Friday, July 16, 2010

King Tut’s Tomb

King Tut was well known for being only nine when he took the throne of Egypt and for his amazing tomb. What was so special about his tomb? The tomb was found by Howard Carter and his sponsor, Lord Carnarvon in November, 1922. When they found it, it wasn’t like any other tomb; it had been undisturbed for 3,000 years.

King Tut’s tomb was found in the Valley of the Kings. The tomb had survived flash floods and robberies throughout the centuries. No one knew where it might be. It seemed impossible to find it until an American business man named Theodore M. Davis brought some light to the situation. Mr. Davis found some items that led to the discovery of the tomb. The first item was a famous cache in which was a collection of royal funerary items “from Tell el Amarna that were brought to Thebes to escape destruction” says The objects were hidden in a safe tomb because of the clay sealing of the cache which was done by King Tut! Inside were many treasures. One treasure was King Tutankhamen’s furniture. There was also more evidence that led to the discovery of the tomb.

Another piece of evidence was found in 1907 inside a crater. It had seal impressions of Tutankhamen and embalming or mummifying materials like linen bags, broken pottery, and natron which basically a type of soda ash. Another clue was a faience cup with King Tut’s name inscribed on it. Next to the cup was another indication of King Tut’s tomb was a cluster of fragments of gold foil with Tutankhamen and Ankhesenamun inlaid upon it was found by Mr. Davis. Though he disregarded it but, Carter found it quite remarkable.
After studying it, Carter was certain that King Tut’s tomb was inside the Valley of the Kings. After that he went to his friend, Lord Carnarvon to fund his search. Carnarvon analyzed the clues and agreed to fund the search. They were able to dig in 1914 but had to stop digging because of the First World War.

After the war, they continued to dig. Though funds were running out for Carnarvon, Carter pleaded for one more season of digging and said that if he still didn’t find anything, he would pay for the dig. They agreed for one more season of digging. The project began by digging close to Ramesses VI’s tomb. While they were there, the workers were told to eliminate an Ancient workman’s hut. As the workers were doing what they were told, a step was found. Carter ordered the step to be clear of rubble and sand. At noon the next day, a entrance was found with a stamp on it. The stamp was a Necropolis seal which depicted the god, Anubis, standing above five conquered enemies.

Carter then hurriedly sent a telegram to Carnarvon saying “At last have made wonderful discovery in valley; a magnificent tomb with seals intact; re-covered same for your arrival; congratulations.” Carnarvon and his daughter, Lady Evelyn Herbert, quickly made arrangements to go to Egypt and to arrive in Alexandria on November 23rd.

Once they arrived, they met Howard Carter and his assistant, A. R. Callender. The following day, Carter started to drill a hole in the door while Carnarvon, his daughter, and Callender were in the corner waiting anxiously. As the hole became larger, Carter could look through. Carter held a candle which lit up the room quite well. Carter was amazed of what he saw. Lord Carnarvon asked “Can you see anything?” and Carter replied “Yes, wonderful things.” They widened the hole so that you could barely squeeze your way through. Once they were inside, the air was warm. Carter held the candle higher and saw many amazing objects. They agreed that the next day they would explore further.

The next day, they came prepared with electronic lights. The tomb was finally excavated and was photographed. Carter later died in 1939. The tomb treasures are now in the Cairo Museum.

The Curse
A story says that Howard Carter was to come across a tablet. He asked Alan Gardiner to decipher it. After deciphering it, it said “Death will slay with his wings whoever disturbs the peace of the pharaoh.” Both thought this was nonsense but to not scare the workers, all mention of the tablet was wiped from the record. There are many other versions:
“They who enter this sacred tomb shall swift be visited by wings of death.”
“Let the hand raised against my form be withered! Let them be destroyed who attack my name, my foundation, my effigies, the images like unto me!”
“It is I who hinder the sand from choking the secret chamber. I am the protection for the deceased and I will kill all those who cross this threshold into the sacred precincts of the Royal King who lives forever.”
Why do people believe that the curse is true? Below are some facts that help support this:

• Of the 26 people present at the opening of the tomb, 6 had died.
• Of the 22 people present at the opening of the sarcophagus, 2 had died.
• Carter’s dog Susie starts howling then drops dead.
However, Carter died in 1939 at age 64, Harry Burton died in 1940 at age 60, and Sir Alan Gardiner died in 1963 at age 84. For me, I don’t believe that the curse is real. I think it is merely a coincidence. Why? Well I think that maybe there was disease because the tomb had not been opened for 3,000 years so the air must of been pretty bad. Plus with the mummy, I think that could give some people diseases. Scientists say that King Tut died from malaria or bone disease. So since the air had been trapped in there for 3,000 years, perhaps some of the diseases from the mummy were still lingering inside the tomb.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Lincoln's Dreams

It was the last morning of President Lincoln's life. He planned an evening at Ford's Theater for that night. Lincoln invited General Grant and his wife, but they declined. Following that, thirteen other people declined as well. Finally Major Rathbone and his fiancée, Clara Harris agreed to join the Lincolns.

