Ancient Warriors: Nine Deadly Weapons Blast From the Past

Those ancient warriors may not have been the most subtle fighters around, but they they sure had some bad-ass weapons. I guess for the ancients, desperate times called for desperate measures, as you will see from these murderous military weapons.

  1. Triple Morning Star

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    This Ancient Weapon known as the Mace comes from the Medieval Age. This weapon was very deadly and consisted of a wood or metal shaft with a mounted head of bronze, copper, wood, or steel. The mace was carried and used by both foot soldiers and Calvary men. Maces were very effective in battle and could puncture even the heaviest of armor. This was a barbaric weapon and left battlefields filled with torture and blood.

  2. Hawaiian Throwing Axe

    1hawaiian
    This Hawaiian Throwing Axe was a deadly hand held weapon that could be used at both short and long range. This weapon was made out of wood and shark teeth had the power to take men’s limbs off. This weapon was mainly used when opposing Hawaiian armies closed upon each other. They were then thrown at the opposing troops to help soften enemy ranks before close combat. They could also be used in hand to hand combat and had the muscle to rip open skin as if it was butter. This was a very dangerous weapon and is not something you would want to go up against.

  3. Hunga Munga

    HungaMunga 1.jpgoriginal
    The Hunga Munga is an African tribal weapon that is way ahead of its time. It is a handheld weapon and contains a metal pointed blade with a curved back section and separate spike near the handle. This weapon was used in fighting between African tribes and was often times throw in a rotating motion causing deep wounds and even death. Its variation of blades allowed it to be used as more then a weapon. It was used as a tool in farming and even in building structures. It was a great all around tool and has been found all throughout Africa. Today you may have seen the Hunga Munga in the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy uses it once in a while to fight off evil demons that she faces.

  4. Throwing Star

    Shuriken
    The throwing star known as the shuriken which means “a dagger hidden in a palm” were used and invented by the Japanese. The stars had much variation in the shape; some were shaped like a star and thrown with spin, yet others were needlelike and thrown like a throwing dagger. These daggers couldn’t penetrate armor, but the ninjas, who used them, usually didn’t fight armored opponents. Venom was normally used with the shuriken.

  5. Caltrop

    Caltrop
    The Caltrop is a weapon made up of two or more sharp spikes or spines arranged so that one of them points upward from a stable base. Caltrops serve to slow down the proceeding of horses, war elephants, and human troops. It was said to be particularly effective against the soft feet of camels. These were very painful if stepped on and were spread all throughout battle fields. They also were deadly because if stepped on it would cause a bad infection that would cause a slow agonizing death. They also have been used in modern times. In the Vietnam War the Vietcong put them into booby traps. If an American soldier was punctured by one he died from infection almost 90% of the time.

  6. Crossbow Pistol

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    This 17th Century Crossbow was way ahead of its time and is very cool. This crossbows look like an early form of a pistol and was very powerful. This hand held crossbow was both accurate and effective but it just was too hard to reload. Because of this it was not used very often in battle and was used more for target practice. Another problem with this weapon was making the arrows which was to time consuming especially if they were just going to get lost in battle. Overall this weapon was still badass and really shows what type of technology and ideas the 17th Century had.

  7. Trebuchet

    Trebuchet du chateau de Gil
    A trebuchet is basically a high powered catapult and had many uses in ancient times. Mainly used as a weapon it had enough power to break through castles and destroy towns. It was first used in the 16th Century. Rocks, dead horses, dead people, and dead animals were all used as ammo. In the 16th and 17th Century when plagues and diseases were looming over civilizations plagued bodies were thrown by the trebuchet into enemy territory. The bodies decomposed passing the plague to the enemies slowly killing them. This is one of the first forms of biological warfare.]

  8. Ancient Rocket Launcher

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    In the 14th century, the Chinese invented rocket-launchers. These were weapons which shot arrows with rockets attached near the tip into the air toward the enemy. Also in the 14th century, multi-stage rockets were made. When the rockets near the front of the device burnt out, they lit fuses for the second-stage rockets at the back. The bombs the Chinese used in the 17th century were made of gunpowder wrapped in paper and had a fuse covered in gunpowder.

  9. Ancient Flame-Thrower

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    The Chinese invented the continuous flame-thrower in the tenth century. In the picture above we see the tank standing on four legs, with the pump and device above it. Because the Chinese invention of a double-acting Piston-bellows was used with this device, a continuous stream of flame could be emitted. The metal used was brass. The Flame-Thrower was used in naval or boat combat and allowed the Chinese to easily set enemy ships on fire and sink them on the spot. It was a great technology and has been used ever since.

Christopher Columbus and the Genocide of the Taino Nation

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Obsessed with finding a sea rout to Asia and the Far East, Columbus set out on his ‘Enterprise of the Indies’ in 1492, backed by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain.  However, instead of finding a rout to the rich trade in the East, Columbus and his crew discovered the New World, and soon set about subjugating and murdering the local population and removing the vast wealth from the land.

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Columbus discovering the New World.  Image Source

A small colony was established in Hispaniola consisting of thirty-nine of his crew, the rest returned to Spain with Columbus along with gold, spices and natives taken as slaves to be given as gifts for his royal patrons.

