This Week In History News, Sept. 2 – 8

Published September 7, 2018

Remains of 19th-century cannibal shipwreck yields new clues, Germany's overlooked genocide creates controversy a century later, Vietnam seeks reparations for American chemical attacks.

New Study Sheds Light On Infamously Mysterious 19th-Century Cannibal Shipwreck

Torrington Mummy Ice Grave

Seriously Creepy Stuff/YouTubeBody of John Torrington, crew member on the Franklin Expedition, found perfectly preserved in the Arctic ice in 1984.

New research into the infamous and deadly Franklin Expedition shipwreck is shining light on how the 128 crewmen lost their lives more than 170 years ago.

A new study published on Aug. 23 in PLOS One revealed that lead poisoning, one of the previously and most popularly believed causes, did not play a pivotal role in the deaths of the sailors. Over the years a few discoveries have helped researchers to begin to piece together how the crew members may have met their untimely ends, however much of this fateful voyage remains unknown.

Dig deeper here.

Germany Returns Skulls Of Namibian Genocide Victims — But Still Won’t Apologize For Killing Thousands

Namibian Prisoners

Wikimedia CommonsHerero prisoners stand in chains during the genocide. 1904.

After more than a century, Germany has now returned the remains belonging to victims of a colonial genocide in present-day Namibia that left tens of thousands dead.

On Aug. 29, representatives of the Namibian government accepted 19 skulls, five full skeletons, as well as some bone and skin fragments at a church service in Berlin, wrote Fox News. German universities and hospitals had held onto the remains for decades after using them in a series of early-20th-century pseudoscientific experiments meant to prove the supposed racial superiority of white people.

Read on here.

Vietnam Demands Monsanto Pay Victims Of Agent Orange Chemical Attacks

Agent Orange

(Left): Wikimedia Commons, (Right): Hoang Dinh Nam/AFP/Getty Images(Left): Three planes fly over Vietnam releasing Agent Orange circa 1961-1971., (Right): Le Van O., a 14-year-old boy who was born without eyes because of the effects of Agent Orange.

For the 40 years following the end of the Vietnam War the U.S. corporation, Monsanto, has largely evaded responsibility for their role in a chemical attack which had disastrous effects on Vietnamese civilians. But now the Vietnamese government demands that Monsanto pay compensation to the victims of Agent Orange.

Agent Orange is a toxic chemical that Monsanto had helped manufacture for the U.S. military during the Vietnam War, and is reportedly responsible for the birth defects and diseases of many of the country’s citizens. This will be the third generation of Vietnamese seeing effects of the chemical.

See more in this report.

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.