The History Thread (Lizi's Trivia Thread)


#1

Continuation of “History That Should Be Remembered But Generally Isn’t” which I had nicknamed “Greg’s Andrew Jackson Thread (and Other Historical Phenomena)”

To kick off the new Forum’s new Thread, I’m looking for the first instance of crowd surfing. Punk communities generally believe Iggy Pop invented it in 1970, but Johsua Wolf Shenk put forth a powerful counterargument.

“Lincoln came to the Decatur convention in May [1860] as a rising star. When [the orator on stage, Richard] Oglesby called his name from the stage of the wigwam, the delegates and onlookers broke into thunderous applause. A half-dozen men seized Lincoln and tried to push him to the front of the room. When that didn’t work – the room was too full — they lifted him up on their shoulders and passed him around, not unlike in a mosh pit today, over the mass of people to the stage. The crowd roared its approval.” (Shenk, Joshua Wolf Lincoln’s Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness)


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#2

Well, I mean, if that’s being taken as an example of crowdsurfing, we can go back farther than that.

From Ibn Fadlan’s account of a 10th century CE Viking funeral:

§ 90. Friday afternoon they led the slave girl to a thing that they had made which resembled a door frame. She placed her feet on the palms of the men and they raised her up to overlook this frame. She spoke some words and they lowered her again. A second time they rasied her up and she did again what she had done; then they lowered her. They raised her a third time and she did as she had done the two times before. Then they brought her a hen; she cut off the head, which she threw away, and then they took the hen and put it in the ship. I asked the interpreter what she had done. He answered, "The first time they raised her she said, ‘Behold, I see my father and mother.’ The second time she said, ‘I see all my dead relatives seated.’ The third time she said, ‘I see my master seated in Paradise and Paradise is beautiful and green; with him are men and boy servants. He calls me. Take me to him.’ " Now they took her to the ship. She took off the two bracelets she was wearing and gave them both to the old woman called the Angel of Death, who was to kill her; then she took off the two finger rings which she was wearing and gave them to the two girls who had served her and were the daughters of the woman called the Angel of Death. Then they raised her onto the ship but they did not make her enter the pavillion.

Alt. After that, the group of men who have cohabitated with the slave girl make of their hands a sort of paved way whereby the girl, placing her feet on the palms of their hands, mounts onto the ship.

So, as is always the case, Vikings did it first.


#3

Are we going to get into a what have the Vikings ever done for us situation?


#4

I’m trying to write some songs about historical figures I like, which of course means lots of research I don’t need to do but want to. I realize most people aren’t primary source nuts like I am, but if you are, you should know that The Nat Turner Project is a great source for information on and writings from slaves in early 19th century America. From it I have learned that no primary source of Nat Turner has survived, save for “Confessions of Nat Turner”, which was dictated to a white government official and thus called into question. This will make this song difficult but maybe better.


#5

Indian Country Media Network has a very good write up on Grant and Ely Samuel Parker, the first Native to head the Bureau of Indian Affairs. I already liked him but this more thorough read gives me a greater appreciation for his significance and the efforts Grant made to help Natives.


#6

I got thinking about Worcester v Georgia (an explanation of which can be found in the old forum here) and what’s stranger than its impact on Jackson in popular memory is its impact on John Marshall in popular memory. The Georgian law was a good attempt to curb violence without interfering with Cherokee sovereignty. Marshall’s ruling handed the treatment of Natives over to Jackson, and today he’s remembered as the hero of the Cheorkee and the opponent of Jackson.


#7

“More than an orator… an honest and able man, having earnestly at heart all that he was uttering, and indifferent to the guise of his thought, so he could make them understood.”

– Charles Sumner, who went on to be caned on the Senate floor for his opposition to slavery, regarding John C Calhoun, who wrote an essay titled “Slavery a Positive Good”

Sumner’s adoration for forces who expanded slavery such as Calhoun, Clay, and Webster baffles me. I understand what redeeming qualities they had, but Sumner was an absolute abolitionist. It’s shocking to me that he would idolize anyone guilty of that crime.


#8

Amp can probably say more about this than I can, but I just learned about the Nika Riots, a sport riot that broke out in 532. Upset by the outcome of the Chariot Races, tens of thousands rioted and burned down half of Constantinople, including a good amount of the Hagia Sophia.


