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What happened after the Berlin Wall fell

Plus: Harriet Tubman and the Aztec Empire |

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November 07, 2019

By Lily Rothman

Thirty years ago this Saturday, the world changed: After decades of dividing a city—and, symbolically, the Cold War world—the Berlin Wall was breached. It was an event both much-anticipated and shocking, having come about almost by accident, after a press conference took a surprising turn. To mark the anniversary, we took a look at how exactly the events of Nov. 9, 1989, went down, the lessons we can take away from that time—and what David Hasselhoff has to say about his particular role in the story.

Here’s more of the history that made news this week:

HISTORY ON TIME.COM

Harriet Tubman Showed Running Can Be as Brave as Fighting

For almost a decade, Harriet Tubman put her own safety aside each time she ferried fugitives to safety, writes historian Erica Armstrong Dunbar

William Dalrymple Warns of Unchecked Corporate Power

The historian talks to TIME about his sweeping new saga of the British East India Company

After WWI, Women Began to Make Their Way to Europe’s Graves

What they found is worth remembering

We Learned About the Aztecs From Their Conquerors

But new research is letting them speak for themselves, explains historian Camilla Townsend

Police Seized a Sword Wielded in the American Revolution

Is it the long-lost weapon that disappeared decades ago?

FROM THE TIME VAULT

Nov. 7, 1960

Today in 1960: Candidate Kennedy

“As he took a breather in Scranton, Pa., Jack Kennedy was grey with fatigue, and his right hand was sore from being grabbed, squeezed, clutched at in some twelve hours of campaigning. It had been a day to remember: all through the mine-scarred countryside of Pennsylvania, from Bethlehem to Allentown to Wilkes-Barre, the people poured out, half a million strong, screaming, tossing food and gifts into Kennedy’s open Ford, waving flags. ‘These people look to this fellow like a Messiah,’ muttered old Governor Dave Lawrence. ‘There’s never been anything like this in the history of Pennsylvania—including Roosevelt.’ What Kennedy said made no difference: he could have recited the Boy Scout oath and brought forth ovations.” (Nov. 7, 1960)

Read the full story

Nov. 7, 1955

Today in 1955: Princess Margaret in Love

“At first it had seemed so easy: let Margaret simply renounce her rights to the succession, and then she would be free. Her sister the Queen could settle a million or two pounds on her, say from the large estate left by Queen Mary. All Margaret would be out would be an unlikely chance to be Queen herself. It was now plainly not that simple. No act of Margaret and no act of the British Parliament could sever her entirely from the fact of her birth. Margaret of Windsor is a Princess of Great Britain, her sister is the head of the Established Church, a church which frowns on remarriage of divorced persons and denies its sacraments to those who flout that proscription.” (Nov. 7, 1955)

Read the full story

Nov. 7, 1938

Today in 1938: André Malraux

“When André Malraux met Ernest Hemingway in Spain (so the story goes), they divided the Spanish Civil War between them. Malraux took the story up to the Loyalist victory at Guadalajara, Hemingway after it. From the Loyalist as well as the literary viewpoint, it looks as if Malraux got the better part. For while Hemingway’s section (not yet published) is to deal with the clash of the two organized armies, Malraux’s, covering the early period, is a swift, tumultuous affair of assaults on barracks, street-fighting, bombing, sniping, chaos, breakneck confusion, which somehow resolves itself into organization and ends in victory.” (Nov. 7, 1938)

Read the full story

HIGHLIGHTS FROM AROUND THE WEB

Match Point This year’s WTA Finals offered record prize money for women’s tennis, but as Stuart Miller shows at the New York Times, players who ruled the circuit in the 1970s and ‘80s are still trying to get what they deserve.

Oops Playbill’s Dan Meyer has the news that Broadway stars Alan Cumming and Russell Tovey will be part of a podcast that will tell the stories of history’s “greatest mistakes.”

On the Record At the Washington Post, Donald M. Beaudette and Laura Weinstein write about a 1972 murder in Northern Ireland, and the consequences of the fact that an oral-history project was rejected for use as evidence in the resulting trial.

Undercover Andrew Knighton at History.com explores how Europe’s history of espionage dates back to the 16th century—and how those early spies worked to protect Queen Elizabeth I.

Eyewitness A new website, Academy Stories, is bringing together firsthand accounts of life at the South’s post-Brown v. Board of Education segregation academies, as Rebecca Onion at Slate reports.

 
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Comments

Like!! Thank you for publishing this awesome article.

Zola Mietus says:

Wonderful work on the article. Learned tons.

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