This Week In History News, Oct. 6 – 12

Published October 11, 2019

D-Day audio brought to light, hidden Renaissance masterpiece found, Pompeii scrolls virtually unraveled.

This Historic D-Day Audio Captured From Inside A Landing Vessel Was Found By Accident In A Basement

Troops Arrive At Normandy On D-Day

Robert F. Sargent/National Archives and Records AdministrationU.S. troops arriving on Normandy’s shores on D-Day.

“Here we go again; another plane’s come over!” reporter George Hicks yells as anti-aircraft fire erupts in the background. “Right over our port side. Tracers are making an arc right over our bow now,” the radio correspondent warned. “Looks like we’re going to have a night tonight. Give it to them, boys!”

It’s hard not to be transported right back to June 6, 1944 when listening to Hicks’ historic recordings captured from inside a landing vessel on D-Day. This momentous 13-minute artifact sees Hicks narrating from a ship off the coast of Normandy as Nazi aircraft continuously swoop down and attack.

The tape was discovered as part of a 16-tape collection in a Mattituck, New York log cabin by Florida researcher Bruce Campbell as early as 1994 — though he was entirely unaware of what he’d accidentally found for a full 15 years.

Read more here.

Woman Learns The ‘Fake’ Renaissance Painting She Kept Over Her Stove Was Actually A 700-Year-Old Masterpiece

Mocking Of Christ

Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty ImagesThe original painting by Renaissance artist Cimabue that was discovered in an elderly woman’s house in France.

When people clean out their house, they often find old treasures — like a favorite scarf that went missing or a precious letter from a beloved — that had been lost to time. But it’s not every day that one finds a 700-year-old painting worth millions of dollars.

A nonagenarian woman in Compiègne, France, recently discovered that a painting hanging above her stove was a real Renaissance masterpiece.

Dig deeper in this report.

2,000-Year-Old Scrolls From Vesuvius Eruption To Be ‘Virtually Unraveled’ With A.I.

Ancient Herculaneum Scroll

Diamond Light Source/Digital Restoration Initiative/University of KentuckyOne of the 900 unraveled Herculaneum scrolls the University of Kentucky team hopes to virtually unravel.

The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. decimated the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Everything, including an invaluable library of scrolls, was lost to the inferno. However, artificial intelligence and high-energy x-rays could make these documents legible once more.

“Although you can see on every flake of papyrus that there is writing, to open it up would require that papyrus to be really limber and flexible — and it is not any more,” said lead researcher Prof. Brent Seales, who chairs the computer science department at the University of Kentucky.

The two unraveled scrolls Seales and his team will use in their project belong to the Institut de France in Paris. In 1752, a staggering collection of 1,800 carbonized scrolls were unearthed at Herculaneum, a coastal town to the west of Vesuvius and less than 10 miles from Pompeii.

See more 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.