From the discovery of an ancient Roman coin trove to a 1,000-year-old German skeleton unearthed with a hollowed-out face, here's what happened in the world of history this month.
It’s the end of November 2023 and we’ve picked a few of our favorite history news stories from this month as well as a handful of significant anniversaries from decades past.
Over the past month, we’ve covered a number of fascinating stories, including the unearthing of a 1,000-year-old skeleton in Germany that was missing all of its facial bones, the surprise discovery of 30,000 to 50,000 ancient Roman coins under the water off the coast of Sardinia, a historian who stumbled upon scores of lost French letters from the Seven Years War, the curious find of a Bronze Age meeting hall that may have ties to the legendary King Hinz, and the sale of a menu from the RMS Titanic.
This first-class menu was handed out to passengers on April 11, 1912, as the ship left Queenstown, Ireland (today called Cobh) on its doomed journey west. It offered a selection of oysters, duck, beef, “spring lamb,” and desserts like French ice cream and Victorian pudding. This fare, however, was quite different from the much more modest fare offered to the ship’s second- and third-class passengers.
On the night of April 14, when the Titanic struck an iceberg, second-class passengers dined on baked haddock, chicken and rice, while passengers in third class ate roast beef, boiled potatoes, and Swedish bread.
That night, and into the morning of April 15, when the ship sank, someone apparently had the wherewithal to grab onto an old Titanic menu. The April 11 menu then found its way into the possession of a Nova Scotia community historian, and was auctioned off in 2023 alongside other Titanic items.
In this episode, we also discussed a number of historical anniversaries from November. These included the murder of Jack the Ripper’s final canonical victim, Mary Jane Kelly on Nov. 9, 1888, the first alleged photo ever taken of the Loch Ness Monster on Nov. 12, 1933, the Jonestown massacre on Nov. 18, 1978, Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address on Nov. 19, 1863, and the 60th anniversary of the JFK assassination on Nov. 22, 1963.
We also marked this historic anniversary in our last episode, during which we discussed a number of other JFK assassination suspects aside from Lee Harvey Oswald, who the Warren Commission declared had acted alone in killing the president in 1963.
Take a listen to that episode here and see why some believe that a New Orleans businessman, CIA agents, Mafia bosses, or even Kennedy’s own vice president, Lyndon Baines Johnson, played a role in his shocking death.