Articles on European history

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This undated score, written by Joseph Mohr and titled ‘Weynachts Lied’ (‘Christmas Carol’), is the earliest known surviving copy of ‘Silent Night.’ Salzburg Museum

The humble origins of ‘Silent Night’

Two hundred years ago, an Austrian priest teamed up with a schoolteacher to perform the first rendition of 'Silent Night.' Little did they know that it would one day be sung in over 300 languages.
Russian defense minister during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow. REUTERS/Yuri Kochetkov

Why Russia thinks it’s exceptional

In the 19th century, Russian intellectuals launched a search for historical evidence of their moral and military superiority. What they found drives what today some call "Russian aggression."
Agricultural Building at the World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago, Illinois, circa 1893. University of Maryland Digital Collections

How Columbus, of all people, became a national symbol

An anthropologist tells the story of how Columbus actually came close to falling into historical obscurity, until American hubris got in the way.

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