HISTORY

On 20 March 1944, Gen. William J. Donovan, director of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), passed on to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt a memorandum written by Abram Hewitt, OSS officer in Stockholm under cover of the United States Commercial Company. The president had sent Hewitt, a longtime friend, to Stockholm under the aegis of the OSS to get a…
There are many historical figures whose lives, actions or deaths are covered by a veil of mystery. Very often they are the focus of novels, movies or even academic research. Their stories are still intriguing and provide grounds for thoughts and research.
On February 10, 1962, two men stepped on to opposite ends of the Glienicke Bridge in Berlin. Francis Gary Powers—a prisoner of the Russians since 1960— faced westward. Rudolf Abel—captured by the FBI in 1957—faced eastward. Both men had been captured while performing daring intelligence missions. When the signal was given, Powers and Abel began to cross the bridge. They…
The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) left a legacy of daring and innovation that has influenced American military and intelligence thinking since World War II. OSS owed its successes to many factors, but most of all to the foresight and drive of William J. Donovan, who built and held together the office's divergent missions and personalities.
Alan Turing—an English mathematician, logician, and cryptanalyst—was a computer pioneer. Often remembered for his contributions to the fields of artificial intelligence and modern computer science (before either even existed), Turing is probably best known for what is now dubbed the "Turing Test." It is a process of testing a machine's ability to "think."
20 years ago, nearly a million people were massacred in Rwanda. At the time, it went largely unreported. But it was a direct legacy of a century of colonial rule – the French state, under 'socialist' president, François Mitterrand, complicit in the genocide.
Down the road only a few generations, the millennium of Magna Carta, one of the great events in the establishment of civil and human rights, will arrive. Whether it will be celebrated, mourned, or ignored is not at all clear.
Alexander the Great, who ruled much of the ancient world until his death in 323 B.C., was conquered at age 32 not by an enemy, but possibly by a tiny intestinal bug. In an analysis based on available historical records, physicians at the University of Maryland Medical Center believe that Alexander was the victim of typhoid fever.
The direct costs of World War I to the United States were: 130,000 combat deaths; 35,000 men permanently disabled; $33.5 billion (plus another $13 billion in veterans' benefits and interest on the war debt, as of 1931, all in the dollars of those years); perhaps also some portion of the 500,000 influenza deaths among American civilians from the virus the…
For weeks, Joseph Stalin had been plagued with dizzy spells and high blood pressure. His personal physician, Professor V. N. Vinogradov had advised that Stalin step down as head of the government for health reasons. That was not what Stalin wanted to hear from the good doctor. Soon the professor would pay for this temerity and indiscretion with his arrest…

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