The following year, he led a second expedition comprising of seventeen large ships and one and half thousand new colonists, arriving in the Americas a month later.  By the time he got back to Hispaniola, his men there had been slaughtered by the locals and a second colony was founded.

Columbus punished the local tribe, known as the Taino, severely.  He enslaved many and executed many more; according to Ward Churchill, former professor of ethnic studies at the University of Colorado, by 1496, the population had been reduced from as many as eight million to around three million.

On his third expedition, he explored the region before returning to Hispaniola in 1498 where he had left his brothers in charge, Diego and Bartholomew.  Conditions there were in decline so he stepped up the terror campaign against the Taino, ruling with an iron hand causing resentment from the colonists and local chiefs alike.  Complaints of his brutality got back to the Spanish monarchs and in 1500 they sent a Chief Justice to bring him and his brothers back to Spain in chains.

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Columbus in chains.  Image Source

However he was released on his arrival and allowed a fourth and final expedition, which he conducted with the same brutality as previous ones.  By the time he finally left in 1504, the Taino had been reduced to around 100,000 people arguably making Columbus a war criminal by today’s standards and  guilty of committing some of the worst atrocities against another race in history.

Some were killed directly as punishments for ‘crimes’ such as not paying tribute to the invaders.  Many who could not or would not pay had their hands cut off and were left to bleed to death.  Columbus and his men are documented by the chronicles of Las Casas, know as Brev’sima relaci-n,  to have partaken in mass hangings, roasting people on spits, burnings at the stake and even hacking young children to death and feeding them to dogs as punishment for the most minor of crimes. The Spanish masters massacred the natives, sometimes hundreds at a time for sport, making bets on who could split a man in two, or cut a head off in one blow.

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Taino people being tortured by the Spanish.   Image Source

Defenders of Columbus argue that a large amount of the victims were killed by disease however they fail to recognize that most of these diseases were caused by poor living conditions in forced labour camps.  Deprived of their crops and fields, many fell prey to dysentery and typhus, were worked to death or were left to starve to death.

After his death his terrible legacy would live on, by 1514, a census showed only 22,000 Taino remained alive.  By 1542 there were only 200 remaining and after they were considered extinct, as was becoming more and more the case throughout the Caribbean basin.

In around fifty years Columbus and those that followed him had all but eliminated a population of around fifteen million people.  This process was just the start and an estimated 100 million people were wiped out by Europeans in the so called ‘civilisation’ of the Western Hemisphere making the discovery of the New World the start of what was arguably the worst case of mass genocide in history.

Anarchism: The First Great Terror

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The Propaganda of the Deed.

At a time when we are often warned of the heightened threat of global terrorism and of the drastic measures required to combat it, it is worth remembering that the use of terror to achieve political ends is not a recent phenomena. At the turn of the 19th century there was a political ideology that perceived murder and assassination, not as the means to an end, but as a path to salvation. Anarchists would make their mark on political history through propaganda by deed. Here I highlight just a few of the most notorious deeds, of what was to be the first great terror.

1)  I March, 1881, Tsar Alexander II of Russia is blown apart by a bomb thrown by Ignacy Hrnywiecki (see related article) of Narodnya i Volya (The People’s Will).

2) 11March, 1892, the French anarchist Ravachol (related article) bombs the Lobau Barracks in Paris.

3) 10 December, 1893, Auguste Vailant throws a bomb into the French Chamber of Deputies injuring 20 in revenge for the execution of Ravachol.

4) 12 February, 1894, Emile Henry (related article) blows up the the Cafe Terminus in Paris killing 2 and maiming many others in revenge for the execution of Vailant.

5) 24 June, 1894, the Italian anarchist Sante Jeronimo Caserio, assassinates the French President Marie-Francoise Sade Carnot.

6) 8 August, 1897, Michele Angiolillo assassinates the Spanish Prime Minister Antonio Canovas.

7) 10 September, 1898, Luigi Lucheni stabs to death with a needle file the Empress Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary.

Anarchism: The First Great Terror
Gaetano Bresci

Gaetano Bresci

29 July, 1900, Gaetano Bresci shoots dead King Umberto I of Italy.

9) 6 September, 1901, Leon Czolgosc shoots the United States President William H McKinlay, he dies later.

10) 2 September, 1902, Gennaro Rubino attempts to murder King Leopold II of Belgium.

11) Between 25 July and 2 August, 1909, during La Tragica Semana (The Tragic Week) 120 people are killed and many hundreds of others wounded as anarchists battle the police and army on the streets of Barcelona.

12) 14 September, 1911, Dmitri Bogrov shoots dead the Russian Prime Minister Piotr Stolypin at the theatre, as the Tsar sits nearby.

13) 12 November, 1912, Manuel Padrinas kills the Spanish Prime Minister Jose Canalejas.

14) 10 March, 1913, Alexander Schinas assassinates King George I of Greece.

15) 22 July, 1916, a bomb explodes during the San Francisco Preparadeness Day Parade killing 10 And injuring 40.

