IRELAND: The annual ARA public awareness campaign ‘Explore Your Archives’ is now in its fourth year in the region – @AceHistoryNews

#AceHistoryNews – Nov.27: Archives and Records Association, Ireland

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The annual ARA public awareness campaign ‘Explore Your Archives’ is now in its fourth year in the Ireland region. As with previous years, there has been great interest from archive services all around the island with many events planned, story boxes created, and exhibitions and newly accessible collections being launched.

A tiny flavour of these include:

  • National Archives of Ireland: Free talk on the recently completed report on the Survey of Hospital Archives in Ireland. The Survey of Hospital Records in Ireland is the fruits of a project conducted by the National Archives of Ireland, with support from the Wellcome Trust. It draws together archivists and historians to discuss the current state of Irish medical archives, and aims to draw attention to the myriad of issues that practitioners face when dealing with historical health and medical archives.
  • National Library of Ireland: Free talk on the National Library’s web archiving programme and other activities connected with their 2016 Web Archiving project. This project aims to archive websites surrounding the commemorations of both the 1916 Easter Rising and the 100 year anniversary of the Battle of the Somme. This will capture snap shots of not only the state led official commemorations, but also smaller locally organised events in libraries, museums and communities throughout the country to give a complete picture of what is happening online in 2016.
  • IFI Irish Film Archive: Archive open day and promotion of the recently launched IFI Player. The IFI Player is a virtual viewing room for the remarkable collections of the IFI Irish Film Archive, giving audiences across the globe instant access to this rich heritage. The material includes home movies, newsreels, travelogues, animations, feature films, public information films and documentaries reflecting all aspects of indigenous amateur and professional production.
  • Galway County Council Archives: Launch of the Gort Poor Law Union Collection online as part of general promotion of Galway County Council Archives’ Digital Archive.

Again this year, an Explore Your Archive campaign launch event has been organised and will take place on the evening of Thursday 17 November 2016 at 18:00 in the Crypt of Dublin City Hall. The Explore Your Archive campaign will be launched by this year’s campaign ambassador Catherine Murphy TD. Deputy Murphy is joint-leader of the Social Democrat Party and a long standing supporter of Irish archives and heritage in general.

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CUBA: Wearing a green military uniform, a somber Raul Castro, 85, appeared on state television on Friday night to announce his brother’s death that will leave a lasting impression on the people of a man who the US could not assassinate and his affect on the people who earn on average the equivalent of $20 a month and struggle to make ends meet even in an economy where education and health care are free and many basic goods and services are heavily subsidised – @AceHistoryNews

#AceHistoryNews – Nov.26: Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro dies aged 90

Fidel Castro, the Cuban revolutionary leader who built a communist state on the doorstep of the United States and for five decades defied U.S. efforts to topple him, died on Friday. He was 90.

A towering figure of the second half of the 20th Century, Castro stuck to his ideology beyond the collapse of Soviet communism and remained widely respected in parts of the world that had struggled against colonial rule.

He had been in poor health since an intestinal ailment nearly killed him in 2006. He formally ceded power to his younger brother Raul Castro two years later.

Wearing a green military uniform, a somber Raul Castro, 85, appeared on state television on Friday night to announce his brother’s death.

“At 10.29 at night, the chief commander of the Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, died,” he said, without giving a cause of death.

“Ever onward, to victory,” he said, using the slogan of the Cuban revolution.

Tributes came in from allies, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Venezuela’s socialist President Nicolas Maduro, who said “revolutionaries of the world must follow his legacy.”

Although Raul Castro always glorified his older brother, he has changed Cuba since taking over by introducing market-style economic reforms and agreeing with the United States in December 2014 to re-establish diplomatic ties and end decades of hostility.

Fidel Castro offered only lukewarm support for the deal, raising questions about whether he approved of ending hostilities with his longtime enemy. Some analysts believed his mere presence kept Raul from moving further and faster, while others saw him as either quietly supportive or increasingly irrelevant.

He did not meet Barack Obama when he visited Havana earlier this year, the first time a U.S. president had stepped foot on Cuban soil since 1928.

Days later, Castro wrote a scathing newspaper column condemning Obama’s “honey-coated” words and reminding Cubans of the many U.S. efforts to overthrow and weaken the Communist government.

