This Week In History, Apr. 2 – 8

Published April 7, 2017
Updated April 10, 2017

World War II Veteran Comes Out As Transgender Woman At Age 90

A World War II veteran living in Leicestershire, England has come out to the world as a woman.

Although The New York Post reports that Patricia Davies knew that she was a woman ever since she was a toddler, Davies only began transitioning now at the age of 90.

Davies kept her identity secret for such a long time because she was scared of the repercussions that would befall her if she told the truth.

Now, however, she’s gone public with her story.

Medieval Villagers Mutilated The Dead To Prevent Zombies, New Study Finds

English Cemetery Medieval Village Og

Historic England/PAAn illustration of the medieval village of Wharram Percy, where the human bones were excavated.

Medieval villagers in England mutilated the dead to make sure that the corpses didn’t rise up from the grave after burial, new research shows.

English archaeologists have discovered that people who used to live in the Wharram Percy village in Yorkshire, England during the Middle Ages used to chop, smash, and burn the recently dead, according to the Guardian.

Published in the Journal of Archaeological Science this past Monday, their research concludes that the mutilation was intentional and done after death.

Read more here.

Some Russians Still Regret Selling Alaska To The U.S. 150 Years Later

Putin Alaska

Maxim Marmur/AFP/Getty ImagesRussian President Vladimir Putin.

Most Americans outside of Alaska probably don’t care much that March 30, 2017 marks the 150th anniversary of the United States’ purchase of the territory from Russia.

But for some Russians, memories of the transaction still appear to sting.

The 1867 deal — in which Andrew Johnson paid $7.2 million (about $123 million today) for the mountainous 586,412 square-mile region — has been a renewed topic of conversation in the Russian media of late, with some commentators saying it was a big mistake.

When asked about the anniversary in recent weeks, Russian President Vladimir Putin initially told press that Russians “don’t need to get worked up about this.” On the actual day, however, he took the opportunity to subtly jab at how the United States is using the land.

“What we do, is contained locally,” he said of Russia’s current projects in the Arctic. “While what the US does in Alaska, it does on the global level. They have been developing a missile defense system there while it is one of the most pressing security issues nowadays.”

And those were just the beginning of Russia’s comments on the matter.

All That's Interesting
Established in 2010, All That's Interesting brings together a dedicated staff of digital publishing veterans and subject-level experts in history, true crime, and science. From the lesser-known byways of human history to the uncharted corners of the world, we seek out stories that bring our past, present, and future to life. Privately-owned since its founding, All That's Interesting maintains a commitment to unbiased reporting while taking great care in fact-checking and research to ensure that we meet the highest standards of accuracy.
Savannah Cox
Savannah Cox holds a Master's in International Affairs from The New School as well as a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and now serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Sheffield. Her work as a writer has also appeared on DNAinfo.