16) March, 1918, the anarchist revoutionary Nestor Makhno (related article) leads his Insurrectionary Army of the Ukraine to victory over the forces of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the Tsarist White Russian Army.

17) 16 September, 1920, the Wall Street bombing leaves 38 dead and injures more than 400 others.

The often uncoordinated, spontaneous nature of anarchist attacks made them particularly difficult to combat. The fact they seemed to be committed by individuals on their own initiative to right perceived wrongs as they saw them terrified the political elite of Europe and beyond. The quite astonishing number of the ruling class who fell victim to this propaganda by deed explains why. As a ratio of their intended targets the anarchists can claim to be the most successful terror campaign in history, but the absence of an organisation, a strategy, or indeed murder with an end in mind, doomed it to ultimate failure.

The Impact of Industrialization and Urbanization on Indian Tribals

On of the main problems which the Indian tribes face is industrialization of backward areas and consequent urbanization.The government policy of industrializing remote areas has led to the emergence of high-tech industries in tribal belts.The impact of such industrialization is manifold:

Development in terms of economic prosperity might mean doom to the tribal identity.The first and major impact which tribal population faces is in the shape of loss of tribal identity through the establishment of industries.With major tribal tracts being depopulated and herded to new settlements to give space for establishment of factories,tribals are ill-ease in the new environments.Their customs and traditions come under pressure.Due to contact with the town- culture that industrialization brings,and consequent urbanization a revolutionary change in the attitude of tribals can be seen.

Tribal religion is mocked at in the light of more organized religions like Chrisitianity and Hinduism.Magical cures which tribals practicsed have become out of date and look down upon.

Social problems devastate tribals through urbanization.Urban conditions which the industry ushers into the tribal areas will mean introduction of completely alien way of social contact to the population.

Economically the urban culture is highly materialistic.Tribal economic systems will disintegrate in the industrialised environment.With more and more tribal youth adopting to factory culture and skilled labour espousing new avenues to eke out living, tribal modes of cultivation and crafts are steadily declinning.

The benefits of urbanization and industrialization should also  be taken into account.Tribals who were used to depend upon shifting cultivation and lived liked nomads are now settling down.Their children are exposed to better living conditions including education and health care services.Better sanitation means better health to the community.

Cutting Edge Weapons: 10 Unusual Knives, Swords and Blades

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By C. Jordan

In this age when we think of weapons, we tend to think of aircraft, electronic guidance systems, bombs and missiles. Sophisticated star wars systems may come to mind or huge warships and aircraft carriers or even chemical or nuclear weapons.

Of course that has not always been the case.

From man’s earliest days the blade has been the basic form of weapon whether for hunting, defence or warfare. For close combat and ceremonial occasions it is still in use today: the dress sword of the mounted officer or the bayonet of the infantry. If you are lucky enough to be Knighted you may even get a tap on the shoulders by the British Queen with a ceremonial sword.

I would like to make it clear at this point, that this article takes no stance on the use of weaponry.

My own beliefs and convictions are not included here. This is a look at some of the non standard, more interesting and curious forms that blades have taken, with historical, geographic and cultural differences. I use the term blade because some of the forms shown cannot be described as knives or swords.

  1. The Kukri

    kukri 1

    Some readers may be surprised to find that the image shown is actually modern British army issue. It is issued to one of the most feared units in the British army: the Gurkhas.

    It is their weapon of choice in close combat, rather than the bayonet.

    The story of the Gurkhas is a long and historically complicated one.

    Succinctly: Gurkhas hail from Nepal which was part of India. In its Empire building days, Britain made India one of its colonies. The Gurkhas were seen as brave and heroic fighters who were recruited into the colonial Indian army as a “Martial Race”, a term which meant that they were not classed as mercenaries.

    With the independence of India in 1947 four regiments became part of the British army. Prior to this they have fought in both World Wars and latterly were part of the forces that in the 1980’s defeated the Argentine army in the Falklands and also served in the Middle East.

    The Kukri shown above is the standard army issue with karda and chakmak.

    Traditionally the blade is 12-15 inches (30-38cm) long. The karda is a small accessory blade used for many tasks. The chakmak is unsharpened and is used to burnish the blade. It can also be used to start a fire with flint.

  2. The Shamshir

     

    Shamshir swordThe Shamshir is a sabre that is part of the scimitar group of swords.

    Originating in Persia in the 16th century, it was the weapon of the Persian cavalry.

    Somewhat unwieldy and inaccurate in a thrusting stabbing motion, its strength was in its slashing ability. The curved blade which made it unwieldy for thrusting made it dynamic for a downward slashing movement, normally against un-armoured foot opponents. One writer said that “bright shamshirs which fell on the head cleft men to the waist.”

  3. The Khanda

     

    1200px Rajput KhandaThe Khanda is a straight, heavy double edged Indian sword

    This example clearly shows that the weapon is broader towards the tip than half way down the blade, complete with spike at the base of the handle. Because of its size and weight, this again was a weapon that was more useful for slashing and hacking rather than a stabbing movement.

    It is mainly associated with the Sikhs, Marathas and other clans of the Kshatriya warrior class of India. It is also used in Sikh martial arts.

