mrsbeefheart
History Meme - 3/6 Women - The Radium Girls 
"Not to worry," their bosses told them. "If you swallow any radium, it’ll make your cheeks rosy." The women at Radium Dial sometimes painted their teeth and faces and then turned off the lights for a laugh.

From: ‘Radium Girls’ By Martha Irvine, Associated Press, Buffalo News, 1998

The US Radium Corporation a factory in Orange, New Jersey around 1917 employed young women as painters to paint radium on the dials on watchers. The girls would use their lips to paint the brushes and with every time they painted their brushes, they would ingest a small portion of the radium.
Radium is an alpha particle and can do severe damage once ingested. The Radium moved to the bone and continue to emit radiation for the rest of the girl’s lives because of the long half-life of Radium. It damaged the cells by the none and caused bone Cancer in many of the girls.
During the 1920s, a group of these women sued the US Radium Corporation. Some of the victims won a small portion of money thus becoming the first to receive compensation for occupational injury.

(read more here)

themyskira

themyskira:

history meme » 4/7 women » Mary Mallon, aka “Typhoid Mary”

Mary Mallon was fifteen when she left her poverty-stricken home in Ireland for the United States. Arriving in New York City, she found work as a domestic servant, eventually proving capable enough in the kitchen to gain a better-paid situation as a cook. She was, by all accounts, an excellent cook who took pride in her work and found employment in the households of a number of wealthy New York families.

She was also a healthy carrier of typhoid fever: she had the disease, but showed no outward symptoms, and had been unknowingly transmitted typhoid bacteria to others. Sanitary engineer George Soper was the first person to make the connection, after discovering that almost all of the households in which Mary had worked over the previous ten years had been visited by typhoid while she had been employed there. Unfortunately, when he approached her, he only succeeded in scaring the hell out of her.

Mary was not an unintelligent woman. She was literate and well-read, with a sharp mind. But at the time, many still did not understand how germs caused disease, and the concept of asymptomatic carriers was brand new science. So when a strange man burst into her kitchen, told her she was making people sick and asked her for a stool sample, she was frightened, and offended, and angry. She chased him out of the house with a carving knife.

Having refused to cooperate with Soper’s inquiries, Mary was forcibly taken into custody by the New York City Health Department. If her situation had been different, she may have been treated more sympathetically. But Mary had the disadvantage of being a lower-class woman and an Irish immigrant, at a time when none of those things were respected. What’s more, she was outspoken; and, scandalously, she was unmarried and living with her male lover.

Mary remained defiant throughout her imprisonment. She was asked to consent to surgery to remove her gallbladder; she refused. She was told she could go free if she promised not to cook; she refused that as well. She wrote letter after letter petitioning for her freedom, began sending stool samples to a private lab for analysis, engaged a lawyer and unsuccessfully attempted to sue the health department for unlawfully confining her. “I have never had typhoid in my life and have always been healthy,” she told one newspaper reporter. “Why should I be banished like a leper and compelled to live in solitary confinement?”

In 1910, after three years in quarantine, Mary was allowed to walk free on the condition that she no longer cook for others. From the health department’s perspective, this was a reasonable request — but for Mary, it meant that she was left with limited means to support herself. The only positions that were open to her were low- or unskilled work, all of them offering lower wages than her previous jobs. Eventually, a combination of fiscal hardship and scorn for the health claims she’d never really believed drove her to seek employment as a cook under a false name.

In 1915, Mary was discovered and arrested after a typhoid outbreak at New York’s Sloane Hospital for Women caught health officials’ attention. She had been employed there as a cook. Two people had died. Public opinion turned against her, and she was returned to quarantine on North Brother Island, where she remained for the rest of her life.

vaticanmeos

vaticanmeos:

history meme - one war (1/1)

The Cold War (1947-1981) was a sustained period of conflict, primarily between the USSR and the USA. Spurred on by continuing tensions from the end of WWII, The Cold War was a clash of ideologies - communism (Soviet Russia) vs. capitalism (America), with each side vying for dominance in a bitter power struggle. The term ‘Cold War’ comes not from Russia’s climate, but instead refers to the lack of actual army-to-army warfare taking place. Instead, both counties fought for their beliefs through technological advances such as the space and arms races, while their client states fought in proxy wars - e.g. Vietnam and Korea.

