your field should everyone read?My Life by Leon Trotsky.Which moment would you most like to go back to?Petrograd in 1917, between the February and October revolutions.Which historian has had the greatest influence on you?Probably Richard Pipes. Also the Marquis de Custine.Which person in history would you most like to have met?Thomas Jefferson, Sándor PetŐfi, Adam Mickiewicz, Mykhailo Hrushevsky.How many languages do you have?Polish, Russian, French. I can follow a conversation and read Ukrainian, with a dictionary.What’s the most exciting field in history today?Soviet history – we still have archives that nobody has read or analysed.What historical topic have you changed your mind on?How history should be used in contemporary politics. My views are still evolving.Which genre of history do you like least?The fashion for microhistory – the history of the safety pin, the history of the sewing machine – that I think we could have done without.Is there a major historical text you have not read?If I haven’t read it, how do I know that it’s important?What’s your favourite archive?The Stasi Archive was a lot of fun. But the Library of Congress is the most beautiful place to work.What’s the best museum?The Kunsthistorische in Vienna, specifically the room with the Bruegel paintingsWhat is the most common misconception about your field?That it’s irrelevant. In fact, history explains everything.What will future generations judge us most harshly for?That we allowed Donald Trump to violate the US constitution.Michelangelo or Frida Kahlo?Michelangelo.Normans or Anglo-Saxons?Normans.Rome or Athens?Rome.Braudel or Gibbon?Gibbon.Anne Applebaum is Visiting Professor of Practice at the London School of Economics, where she runs Arena, a project on propaganda and disinformation. She won a Pulitzer Prize for Gulag: a History (Allen Lane, 2003). Her latest book is Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine (Allen Lane, 2017).

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The Bikini

The Bikini

Justin & Stephanie Pollard

The two-piece swimsuit was unveiled on 5 July 1946.

Prototypes of the two-piece bikini can be traced to the reign of Diocletian (244-311). The modern swimsuit, however, was first introduced to the press on 5 July 1946 as automotive designer and lingerie factory owner Louis Réard’s riposte to Jacques Heim’s two-piece ‘atome’ swimsuit.Two-pieces first appeared in the 1930s and, although too indecent to be worn in public, had become more common in America during the Second World War as US War Production Board regulation L-85 required a ten per cent reduction in the amount of material used in women’s beachwear.Heim’s ‘atome’ was advertised as ‘the smallest swimsuit in the world’, though it still covered the navel. Réard set out to go smaller – enough to pass through a wedding ring, as he put it. This he christened the ‘bikini’ in reference to the first peace-time atmospheric atomic tests, which had begun on Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands four days before his launch. Heim had claimed his ‘atome’ as the smallest, but Réard had ‘split the atome’.Unable to find a model willing to wear the daring outfit, Réard hired Micheline Bernardini, a nude dancer from the Casino de Paris, who received over 50,000 fan letters after her appearance. Despite this, the bikini did not initially sell well and Réard returned to lingerie manufacture.In 1951 a bikini round in what later became ‘Miss World’ was organised as part of the Festival of Britain, but, after complaints from national participants and Pope Pius XII, the following year it was replaced with evening gowns.With the abolition of the Hays Code in the US, bikinis began to appear in films in the 1960s, despite still being banned in many public places in the country. Raquel Welch in a fur bikini in One Million Years BC proved a turning point and by the late 1960s the bikini was becoming a common sight on the beach. Réard’s lingerie company would sadly not reap the rewards, however. It folded in 1988, four years after his death.