  4. The Quoit

    Quoit

    The quoit, surely this is a ring of rope used by passengers on luxury liners in days gone by in deck games, or perhaps the ring used in Hoopla on the funfair?

    These pastimes of idling away time do not have much to do with reality.

    The reality was that the quoit was a solid razor sharp ring of thin steel used by the Sikhs of India. (The example above is actually inlaid with gold

    Sikhs with chakramsSikhs with chakrams, 1844

    The quoit also known as a Chakram measured anything between 5-12 inches (13-30cm)

    This weapon was thrown at the enemy. It was released either vertically in an underarm throw to fall under it own weight on the heads of opponents, or would be twirled around the index finger raised above the head and released.

    It is said that in the right hands it could kill a man at 80 paces.

  5. The Kora

    The Kora

    A somewhat rare and fierce weapon, the Kora served as part axe and part sword.

    This Indo/Nepal weapon was used for fighting and for sacrifice.

  6. The Tang

    big 19 c tang chinese pole arm 1

    A tang on a knife or sword is that part that will be enclosed by the handle.

    This is probably how the weapon got its name. At first glance it appears as if the pointed part is like the tang waiting to have the handle fitted with the parts to right and left being hand guards.

    The tang shown is actually 58cm long and 65 cm wide (23 and 26 inches)

    This is actually a “pole arm”. A shaft fits into the opening in the bottom left.

    It derives from China in the 19th century and consists of a 13cm (5 inch) spear type point with two 33cm (13 inch) blades either side.

    This type of weapon was used by police forces or others who needed to keep crowds in order.

  7. The Ayda Katti

    The Ayda Katti

    The Ayda Katti is the national sword of the Coorg of Malabar, the South West coastal area of India.

    It is one of the rarest swords in the Indian arsenal and of a very peculiar shape. It is single edged and is reminiscent of a scythe or other farming agricultural tool. However it is a real weapon and a deadly one in experienced hands.

    The blade of this one is 38cm (15 inches) long and 10cm (4 inches) wide at its widest point with a massive steel bolster.

  8. The Katar

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    The Katar, shown in the introduction, is a short punching sword from India. The hand fitted into the grip so that the blade was above the knuckles. It was a weapon used by the Rajput, referred to as “the most valiant warriors of the Indian sub continent.”

    Used in close combat the blades were said to be able to punch through armour.

    The fascinating example above incorporates two small pistols alongside the hand grip. this was used by the Maharatti cavalry. An earlier example of this pistol weapon did not have triggers but was fired by squeezing together the two “swallow tails” at the back, which was attached to the firing mechanism.

  9. The Badek

    The Badek

    The Badek (or Badik) is a knife from Java, Indonesia. It is characterized by its single edge blade with straight back and up-curving edge, and the pistol grip shape handle.

    It measures from 20 to 40 cm in length (8-16 inches)

    It sometimes features in Silat Melayu – martial arts from the countries around the Malay Archipelago.

  10. The Kris

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    The Kris or Keris is a dagger that originates from Indonesia and Malaysia.

    The Glenbow museum describes them “Kris knives with decorative scabbards are used throughout Indonesia as weapons and ritual objects, and are part of men’s ceremonial attire. The wavy iron blade of the knife represents a snake in movement and is thought to have power to protect its owner.”

    In the past disputes were settled with this double edged dagger. The more people it killed the more valuable it became.

    There was a superstition that it should not be drawn in the presence of the person who gave it to the owner.

    The kris was also supposed to have a spirit that could be good or bad. The same weapon may be bad for one person but good for another.

Ancient Symbols – The Swastika

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(Photo above: Anglo-Saxon cinerary urn with swastika motifs, created between 5th and 6th century, from North Elmham, Norfolk.)

The Swastika is an ancient sacred symbol – upon first glance, the words “Sacred” and “Swastika” seem to contradict each other……we are all painfully aware of the negative Nazi association with this symbol, BUT, we should not forget that this symbol is ancient, it did not start with the Nazi’s and it would be a shame to let it end there, when potentially, analysis could provide a startling insight into human history.

The swastika has been used by many cultures and religions

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The Swastika has been attributed with many meanings over time.

Many believe that the symbol originated in the ancient Sumerian civilisation (the cradle of civilisation) 5300 – 1940BC located in modern Southern Iraq – the Swastika symbol has been found on some of the earliest Sumerian pottery ……. but, the earliest discovered use of the Swastika was in and around India during the Neolithic era – the new stone age – 9500 years ago!

The word Swastika is derived from the Sanskrit language – svastika – meaning well being or lucky.
Source
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In 1925, Coca Cola launched a brass Swastika shaped lucky watch fob promotion.

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It’s possible that the key fob was distributed in Germany just before the 1936 Olympics. The Coca Cola corporation appeared to be one of the sponsors of Hitler’s Third Reich propaganda.
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A town in Ontario was named Swastika in 1911 because of a lucky gold strike.
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Swastikain Canadian
swastika be dammned

In Great Britain the common name given to the Swastika from Anglo-Saxon times … was Fylfot, said to have been derived from the Anglo-Saxon “fower fot”, meaning four-footed, or many-footed. SWASTIKA STONE ILKLEY – YORKSHIRE

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This carved stone on Woodhouse Crag, Ilkley Moor, Yorkshire, England – the carving is thought to date back to the bronze age (2700 – 700 BC).