What may have eventually ensured that The Cold War didn’t become ‘hot’ was the impending threat of nuclear warfare. Both the USSR and the USA had frantically stockpiled as many nuclear weapons as possible in the struggle to be the superior military force, but the threat atom bombs posed was not so well known until 1952, when America exploded the H-Bomb; 2500 times more powerful than that dropped in Hiroshima. Russia followed suit, possessing their own H-Bomb by the following year. Suddenly, the world was a much more dangerous place. Both nations knew that if they were to fire their missiles, the enemy would respond immediately; resulting in wide-spread mass destruction for them both. As Soviet leader Nikita Chrushev said: “The survivors of a nuclear war would envy the dead.” [+more]

englandsdreaming

motherfuckingriverrun:

Born August 13, 1926 near Birán, Cuba, Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz is a Cuban communist revolutionary and politician who was Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, and President from 1976 to 2008. The illegitimate son of a wealthy farmer, Castro adopted leftist anti-imperialist politics while studying law at the University of Havana. After participating in rebellions against right-wing governments in the Dominican Republic and Colombia, he planned the overthrow of the United States-backed military junta of Cuban president Fulgencio Batista, and served a year’s imprisonment in 1953 after a failed attack on the Moncada Barracks. On release he traveled to Mexico, where he formed a revolutionary group with his brother Raúl and friend Che Guevara, the 26th of July Movement. Returning to Cuba, Castro led the Cuban Revolution which ousted Batista in 1959, and brought his own assumption of military and political power.

Alarmed by his revolutionary credentials and friendly relations with the Soviet Union, the U.S. governments of Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy unsuccessfully attempted to remove him, by economic blockade, assassination and counter-revolution, including the Bay of Pigs invasionof 1961. Countering these threats, Castro formed an economic and military alliance with the Soviets, and allowed them to place nuclear weapons on the island, sparking the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

In 1961 Castro proclaimed the socialist nature of his administration, with Cuba becoming a one-party state under Communist Party rule; the first of its kind in the western hemisphere. Socialist reforms introducing central economic planning and expanding healthcare and education were accompanied by state control of the press and the suppression of internal dissent. Abroad, Castro supported foreign revolutionary groups in the hope of toppling world capitalism, sending Cuban troops to fight in the Yom Kippur War, Ogaden War, and Angolan Civil War. Following the Soviet Union’s dissolution in 1991, Castro led Cuba into its economic “Special Period”, before forging alliances in the Latin American Pink Tide – namely with Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela – and joining the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas in 2006. Due to failing health, in 2006 he transferred his responsibilities to Vice-President Raúl Castro, who formally assumed the presidency in 2008.

Castro is a controversial and divisive world figure, lauded by his supporters as a champion of socialism, anti-imperialism, humanitarianism, and environmentalism, but viewed by his critics as a dictator who has overseen multiple human rights abuses, an exodus of millions of Cubans, and the impoverishment of the country’s economy. Through his actions and his writings he has significantly influenced the politics of various individuals and groups across the world.

history meme pt. 2 - [2/7 leaders] - Fidel Castro

lalaylar-deactivated20140605

The Lady Of Cao || Female Rulers of the Ancient World 
La Dama de Cao or Lady of Cao was an enigmatic female ruler who reigned over one of the most important pre-Incan civilizations on the north coast of Peru: The Moche. Centuries ago in the Sechura Desert of northern Peru — one of the most arid and brutal environments on our planet — the Moche people developed an equally brutal culture where women, or more precisely priestesses, acted as queens.  One of these women was the Lady of Cao, who reigned over the Moche approximately 1,600 years ago. At the time of her tomb’s discovery, her mummified body was found surrounded by military artifacts — including war clubs and spear throwers that were usually reserved for powerful men — and ornaments made of gold, silver, turquoise and other precious metals. The unusual mix of ornamental and military artifacts confirmed that she was a figure of extreme importance to the Moche people and second only to the gods.  It is now known that the Lady of Cao died while giving birth when she was between the ages of 25 and 30 and her body was so well preserved that today it is still possible to observe the complex tattoos that cover her arms, ankles and fingers.

