#AceHistoryNews – CHINA:April.20: This has long been a dispute over what to call currency of China and now with the latest introduction of the new yuan l thought l would research the truth behind the past.

It was only in 2010 that the BBC Asia Pacific reported: China has indicated that it will allow its currency to appreciate – following months of pressure from the US. Some refer to the currency as the yuan, others call it the renminbi. Who is right?

"Renminbi" is the official name of the currency introduced by the Communist People’s Republic of China at the time of its foundation in 1949. It means "the people’s currency".

"Yuan" is the name of a unit of the renminbi currency. Something may cost one yuan or 10 yuan. It would not be correct to say that it cost 10 renminbi.

An analogy can be drawn with "pound sterling" (the official name of the British currency) and "pound" – a denomination of the pound sterling. Something may cost £1 or £10. It would not be correct to say that it cost 10 sterling.

Nor can you talk about the number of renminbi – or the number of sterling – to the dollar.

Silver dollars

The word "yuan" goes back further than "renminbi". It is the Chinese word for dollar – the silver coin, mostly minted in the Spanish empire, used by foreign merchants in China for some four centuries.

This is the "piece of eight" (or "real de a ocho") beloved of pirates and their parrots – worth eight reales and known as a peso in Spanish and a dollar in English.

A piece of eight: A Spanish colonial dollar, worth eight reales

The European merchants who started arriving in the early 16th Century went to China to buy silk and porcelain. Their Chinese partners wanted silver, preferably these large European-style silver coins.

China, as a result, was the destination of much of the silver coming from the mines of Spanish-America.

The dollar of choice among Chinese businessmen was for a long time the Spanish Colonial Mexican dollar. Later it was the so-called Eagle Dollar produced by independent Mexico.

In the second half of the 19th Century major trading nations starting producing their own "trade dollars".

The UK produced a trade dollar, and so did the US, as discerning Chinese traders demanded higher-quality silver than the metal used in regular US dollars.

I sometimes think that the whole renminbi/yuan issue is a sinister plot by the Chinese designed specifically to deter people from discussing Chinese currency policyPaul Krugman, Nobel-winning economist

China’s first domestically produced machine-struck dollar coin, or yuan, was minted in Guangdong province in 1890.

The Chinese phrase for the US dollar is "mei yuan", the American yuan. The Japanese and Korean names for their currencies, the yen and the won respectively, are derived from the same Chinese yuan character. The Chinese name for the Japanese yen is the "ri yuan".

In the world’s high-flying financial circles, the word "renminbi" (or RMB) is often preferred to "yuan" (or CNY, short for "Chinese Yuan").

Nobel-prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, writing in the New York Times in October, noted that no-one seemed to mind if you talked about the pound’s value, but talking about the yuan’s value would sometimes draw disapproval.

"I sometimes think that the whole renminbi/yuan issue is a sinister plot by the Chinese designed specifically to deter people from discussing Chinese currency policy," he joked.

The plot, if it is one, goes further than this.

Jiao and mao

As it happens, Chinese people rarely talk about renminbi or yuan.

A fistful of kuai

The word they use is "kuai", which literally means "piece", and is the word used historically for coins made of silver or copper.

Also common is "10 kuai qian", literally "10 pieces of money".

"Kuai" is colloquial, like "quid" in the UK and "buck" in the US, but it is the word used in everyday Mandarin, whether you are in Beijing or Taiwan – which, of course, has its own currency, the new Taiwanese dollar, also known as the yuan.

The same thing happens again when you break down your yuan into smaller units, the jiao and the fen (one yuan is equal to 10 jiao and one jiao is equal to 10 fen).

There is nothing wrong with the word jiao, it is just that most people use the word mao instead.

Anyone suspecting a link between the mao and Chinese former communist leader Mao Zedong would be mistaken.

The character is the same as Mao’s surname, but the word was used long before he came to prominence.



#AceHistoryNews – Featured Post:April.17: Between 1830 and 1860 more than 3,000 fugitive slaves made their way from the southern United States — where slavery was an accepted institution — to states in the north and to Canada, where they could live as free men and women.

The journey was long and harrowing, and the travelers were helped along the way by networks of antislavery resistance. These networks provided secret routes, passageways, meeting places and safe houses, and together they became known as the Underground Railroad.

In keeping with that metaphor, the homes and businesses that harbored runaway slaves were referred to as “stations” or “depots” and they were operated by “stationmasters.” “Conductors” — such as the well-known and highly revered Harriet Tubman — helped the fugitives move from one station to the next and “stockholders” provided money or goods such as food and clothing.

Forced to operate in complete secrecy — and therefore leaving very little in the way of historical documents — the Underground Railroad has proved enigmatic to historians, and its stories have remained largely unknown.

Capps Center hosts Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Eric Foner, who will give a talk on the Underground Railroad

By Andrea Estrada

Friday, February 27, 2015 – 11:30

Santa Barbara, CA

A safe house in Ohio

A safe house in Ohio

eric foner-cropped.jpg

Eric Foner

Eric Foner

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Terence Keel-cropped.jpg

Terence Keel

Terence Keel

Photo Credit:

Sonia Fernandez
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Until now:

Speaking Tuesday, March 3, at UC Santa Barbara’s Capps Forum on Ethics and Public Policy, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author Eric Foner explored the story of the Underground Railroad, building on new evidence that includes a detailed record kept by Sydney Howard Gay, one of the key organizers in New York.