You may see the swastika symbol regularly – hidden in plain sight – The Microsoft Swastika
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The US Navy base in San Diego was required to spend $ 600,000.00 to alter the design of their building in the wake of numerous complaints following the launch of the aerial visualisation tool – Google Earth. From The Daily Kos.
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Buddha in Tanzhe Temple in Bejing, China has a swastika on his chest – “A seal on Buddha’s heart”. In the Buddhist tradition, the Swastika was used to mark the beginning of sacred texts. Source
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Villa Romana de Tejada in village of Quintanilla de la Cueza, in the province of (Palencia), Spain.Swastika Palencia

Mosaic floor showing the symbol of a swastica in the Roman City of Sabratha, Libya

mosaic floor photoshoppedMany scholars have attributed the symbol to be a representation of the sun – However, every time I look at a swastika – I see a spinning, spiral armed galaxy – but given the history of this symbol – how could our ancient ancestors know of or have seen a distant galaxy?

The History of St. Patrick’s Day Parades

St Paddys Day Parade

How did a Christian observance for the Patron Saint of Ireland turn into the St. Patrick’s Day parades we see every year? Read on to learn some of the history behind the festivities.

“May you live to be a hundred, with one extra year to repent!” goes a well-known Irish saying. And may you be able-bodied enough to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day every year of your life. One of the ways Americans enjoy it in cities across the nation is with annual parades. On March 17th it seems everyone has a wee bit o’the green in him, for they turn out in droves, line the streets early, bring their grills and their picnic baskets, and settle in for a day of pure enjoyment.

Lonely Irish immigrants in Boston in 1737 held the first recorded St. Patrick’s Day celebration in America. It is likely that they continued to celebrate together every year, just as they had in their home country, but the next one recorded in history was in 1762. Irish soldiers stationed there with the English military held a parade in the New York City streets, much to the delight of a growing Irish immigrant community. It was such a success that in 1766 New York declared it an annual event, and so it has been ever since.

The protestant, largely middle-class immigrants formed several ‘Irish Aid’ societies in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s, like the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, to assist each other and new immigrants that were pouring in. They were hard-working, upright people who helped their own and anybody else who needed it. And their celebrations – St. Patrick’s Day being the main one – were boisterous, happy, fun, and open to anybody who wanted to join in. As a result, they were well received by all. Local groups turned out with bagpipes and drums, the churches opened up with bazaars and games, and residents vied with each other to produce the best ethnic dishes and desserts.

In 1845 the Great Potato Famine in Ireland drove scores starving immigrants to American shores, and public opinion changed somewhat. These immigrants – almost a million of them – tended to be poor, uneducated, and Catholic. They had difficulty finding even menial work and were often met with contempt by Americans. Protestant middle class Irish scorned them as well. For years many of them had a rough go in their new country. But the Irish are durable, and find ways to weather storms. Eventually they began to recognize their power as a voting block, and to organize what was called the ‘green machine’. Their power was in their sheer numbers, and political candidates began to woo them determinedly for the swing vote they represented. By this time many cities were hosting parades on March 17, the largest being in New York City. Irishmen must have danced with glee in 1948 when then-President Harry Truman attended the New York City parade, giving his seal of approval to the practice and creating public acceptance across the nation.

St. Patrick’s Day was not an officially recognized holiday until 1976, but most large cities were already hosting their own brand of parades in honor of the day. However, it was increasingly recognized as a secular holiday, not a Christian one, with the emphasis on pure fun. While there is nothing wrong with that, the outlandish customs that Americans seem to love have become offensive to some devout Irish, who would never dream of wearing a “kiss me, I’m Irish” button. Also drinking to excess is now a given for many folks on this holiday, something the true Irish did not tolerate.

In Ireland, businesses were closed on St. Patrick’s Day, including the pubs. The day began by attending church services to honor their patron saint. Men wore a sprig of shamrocks on the hats or jackets, women wore green ribbons in their hair, and children wore green, white and orange badges – the colors of the flag. The rest of the day was devoted to family, friends, and festivities. Games, crafts, and contests were held, and copious quantities of dark Irish beer and traditional Irish dishes were consumed, but drinkers stayed close to home and knew their limits.

It wasn’t until the 1970’s that the Irish parliament repealed the law keeping pubs closed. In 1995 a national campaign began to attract tourism to the war-torn country, and to showcase the beautiful Emerald Isle. A national St. Patrick’s celebration now takes place in Dublin every year, lasting several days. In addition to a huge parade, there are fireworks, concerts, theater productions, and treasure hunts. Close to a million attend every year.

St. Patrick’s Day parades are springing up in other countries as well. Canada, Russia, Singapore, and Japan boast of parades, among others. It just goes to show that, indeed, there may be a little leprechaun in all of us. This is certainly true in America, where the Census Bureau estimates over 34 million Americans can trace some Irish blood in their ancestry.