The news of Castro’s death spread slowly among Friday night revelers on the streets of Havana. One famous club that was still open when word came in quickly closed.

Some residents reacted with sadness to the news.

“I’m very upset. Whatever you want to say, he is a public figure that the whole world respected and loved,” said Havana student Sariel Valdespino.

But in Miami, where many exiles from Castro’s Communist government live, a large crowd waving Cuban flags cheered, danced and banged on pots and pans.

Castro’s body will be cremated, according to his wishes. Cuba declared nine days of mourning, during which time the ashes will be taken to different parts of the country. A burial ceremony will be held on Dec. 4.

The bearded Fidel Castro took power in a 1959 revolution and ruled Cuba for 49 years with a mix of charisma and iron will, creating a one-party state and becoming a central figure in the Cold War.

He was demonized by the United States and its allies but admired by many leftists around the world, especially socialist revolutionaries in Latin America and Africa.

Nelson Mandela, once freed from prison in 1990, repeatedly thanked Castro for his firm efforts in helping to weaken apartheid.

In April, in a rare public appearance at the Communist Party conference, Fidel Castro shocked party apparatchiks by referring to his own imminent mortality.

“Soon I will be like all the rest. Our turn comes to all of us, but the ideas of the Cuban communists will remain,” he said.

Castro was last seen by ordinary Cubans in photos showing him engaged in conversation with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang earlier this month.

Transforming Cuba from a playground for rich Americans into a symbol of resistance to Washington, Castro crossed swords with 10 U.S. presidents while in power, and outlasted nine of them.

He fended off a CIA-backed invasion at the Bay of Pigs in 1961 as well as countless assassination attempts.

His alliance with Moscow helped trigger the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, a 13-day showdown with the United States that brought the world the closest it has been to nuclear war.

Wearing green military fatigues and chomping on cigars for many of his years in power, Castro was famous for long, fist-pounding speeches filled with blistering rhetoric, often aimed at the United States.

At home, he swept away capitalism and won support for bringing schools and hospitals to the poor. But he also created legions of enemies and critics, concentrated among the exiles in Miami who fled his rule and saw him as a ruthless tyrant.

“With Castro’s passing, some of the heat may go out of the antagonism between Cuba and the United States, and between Cuba and Miami, which would be good for everyone,” said William M. LeoGrande, co-author of a book on U.S.-Cuba relations.

However, it is not clear if U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump will continue to normalize relations with Cuba or revive tensions and fulfill a campaign promise to close the U.S. embassy in Havana once again.

Castro’s death – which would once have thrown a question mark over Cuba’s future – seems unlikely to trigger a crisis as Raul Castro is firmly ensconced in power.

In his final years, Fidel Castro no longer held leadership posts. He wrote newspaper commentaries on world affairs and occasionally met with foreign leaders but he lived in semi-seclusion.

Still, the passing of the man known to most Cubans as “El Comandante” – the commander – or simply “Fidel” leaves a huge void in the country he dominated for so long. It also underlines the generational change in Cuba’s communist leadership.

Raul Castro vows to step down when his term ends in 2018 and the Communist Party has elevated younger leaders to its Politburo, including 56-year-old Miguel Diaz-Canel, who is first vice-president and the heir apparent.

Others in their 50s include Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez and economic reform czar Marino Murillo.

The reforms have led to more private enterprise and the lifting of some restrictions on personal freedoms but they aim to strengthen Communist Party rule, not weaken it.

REVOLUTIONARY ICON

A Jesuit-educated lawyer, Fidel Castro led the revolution that ousted U.S.-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista on Jan 1, 1959. Aged 32, he quickly took control of Cuba and sought to transform it into an egalitarian society.

His government improved the living conditions of the very poor, achieved health and literacy levels on a par with rich countries and rid Cuba of a powerful Mafia presence.

But he also tolerated little dissent, jailed opponents, seized private businesses and monopolized the media.

Castro’s opponents labeled him a dictator and hundreds of thousands fled the island.

“The dictator Fidel Castro has died, the cause of many deaths in Cuba, Latin American and Africa,” Jose Daniel Ferrer, leader of the island’s largest dissident group, the Patriotic Union of Cuba, said on Twitter.

