If they wanted to keep out spies, security personnel on both sides of the Berlin Wall had to become sophisticated readers of facial features. This manual, prepared by the East German border police as a training text for their front line guards, shows the reader how to recognize someone from telling facial features. Notice how the reader is directed to pay attention not to the entire face, but... Read More »
This hand–colored engraving equates the taking of the Bastille with the rise of the Third Estate against the clergy and nobility. A commoner in a black hat sporting a tricolor cockade plays the bagpipe triumphantly over the fallen lion of the absolutist monarchy. To the side, a revolutionary soldier raises his sword to menace a priest.
The nation of Brazil declared its independence from Portugal on September 7, 1822 after three centuries of colonial rule. At this time, Brazil was ruled by Emperor Pedro I (1822-1831). It joined the many other nations that declared their independence during this period across the former Portuguese and Spanish empires. Together with journalist and poet Evaristo da Veiga, he composed the... Read More »
One of the sharper engagements of 10 August between the revolutionaries and the royal defenders occurred on the palace’s steps. The caption emphasizes the revolutionaries’ point of view.
This engraving first appeared in the newspaper Révolutions de Paris and shows the French General Charles–François Dumouriez entering the city of Mons after having led French forces to their first truly decisive victory of the war on 6 November 1792. According to the caption, this victory demonstrated to all of Europe that French forces, although having lost their traditional officer class... Read More »
Lyon’s rebellion against the central government in September 1793 had terrible repercussions that seemed only to worsen with the initiation of collective trials and immediate executions by firing squad. The one depicted here on 4 December 1793 took the lives of 935 people, another 732 being guillotined over the next four months.
Motivated by wartime hysteria and racial sentiments following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 that ordered the removal of Japanese Americans on the West Coast to internment camps in the interior. Children were over half of the 110,000-120,000 Japanese Americans forced to leave friends, pets, possessions—even... Read More »
In the midst of a chaotic year of economic and political reforms, Communist Party General Secretary (and head of state) Mikhail Gorbachev addressed the politburo on the delicate issue of the Soviet military presence throughout Europe. Conventional Soviet military thinking was that any troop buildup by NATO countries must be met by tit-for-tat by the Warsaw Pact countries; to act otherwise was... Read More »