This Week In History, Apr. 30 – May 6

Published May 5, 2017
Updated May 22, 2018

Infamous shipwreck's survivors, Obama's little-known past, nude George Washington statue, uncovered WWI tunnels, the actual Tower of Babel.

New Study To Identify Mummified Victims Of 19th Century Cannibal Shipwreck

Graves of Franklin Expedition

Wikimedia CommonsGraves of Franklin Expedition members on Beechey Island.

In 1845, the Franklin Expedition left England bound for the Canadian Arctic with two ships carrying 134 people. Aside from the five that were discharged and sent home, none of those people ever returned.

Now, new DNA analysis of human remains found near several of the shipwreck sites could finally identify some of those victims and shed light on the tragedy.

Read on in this report.

Evidence Suggests That The Tower Of Babel Was Actually Real

The story — be it in the Bible or other ancient Near Eastern mythologies — goes that, once upon a time, everyone spoke the same language. They were thus able to work together and build a great city with a tower reaching into the heavens, at which point they’d have surpassed God Himself and would no longer need Him.

Angry at the humans’ arrogance, God smashed the tower, confounded their speech, giving them all various languages, and scattered them apart to various locations so that they could no longer work together in the same way ever again.

However, although the Tower of Babel lives inside that one myth, new evidence suggests what some Biblical scholars had long argued: that the tower was actually real.

See more in the video above.

Obama Proposed To Another Woman Before Michelle And She Turned Him Down, New Book Reveals

Barack And Michelle Obama

Scott Olson/Getty Images

In a revealing new book — Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama — biographer David J. Garrow reports that Michelle was actually not the first woman for whom a young Obama got on bended knee.

That would be Sheila Miyoshi Jager — whose hand Obama asked for in 1986.

This surprising revelation has Americans wondering what it would have been like to have a different lady in the West Wing. Or, more cynically, if Obama would have made it there at all with a white woman on his arm.

He seems to have thought he wouldn’t have.

See more here.

WWI Tunnels Found In England

Tunnel World War I


Archaeologists have discovered a network of World War I training tunnels in England’s Salisbury Plain, otherwise known for being the home of Stonehenge.

Inside those tunnels, the researchers report that they’ve also found wartime artifacts including grenades and food tins.

Delve deeper here.

Nude George Washington Sculpture To Debut In New York

George Washington Nude

Franca Coin

From paintings to statues to the dollar bill, Americans are used to the revered likeness of George Washington — but not quite like this.

A nude sculpture of America’s first president is set to debut at New York’s Frick Collection in 2018. Created by Italian sculptor Antonio Canova in the early 19th century, this statue actually has a more surprising backstory than even its “nude George Washington” billing might suggest.

Discover the full tale here.

All That's Interesting
All That's Interesting is a Brooklyn-based digital publisher that seeks out the stories to illuminate the past, present, and future.