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Today in History for 5th July 2018

Historical Events

1450 – Pope Nicolas V names Walraven van Meurs bishop of Munster
1770 – Battles of Chesma and Larga between the Russian and Ottoman Empires
1863 – Battle of Jackson, Mississippi and Battle of Birdsong Ferry, Mississippi
1906 – Wimbledon Women’s Tennis: Dorothea Chambers beats May Sutton 6-3, 9-7 for her 3rd of 7 Wimbledon singles titles
1973 – Isle of Man begins issuing its own postage stamps
1984 – Supreme Court weakens 70-year-old “exclusionary rule”-evidence seized with defective court warrants can now be used in criminal trials

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Famous Birthdays

1841 – William C. Whitney, American financier (d. 1904)
1874 – Eugen Fischer, Nazi physician (Kaiser Wilhelm Institute), born in Karlsruhe, Grand Duchy of Baden, Germany (d. 1967)
1965 – Eyran Katsenelenbogen, Israeli jazz pianist
1968 – John Ruskin a.k.a. Nardwuar the Human Serviette, Canadian journalist
1968 – Alex Zülle, Swiss cyclist
1985 – Stephanie McIntosh, Australian pop singer and actress

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Famous Deaths

1375 – Charles III of Alençon, French archbishop (b. 1337)
1833 – Nicéphore Niépce, French inventor (b. 1765)
1957 – Charles Sherwood Noble, American-born inventor
1980 – Archibald James Potter, composer, dies at 61
2007 – George Melly, British jazz and blues musician (b. 1926)
2007 – Kerwin Mathews, American actor (b. 1926)

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Today in History for 4th July 2018

Historical Events

1863 – Vicksburg, Mississippi surrenders to Union forces
1892 – James Keir Hardie chosen 1st socialist in British Lower house
1930 – Wimbledon Women’s Tennis: Helen Moody wins 4th straight Wimbledon singles beating fellow American Elizabeth Ryan 6-2, 6-2
1944 – Gestapo arrests German Social Democrat Julius Leber
1996 – Hot Mail, a free internet E-mail service begins
2004 – Wimbledon Men’s Tennis: Roger Federer wins the second of 5 straight Wimbledon singles titles beating Andy Roddick 4-6, 7-5, 7-6, 6-4

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Famous Birthdays

1886 – Heinrich Kaminski, composer
1927 – Neil Simon, playwright (Odd Couple, Plaza Suite, Biloxi Blues), born in The Bronx, New York
1929 – Al Davis, American businessman and NFL team owner (Oakland Raiders), born in Brockton, Massachusetts (d. 2011)
1943 – Konrad “Conny” Bauer, German musician
1966 – Lee Reherman, American actor
1973 – Michael Johnson, English-born Jamaican footballer

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Famous Deaths

1627 – Thomas Middleton, English playwright (A Game at Chess), dies at 47
1850 – William Kirby, English entomologist (b. 1759)
1889 – Auguste Mermet, composer, dies at 79
1916 – Alan Seeger, American war poet (b. 1888)
1962 – Rex Bell [George Francis Beldam], American cowboy actor (Cowboys and Injuns) and 21st Lieutenant Governor of Nevada, dies from a heart attack at 58
1994 – Arthur Berry, English artist and playwright, dies at 69

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Today in History for 3rd July 2018

Historical Events

1767 – Pitcairn Island is discovered by Midshipman Robert Pitcairn on an expeditionary voyage commanded by Philip Carteret
1890 – Idaho admitted as 43rd US state
1953 – Wimbledon Men’s Tennis: American Vic Seixas wins his only Wimbledon singles title with a 9-7, 6-3, 6-4 over Dane Kurt Nielsen
1965 – USSR and Persia sign dam building and economic aid pact
1970 – British aircraft crashes at Barcelona, 112 killed
1973 – Brothers Jim and Gaylord Perry face each other for only time, Tigers beat Indians 5-4, as Gaylord loses

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Famous Birthdays

1731 – Samuel Huntington, (Gov-Ct), Continental Congress pres
1846 – Achilles Alferaki, composer
1861 – Peter Jackson, heavyweight boxer (hall of famer)
1961 – Tim Smith, English musician (Cardiacs)
1964 – Gary Ryan, rocker (Blackhearts)
1965 – Vinson Smith, NFL linebacker (Chicago Bears)

