A few weeks ago, I discovered that Bill Nye, the famous scientist, comedian, and television host, was speaking at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as part of their Geek Week and part of The Distinguished Lecture Series. Being that I grew up as part of the generation which watched his show Bill Nye the Science Guy, I knew I wanted to go. Fortunately, I was able to secure tickets, and last Monday, my boyfriend and I sat ourselves in the back of the large conference room where the event was to be held. It was with an almost childlike anticipation and excitement that I waited with baited breath for his appearance.
150 years ago, America was embroiled in one of the bloodiest wars ever fought on native soil: the American Civil War. 150 years ago, the North fought the South, brother fought brother, nation fought nation. 150 years ago, when the naval blockade of Southern ports threatened to choke the Confederacy, a little submarine defeated a Union vessel, sending it to the bottom of the sea. Almost in the same breath, however, the H.L. Hunley also sank. How and why it sank is a mystery.
(Editor’s note: This submission is from an English friend of mine, Hannah. I met Hannah when I studied in England in 2010, and she became one of my closest friends (especially because we were in the Lancaster University History Society together, and, well, that is awesome!)
In early modern England slander and libel were a very serious business. One of the most bizarre court cases recorded is that of Hole v. White. The case drew out for four years of testimonies, punishments and charges supervised by the Star Chamber, one of the most powerful courts in England.