The Lady Of Cao || Female Rulers of the Ancient World

La Dama de Cao or Lady of Cao was an enigmatic female ruler who reigned over one of the most important pre-Incan civilizations on the north coast of Peru: The Moche.

Centuries ago in the Sechura Desert of northern Peru — one of the most arid and brutal environments on our planet — the Moche people developed an equally brutal culture where women, or more precisely priestesses, acted as queens.

One of these women was the Lady of Cao, who reigned over the Moche approximately 1,600 years ago. At the time of her tomb’s discovery, her mummified body was found surrounded by military artifacts — including war clubs and spear throwers that were usually reserved for powerful men — and ornaments made of gold, silver, turquoise and other precious metals. The unusual mix of ornamental and military artifacts confirmed that she was a figure of extreme importance to the Moche people and second only to the gods.

It is now known that the Lady of Cao died while giving birth when she was between the ages of 25 and 30 and her body was so well preserved that today it is still possible to observe the complex tattoos that cover her arms, ankles and fingers.

rosasluxemburg
gaskells:

history meme; 3/5 assassinations/executions { sidónio pais }

Sidónio Pais, famously dubbed the President-King by Fernando Pessoa, was President of the Republic of Portugal for a period of only nine months, from April 1918 until December, in a dictatorship which some historians regard as proto-fascist, resorting to a political police, torture, censorship and the showmanship that Mussolini would popularize five years later. Combined with the large number of portuguese casualties in WWI, the situation caused a period of great political and social unrest which was violently repressed.
He survived an assassination attempt on the 5th of December only to be shot down nine days later, in the Rossio train station, headed to Porto. The shooter, José Júlio da Costa, broke the police line and fired, hiting the President in the arm and, fatally, in the stomach. José Júlio da Costa was captured and imprisoned without trial, dying 28 years later, although conspiracy theories still exist as to the motives and even true identity of the assassin.
Considered by some to be the first corruption of the Republican regime, the nine months of his government and subsequent death sparked a deep social and political crisis, which weakened the First Republic. It would eventually fall with the Military Dictatorship of 1926.

gaskells:

history meme; 3/5 assassinations/executions { sidónio pais }

Sidónio Pais, famously dubbed the President-King by Fernando Pessoa, was President of the Republic of Portugal for a period of only nine months, from April 1918 until December, in a dictatorship which some historians regard as proto-fascist, resorting to a political police, torture, censorship and the showmanship that Mussolini would popularize five years later. Combined with the large number of portuguese casualties in WWI, the situation caused a period of great political and social unrest which was violently repressed.

He survived an assassination attempt on the 5th of December only to be shot down nine days later, in the Rossio train station, headed to Porto. The shooter, José Júlio da Costa, broke the police line and fired, hiting the President in the arm and, fatally, in the stomach. José Júlio da Costa was captured and imprisoned without trial, dying 28 years later, although conspiracy theories still exist as to the motives and even true identity of the assassin.

Considered by some to be the first corruption of the Republican regime, the nine months of his government and subsequent death sparked a deep social and political crisis, which weakened the First Republic. It would eventually fall with the Military Dictatorship of 1926.

meketaten
meketaten:

History Meme: Four Lesser-Known Egyptian Royals [1/4] » Prince Rahotep

Prince Rahotep is thought to be the son of a pharaoh named Sneferu, and is thought to be the half-brother of Khufu, the pharaoh that would reign after Sneferu. He and his wife, Nofret, gained attention when their two magnificent statues were found in Rahotep’s mastaba in 1871, possibly built by Sneferu. What was interesting about the statues was the fact that rock crystal was used for the eyes on both of them. These rock crystals give the “illusion of the following eye”. It is noted that when workers first opened the tomb these statues were concealed in, through the faint light they looked alive and caused the workers to flee in terror. 

