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  • The Ghost Girls

    From its discovery in 1898, radium was considered a wonder of science.  It glowed with an unearthly beauty.  It delighted its discoverers, Marie Sklodowska Curie and her husband Pierre, who called it “My beautiful radium”.  It was used in spas and clinics as a cure for everything from cancer to constipation.   It was used in makeup, jewelry and paints.   At the height of World War I, it was used to make the hands and dials of wristwatches glow in the dark.  Girls all over the country flocked to make these watches as they paid up to three times what they could have been paid at any other wartime factory.…

  • Huixtocihuatl-  Goddess of Salt

    Salt has been a source of wealth since ancient times.  The human body must have some form of salt to survive and before the advent of refrigeration it was one of the main ways to preserve food.  Salt was associated with sex and fertility as well for some reason, which has proved fodder for psychoanalysts.  So as a source of wealth and sex, it is natural salt had its own deity.  The Aztecs were no exception. Huixtocihuatl was a fertility goddess who was patron of salt and salt waters.  She was also the patroness of salt making and the discoverer of salt itself.  Huixtocihuatl was the older sister of the…

  • The New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811

    New Madrid, Missouri was at the back end of nowhere.  It was technically a respectably sized town on the Mississippi River between St. Louis and Natchez, but this was not a great achievement.  In 1811, the population was about 1,000 people made up of farmers, fur traders and pioneers supplemented by French Creoles and Native Americans traveling on the great river.  However, the events there beginning in 1811 shook the world.  Literally. Related posts: The Tornado that created the Mayo Clinic The State of Franklin Daniel Boone The Great Fire of 1910

  • The Assassination of Domitian

    Titus Flavius Domitianius was born the youngest son of Emperor Vespasian in 51 CE.  This was prior to his father’s rise to emperor of Rome.  (For more on Emperor Vespasian, please see this post http://www.historynaked.com/emperor-titus-flavius-vespasian/ )  His older brother, Titus, and his father were close, leaving Domitian on the outside looking in.  After a stunning turn of events, Vespasian became emperor and passed the throne to his oldest son Titus on his death.  Titus was groomed as Vespasian’s heir, and it was assumed Titus would marry and pass the throne on to his sons.  Domitian was relegated to being a patron of the arts, and was none too happy about…

  • Arachidamia of Sparta

    The Greeks did not have a good track record on women’s rights in the ancient world.  However, there was an anomaly in a strange place.  The city-state of Sparta was not generally a tolerant place.  Men were expected to give life long service to the military and boys were separated from their families to build esprit de corps.  A coming of age ritual was killing a slave and not getting caught.  It was a messed up place. (For more on the Spartans, please see these posts:  http://www.historynaked.com/leonidas-unlikely-king/ and http://www.historynaked.com/historical-inaccuracies-300/ )  However,  women there were given extraordinary rights.  This was because the men were off fighting and the women were left…