Rediscovery of Galileo’s missing fingers and tooth
In 1737, two fingers and a tooth were allegedly removed from Galileo Galilei’s corpse by some of the astronomer’s fans whilst his body was being moved to Santa Croce basilica in Florence. They have recently been rediscovered and are due to go on display in the Museum of the History of Science in Florence next spring. Read the reports on the websites of The Telegraph, The Scotsman and the MailOnline.
Galileo designed a telescope which enabled him to observe the planets, but who first invented the telescope? Accoridng to Nick Pelling in Who Invented the Telescope? the credit should go not to the Netherlands but much further south to Catalonia.
John Lewis and the memory of Ireland’s Easter 1916 Rising
Plans to redevelop the area around Moore Street and the General Post Office in central Dublin have sparked protests by heritage campaigners in an attempt to preserve 16 Moore Street where the rebellion’s leaders eventually surrendered to the British army. Henry McDonald reports in The Observer.
In Cesca: A Young Nationalist in the Easter Rising Anthony Fletcher examines his great-aunt, Cesca Chenevix Trench’s, eyewitness account of the Easter Rising.
In 2003, witness statements from the men and women who took part in the uprising were made available to the public after decades in a government vault. Charles Townshend shares some of the accounts that he read in 'Soldiers Are We': Women in the Irish Rising.
Launch of online archive of Second World War aerial photographs
The Aerial Reconnaissance Archives (TARA) contain more than 10 million declassified documents including aerial photographs taken by secret RAF reconnaissance flights during the Second World War. A new online archive of some of the images was launched today, revealing wartime images of prison camps and air raids to the public for the first time.
The archive can be viewed on the website of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS). For further information, read the press release on the RCAHMS website and the article published in The Scotsman.
A slideshow of some of the photographs is also available on the BBC website.
How much is the Staffordshire hoard really worth?
The government’s treasure valuation committee is due to meet with individual experts this Wednesday, November 25th, to evaluate the treasure. Following further excavation work, another 300 more individual items were unearthed.
Richard Brooks reports in The Times.
Discovery of Churchill’s cigar, which he smoked as he planned D-Day
Ronald Williams, who served as Churchill’s butler at the Casablanca conference in 1943, gave the cigar to his grandson Christian Williams when he was a child over ten years ago. The cigar has now been valued at £800.
Read the report on the website of The Telegraph.
At the Casablanca conference the British persuaded the Americans to postpone a cross-Channel invasion. But could D-Day have happened earlier? John Grigg reports in The Liberation of Europe: A Bridgehead Too Late?