With this year’s celebration just around the corner, many establishments are already gearing up for the coming festivities. In university towns this often includes neighbors boarding up their windows against a night of frivolity and heavy drinking. But less troublesome celebrations will be everywhere, so be sure to freshen up your green jacket and buff up your dancing shoes! And as the evening wears on and you are ready to end your day, be sure and bless your hosts with a traditional Irish blessing: “May your neighbors respect you, troubles neglect you, the angels protect you, and Heaven accept you.”

A History of Journalism in the Philippines – Introduction

Introduction

Journal, the root word of journalism, came from the Latin word diurnal, which means daily. In ancient Rome, brief communiqués were called Acta Diurna, which means Daily Events. Others were called Acta Publica, which means Public Events.

Journalism, the art and science of writing for newspapers, periodicals, radio, television, and online publications, enfolds timely and factual reports of unusual or unexpected events, opinions, or situations that affect man and his environment. These reports are gathered, evaluated, and published, broadcast, or posted on the Web to inform, to entertain, or to influence large number of readers.

The history of journalism started in ancient Egypt when heralds ran to pharaohs with oral reports and when town criers sang important announcements in public places. The first printed newspaper, produced from wood blocks, appeared in Beijing, China in the Seventh and in the Eight Centuries.

When Johan Guttenberg of Mainz, Germany invented the movable printing press in 1450, wider and faster dissemination of news stories were made possible. It also facilitated the exchange of ideas throughout Europe and the spread of the ideas of the Renaissance from 1300 to 1600.

On September 25, 1690, Benjamin Harris, an English refugee, published the Publick Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick, the first American newspaper, in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1783, the Daily Advertisers and the Pennsylvania Evening Post, the first daily American newspapers, were published in Philadelphia.

The Gentleman’s Magazine, published from 1731 to 1907, was the first periodical to use the word magazine that denotes a vehicle of entertaining reading. It contained political essays, poems, stories, and debates and was very influential, serving for example, as the model for the American Magazine of Andrew Bradford and the General Magazine and Historical Chronicle of Benjamin Franklin, the first true American periodicals.

Next: A History of Journalism in the Philippines – Early Years

A History of Journalism in the Philippines – Early Years

The Philippine press, which is committed to the great heritage of libertarianism, is one of the freest, liveliest, and strongest in Asia and in the world. Throughout the ages, it has perpetuated a formidable tradition of service, which is the fortification of our sovereign life.

Its sustainable growth and development provides gratifying and fascinating footnotes of our historical revolutions. It started in 1637 when Tomas Pinpin, the father of Filipino printing, published the Successos Felices, the first Philippine newspaper that antedated Publick Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick for 53 years.

Pinpin, who learned the art of printing from Father Francisco Blancas de San Jose, the parish priest of Abucay, Bataan and founder of the Dominican-owned printing press in Binondo, Manila and in Pila, Laguna, devoted his 14 – page newspaper to the raids of Muslim pirates in the country.

Hojas Volantes, with the title Aviso Al Publico, was distributed for mass readership in the Philippines and acted as town criers of Spain in the country on February 27, 1799. Although it appeared intermittently in the next 50 years, it was only on August 8, 1811 when the Spaniards put out the Del Superior Govierno, the first regularly issued newspaper edited by Governor General Manuel (Mariano?) Fernandez Del Folgueras. It gave news about the Napoleonic invasion in Spain and was a potent weapon in the fight for emancipation. It ceased publication after 15 issues over a six-month period.

Published on March 25, 1821, El Ramillete Patriotico was a liberal and audacious newspaper. It was sarcastic and sometimes unbridled in its speech of degenerating personalities. Another newspaper, El Noticioso Filipino, was published on July 29, 1821.

La Filantropía, a weekly newspaper dealing with current issues from Europe and the arrivals and departures of vessels in Manila, was dedicated to the “welfare of the people in the language that is not offensive to the sane moral of the public.” Printed in papel de arroz (rice paper), it first appeared on September 1, 1821 and ceased publication in 1822. It was followed by El Filantropo, a relatively small newspaper that lasted a year, and the Noticias Compiladas de los Papeles Publicos de la Peninsula both in 1824.

Founded by the Real Sociedad Economica de Amigos del Pais and edited by Luis Barreto, Jose Azcarraga, Manuel Azcarraga, Marcelo Azcarraga, and Jose Nicolas Irastorza in 1824, the Registro Mercantil de Manila was a monthly newspaper that worked for economic prosperity and political independence, but ceased publication in May 1833 because of lack of financial support and regular subscribers. El Noticiero followed it in 1838.

In 1843, Gregorio Tarrius, the Administrator of Posts, founded the Semanario Filipino that published business news from Asia, Europe, and the Archipelago. It was renamed El Amigo del Pais in 1845, but ceased publication in April 1847. La Estrella, a weekly newspaper founded by Agustin de la Cavada y Mendez de Vigo on October 4, 1846, became a daily newspaper on February 1, 1847, but was suspended in January 1849.

