History

1:17pm

Sat October 13, 2012
Author Interviews

How Lincoln's Fiercest Rival Became His Close Ally

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 9:07 am

President Lincoln appointed William Henry Seward secretary of state in 1861. He served until 1869.
Henry Guttmann Getty Images

The race for the Republican nomination of 1860 was one of the great political contests of American history. It was Abraham Lincoln versus Salmon Chase, versus William Seward.

Author Walter Stahr spoke with Weekends All Things Considered host Guy Raz about his new biography, Seward: Lincoln's Indispensable Man. He describes how a man who was Lincoln's fiercest and most critical opponent eventually became his most loyal and trusted adviser.


Interview Highlights

On Seward losing the election

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11:44am

Fri October 12, 2012
Science

Prehistoric 'Kennewick Man' Was All Beefcake

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 5:41 pm

Forensic artists think this is what Kennewick Man looked like.
Brittney Tatchell Courtesy of Doug Owsley

For nearly a decade, scientists and Northwest tribes in Washington state fought bitterly over whether to bury or study the 9,500-year-old bones known as Kennewick Man. Scientists won the battle, and now, after years of careful examination, they're releasing some of their findings.

For starters, Kennewick Man was buff. I mean, really beefcake. So says Doug Owsley, head of physical anthropology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, and the man who led the study of the ancient remains.

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1:16pm

Thu October 4, 2012
Planet Money

The Accountant Who Changed The World

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 2:04 pm

Summa de Arithmetica, Geometria, Proportioni et Proportionalita." href="/post/accountant-who-changed-world" class="noexit lightbox">
A page from Pacioli's math encyclopedia, Summa de Arithmetica, Geometria, Proportioni et Proportionalita.
via Jane Gleeson-White

The story of the birth of accounting begins with numbers. In the 1400s, much of Europe was still using Roman numerals, and finding it really hard to easily add or subtract. (Try adding MCVI to XCIV.)

But fortunately, Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.) started catching on, and with those numbers, merchants in Venice developed a revolutionary system we now call "double-entry" bookkeeping. This is how it works:

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2:20am

Wed October 3, 2012
History

Wikipedia Politicizes Landmark Historical Event

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 8:14 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

When President Obama and Mitt Romney debate tonight, many people will ask if their claims are true. Each one has already been asking that about the other side.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: They will try to distract you and sometimes - how do I put this nicely? They will just fib.

MITT ROMNEY: The president tends to - how shall I say it? - say things that aren't true.

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3:03pm

Sun September 30, 2012
Interviews

The Man Who Jump-Started Presidential Debates

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 5:11 pm

Vice President Richard Nixon listens as Sen. John F. Kennedy talks during their televised presidential race debate. This photo was made from a television screen in New York, Oct. 21, 1960.
AP

President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, are prepping for Wednesday's presidential debate. It's a well-worn tradition now, but it wasn't always that way.

The 1960 Kennedy-Nixon face-off wasn't just the first televised presidential debate, it was also the first presidential debate in more than a century.

Four years earlier, a young German emigre named Fred Kahn, a student at the University of Maryland, wanted to see whether the nominees — Dwight Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson — might want to engage with students.

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