Whether it's the anniversary of the first summit of Mount Everest or the news about the possible identification of the bridge in the Mona Lisa, this is what happened in the world of history this month.
It’s the end of May 2023 and we’ve handpicked a few of our favorite history stories from this month along with several historic anniversaries for the month.
We covered an eclectic mix of historical news stories this month. One had to do with Edmond Réveil, a former member of the French Resistance who came forward about a massacre of German POWs that happened during World War II when he was 18 years old.
“It had to become public,” Réveil, who is now 98 and the last surviving witness of the massacre, explained. “The world has to know what happened there. It is a historical truth.”
In addition to his story, we also discussed the discovery of a 7,000-year-old tomb in Oman, and why one Italian historian believes that he’s identified the bridge in the Mona Lisa. The bridge itself, which is very small and over Mona Lisa’s left shoulder, has been claimed by several Italian towns. However, the historian used drones and historical documents to study the region and he believes that it is Romito di Laterina bridge in Arezzo.
We also discussed a number of historical anniversaries from May. One was the first reported sighting of the Loch Ness Monster on May 2, 1933. Then, a local paper reported about how a local couple had been driving by the lake when the suddenly saw a “monster” in Loch Ness, an “enormous beast rolling and plunging on the surface.”
Interestingly, there have long been rumors of something living in Loch Ness. Scottish Picts left engravings of a mysterious creature, and a fifth-century Christian priest allegedly encountered a “water beast” at the lake, which he was able to banish. Since the 1933 sighting, there have been many others and, infamously, a photo of what appears to show the monster. Though the Loch Ness photo was proven to be a fraud, that hasn’t stopped people from believing in this world-famous Scottish cryptid.
We also covered other anniversaries including the beginning of the Watergate hearings, the summiting of Mount Everest by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay on May 29, 1953, and the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge.
The bridge, which opened in 1883 to great fanfare, also inspired this month’s historic cocktail: The Brooklyn. The Brooklyn is pretty much the same as a Manhattan, except that it uses dry vermouth instead of sweet vermouth.