This Week In History News, Aug. 11 – 17

Published August 16, 2019

Atomik Vodka produced in Chernobyl, Viking beer hall unearthed in Scotland, Holocaust survivor's 104th birthday held in Jerusalem.

Introducing Atomik Vodka: The First Liquor Made From Crops Grown In The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

Atomik Vodka Bottle

University of PortsmouthThis is currently the only product made and sold by the Chernobyl Spirit Company — and within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

April marked the 33rd anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. After the 1986 explosion, which released untold amounts of radioactive material across the continent, a 1,000-square-mile exclusion zone around the Chernobyl plant was established to mark the region deemed too radioactive for habitation.

Consequently, thousands were evacuated and what was once a functional satellite city became a ghost town. However, this town might be back in business with the advent of an artisan vodka made right where the disaster occurred.

Read more here.

1,100-Year-Old ‘Beer Hall’ For The Viking Elite Discovered In Scotland

Viking Beer Hall

Archaeologists discovered this Viking drinking hall on the island of Orkney in Scotland.

The Vikings are not only known for their prowess in war but also their penchant for drinking — with a particular fondness for beer and mead. The latest archaeology discovery reinforces the latter notion as archaeologists have uncovered a massive Norse hall dating back to 1,100 years ago. Given the structure’s design and location, researchers believe that the Medieval stone structure may have been a drinking hall meant for the leisurely gatherings of the Viking elite.

A team of researchers, students, and local residents have been excavating the site for years before the beer hall was discovered. The team was studying the site as a farming complex to learn more about the era’s dietary habits and its people’s farming and fishing practices.

As the team continued to dig on the site, they soon stumbled on mound walls extending from below the settlement that have been confirmed as part of a large Norse structure. Although only partially excavated, the stone walls appear to stretch more than three feet wide standing at about 18 feet from each other. Stone benches have been unearthed along both sides of the walls.

Dig deeper in this report.

Auschwitz Survivor Celebrates 104th Birthday With 400 Descendants At Wailing Wall

Shoshana Ovitz Birthday Photo

TwitterAbout 400 relatives traveled from all over the world to celebrate Ovitz’s 104th birthday. Nonetheless, about 10 percent of the family was missing.

Holocaust survivor Shoshana Ovitz celebrated her 104th birthday at the Wailing Wall (or Western Wall) in Jerusalem recently. This triumphant occasion was made all the more memorable by having about 400 of her descendants join her for a photo.

Ovitz survived the horrors of the Auschwitz concentration camp 74 years ago. Many of her loved ones weren’t as fortunate, however, and perished in detention. Her grandson, Meir Rosenstein, revealed that Ovtiz’s mother was forcefully separated from her before things got even worse.

Read more of her story here.

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.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.