At the cabinet meeting that day, the president said that he had two peculiar dreams. One of the dreams was: "I'm in a boat, and I drift and I drift. Gentlemen, something extraordinary is going to happen and very soon." After that, Lincoln told the cabinet his other dream. His dream woke him in a cold sweat. He explained: "I heard subdued sobs, as if a number of people were weeping. I left my bed and wandered downstairs. I went from room to room until I arrived at the East Room, which I entered. There before me was a corpse wrapped in funeral vestments. Around it were stationed soldiers who acted as guards. 'Who is dead in the White House?' I demanded of one of the soldiers. 'The President,' was his answer. 'He was killed by an assassin.'"

And so that night, President Lincoln was shot. He died the next morning. What is kind of funny is that he once said, "Most people regard dreams as foolish." You wonder what history would be like if Lincoln would of paid attention to his dreams.

Like this story? It was adapted from SHOCKING SECRETS OF AMERICAN HISTORY, 115 Surprising and Amusing Tales. Get the book for more Shocking Stories!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Prophet's Presidential Curse

The prophet and his brother Tecumseh, were Indian leaders that created many problems for the United States government in the area North of the Ohio River. This constant irritation made the government send General William Henry Harrison to appease the Indian brothers and their people. He accomplished this at the battle of Tippicanoe but not before the prophet placed a curse on Harrison.

Of course no one thought anything of this but, they would soon remember once Harrison was elected president in 1840. In March of 1841, president Harrison died because he caught pneumonia while he gave his inaugural speech in a pouring rain. Many people thought it might have something to do with the curse put on him by the prophet. This theory gained even more steam when Abraham Lincoln was assassinated because interestingly enough, both presidents were elected in a year that ended in a zero. Then when James A. Garfield was elected in 1880 and was shot, people gave even more credit to the curse.

Could it have been the curse at work here? Would each president elected in a year that ended in zero die in office? It seems that every twenty years the prophet's curse comes true! William McKinley was elected in 1900 and died in office. Warren Harding was elected in 1920 and died in office. Franklin Roosevelt was elected in 1940 and died in office. John F. Kennedy was elected in 1960 died and he died in office. So when Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980 and was shot many people believed he would die but, he came through. As a result, many people believe the curse was ended by him surviving. Pretty weird right?

Like this story? It was adapted from SHOCKING SECRETS OF AMERICAN HISTORY, 115 Surprising and Amusing Tales. Get the book for more Shocking Stories!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Books For a Bell

It all began at the end of the American Revolution when a problem arose that divided the citizens of Wrentham. The problems grew so much some of the citizens left and started their own town which they called New Wrentham. The traditional New England way of building towns was to first build the cultural and governmental buildings in the middle of every town. This would include churches, banks, and so on. Anyway, after they built the church they noticed that it was missing the bell in the steeple. Why make such a big fuss? Well first of all, the bell could summon the citizens for a mass at the church, but also it was needed to let the people know of any type of an emergency.

So what did the leaders of the town do? They decided to rename the town after Benjamin Franklin. They hoped this would get Dr. Franklin's attention. Then they wrote a letter to him telling him what they did. Though, this did not impress Dr. Franklin, he later wrote back suggesting that "sense is better than sound," and suggested a better way of helping the town. Instead of a bell, he gave them books and suggested that they should start a library. The people of the new town followed what he said. So 200 years later, they have one of the oldest public libraries in the United States!

Like this story? It was adapted from SHOCKING SECRETS OF AMERICAN HISTORY, 115 Surprising and Amusing Tales. Get the book for more Shocking Stories!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Voca People

This group of vocalists sing real songs just using no instruments only their own voices! Pretty cool! Track list on the bottom of the video!

Intro: Era - Ameno
1. Johann Sebastian Bach - Toccata and Fugue in D minor
2. Hallelujah
3. The Entertainer
4. Chordettes - Mr. Sandman
5. Glen Miller - In The Mood
6. Elvis Presley - Tutti Frutti
7. Beach Boys - I Get Around
8. Doobie Brothers - Long Train Runnin'
9. Madonna - Holiday
10. Michael Jackson - Billie Jean
11. Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams
12. Mori Kante - Yeke Yeke
13. Nirvana - Smells like teen spirit
14. Spice Girls - If you wanna be my lover
15. Los Del Rio - La Macarena
16. Rednex - Cotton Eyed Joe
17. Britney Spears - Hit Me Baby One More Time
18. Baha Men - Who Let the Dogs Out?
19. C+C Music Factory - Gonna Make You Sweet (Everybody Dance Now)
20. Will Smith - Switch
21. Madagascar 5 vs. KK Project - I Like To Move It