Plus: Ross Perot and early humans |

July 11, 2019

By Lily Rothman

The approaching 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 means this is a great time to revisit the amazing story of the men who first walked on the moon—and to remember that they didn’t get there alone. Every piece of the puzzle was crucial, but one person does stand out for a particular reason: Frances “Poppy” Northcutt was the first woman to work in an operational support role at Mission Control during the Apollo program.

She spoke to TIME about how she ended up at NASA, what it was like to be the only woman in the room, and how her career there influenced her later work as an activist and lawyer. Click here to learn more.

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

Scholar: Americans Have Long Mistreated 'Other' People's Kids

If you're shocked by the reports about children at the detention centers on the borders, you haven't paid attention to U.S. history, argues Paula S. Fass

Is This the Earliest Sign of Humans Outside Africa?

The fossil was found in the 1970s but 'not a lot of attention was paid to it'

How Ross Perot Changed Political Campaigns

He brought his political message directly to the public using the growing media landscape

San Francisco to Paint Over 'Racist' George Washington Mural

The board plans to digitally archive the mural

A Brief History of the S’more, America’s Favorite Campfire Snack

Every aspect of making s'mores is a product of the Industrial Revolution


July 11, 1938

Today in 1938: Walter Winchell

“More than any other one man, however, Winchell helped restore to metropolitan journalism a vigorous, primitive quality which rural journalism never lost: an interest in personalities and the conviction that names make news. ‘Winchell did much for journalism,’ said Newspaperman Stanley Walker in The Night Club Era, ‘for which journalism has been slow to thank him. He helped to change the dreary, ponderous impersonality which was pervading the whole press. Do newspapers today print twice, or ten times, as many items about people — what they are like, what their crotchets are, what they eat and drink and wear — as they did ten years ago? Some of the credit belongs to Winchell. . . . It took Winchell to prove once more that people are interested in people and that facts, even trivial facts, have an irresistible fascination.’" (July 11, 1938)

Read the full story

July 11, 1955

Today in 1955: ‘The Baron of Beer’

“At the top of the heap, and battling to stay in the No. 1 spot, is Anheuser-Busch's President August Anheuser Busch Jr., grandson of Co-Founder Adolphus. Like his grandfather, ‘Gussie’ Busch is a salesman with a flair for advertising and promotion, combining dawn-to-dusk energy with dusk-to-dawn good fellowship. Says Busch: ‘This is the year that we are going to separate the men from the boys in the brewing industry.’” (July 11, 1955)

Read the full story

July 11, 1960

This Week in 1960: The Kennedy Family

“Jack Kennedy's presidential campaign, indeed his whole political life, has a quality rare in U.S. political history. He speaks with the voice of the remarkable Kennedy family, and the talkative Clan Kennedy speaks with authority for him from platform to parlor, from banquet to back room.’" (July 11, 1960)

Read the full story


Dig It At The News & Observer, Mark Price recounts how a tiny object found in the ruins of a Colonial-era North Carolina tavern, thought to be just a rock, was discovered to contain a coded message for 18th-century rebels.

Flavor Saver Franz Lidz writes for Smithsonian about the long parallel histories of chocolate and vanilla.

Open Letter After the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum issued a statement in opposition to the use of comparisons to the Holocaust in conversations about migrant detention, dozens of historians described in an open letter why they feel the museum should reconsider that position. Sanjana Karanth at HuffPost has the story.

Family History For the New York Times, Audra D.S. Burch explores how the Monroes of Albemarle County, Va.—descendants of the people enslaved by President James Monroe—are helping change the way that past is remembered.

Whose Moon? Fifty years after the first moon landing, Christopher Mellon and Yuliya Panfil at Slate consider the modern implications of the 1967 U.N. Outer Space Treaty.

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