Foner’s talk focuses on his latest book, “Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad.” It will begin at 5 p.m in UCSB’s Campbell Hall. It is free and open to the public.

“I think the significance of Foner’s talk is his trying to carve out an argument about how widespread the Underground Railroad was,” said Terence Keel, assistant professor at UCSB, jointly appointed in the Black Studies and history departments. “But more than that, the Underground Railroad was a coalitional political project that involved African Americans who had run away, as well as white abolitionists and Quakers who were actively working together to create this network of support.”

According to Keel, Foner’s talk will assist students in understanding the relevance of a history from which many of them feel far removed. “There’s an assumption that what happened 150 years ago really doesn’t have any bearing on their lives today,” Keel said. “And I think that’s unfortunate because the Underground Railroad is a story about black and white solidarity in the struggle for freedom and justice, and this is a consistent feature of African American history and American history in general.”

Keel is currently teaching an introductory course on black studies and his student body is predominantly white. In framing the course, he points out that African American history does not exclude non-African Americans. Their history, he notes, is a history of the American people. “It’s a history of black agency and partnership with other people,” he said. “Yet often students assume that a course on African American history is about demarcating boundaries and defining who is and who isn’t a proper part of this history.”

Keel added that he hopes Foner’s attention to abolitionists Thomas Garrett and Sydney Howard Gay, who worked with Tubman, will help students understand this history as involving both blacks and whites. “Students can narrate themselves into a history they otherwise don’t see themselves a part of,” he said.

Equally important in Foner’s talk — and in his book — according to Keel, is Foner’s attempt to dispel the myth that insufficient archival resources are available to demonstrate fully how widespread and systematically the Underground Railroad operated. “This is a kind of perennial problem in African American history,” Keel noted. “In part it’s because the Underground Railroad was a clandestine operation. Its success depended on secrecy.

“This is not one of those research sites where there’s a robust archive,” Keel went on. “But it so happens Foner did in fact stumble across the record book in which Sydney Howard Gay was cataloging the number of slaves who were making their way up north. It was a record of the names of the slaves and potentially where they were from. And now we can begin to put names to regions and frequencies and time periods in ways that historically haven’t been possible. And that’s ground-breaking.”

Keel noted that one of the most important back-stories to the Underground Railroad is the Fugitive Slave Act that was passed in 1850. Prior to 1850, northern states established laws that essentially freed officials there from helping southerners reclaim slaves who had escaped to the north. The Fugitive Slave Act, however, required northerners to help slave catchers return slaves to the south.

“The north was up in arms about this,” said Keel. “In their minds, this was federal law encroaching upon state law. And also, more than anything else, it implicated them in the institution of slavery that they increasingly wanted nothing to do with. The moral indignation and outrage northern whites had toward this law, which then foments more support for the Underground Railroad, is one of the clearest examples of how many northern whites had become fed up with the institution of slavery and found it to be inhumane and in violation of basic human rights.”

Archival moments, such as those depicted in Foner’s book, are hugely valuable to every historian of the period, Keel noted. “They tell us that history is never static,” he said. “It’s always being remade and reshaped. And I think one of the responsibilities historians have to the present is to continue to look for sources that reshape how we think about the past.”

The DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University, Foner specializes in the Civil War and Reconstruction, slavery and 19th-century U.S. history. In 2011, his book “The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery” won the Pulitzer Prize in History, the Bancroft Prize and the Lincoln Prize.

Foner’s talk is presented by the UCSB Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion, and Public Life and Department of History. It is cosponsored by UCSB’s Center for Black Studies Research, Center for the Study of Work, Labor, and Democracy, Department of Black Studies, Global & International Studies Program, Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, and the UC Center for New Racial Studies.

By Andrea Estrada

Friday, February 27, 2015 – 11:30

Santa Barbara, CA

Disclaimer: This article is not written by ACE NEWS GROUP. The original source of this article can be found here:


“I try to decorate my imagination as…”

Art of Quotation

shubert by klimt

“I try to decorate my imagination as much as I can.”

– Franz Schubert. composer (painting by Gustav Klimt)

See related Art of Quotation post: Gustav Klimt

This painting entitled “Schubert at the Piano” by Gustav Klimt (1899) was destroyed in World War II.

We can’t see Schubert at the Piano in any museum.  This and the other Klimt paintings collected by Lederer, were destroyed in 1945 when retreating Nazis set Schloss Immendorf on fire.  The paintings from the Lederer collection had been placed at the residence of Baron Rudolf Freudenthan, an officer in the Wehrmacht (German armed forces), for safekeeping in 1943.  O’Connor recounts that the Lederer Klimt collection of “as many as fourteen spectacular Klimt paintings” included Golden Apple Tree, Philosophy and Jurisprudence (which the Lederers had purchased when the University of Vienna rejected them), Girl Friends and Music II (“The precise number of paintings burned…

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►Greek Mythology: “Zeus and Callisto” / Poetry: “Poem Challenge”.-

A really great post and well presented.

