This Week In History, Mar. 19 – 25

Published March 24, 2017
Updated May 22, 2018

The true story of Pocahontas, tourists headed to the Titanic, Jesus' tomb reopens, Cold War nuclear footage declassified, Lindbergh baby case detective unmasked.

New Documentary Reveals The True Story Of Pocahontas

Pocahontas

Wikimedia Commons

For centuries, the myth of Pocahontas has endured while the history has languished. While we can all recall the story of her dramatic rescue of English explorer John Smith, how many of us know, for instance, that Pocahontas wasn’t even her actual name (it was Amonute)?

The new Smithsonian documentary Pocahontas: Beyond the Myth will investigate these sorts of lesser-known yet wholly fascinating aspects of this widely misunderstood woman’s life.

Find out more at Smithsonian.

Tourists Can Now Visit The Wreck Of The Titanic — For A Huge Price

Titanic Bow

NOAA/IFE/URI via Wikimedia CommonsThe bow of the Titanic as photographed in 2004.

So captivating is the tragic story of the Titanic‘s 1912 sinking that it seems some people are willing to pay major money to go to the bottom of the sea simply to view its wreckage.

For the first time since 2012, History.com reports, civilian tourists will soon be able to visit the remains of the ship 2.5 miles below the surface of the North Atlantic, about 400 miles east of Newfoundland.

Discover what these trips will entail — and what they’ll cost — in this report on the new round of Titanic visits.

After $4 Million Restoration, Jesus’ Tomb Is Open But Not Good As New

Jesus Tomb

Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty ImagesThe Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City of Jerusalem shows the renovated Edicule of the Tomb of Jesus (where his body is believed to have been laid). The tomb is being unveiled again following nine months of restoration work that will be highlighted at a much anticipated ceremony on March 22, 2017.

For nine months, the team of Greek scientists has worked through the nights, carefully using drones, titanium bolts, radar devices, robotic cameras, and laser scanners to restore and stabilize what is thought to have been the final resting place of Jesus of Nazareth.

A ceremony on Wednesday marked the end of this $4 million restoration project, which sturdied the Edicule — the name for the shrine above the burial chamber — within Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Step inside Jesus’ tomb and see what the finished product looks like now.

U.S. Government Declassifies Cold War Footage Of Some Of History’s Largest Nuclear Tests

Operation Hardtack I – Nutmeg at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands of the Pacific. May 22, 1958.

What was once some of the most guarded and top-secret footage on Earth is now freely available to all on YouTube.

This week, the federally funded Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California released 62 newly declassified and restored films of U.S. nuclear testing conducted in conjunction with the lab between 1945 and 1962.

During those Cold War years, the LLNL carried out 210 tests, resulting in approximately 10,000 film clips. Of those, about 6,500 have been found and 750 have been declassified, according to an LLNL news release. The 62 that are now on YouTube are just the first batch to see release.

See more in this collection of Cold War nuclear test footage.

Mysterious Detective X Who Helped Solved Lindbergh Kidnapping Finally Unmasked

Detective X Souder

NISTWilmer Souder, or “Detective X,” April 1935.

The identity of Detective X — the secret crime-fighter who helped police solve dozens of cases over the course of decades with the aid of pioneering science — has finally been revealed.

His name is Wilmer Souder, and he was a 1930s physicist who worked at the National Bureau of Standards, the predecessor of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

He specialized in measuring things very, very accurately, according to National Geographic, a skill that came in handy when it came to giving expert testimony in the burgeoning field of investigative forensics.

Here’s how Detective X put these skills to use in the infamous Lindbergh baby case.

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