La Esperanza, the first daily newspaper filled with long discussions about religious, scientific, historical, and philosophical subjects, was also founded by Agustin de la Cavada y Mendez de Vigo, was edited by Felipe de la Corte y Ruano Calderon, and was published by Miguel Sanchez on December 1, 1846. It also published official and commercial news and advertisements.

When El Diario de Manila was founded on January 1, 1848, La Estrella and La Esperanza ceased publication and relinquished the monopoly to the Boletin Oficial de Filipinas, the daily government organ from 1852 to 1860. However, when the latter was renamed the Gaceta de Manila by a Royal Order on May 18, 1860, El Diario de Manila reappeared in September 1860.

Edited by José Felipe Del Pan, El Diario de Manila became not only the best-edited newspaper, but also one that had long, prosperous, and continuous circulation until 1899. Its editorial staff included José de la Rosa, Manuel Garrido, Manuel Marzano, Lorenzo Moreno Conde, Francisco Ramos Borguella, Francisco de Paula Martinez, and Antonio Vazquez de Aldana.

El Instructor, 1849; El Despertador, 1849; Diario de Avisos y Noticias, 1850; El Observador Filipino, 1851; Boletin Oficial de Filipinas, 1852, and El Commercio, 1858, followed the Diario. The latter, not an example of correctness, tidiness of language, and civility in reasoning, was an afternoon newspaper edited by Soler Ovejero, an army officer.

A fortnightly that opened a new era in the history of Philippine journalism because it had sustained its reviews, sketches, biographies, news about the country, and literary and scientific sections, the Ilustracion Filipina was published on March 1, 1859 and ceased publication on December 15, 1860.

Published on February 26, 1861, the Gaceta de Manila, a weekly government newspaper that published official documents and announcements, ceased publication on August 8, 1898. It was followed by the Revista de Noticias y Anuncios, 1861, La España Catolica, 1862, and La España Oceánica, 1862.

With the slogan “Religious Unity,” El Catolico Filipino was founded by Father Pedro Pelaez and was published by Father Mariano Sevilla on February 1, 1862. Though it was the first religious newspaper in the country, Fray Agapito Aparicio charged it as a political newspaper masquerading beneath the cloak of religion. El Correo de Filipinas was published in 1863.

Next: A History of Journalism in the Philippines – Revolutionary Period

A History of Journalism in the Philippines – Revolutionary Period

by Alixander Haban Escote

The supreme quest for freedom and independence started in Barcelona, Spain when La Solidaridad, a fortnightly edited by Graciano Lopez-Jaena, financed by Dr Pablo Rianzares, and supported by the Comité de Propaganda, was published on February 15, 1889. With the policy to champion democracy and liberalism, to expose the real plight of the country, and to work peacefully for economic and social reforms, the newspaper published not only news, but also articles and essays about the Philippines and its people.

As editor of the newspaper, Lopez-Jaena did not receive any monetary compensation, but was given free meals, lodging, clothing, and modest pocket money. In 1891, he collected his articles and speeches and incorporated them in his book entitled Discursos y Articulos Varios.

In writing for the newspaper, Filipino reformists used pen names: Antonio Luna, Taga-Ilog; Jose Ma. Panganiban, Jomapa; Domingo Gomez, Romero Franco; Clemente Jose Zulueta, Juan Totoó; Jose Rizal4, Laong Laan and Dimas Alang; Marcelo del Pilar, Kupang, Plaridel, and Maitalaga; Mariano Ponce, Naning, Tikbalang, and Kalipulako, Eduardo Lete, Pedro Paterno, Jose Alejandrino, Isabelo delos Reyes, Antonio Ma Regidor, among others. Ferdinand Blumentritt5, a Bohemian scholar, and Miguel Morayta, a Spanish historian, also worked for the newspaper.

On October 31, 1889, Lopez-Jaena passed the editorship to Marcelo del Pilar, who left his family in the Philippines, went to Spain, and literally gave his life for the newspaper. Del Pilar became the moving spirit of the reform movement and contacted progressive Europeans who would fight side by side with Filipino reformists.

In the next five years, Del Pilar, put out the newspaper despite of affliction, deprivation, and starvation. The newspaper ceased publication in Madrid, Spain on November 15, 1895. Apolinario Mabini had written Del Pilar about the difficulty of raising funds and the added obstacles of getting copies into the Philippines.

Two months and three days later, that was on January 18, 1896, Ang Kalayaan, the official revolutionary newspaper of the Kataastaasang Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (Highest and Most Respectable Society of the Sons of the People) founded by Andres Bonifacio6 and Emilio Jacinto, was published under the editorship of Pio Valenzuela. Printed with 2 000 copies, it exposed the inhumane and indignities of civil guards and Spanish friars and called for a bloody revolution against Spain. To deceive the Spaniards, the founders and the editor made it appeared that the newspaper was printed in Yokohoma, Japan, that the Japanese were in sympathy with the Filipino people, and that the editor was Marcelo del Pilar, who at that time was in Madrid and at the eve of his death.