⚡️La Audacia de Aquiles⚡️


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 "Jupiter and Callisto" by François Boucher. In this painting Jupiter (Zeus) takes the  form of Artemis/Diana 91759). “Jupiter and Callisto” by François Boucher. In this painting Jupiter (Zeus) takes the form of Artemis/Diana 91759).

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Callisto (also known as Parrhasia)  was a daughter of the Arkadian King Lykaon and a hunting companion of the goddess Artemis (Also known as Cynthia, roman equivalent: Diana).

Callisto’s themes are instinct and flexibility. Her symbols are a bear, a willow branch and the constellation Ursa Minor.

Callisto wanted to preserve her virginity for as long as she remained in the company of the Huntress- Goddess.

“Callisto once belonged to the sacred circle of Hamdryades and huntress Diana (Artemis). She touched the goddess’ bow : `This bow I touch,’ she cried, `Be a witness to my virginity.’ Cynthia (Artemis) praised her, and said : `Keep the pledge you vowed and you will be my companions’ princeps. [Ovid, “Fasti” 2. 155 ff. (Roman poetry C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.)].~

But later on, she was…

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SNIPPETS OF HISTORY: ‘ John Tyler (1790–1862) Was the Tenth President of the United States (1841–45) ‘

#AceHistoryNews – March.29: He served as a Virginia state legislator, governor, U.S.representative, and senator before his election as vice president in 1840 on the Whig Party ticket led by William Henry Harrison.

He became the first vice president to succeed to the presidency without being elected to the office after his running mate’s death in April 1841.

Taking the oath of office, he immediately moved into the White House and assumed full presidential powers, a precedent that would govern future successions and eventually become codified in the Twenty-fifth Amendment. He found much of the Whig program unconstitutional, and vetoed several of his party’s bills. The Whigs, led by Kentucky Senator Henry Clay, dubbed him "His Accidency", and expelled him from the party.

Stalemated on domestic policy, Tyler had several foreign-policy achievements, including the Webster–Ashburton Treaty with Britain and the Treaty of Wanghia with Qing China.

He dedicated his last two years in office to the annexation of Texas, then retired to his Virginia plantation. When the Civil War began in 1861, Tyler won election to the Confederate House of Representatives shortly before his death.


SNIPPETS OF HISTORY: ‘ Two Well Preserved 4.200-Year Old Tombs Unearthed Near Sakkara ‘

#AceHistoryNews – EGYPT:April.06: Two 4,200 year-old tombs of ancient Egyptian high priests were unearthed at the site of Tabit el-Geish, south of the Step Pyramid at Sakkara, according to the Antiquities Ministry’s statement Friday.

“Although approximately 4,200 years have passed since the construction of the tombs, they are in a very good state of preservation and contain several scenes depicting the typical …

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SNIPPETS OF HISTORY: ‘ United Airlines Douglas DC-6 Crashed & Investigation Showed Requirement to Prevent Reversal of Blades ‘

#AceHistoryNews – NEW YORK: On April 4, 1955, a United Airlines Douglas DC-6 crashed (similar aircraft pictured) shortly after taking off from Long Island MacArthur Airport, in the U.S. community of Ronkonkoma in Islip, New York.

"UnitedDC-6taxiOak52 (4412118579)" by Bill Larkins – UnitedDC-6taxiOak52Uploaded by russavia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

The aircraft, named Mainliner Idaho, began banking to the right after
takeoff, then swerved 90 degrees, nosedived, and hit the ground, killing all three crew-members.

An investigation found that they had been simulating an engine failure on an instrument rating check flight, but had pulled back the throttle lever for engine No. 4 too far, causing the propeller blades to reverse, a feature normally used only to slow the aircraft during landing.

They had also failed to raise a metal flag in the cockpit that would have allowed the blades to return to the proper position during flight.

Investigators from the Civil Aeronautics Board concluded that crew lost control of the aircraft when they applied full power to No. 4 engine, and that the sudden bank and dive left the crew little time to recover from their mistake.

After the investigation, the Civil Aeronautics Administration issued an Airworthiness Directive ordering all United Douglas DC-6 and DC-6B aircraft to be fitted with a manual device to prevent the inadvertent reversal of the blades.

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SNIPPETS OF HISTORY NEWS: ‘ Gen.Robert Lee Surrenders to Gen.Ulysses Grant 150 Years Ago & AP Reported ‘

#AceHistoryNews – USA:April.04: When Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in a farmhouse parlor in Appomattox Court House, Virginia, on April 9, 1865, standing with other war correspondents in the front yard was William Downs MacGregor of The Associated Press.

The names of many AP Civil War correspondents, along with their original manuscript reports, have been lost.

But those like MacGregor, whose names were occasionally printed beneath their dispatches, are remembered for delivering disciplined and restrained accounts in an era when reporting was often laced with shrill and sectarian opinion.