Many dissidents settled in Florida, influencing U.S. policy toward Cuba and plotting Castro’s demise. Some even trained in the Florida swamps for the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion.

But they could never dislodge him.

Castro claimed he survived or evaded hundreds of assassination attempts, including some conjured up by the CIA.

In 1962, the United States imposed a damaging trade embargo that Castro blamed for most of Cuba’s ills, using it to his advantage to rally patriotic fury.

Over the years, he expanded his influence by sending Cuban troops into far-away wars, including 350,000 to fight in Africa. They provided critical support to a left-wing government in Angola and contributed to the independence of Namibia in a war that helped end apartheid in South Africa.

He also won friends by sending tens of thousands of Cuban doctors abroad to treat the poor and bringing young people from developing countries to train them as physicians

‘HISTORY WILL ABSOLVE ME’

Born on August 13, 1926, in Biran in eastern Cuba, Castro was the son of a Spanish immigrant who became a wealthy landowner.

Angry at social conditions and Batista’s dictatorship, Castro launched his revolution on July 26, 1953, with a failed assault on the Moncada barracks in the eastern city of Santiago.

“History will absolve me,” he declared during his trial for the attack.

He was sentenced to 15 years in prison but was released in 1955 after a pardon that would come back to haunt Batista.

Castro went into exile in Mexico and prepared a small rebel army to fight Batista. It included Argentine revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara, who became his comrade-in-arms.

In December 1956, Castro and a rag-tag band of 81 followers sailed to Cuba aboard a badly overloaded yacht called “Granma”.

Only 12, including him, his brother and Guevara, escaped a government ambush when they landed in eastern Cuba.

Taking refuge in the rugged Sierra Maestra mountains, they built a guerrilla force of several thousand fighters who, along with urban rebel groups, defeated Batista’s military in just over two years.

Early in his rule, at the height of the Cold War, Castro allied Cuba to the Soviet Union, which protected the Caribbean island and was its principal benefactor for three decades.

The alliance brought in $4 billion worth of aid annually, including everything from oil to guns, but also provoked the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis when the United States discovered Soviet missiles on the island.

Convinced that the United States was about to invade Cuba, Castro urged the Soviets to launch a nuclear attack.

Cooler heads prevailed. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev and U.S. President John F. Kennedy agreed the Soviets would withdraw the missiles in return for a U.S. promise never to invade Cuba. The United States also secretly agreed to remove its nuclear missiles from Turkey.

‘SPECIAL PERIOD’

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, an isolated Cuba fell into an economic crisis that lasted for years and was known as the “special period”. Food, transport and basics such as soap were scarce and energy shortages led to frequent and long blackouts.

Castro undertook a series of tentative economic reforms to get through the crisis, including opening up to foreign tourism.

The economy improved when Venezuela’s late socialist leader Hugo Chavez, who looked up to Castro as a hero, came to the rescue with cheap oil. Aid from communist-run China also helped, but Venezuelan support for Cuba has been scaled down since Chavez’s death in 2013.

Plagued by chronic economic problems, Cuba’s population of 11 million has endured years of hardship, although not the deep poverty, violent crime and government neglect of many other developing countries.

Cubans earn on average the equivalent of $20 a month and struggle to make ends meet even in an economy where education and health care are free and many basic goods and services are heavily subsidized.

For most Cubans, Castro has been the ubiquitous figure of their entire life.

Many still love him and share his faith in a communist future, and even some who abandoned their political belief still view him with respect.

“For everyone in Cuba and outside his death is very sad,” said Havana resident Luis Martinez. “It is very painful news.”

(Reporting by Daniel Trotta and Marc Frank; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel, Kieran Murray and Hugh Lawson)

http://reut.rs/2gwHFs4

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SNIPPETS OF HISTORY NEWS: Professor Mace wrote the following article for DEN newspaper on February 18, 2013 I was allotted five minutes to explain the famine of 1933 in Ukraine before the American Commission on Holodomor – @AceHistoryNews

#AceHistoryNews – Nov.26: Professor Mace wrote the following article for DEN newspaper on February 18, 20013: I was allotted five minutes to explain the famine of 1933 in Ukraine before the American Commission on Holodomor.

