View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/who-built-great-zimbabwe-and-why-breeanna-elliott
Stretched across a tree-peppered expanse in Southern Africa lies the ruins of Great Zimbabwe, a medieval stone city of astounding wealth. Located in the present-day country of Zimbabwe, it’s the site of the second largest settlement ruins in Africa. But its history is controversial, defined by decades of dispute about who built it and why. Breeanna Elliott explores the mystery of Great Zimbabwe.
Lesson by Breeanna Elliott, directed by JodyPrody.
CMS Curriculum Companion
Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, social, and religious structures of the civilizations.
Stefano Bonsignori 1589, Italian cartographer.Western Africa including: Senegal, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Costa dɺvorio, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo and Benin, 1580.
A Decorative Map of Africa. It was created in the 1660's. Scale ca. 1:40,000,000. Facsimile. Relief shown pictorially. Includes inset color drawings and 9 city views.
An old Map of West Africa. It was created in 1743. Covers West Africa from Gabon in the south to Niger, Mali, and Mauritania in the north. Relief shown pictorially. The map includes indexed illustration depicting the dress, customs, dwellings, and work of native Africans at this time.
Stefano Bonsignori 1589, Italian cartographer.Western Africa including: Senegal, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Costa dɺvorio, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo and Benin, 1580.
How did early African civilizations develop?
What were the religions of early Africa, and why?
What were the major industries, imports and exports of early African civilizations?
What role did trade routes play in the development of Africa?
"When I'm asked about the relevance to Black people of what I do, I take that as an affront. It presupposes that Black people have never been involved in exploring the heavens, but this is not so. Ancient African empires -- Mali, Songhai, Egypt -- had scientists, astronomers. The fact is that space and its resources belong to all of us, not to any one group."
Mae Jemison, the first African American woman astronaut in 1987. She was a physician and scientist who also spent time with the Peace Corp.
ENDURING UNDERSTANDINGS STUDENTS WILL UNDERSTAND:
Industry, resources, religion, and trade had a great influence on the development of Africa.
Early civilizations, characterized by defined social structure and traditional religion, developed in Africa.
Explore the 3 main kingdoms: Ghana, Mali, and Songhai- which succeeded each other in West Africa.
Discuss how East African kingdoms in Aksum, Ethiopia, the Swahili region, and Zimbabwe developed unique cultures and established trade routes. they were later visited by Portuguese traders.
Ideas are spread through trade, travel, and war.
Cultural contact can create change or continuity, conflict or cooperation.
Significant civilizations leave a legacy, which, may be positive or negative.
Africa can be divided into Northern, Eastern, Western, Central and Southern regions.
There are many unique characteristics to each region. Each region has many similarities and differences.
Powerful early kingdoms, European slave trade and colonization, a nd traditions from a mix of ethnic groups have all influenced West African culture.
Early civilizations contributed to the continental development of Africa and the Americas.
The idea of a distinct white human race began with German physician and anthropologist Johann Blumenbach, who in 1775 claimed that there were five such races, Caucasian, Mongolian, Malayan, Ethiopian (or Negroid), and American Indian.  Previously, François Bernier had in 1684 published a four-page essay postscript which posited five races, combining Europeans ("except for part of Muscovy") with inhabitants of the Northern coastal regions of Africa, and Arabia, Persia, Mongolia, India, and parts of China, Sumatra, Bantam, and Borneo, and described skin color as "merely accidental."  Prior classifications of ethnicity and culture were narrower and more mutable through antiquity, drawing distinctions closer to those of tribal and familial groups, and were based on environmental factors such as geography and climate as well as appearance, physiology, and learned behaviors such as language and diet.  Present-day racial and ethnic distinctions are only loosely correlated with genetic ancestry, with which they are being replaced in medical science.  
The conspiracy theory had precursors in early 20th-century eugenics theories,  which were popular in white-majority countries such as Australia and New Zealand, where it was feared that non-white immigrants would eventually supplant the white population. 
