Plus: NFL protests and Ireland’s abortion referendum |

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May 24, 2018

By Lily Rothman

The story of W. Frank Brinton’s film collection is pretty extraordinary: Brinton was a turn-of-the-century traveling movie exhibitor, but after he died in Iowa in 1919 the films he’d shown ended up languishing for decades in a farmhouse basement. They were found by a local history teacher in 1981, and they’re only now in the process of being catalogued and preserved. Because the film on which early movies were made was highly flammable, lots of them have been lost forever, so this collection is hugely significant to film history. Case in point: mysterious footage of a journey across the Brooklyn Bridge in 1899. It wasn’t seen for at least a century and experts are still trying to learn more about its story.

Thanks to a new documentary about the collection, Saving Brinton, we got a chance to show that footage on TIME.com. You can click here to watch the film and read more about it.

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

HISTORY ON TIME.COM
The History Behind Ireland's Contentious Abortion Referendum

Here are the four key moments to know

How One Player Protested a 1960s NFL Anthem Rule

The NFL has announced that players must either stand for the national anthem when it is played at their games or remain in the locker room

Rare Photos Capture Life in Cuba Before Revolution

From turn-of-the-century street scenes to 1950s glamor

The Secrecy of the Atomic Age Changed How We Think

It is no wonder that most of us never believe what we are told about anything nuclear, a scholar argues

The Royal Wedding Sermon Contained an MLK Quote

In the address delivered by Rev. Michael Curry at the royal wedding, this Martin Luther King Jr. quote played a prominent role. Here's its surprising political message

FROM THE TIME VAULT

May 26, 1997

Memorial Day Weekend 1997

“Let's admit one thing right off the bat: summer has changed, and not just because we're no longer 11 years old and looking forward to three months' worth of unadulterated goofing off, give or take a summer-school session or a stint at an overly rigorous sleep-away camp making lanyards for The Man. Once upon a time, for kids and adults alike, the season's operative word was languor; today it's grosses. Because summer itself, like the movies to which the season lends its name as adjective, has got bigger, hypier, noisier, more aggressive.” (May 26, 1997)

Read the full story

May 25, 1936

This Week in 1936: Modern Childbirth

“More than 2,000,000 U. S. babies will be born to less than 2,000,000 U. S. women during 1936. The majority of births will occur in the mothers' own homes and in their own beds. Most of the confinements will be attended by some 100,000 'family' physicians few of whom saw more than twelve deliveries while at medical school. These all-round doctors learned practical obstetrics mostly by watching Nature take its course with pregnant women. To them childbirth is a welcome commonplace which provides income of $50 to $150 per case. To the average U. S. family it is an economic and emotional problem which occurs two or three times in a life span. To every nubile woman it still evokes the Lord's words to sinful Eve: 'I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception. In sorrow thou shall bring forth children.'" (May 25, 1936)

Read the full story

May 24, 1976

Today in 1976: U.S. Catholicism

“The American Catholic Church in 1976—by far the largest U.S. denomination, with nearly 49 million members—is a less tumultuous church, its attrition slowed. But it is still a questing and divided church, troubled by colliding purposes and visions. An increasing number of lay people (themselves split on such issues as social action and piety, tradition and change) call themselves Catholic but are resentful of the church's authority over their private lives." (May 24, 1976)

Read the full story

HIGHLIGHTS FROM AROUND THE WEB

House and Home As part of a project on housing and homelessness, The Nation has put together a really fascinating timeline of more than 150 years of American housing policy.

Defenseless Teen Vogue’s series “OG History” looks at history through the experiences of marginalized people. In this installment, Eric Ginsburg discusses the 1979 Greensboro Massacre, in which police failed to protect protesters at an anti-KKK rally.

New New Deal? As pundits and politicians toss around the idea of a jobs guarantee, Livia Gershon writes at Longreads about how real versions of such a guarantee actually worked.

Long-Lost Historian Megan Kate Nelson writes for the Washington Post about what we can learn from an important U.S. history document that was recently rediscovered in someone’s attic in Massachusetts.

Who Slept Here Tim McKeough at the New York Times writes about a surprising way history is being put to use: to sell New York City condos.

 
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