James-mace

There was clearly not enough time to say much, except that we had done everything we could. Ukraine, with a few exceptions such …

The post HOLODOMOR 1933: Light a candle in your window appeared first on Euromaidan Press.

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ALBANY, N.Y.- The 144-year-old shipwreck of a rare sailing vessel that typically wasn’t used for long voyages on the Great Lakes has been found in deep water off Lake Ontario’s New York shore, according to two underwater explorers – @AceHistoryNews

#AceHistoryNews – Nov.26: N.Y. explorers find 1872 shipwreck of rare Great Lakes vessel
The 51-foot-long, single-mast ship known as a scow-sloop sank during a gale while hauling goods along the lake’s eastern end in August 1872…
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The bow area and mast of the “Black Duck” is shown in 350 feet of water off Oswego, N.Y.

Roger Pawlowski, AP, Roger Pawlowski

Western New York-based explorers Jim Kennard and Roger Pawlowski announced Friday that they identified the wreck as the Black Duck in September, three years after initially coming across it while using side-scan sonar in 350 feet of water off Oswego, New York.

The 51-foot-long, single-mast ship known as a scow-sloop sank during a gale while hauling goods along the lake’s eastern end in August 1872.

The ship’s captain, his wife and a crewmember, the only people on board, all survived by getting into a small boat and reaching shore eight hours later.

Only a few scow-sloops sailed the Great Lakes, Kennard told The Associated Press. A search of nautical records turned up only about a dozen references to scow-sloops being built in the region, he said.

The Black Duck wreck is believed to be the only fully intact scow-sloop to exist in the Great Lakes, Kennard said.

“It’s definitely a rarity,” said Carrie Sowden, archaeological director at the National Museum of the Great Lakes in Toledo, Ohio, which sponsors the New York team’s explorations.

The vessels’ simple design — squared bow and stern and a flat bottom — allowed it to be run up on beaches for loading and unloading of cargo.

“Scows, because of their shape, are workhorses,” Sowden said. “They’re not there to move fast through the water. They’re there to carry a lot of cargo.”

Typically used on rivers or for short voyages on the Great Lakes, scow-sloops weren’t constructed for high winds and waves in open water. The Black Duck got caught in such conditions on Aug. 8, 1872, during the 40-mile trip from Oswego to Sackett’s Harbor on Lake Ontario’s eastern end. The ship sank soon after springing a leak during a gale.

“They weren’t built to withstand that kind of pounding,” Kennard said.

The Black Duck is the latest Lake Ontario shipwreck discovery for Pawlowski, of Rochester, and Kennard, of nearby Fairport. Earlier this year, they and a third member of their team, Roland “Chip” Stevens, announced they had found the wreck of the sloop Washington, which sank during a storm in 1803.

The find was the second-oldest confirmed shipwreck in the Great Lakes, the explorers said.

http://usat.ly/2gJgJIH

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BRITAIN: Latest files have been made available to the public of 132 previously top secret files from the UK Security Service, or MI5 – National Archive Files – @AceHistoryNews

#AceHistoryNews – Nov.24: Latest MI5 files released // News – The National Archives
Juan Pujol-Garcia Brazilian ID card (catalogue reference: KV 2/4214 (2))
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The records cover a range of subjects and span the interwar years, Second World War and post-war era up to the mid 1960s. Personal files include individuals classed as Second World War double agents, Soviet intelligence officers, communists and suspected communists including Russian and communist sympathisers.

Some familiar names include:

The so-called ‘spy who saved D-Day’ Juan Pujol-Garcia, codenamed ‘Garbo’ by MI5, whose deceptions as part of Operation Fortitude were vital in convincing Germany that the Normandy landings were a diversion for a larger invasion elsewhere (KV 2/4190 to KV 2/4214)
Celebrated British historian E.P. Thompson, author of ‘The Making of the English Working Class’, who was a prominent member of the Communist Party of Great Britain until his resignation over the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956 (KV 2/4290 to KV 2/4294)
Marxist historian Rodney Hilton who was a member of the Oxford University group of the Communist Party of Great Britain, and his wife Gwynneth Hilton who was an active committee member of their party branch (KV 2/4296 to KV 2/4299)
You will find files on Communist Party members Yvonne Kapp, an author who wrote the biography of Eleanor Marx and was assistant director at the Czech Refugee Trust Fund (KV 2/4260 to KV 2/4265) and Christian Mary Hamp, an architect best known as the designer of a group of modernist houses in Buckinghamshire built in the 1960s (KV 2/4300 to KV 2/4302).

