American History

A Virginia judge has blocked efforts to remove the statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee that was at the center of the deadly violence that erupted in Charlottesville in 2017.

In a ruling issued this week, Judge Richard E. Moore said that any effort to remove the Lee statue would violate a state historic preservation statute and issued a permanent injunction preventing its removal. His decision extended to a separate monument to Confederate general Stonewall Jackson that city leaders and local activists had hoped to get rid of.

Retired Justice John Paul Stevens, whose Supreme Court opinions transformed many areas of American law during his 34 year tenure, died at the age of 99 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., of complications following a stroke he suffered Monday.

Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed Stevens' death in a statement from the Supreme Court.

NASA

On the morning of July 16, dozens of technicians and flight controllers piled into the firing room at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center to count down the launch of Apollo 11’s Saturn V rocket. Among the sea of people was JoAnn Morgan –KSC’s first female engineer and the only woman in that firing room.

As NASA was testing its rockets during the Apollo program, it was standard policy to actually lock technicians and launch directors inside the firing room block houses for the hours-long tests.

There was one problem.

Updated at 10:05 a.m. ET

"The wartime generation — my generation — is resilient, and I am delighted to be with you in Portsmouth today," Britain's Queen Elizabeth II said Wednesday, as she kicked off a two-day commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Nazi-occupied France that reshaped World War II.

Stranahan House
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

It was an Ohio native in 1893 who sparked the development that would grow the City of Fort Lauderdale.

A tradesman and postmaster for the New River settlement, Frank Stranahan built what's now the city's oldest building in 1901. The Historic Stranahan House and Museum is two-story high and still sits in its original location by the New River. 

Terrisa Mark / WLRN News

A floating digital billboard in the ocean off South Beach Monday afternoon aimed to make black visitors feel relaxed and at home at the beach. 

The project, called “Water Rights,” was created by artist Johanne Rahaman with support from the Knight Foundation and a $20,000 grant from Oolite Arts, a local organization that fosters visual artists. 

Remember the planned redesign of the $20 bill that was going to include the first African American woman to appear on U.S. currency?

Well, don't expect to see Harriet Tubman on your $20 any time soon.

In the tiny town of Erwin, Tenn., history is the elephant in the room.

At the Unicoi County Chamber of Commerce, Cathy Huskins remembers one particularly angry tourist "came barreling through the door, and came up to the counter here and slung her hands down. ... And she says, 'I cannot believe that you killed an elephant!' "

Librarian Angie Georgeff is used to the strange phone calls and unannounced visits from world travelers:

A researcher has discovered the identity of the last-known survivor of the trans-Atlantic slave trade in the United States.

Redoshi, later given the slave name Sally Smith, was kidnapped at the age of 12 from Benin in West Africa, in 1860. She was sold into slavery, making the journey to Alabama on the Clotilde, the last-known slave ship to arrive in the U.S.

History Miami

At Bayfront Park in the City of Miami, a 10-foot tall bronze statue stands in honor of Julia Tuttle. She holds oranges in one hand and branches with tiny flowers in the other. 

Tuttle has long been recognized as the “Mother of Miami” — the only woman to found a major city in the United States. The original story, as told by local South Florida historians for decades, says it was her and her alone that founded the City of Miami.

Is it an innocent display of jubilation over a war's end or an unacceptable act of sexual aggression?

The context of a kiss is clashing with an evolving emphasis on consent in the #MeToo era.

For the first time in her 25-year career on the Supreme Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was not on the bench to start the new year.

After the 85-year-old justice was operated on for lung cancer, she decided to work from home rather than return to the court two weeks after surgery. She's expected to make a full recovery and be back at the court soon. A fair amount is known about Ginsburg's cancers and surgery, but the history of Supreme Court justices and their health is murkier.

BERNHARD MOOSBRUGGER / GETTY IMAGES

The civil right's leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spent a significant amount of time in Miami. During the 1950s and 60s, Dr. King was a regular at the historic Hampton House. The hotel, located in Miami's Brownsville neighborhood, was frequented by many of the African American athletes and civil rights leaders of the time including Jim Brown and Malcolm X. 

Former president George H.W. Bush was remembered by his grandson as gracious, decent and humble, as he received his final public memorial ceremony at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston on Thursday. The funeral came after several days of remembrance in the nation's capital.

Bush died last week at the age of 94. He will be buried in a private ceremony on Thursday afternoon.

Updated at 6:45 p.m. ET

Former President George H.W. Bush was remembered as "a great and noble man" by his eldest son, former President George W. Bush, at a solemn but joyous state funeral at Washington National Cathedral.

The cathedral bells tolled as the casket containing the 41st president was carried by a military honor guard down the center aisle on Wednesday morning.

Seated together on one side of the aisle were President Trump and former Democratic Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, along with their wives.

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