meketaten:

History Meme: Four Lesser-Known Egyptian Royals [1/4] » Prince Rahotep

Prince Rahotep is thought to be the son of a pharaoh named Sneferu, and is thought to be the half-brother of Khufu, the pharaoh that would reign after Sneferu. He and his wife, Nofret, gained attention when their two magnificent statues were found in Rahotep’s mastaba in 1871, possibly built by Sneferu. What was interesting about the statues was the fact that rock crystal was used for the eyes on both of them. These rock crystals give the “illusion of the following eye”. It is noted that when workers first opened the tomb these statues were concealed in, through the faint light they looked alive and caused the workers to flee in terror. 

englandsdreaming

motherfuckingriverrun:

The Decembrist Revolt took place in Imperial Russia on December 26, 1825. Liberal Russian army officers led about 3,000 soldiers in a protest against Nicholas I’s assumption of the throne after his elder brother Constantine removed himself from the line of succession after marrying a Polish woman with no royal blood. 

The rebels wanted a free Russian state, with a federal government and constitution, instead of government under the Tsar. On December 26th the military was to swear allegiance to Tsar Nicholas I. The ceremony was to be held in Senate Square, outside the Winter Palace, in St. Petersburg. Several officers started a mutiny in their regiments, and approximately 3,000 men began open revolt against the Tsar. Reluctant to begin his reign with a massacre of his subjects, Nicholas and his advisors tried in initiate peace talks over the hours that followed, but to no avail. Finally, the order to open fire was given. Lacking organized leadership, the rebels soon fell to the Tsar’s superior military forces.

The aftermath of what came to be known as the Decembrist Revolt was far-reaching. Sixty to seventy rebels died, and all that were captured were either hanged or exiled to Siberia. For Tsar Nicholas I, liberalism now appeared a major threat. He initiated a nation-wide censorship, placing tighter controls on all aspects of public life. The Third Section, a network of spies and informers, was set up to enforce the censorship. The restrictions forced the people’s loyalty to the Tsar and the Russian Orthodox Church. A form of Russian nationalism developed, but this later led to racist suppression of minority groups. Nicholas lived in fear of liberal revolts for the rest of his life, however the martyrdom of the Decembrists inspired later generations of Russian dissidents.

history meme pt. 2 - [2/10 moments] - The Decembrist Revolt

melisandreseaworth-deactivated2

melisandreseaworth:

History meme 4/9 - Kings and Queens: King Mohammed Zahir Shah of Afghanistan

Zahir Shah was an ethnic Pashtun who was born on 15 October 1914, in Kabul, Afghanistan. He was the son of Mohammed Nadir Shah, a senior member of the Barakzai royal family and commander in chief of the Afghan army under former king Amanullah Khan. Nadir Shah assumed the throne after the execution of Habibullah Ghazi on 10 October 1929. Mohammed Zahir’s father, son of Sardar Mohammad Yusuf Khan, was born in Dehradun,British India, his family having been exiled following the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Nadir Shah was a descendant of Sardar Sultan Mohammed Khan Telai, half-brother of Amir Dost Mohammad Khan. 

Zahir Shah was educated in a special class for princes at Habibia High School in Kabul. He continued his education in France where his father had been sent as a diplomatic envoy, studying at the Pasteur Institute and theUniversity of Montpellier. When he returned to Afghanistan he helped his father and uncles restore order and reassert government control during a period of lawlessness in the country.  He was later enrolled at an Infantry School and appointed a privy counsellor. Zahir Shah served in the government positions of deputy war minister and minister of education. 