Also included are secretary of the Communist Party’s Central London area Samuel Aaronovitch (KV 2/4268 to KV 2/4273) and Roland Berger, whose home was used as to hold much of the Communist Party archive which was infiltrated in MI5’s Operation Party Piece (KV 2/4235 to KV 2/4251).

Listen to an introduction to the files by Professor Christopher Andrew, former official historian of MI5, or read more about ‘Garbo’ on our blog: the story behind Britain’s greatest Double Cross agent.

http://bitly.com/2gEjprg

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SNIPPETS OF HISTORY: US Embassy Siege: Thirty seven years ago today the Iran hostage crisis started and lasted a year that has created a crisis between the two countries that exists today – @AceHistoryNews

#AceHistoryNews – Nov.04: Iran hostage crisis 37 years on: The US embassy siege in pictures
Preview

Today marks the 37th anniversary of the beginning of Iran’s US embassy siege.

It was an episode that would last more than a year, creating an international crisis and forever changing relations between the two countries….

Editors Notes:

I would remind you that this blog is produced free for the public good and you are welcome to republish or re-use this article or any other material freely anywhere without requesting further permission.

News & Views welcome always published as long as NO bad language or is not related to subject matter.

To keep online information secure, experts recommend keeping your social media accounts private, changing your passwords often, and never answering unsolicited emails or phone calls asking for your personal information. Need help and guidance visit https://acepchelp.wordpress.com and leave a comment or send a private message on Telegram @Aceone31

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More than 1,000 Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) records from 1984 and 1985 are now available to view in the reading rooms at The National Archives – @AceHistoryNews

#AceHistoryNews – Nov.01: Foreign and Commonwealth Office files from 1984 and 1985 released // The National Archives

This release contains records from the following file series:

1984 series

  • FCO 21 – Foreign Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Far Eastern Department: Registered Files (F and FE Series)
  • FCO 37 – Commonwealth Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office: South Asia Department: Registered Files (S and FS Series)
  • FCO 82 – Foreign and Commonwealth Office: North America Department: Registered Files (AM Series)
  • FCO 87 – Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Republic of Ireland Department: Registered Files (WL Series)
  • FCO 93 – Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Near East and North Africa Department: Registered Files (NF Series)
  • FCO 98 – Foreign and Commonwealth Office: European Integration Department (External): Registered Files (E(MX) Series)
  • FCO 105 – Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Southern African Department: Registered Files (JS file series)

1985 series

  • FCO 8 – Foreign Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Arabian Department and Middle East Department: Registered Files (B and NB Series)
  • FCO 15 – Foreign Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office: South East Asian Department: Registered Files (D and FA Series)
  • FCO 40 – Commonwealth Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Hong Kong Departments: Registered Files, Hong Kong, British Honduras, British Indian Ocean Territories and the Seychelles (HW and HK Series)
  • FCO 87 – Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Republic of Ireland Department: Registered Files (WL Series)

The records cover a wide range of subject matters concerning UK relations with the Middle East, South Africa, Republic of Ireland and North America. The material reflects events in the territories and the views of Her Majesty’s Government’s at that time.

The National Archives has worked with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to transfer and release files from 1984 and 1985 in accordance with the FCO’s published timeline

Editors Notes:

I would remind you that this blog is produced free for the public good and you are welcome to republish or re-use this article or any other material freely anywhere without requesting further permission.

News & Views welcome always published as long as NO bad language or is not related to subject matter.

To keep online information secure, experts recommend keeping your social media accounts private, changing your passwords often, and never answering unsolicited emails or phone calls asking for your personal information. Need help and guidance visit https://acepchelp.wordpress.com and leave a comment or send a private message on Telegram @Aceone31

Ace News Services Site Links Listed Here:

AceTweet This News