This Week In History News, Feb. 24 – Mar. 2

Published March 1, 2019

Racist John Wayne interview resurfaces, evidence of Henry VI's royal sex helpers uncovered, Charles Dickens' attempts to get his sane wife sent to an asylum revealed.

Resurfaced Playboy Interview With John Wayne Extolls Racism, Homophobia, And White Supremacy

John Wayne Comancheros

Wikimedia CommonsJohn Wayne in The Comancheros (1961).

A 1971 Playboy interview with Hollywood legend John Wayne has made the rounds this week, with unsuspecting readers on social media learning of the Western icon’s casual racism, homophobia, and public support of white supremacy.

Conducted in the latter part of his career — eight years before his death and long after Wayne’s peak as a star — the interviewer managed to get the actor to expand on his stances on diversity, American history, and social justice, with reasoning that has shocked readers of today.

Read on here.

King Henry VI Had Courtiers Help Him And Queen Margaret Have Sex And Procreate, Study Claims

Henry Vii And Margaret Of Anjou

World History Archive/AlamyHenry VI and Margaret of Anjou

While the historical record has long shown that King Henry VI of England and Queen Margaret of Anjou had trouble procreating for over eight years, new historical evidence has come to light suggesting the pair took serious measures to make progress.

Henry VI famously retained his virginity until he married at age 23, thereby bringing a fair amount of inexperience into the bedroom. Historian Lauren Johnson discovered new evidence that suggests the two royals decided to seek help — in the form of discrete courtiers who joined their chambers to guide and instruct them.

Dig deeper in this report.

Newfound Letters Reveal Charles Dickens Wanted His Sane Wife, Catherine Dickens, Locked In An Asylum

Letters About Catherine Dickens

Harvard UniversitySome of the newly-discovered letters between a journalist and family friend of the Dickens’.

The dissolution of the 22-year marriage between Charles Dickens and his wife, Catherine Dickens, has been well-documented — as has the famed author’s cruelty towards his wife. But as a slew of newly discovered letters show, Dickens was petty enough during his separation that he went so far as to try to have his sane wife committed to an asylum.

The trove of 98 letters depicts just how precise and cunning the writer was in his attempt to pivot his romantic life from Catherine Dickens to his new mistress without repercussion. He went so far as to try to gaslight his own wife.

See more about Catherine Dickens 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.