In 1916, the American eugenicist and lawyer Madison Grant wrote a book entitled The Passing of the Great Race which, while largely ignored when it first appeared, went through four editions, becoming part of popular culture in 1920s America and, in the process, spawned the ideology that the founding-stock of the United States, the so-called Nordic race, were under extinction threats from assimilation with non-whites. Grant wrote of it:
Neither the black, nor the brown, nor the yellow, nor the red will conquer the white in battle. But if the valuable elements in the Nordic race mix with inferior strains or die out through race suicide, then the citadel of civilization will fall for mere lack of defenders. 
The Harvard Gazette described Grant's assertion that the race which "built" America was in danger of extinction unless the US reined in immigration of Jews and others.  Author F. Scott Fitzgerald made a lightly disguised reference to Grant in The Great Gatsby, in which the character Tom Buchanan was reading a book called The Rise of the Colored Empires by "this man Goddard", a combination of Grant and his colleague Lothrop Stoddard. (Grant wrote the introduction to Stoddard's book The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy.) "Everybody ought to read it", Buchanan explained. "The idea is if we don't look out the white race will be – will be utterly submerged. It's all scientific stuff it's been proved." 
Adolf Hitler wrote to Grant to thank him for writing The Passing of the Great Race, calling it "my Bible."  Nazis employed the conspiracy theory widely as propaganda, as exemplified in a 1934 pamphlet written for the "Research Department for the Jewish question" of Walter Frank's "Reich Institute" with the title "Are the White Nations Dying? The Future of the White and the Colored Nations in the Light of Biological Statistics."  Nazis used the conspiracy theory as a call to arms in a bid to gain power through cultural hegemony and scapegoating Jews by leveraging long-running historical prejudices.  
Prior to Nazis coming to power, German eugenicists including Jewish medical and psychiatric professionals did consider Jews to be distinct from white Europeans, but not so "degenerate" or unfit as to require anything more than guidance avoiding heritable disease via marriage counseling and, as early as 1918, screening for Jews wishing to emigrate to Palestine. 
Neo-Nazis' accusations against Jews
The modern conspiracy theory can be traced back to post-war European neo-Nazi circles, especially René Binet's 1950 book Théorie du Racisme.    The latter influenced French 1960s far-right movements such as Europe-Action, which argued that "systematic race mixing [was] nothing more than a slow genocide".   In December 1948, Binet's newspaper L'Unité wrote: "We accuse the Zionists and anti-racists of the crime of genocide because they claim to be imposing on us a crossbreeding that would be the death and destruction of our race and civilization". 
The term "white genocide" appeared sporadically in the American Nazi Party's White Power newspaper as early as 1972  and was used by the White Aryan Resistance  in the 1970s and 1980s, where it primarily referred to contraception and abortion. The conspiracy theory was developed by the neo-Nazi David Lane in his White Genocide Manifesto (c. 1995 , origin of the later use of the term),     where he made the claim that the government policies of many Western countries had the intent of destroying white European culture and making white people an "extinct species".  Lane—a founding member of the organization The Order—criticized miscegenation, abortion, homosexuality, Jewish control of the media, "multi-racial sports," the legal repercussions against those who "resist genocide", and the "Zionist Occupation Government" that he said controls the United States and the other majority-white countries and which encourages "white genocide".  
Shortly after Lane's Manifesto, the Aryan Nations published their 1996 Declaration of Independence stating that the Zionist Occupation Government sought "the eradication of the white race and its culture" as "one of its foremost purposes." It accused such Jews of subverting the constitutional rule of law responsibility for post-Civil War Reconstruction subverting the monetary system with the Federal Reserve System, confiscating land and property limiting freedoms of speech, religion, and gun ownership murdering, kidnapping and imprisoning patriots abdicating national sovereignty to the United Nations political repression wasteful bureaucracy loosening restrictions on immigration and drug trafficking raising taxes polluting the environment commandeering the military, mercenaries, and police denying Aryan cultural heritage and inciting immigrant insurrections.     Of these accusations, only passage of the Federal Reserve Act, ratification of the Charter of the United Nations, and imprisonment of members of The Order were cited as specific instances.
