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The Many Places Claiming to Be the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’

August 12, 2019 in History

By Becky Little

Want to visit the original Seven Wonders of the World? Unfortunately you can’t, because only one of them exists anymore.

The original list—sometimes called The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World—comes from a 225 B.C.E. work by Philo of Byzantium called On The Seven Wonders. The only site still standing is the Great Pyramid of Giza. All the others are lost or destroyed: the Hanging Gardens of Babylon (or were they in Nineveh?), the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Colossus of Rhodes (which inspired the Statue of Liberty) and the Lighthouse at Alexandria.

The Great Pyramid of Giza

View the 7 images of this gallery on the original article

Since at least the 19th century, people have suggested new wonders, or brought attention to a site by calling it “the eighth wonder of the world.” President Teddy Roosevelt supposedly said California’s Burney Falls was the eighth wonder, an detail still noted on its website. In a nod to its use as a marketing trope, the 1933 film King Kong even shows the great ape being hawked as the eighth wonder of the world.

Here’s a list of other eight other sites that have been dubbed the eighth wonder.

1. Pink and White Terraces, New Zealand

The historic terraces on opposite sides of Lake Rotomahana on New Zealand’s North Island once represent the largest formations of silica sinter (a version of quartz) in the world. On one side, the terraces were pink. On the other, they were white. In the early 1880s, these natural terraces were a popular tourist destination, and supposedly known as the eighth wonder of the world.

These shimmering marvels were “lost” in 1886 when a volcanic eruption covered them. In 2017, researchers claimed in the Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand that the terraces had survived and were simply buried by the explosion. But the next year, other researchers argued in the same journal that the white terraces had been destroyed, and that although the pink terraces were partially-intact, they were sitting at the bottom of Lake Rotomahana where no one can see them.

There is, however, still an eighth wonder in New Zealand you can see today: the South Island’s Milford Sound, which the British writer Rudyard …read more


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How Far Did Ancient Rome Spread?

August 12, 2019 in History

By Becky Little

At its peak, Rome stretched over much of Europe and the Middle East.

Legend has it that Romulus and Remus—twin brothers who were also demi-gods—founded Rome on the River Tiber in 753 B.C. Over the next eight and a half centuries, it grew from a small town of pig farmers into a vast empire that stretched from England to Egypt and completely surrounded the Mediterranean Sea.

The Roman Empire conquered these lands by attacking unmatched military strength, and it held onto them by letting them govern themselves.

Rome’s desire to expand had deep historical roots, says Edward J. Watts, a professor of history at the University of California, San Diego, and author of Mortal Republic: How Rome Fell Into Tyranny.

“There’s a tradition going back to basically Roman prehistory, mythological history, where they talk about the expansion of the city under the kings,” he says. “Marcius is one of the early Roman kings [from 642 to 617 B.C.], and he’s said to actually have engaged in expansion and extended the city to incorporate other hills. So the idea of them expanding is always deep in the historical DNA of the republic, and even the monarchy before the republic.”

Rome Expands With Capture of Etruscan City

The taking of the Etruscan city of Veii by the Romans in 396 B.C. After a siege of many years they finally won victory after digging into the soft tuff rock below the walls while distracting the Veiians with attacks on the walls and infiltrating the city’s drainage system to emerge in the citadel.

Even so, Rome was still relatively small by the time it transitioned from a kingdom to a republic in 509 B.C. The republic’s first significant expansion came in 396 B.C., when Rome defeated and captured the Etruscan city of Veii. Instead of destroying Veii, the classicist Mary Beard argues the Romans largely let the city continue operating as it had before, only under Roman control and with the understanding that Rome could conscript free men for the Roman army.

The conquest of Veii was “a big turning point for [the Romans] because they take over a territory that’s half the size of the territory they already have,” Watts says. Over the next two-and-a-half centuries, Rome spread throughout the Italian Peninsula by conquering territories and either making them independent allies or extending Roman citizenship.

“The absorption of Italy was …read more


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How the Immigration Act of 1965 Changed the Face of America

August 12, 2019 in History

By Lesley Kennedy

The act put an end to long-standing national-origin quotas that had favored those from northern and western Europe.

When the U.S. Congress passed—and President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law—the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965, the move was largely seen as symbolic.

“The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants,” lead supporter Sen. Edward “Ted” Kennedy (D-Mass.) told the Senate during debate. “It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs.”

That sentiment was echoed by Johnson, who, upon signing the act on October 3, 1965, said the bill would not be revolutionary: “It does not affect the lives of millions … It will not reshape the structure of our daily lives or add importantly to either our wealth or our power.”

But the act—also known as the Hart-Celler Act after its sponsors, Sen. Philip Hart (D-Mich.) and Rep. Emanuel Celler (D-N.Y.)—put an end to long-standing national-origin quotas that favored those from northern and western Europe and led to a significant immigration demographic shift in America. Since the act was passed, according to the Pew Research Center, immigrants living in America have more than quadrupled, now accounting for nearly 14 percent of the population.

President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Immigration Act of 1965 on Liberty Island in New York Harbor with a view of the New York City skyline in the background.

The 1965 Aimed to Eliminate Race Discrimination in Immigration

In 1960, Pew notes, 84 percent of U.S. immigrants were born in Europe or Canada; 6 percent were from Mexico, 3.8 percent were from South and East Asia, 3.5 percent were from Latin America and 2.7 percent were from other parts of the world. In 2017, European and Canadian immigrants totaled 13.2 percent, while Mexicans totaled 25.3 percent, other Latin Americans totaled 25.1 percent, Asians totaled 27.4 percent and other populations totaled 9 percent.

The 1965 act has to be understood as a result of the civil rights movement, and the general effort to eliminate race discrimination from U.S. law, says Gabriel “Jack” Chin, immigration law professor at University of California, Davis and co-editor of The 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act: Legislating a New America.

READ MORE: U.S. Immigration Timeline

President Lyndon B. Johnson shakes hands with Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) as …read more