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Famous Deaths

1862 – William Barksdale, Confederate brigadier general, dies in battle at 40
1929 – Dustin Farnum, American actor (Squaw Man, Virginian, The Flaming Frontier), dies at 55
1957 – Dolf Luque, Cuban baseball player, dies at 66
1973 – Charles Ancerl, Czech conductor (Prague/Toronto), dies at 63
1995 – Gil Wolman, situationist, dies at 65
2001 – Johnny Russell, American country singer and songwriter (b. 1940)

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Today in History for 2nd July 2018

Historical Events

706 – Remains of Chinese Emperor Gaozong, his wife Empress Wu Zetian and family members interred in Qianling Mausoleum by Emperor Zhongzong, outside Chang’an on Mount Liangshan
1946 – Dutch Beel government forms
1966 – Wimbledon Women’s Tennis: American Billie Jean King beats Maria Bueno of Brazil 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 for the first of her 12 Grand Slam singles titles
1971 – USSR performs underground nuclear test
1987 – Nilde Iotti is named as the first female President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies.
1988 – Lester Dumakude, commander of an Umkhonto we Sizwe special operations unit, detonate a car bomb by remote control outside Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa

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Famous Birthdays

1890 – Earl Roy Curry, religious thinker and Kirtland Temple overseer (d. 1980)
1942 – Georgi Ivanov, Bulgaria, cosmonaut (Soyuz 33)
1964 – Joe Magrane, baseball player
1972 – Darren Shan, Irish children’s author
1972 – Towanna Stone, Miss USA-Tennessee (1997, 3rd)
1975 – Daniel Kowalski, Australian swimmer (Olympics-bronze/silver-96), born in Singapore

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Famous Deaths

1663 – Thomas Selle, German composer, dies at 64
1915 – Gen Porfirio [Jose de la Cruz] Diaz, president Mexico, dies
1919 – Anna Howard Shaw, American suffragette, dies at 72
1973 – Ferdinand Schörner, German field marshal (b. 1892)
1999 – Mario Puzo, American author, dies at 78
2010 – Laurent Terzieff, French actor (Head Over Heels, Milky Way), dies at 75

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Today in History for 1st July 2018

Historical Events

1859 – 1st intercollegiate baseball game, Amherst beats Williams 66-32 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts
1932 – NY newspaper Evening Standard goes bankrupt
1953 – KTVH (now KWCH) TV channel 12 in Hutchinson-Wichita, KS (CBS) begins
1972 – “Hair” closes at Biltmore Theater NYC after 1750 performances
1992 – Ali Kafi becomes president of Algeria
2005 – Texas Rangers pitcher Kenny Rogers is suspended for 20 games and fined $50k for shoving a cameraman – sentence later overturned

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Famous Birthdays

1869 – William Strunk Jr., American grammarian (d. 1946)
1872 – Louis Bleriot, 1st man to fly an airplane across English Channel
1888 – Ben Taylor, American Baseball Hall of Fame 1st baseman/manager (Negro Leagues), born in Anderson, South Carolina (d. 1953)
1910 – Glen Hardin, American athlete (Olympic gold 1936 400m hurdles), born in Derma, Mississippi (d. 1975)
1921 – Seretse Khama, 1st President of Botswana (1966-80), born in Serowe, Botswana (d. 1980)
1976 – Ruud van Nistelrooy, Dutch soccer striker (Netherlands 70 caps, Man U), born in Oss, Netherlands

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Famous Deaths

868 – Ali al-Hadi, Shia Imam (b. 828)
1622 – William Parker, 4th Baron Monteagle, English peer and politician (helped stop Gunpowder Plot) (b. 1575)
1991 – Joost Baljeu, painter/founder-editor Structure, dies
1995 – Ronald Farrow, radio producer and priest, dies at 49
2001 – Nicolay G. Basov, Soviet physicist who specialized in quantum electronics (laser, maser) and 1964 Nobel laureate, dies at 78
2013 – John Stanford, American college baseball coach/administrator (Middle Tennessee), dies at 77

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