Another strand developed in Europe in the 1970s by Austrian neo-Nazi Gerd Honsik, who distorted the early 20th century writings of Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi with his invention of the Kalergi plan conspiracy theory, which was popularized in a 2005 book.  
Rhodesian scare tactics
In 1966, Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith was described as having convinced white Rhodesians that their only alternative to his government's Rhodesian Bush War was "dictatorship and white genocide" by communist-backed black nationalist guerrillas.  
White supremacists are described as being obsessed with the treatment of the formerly dominant white minorities in Zimbabwe and South Africa by the black majorities where "the diminished stature of whites is presented as an ongoing genocide that must be fought."  In particular, the story of Rhodesia, as Zimbabwe was formerly known, ruled by a segregationist government under which most black people were denied the right to vote, holds a particular fascination for white supremacists. Zimbabwe's disastrous economic collapse under the leadership of its second black president, Robert Mugabe, together with the Mugabe government's policies towards the white minority has been cited by white supremacists as evidence of both the inferiority of blacks and a case of genocide against whites.  In alt-right and white supremacist groups, there is much nostalgia for Rhodesia, which is seen as a state that fought valiantly for white supremacy in Africa in the 1960–1970s until it was betrayed. 
In 2008, the conspiracy theory spread beyond its explicit neo-Nazi and white nationalist origins, to be embraced by the newly founded alt-right movement. Discussion threads on the white nationalist Internet forum Stormfront often center around the theme of white people being subjected to genocidal policies by their governments.  The concept has also been popularized by the alt-right and alt-lite movements in the United States.   The notion of racial purity, homogeneity or "racial hygiene" is an underlying theme of the white genocide discourse and it has been used by people with neo-Nazi and white supremacist backgrounds.  
While individual iterations of the conspiracy theory vary on who is assigned blame, Jewish influence, people who hate whites,  and liberal political forces are commonly cited by white supremacists as being the main factors leading to a white genocide.     This view is held by prominent figures such as David Duke, who cites Jews and "liberal political ideals" as the main causes.   White nationalist Robert Whitaker, who coined the phrase "anti-racist is a code word for anti-white" in a widely circulated 2006 piece seeking to popularize the white genocide concept online, used "anti-White" to describe those he believed are responsible for the genocide of white people, and continued to view it as a Jewish conspiracy while emphasizing that others also supported the "anti-White" cause.     However, the view that Jews are responsible for a white genocide is contested by other white supremacist figures, such as Jared Taylor.     
The Great Replacement
Starting with French author Renaud Camus and his 2011 book Le Grand Remplacement, the conspiracy theory of the Great Replacement focused on a displacement of French whites by predominantly Muslim population from the Middle East and Africa, then turned into a pan-European concept which spread across most major countries' politics on the continent.  Despite a common reference to a "genocide" of indigenous white peoples and a global plan led by a conspiring power, Camus's theory does not include an antisemitic Jewish plot. His removal of antisemitism from the original neo-Nazi theory (which has been replaced in the European context with Islamophobia), along with his use of simple catch-all slogans, have been cited as reasons for its broader appeal.  
The Great Replacement has also been compared with the European Islamophobic strain of Bat Ye'or's 2002 Eurabia conspiracy theory,  and with ideas expressed by far-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, the perpetrator of the 2011 Norway attacks, in his 2083: A European Declaration of Independence manifesto.  Since the 2019 Christchurch mosque shootings, where the shooter named his manifesto The Great Replacement, the French-originated phrase has been widely established as synonymous with "white genocide", used by mainstream Western media interchangeably, and deemed largely responsible for the emerging term of "white replacement".  
By 2017, at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, white nationalists were referencing the conspiracy theory as tiki torch-wielding protestors, who yelled "You will not replace us!" and "Jews will not replace us!".    In response, Camus stated that he did not support Nazis or violence, but that he could understand why white Americans felt angry about being replaced, and that he approved of the sentiment. 