The first issue of the newspaper contained a supposed editorial of Del Pilar, which Jacinto actually wrote. It greeted the people and wished them solidarity and independence and offered them his life and all he have for the good of the Filipino people. There was also an article by Jacinto and Valenzuela’s Catuiran, which described the cruelties of the Spanish friars and civil guards of San Francisco del Monte on a helpless village lieutenant. It also contained Bonifacio’s Pag-ibig sa Tinubuang Lupa that expressed the oppression of Spain and encourage the Filipino people to liberate their country; and Jacinto’s Manifesto that urged the Filipino people to revolt against Spain and to secure their liberty.

Bonifacio, Jacinto, and Valenzuela wrote under their pen names: Agap-ito Bagumbayan, Dimas-Ilaw and Pinkian, and Madlang-Away, respectively. Jacinto was about to publish the second issue when the Spanish authorities discovered the Katipunan. The newspaper, then, abruptly ceased publication.

On the other hand, Clemente Jose Zulueta, an enterprising writer, disappointed bibliophile, and later official researcher in the archives of Paris, Madrid, and Mexico, edited and published La Libertad on June 20, 1898. However, Gen Emilio Aguinaldo7, ordered the suspension of the newspaper because of not applying for a license through his offices. The July 4, 1898 decree stated, “While abnormal circumstances to the war still prevail, all publications, without permission from the government are strictly prohibited.” Aguinaldo confiscated the printing paraphernalia of the newspaper, which was operated by Asilo de Huérfanos, an Augustian orphanage in Malabon.

Probably the most read, most famous, and most important newspaper of the revolution was La Independencia. Gen Antonio Luna, the Commander in chief of the Army of Liberation of the First Philippine Republic, together with his brother Joaquin and a few friends, founded it. Its first issue appeared on September 3, 1898 and its last issue appeared on November 11, 1900. Like Ang Katipunan, the newspaper also concealed its place of publication and declared that it was published in Manila when it was actually published in Malabon. It used the same printing press that the La Libertad used. It had four pages, with one page devoted to advertisements, and contained news stories, with the foreign articles taken from the newly circulated the Manila Times.

La Independencia editorial staff was composed of highly liberate men and women who, most of them, wrote under their pen names: Antonio Luna, Taga-Ilog, director; Salvador Vivencio del Rosario, X and Juan Tagalo, editor in chief; Jose Abreu, Kaibigan, Cecilio Apostol, Catulo, Mariano del Rosario, Tito-Tato, Clemente Jose Zulueta, M. Kaun, Fernando Ma. Guerrero, Fluvio Gil, Rafael Palma8, Hapon and Dapit-Hapon, staff writers; R Regidor, Jose Palma, Rosa Sevilla, Luis Guerrero, Mariano Ponce, Manuel Guerrero, Rianzares Bautista, Apolinario Mabini, Leon Ma. Guerrero, Florentina Arellano, Ferdinand Blumentritt, Epifanio de los Santos, Trinidad Pardo de Tavera, contributors; and Felipe Calderon, proofreader.

La Independencia, which castigated both the Spaniards and the Americans, was published in consonance with the wave of nationalism and with the historical occurrence in Malolos, Bulacan. It had the distinction of surviving the 1896 Philippine Revolution and resisting American imperialism.

On September 15, 1898, La Republica Filipina, the newspaper edited by Pedro Paterno, was published in Mandaluyong, Rizal. Like La Independencia, the newspaper was written in refined style and was an example of editorial direction and excellence. However, it was closed down on January 8, 1899 with the hope that the Filipino people will achieve national unity under a democratic republic. Maj Gen Douglas MacArthur, in his 1901 annual report to the Secretary of War, called it an “official organ of the insurgent government” along with La Independencia.

Periodical El Heraldo de la Revolucion Filipina; El Heraldo de la Revolucion Filipina; El Heraldo de la Revolucion; El Heraldo, the official publication of the revolutionary government founded by Gen Emilio Aguinaldo on July 14, 1898, was first published on September 29, 1898 in Malolos, Bulacan. It was a bilingual, Spanish and Tagalog and Spanish and Ilocano, biweekly newspaper edited by Arsenio Cruz Herrera, who was the director of public instruction in the Malolos government and who also became City Mayor of Manila. In January 1899, it settled on the name Heraldo Filipino; this changed in April 1899 to Indice Oficial; and in May 1899 to Gaceta de Filipinas, which remained until it ceased publication in October 1899.

La Revolution was published in Jaro, Iloilo on December 18, 1898. Small, it explained that “our claims are as great as our strength” and it aimed “to defend the rights that the Filipino people have won.”

Published by young professionals, who belonged to the Club Democratico Independiente, Columnas Volantes was printed in Lipa, Batangas on March 24, 1899. It “looked like a real newspaper because besides recording the events mostly about Lipa, it commented on general politics and military movements.” Its writers included Fidel Reyes, Gregorio Solis, Teodoro Kalaw, and Baldomero Roxas. It had also correspondence in Laguna, Hugo Salazar; and La Union, Diego Gloria and Lorenzo Tinoy.

Edited by Isabelo de los Reyes, Filipinas Ante Europa and El Defensor de Filipinas were the two nationalistic newspapers published in Barcelona, Spain on November 18, 1899.

Next: A History of Journalism in the Philippines – American Colonial Period