#9

Sort of yeah. It was an eruption of the growing social, theological and political tension that had been growing for a while. That eventually erupted into a five day riot. Depending on who you talk to it was either all Justinian’s fault, partly his fault, or his cronies, either way the Imperial palace was “under siege”. And things where not looking good for the Emperor.

Thankfully for him, Justinian was canny enough to use the Blues, well that and a big old sack of gold, to get them to come over to his side and leave the Greens high and dry. Allowing him to purge most, poor chap was a dreadful judge of character, of his opposition. Interestingly the major amount of killings came from when the Imperial army had the Green surrounded. Trained troops vs a Byzantine Danny Dyer sort of tells you how that went.

Byzantium is a really interesting Civilisation and is under going a bit of a Renascence in academia, well int he UK at least I’m not up to scratch with American schools. The risk there being that people gloss over some of the bad elements in the race to be seen as the most praising, see the Wars of the Roses for a great example people favouring one side over another.

Also huzza at last something I know a bit about at last!


#10

So, I’m far from an expert on the Vietnam War, but I’m very skeptical of the notion that the Peace Movement ended the war. By 1973, the war had become the longest and least effective military action we’d ever taken. The number of South Vietnamese defectors kept growing and growing, and that number was even mitigated by the strategic hamlets program. Communist seizure of Saigon was imminent and everyone in the Pentagon knew it.

The Peace Movement did a good job of stirring up opposition domestically, but I’ve never been convinced they affected policy. They would have in 1968, had Sirhan Sirhan not stepped in to kill their only hope, but McGovern was the peace candidate of '72 and lost in a landslide. The war wasn’t the reason for that landslide, but if the Peace movement was as strong as people say it was, he should’ve carried at least two states.

It just seems to me like we’re making ourselves the heroes for a victory achieved by the Vietnamese.


#11

[quote=“Greg, post:10, topic:153”]
It just seems to me like we’re making ourselves the heroes for a victory achieved by the Vietnamese.
[/quote]Wouldn’t be the first time. Apparently during WW2, relations with some other nations got rather chilly at times, due to the US claiming credit for battles and victories in which they were hardly involved.


#12

It’s not really analogous to the Vietnam thing. In WWII, the Allies won and we can bicker over who involved themselves the most. In modern memory of Vietnam, we credit domestic politics and often ignore the actual combatants who defeated the US military.


#13

There is one man in US history to turn down a pardon. George Wilson robbed a US Postal Office in 1833 and was sentenced to death. President Jackson, who was not known for his opposition to capital punishment, offered Wilson a pardon, for some reason I can’t find but I’m sure I’ll dig up once UTenn publishes that volume of his papers. Wilson declines the pardon, for some reason that I can’t find a probably never will. The case is brought to the Supreme Court and John Marshall decides that if he wants to die, he can die.

I’m astonished there’s so little readily available information on this.


#14

So it turns out The Third Punic War ended in 1985, narrowly stealing the title of Longest War in History from the similarly silly Dutch Scilly War, tho you could argue it was never in the running as there was no combat.


#15

If my high school Greek & Roman history memory serves me correctly: Wasn’t the Third Punic War effectively more of a disarming followed by a siege of Carthage? Where the Carthaginians put their ancient era production into overdrive to make like 300 swords to fight against the full strength Roman army besieging them?

Followed, of course, by ancient era slaughter.


#16

Roughly. I learned about it more in depth than that but I was reading texts in Latin so the details didn’t stick.


#17

When you kill your enemy to the last man (their term not mine), I’d argue the fact that the conflict wasn’t formally declared over is no reason to say it’s still going on.


#18

Yeah it’s hard to sign a peace treaty with the dead. The definition of “war” in the context of the title “longest war ever” is highly debatable. I go with the loosest possible because I think it results in the funniest answers.


#19

You all know of Andrew Jackson’s 1400 pound wheel of cheese, but did you know there was precedent? Well, if you did, I’m mad you didn’t tell me, because Thomas Jefferson was given a cheese wheel thirty five years before Jackson. I will note that his cheese was 170lb less than Jackson’s.


#20

Oh hey it’s the 180th anniversary of Jackson’s big block of cheese!