This Week In History, Feb. 5 – 11

Published February 10, 2017
Updated February 27, 2024

Possible remains of America's first colonists, Holocaust songs recovered, the Mitch McConnell/Elizabeth Warren rule, The Beatles hit America, and photos taken just after history was made.

Possible Remains Of America’s First Colonists Uncovered

When a man in St. Augustine, Florida recently set about renovating his building in the wake of last fall’s Hurricane Matthew, he found four skeletons that may have belonged to America’s very first European colonists.

While few realize it, St. Augustine — founded by Spanish conquistador, Pedro Menendez de Aviles, in 1565, 42 years before Jamestown and 55 years before Plymouth — is America’s oldest continuously occupied European settlement.

Thus researchers have now flocked to the site in hopes of uncovering more details on what may be a truly historic find.

Find more details at WGRZ.

Songs Of Holocaust Survivors Recovered From 1946 Recordings

Thanks to recent restoration efforts, the world can now hear the Yiddish and German songs that Holocaust victims would sing in concentration camps, LiveScience reports.

David Boder, a professor of psychology at the Illinois Institute of Technology, interviewed 130 Jewish Holocaust survivors during the summer of 1946 and recorded their songs on a now defunct piece of hardware. However, researchers from the University of Akron have repaired the “wire recorder” and can now play back the recordings.

“I think it is one of the most important discoveries from our collections in our 50-year history,” said David Baker, the executive director of the university’s Cummings Center, in a statement.

“The songs were recorded at a refugee camp in Henonville, France. The Nazis made the prisoners sing some of these songs as they ran to their forced-labor sites and back each day.”

Mitch McConnell Invokes Rare, Old Rule To Stop Elizabeth Warren From Speaking


Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell invoked Rule XIX to prohibit Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) from speaking further on her opposition to the appointment of Sen. Jeff Sessions as the U.S. Attorney General.

In so doing, McConnell brushed the dust off a rule — which states that “No Senator in debate shall, directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator” — that hadn’t been used since 1979.

Learn more about the rule’s origins and rarity here.

February 7, 1964: The Beatles first arrive in America

Beatles First Visit

Wikimedia CommonsThe Beatles disembark at Kennedy Airport in New York.

On February 7, 1964, the Beatles made their American debut.

The iconic rock group had only just attained their first U.S. Number One hit six days prior with “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” but they were still greeted by 3,000 screaming and rioting fans.

The young Brits made their now historic appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show two days later. Their performance was difficult to hear due to the squeals of teenage girls in the studio audience. But that didn’t stop 40 percent of the U.S. population from tuning in to watch.

Rarely Seen Photos Taken Just After History Was Made

Neil Armstrong Historical Moments

Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr./NASA via Wikimedia CommonsNeil Armstrong sits inside the lunar module just after returning from history’s first-ever human moonwalk on July 21, 1969.

Sometimes with history’s most momentous episodes, we find the truth, the full weight, of the moment not in images of the moment itself, but in images of its immediate aftermath, whether it’s hours, minutes, or mere seconds later.

You’ve undoubtedly seen copious photos of the JFK assassination, September 11th, “Tank Man” at Tiananmen Square, and on and on. But now, it’s what came right after those moments — and many others — that you really need to see.

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.