Zahir Khan was proclaimed King (Shah) on 8 November 1933 at the age of 19, after the assassination of his father Mohammed Nadir Shah. Following his ascension to the throne he was given the regnal title “He who puts his trust in God, follower of the firm religion of Islam”. For the first thirty years he did not effectively rule, ceding power to his paternal uncles, Mohammad Hashim Khan And Shah Mehmood Khan. This period fostered a growth in Afghanistan’s relations with the international community as in 1934, Afghanistan joined the League of Nations while also receiving formal recognition from the United States. By the end of the 1930s, agreements on foreign assistance and trade had been reached with many countries, most notably Germany, Italy, and Japan.

Following the end of the Second World War, Zahir Shah recognised the need for the modernisation of Afghanistan and recruited a number of foreign advisers to assist with the process.  During this period Afghanistan’s first modern university was founded. During his reign a number of potential advances and reforms were derailed as a result of factionalism and political infighting. Zahir Shah was able to govern on his own in 1963 and despite the factionalism and political infighting a new constitution was introduced in 1964 which turned Afghanistan into a modern democratic state by introducing free elections, a parliament, civil rights, women’s rights and universal suffrage.

In 1973, while Zahir Shah was in Italy undergoing eye surgery his cousin and former Prime Minister Mohammed Daoud Khan staged a coup d’état and established a republican government. As a former prime minister, Daoud Khan had been forced to resign by Zahir Shah a decade earlier. In August 1973, Zahir Shah abdicated rather than risk an all-out civil war.

Zahir Shah lived in exile in Italy for twenty-nine years in a four-bedroom villa in the affluent community of Olgiata on Via Cassia, north of Rome where he spent his time playing golf and chess, as well as tending to his garden. He was barred from returning to Afghanistan during Soviet-backed Communist rule in the late 1970s. In 1983 during the Soviet war in Afghanistan, Zahir Shah was cautiously involved in plans to head a government in exile. Ultimately these plans failed because he could not reach a consensus with the powerful Islamist factions. 

In April 2002, while the country was no longer under Taliban rule, Zahir Shah returned to Afghanistan to open the Loya Jirga, which met in June 2002. After the fall of the Taliban, there were open calls for a return to the monarchy. Zahir Shah himself let it be known that he would accept whatever responsibility was placed on him by the Loya Jirga. However he was obliged to publicly step aside at the behest of the United States as many of delegates to the Loya Jirga were prepared to vote for Zahir Shah and block the US-backed Hamid Karzai. While he was prepared to become head of state he made it known that it would not necessarily be as monarch: “I will accept the responsibility of head of state if that is what the Loya Jirga demands of me, but I have no intention to restore the monarchy. I do not care about the title of king. The people call me Baba and I prefer this title.” He was given the ceremonial title “Father of the Nation” in the current Constitution of Afghanistan symbolizing his role in Afghanistan’s history as a nonpolitical symbol of national unity. The title of the ‘Father of the Nation’ dissolved with his death.

Hamid Karzai, a prominent figure from the Popalzai clan, became the president of Afghanistan and Zahir Shah’s relatives and supporters were provided with key posts in the transitional government. 

On 23 July 2007, he died in the compound of the presidential palace in Kabul after prolonged illness. His death was announced on national television by President Karzai. His funeral was held on 24 July. It began on the premises of the presidential palace, where political figures and dignitaries paid their respects; his coffin was then taken to a mosque before being moved to the royal mausoleum on Maranjan Hill.

wintersouljah

wintersouljah:

[Latin American] History Meme → Six Women | 3 of 6
   Policarpa Salavarrieta (born c.1791-1796 and died 1817)

Policarpa Salavarrieta (also known as La Pola) was a spy (posing as a seamstress) and revolutionary for the Neogranadine independence movement (modern day Colombia, then referred to as the Viceroyalty of Nueva Granada), recruiting many young men for the movement before her execution on November 14th 1817. Her impending execution did not silence her even in her last moments. She was told to turn her back, as traitors were supposed to before their executions, and there she said her final words: "Indolent people! How different you would be if you knew the price of Liberty! But it’s not too late. See that I, female and young, have more than enough courage to suffer this death and a thousand more. Do not forget my example." When the firing squad began shooting, she turned around to die facing them. 

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