"White genocide anxiety,"  "white displacement anxiety,"  and, the most commonly referred to, "white extinction anxiety" or panic,  is said to be one of the key driving forces behind the conspiracy theory and its supporters' adherence to it. The thesis, often cited as an explanation for some sections of white society's resistance to racial diversity,  is reported as virtually inseparable from the conspiracy theory itself.   
Former diplomat and scholar Alfredo Toro Hardy, who credits journalist Charles M. Blow with the term "white extinction anxiety", has outlined how "the anxieties related to the changing racial landscape of the United States" were at the heart of the concept, and propelled policies such as the Trump administration's "extreme measures against Southern immigrants".  In this regard, Trump has been accused of capitalizing on "white genocide anxiety" with claims that immigration had "changed the fabric of Europe", and empowering his supporters in media, such as Laura Ingraham, to stoke fears of "massive demographic changes" within the US.  Science journalist Ronald Bailey proposes that Trump is merely "the latest demagogue to rise to power by stoking white folks' ethnic fears", and that "white extinction panics" have historically occurred in the US each time the foreign-born population reached above 13 percent. 
Blow has defined "white extinction anxiety" as the fear that white people will become a minority, stripped of their race-based privilege.  Analyzing the concept, he examined Pat Buchanan's rhetoric (described by Bailey as a form of blood and soil mantra)  of whether the nations of Europe and North America had the "will and capacity to halt the invasion of the countries" before immigration altered the "political, social, racial, ethnic - character of the country entirely." Addressing Buchanan's arguably ethnic nationalist conclusions that "You cannot stop these sentiments of people who want to live together with their own and they want their borders protected", Blow said, "Make no mistake here, Buchanan is talking about protecting white dominance, white culture, white majorities and white power". 
Anti-racism activist Jane Elliott has suggested that this anxiety, or "Fear of White Genetic Annihilation", is so great that political leaders will resort to any measures in order to prevent the white extinction event that they believe is unfolding, including measures such as the Alabama abortion ban.  Anders Behring Breivik's core ideology, and motivations behind his white supremacist attacks, has been described as white extinction anxiety.  He had written: "This crisis of mass immigration and sub-replacement fertility is an assault on the European people that, if not combated, will ultimately result in the complete racial and cultural replacement of the European people".
According to professor Alexandra Minna Stern, who has detailed the connection between the conspiracy theory and the anxiety-framed concept, factions of the alt-right are distorting fertility statistics into a "conspiratorial campaign of white extinction" which is being fueled by a looming "white extinction anxiety". This phenomenon is driving alt-right strategies such as encouraging couples of Western and Northern European ethnicity to have up to eight children. 
The white genocide conspiracy theory has continuously recurred among the far-right in a variety of forms, all centered around a core theme of white populations being replaced, removed, or simply killed. 
Far-right and alt-right figures, such as singer Steve Hofmeyr, have claimed that a "white genocide" is taking place in South Africa.  The South African singer, songwriter, political activist, actor, and TV presenter supports and promotes the conspiracy theory.    The Conversation has credited Hofmeyr with popularizing the concept.  In January 2017, media reported that Hofmeyr was set to meet US President-elect Donald Trump to discuss "white genocide" in South Africa.   Hofmeyr later thanked Trump when the latter shared a tweet asking "Secretary of State [Mike Pompeo] to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers." 
The manifesto of far-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, entitled 2083: A European Declaration of Independence, devotes an entire section to an alleged "genocide" against Afrikaners. It also contains several other references to alleged persecution of whites in South Africa and the attacks on white farmers.  Mike Cernovich, an American alt-right commentator, has previously stated that "white genocide in South Africa is real".  The survivalist group the Suidlanders has claimed credit for internationally publicizing the risks of a race war and ethnic cleansing against whites.  
Africa Check, a fact-checking organisation, rejected these claims as false in 2013: "In fact, whites are less likely to be murdered than any other race group." Africa Check reported that while whites account for nearly 9% of the South African population they represent just 1.8% of murder victims. Lizette Lancaster from the Institute for Security Studies has said that "Whites are far less likely to be murdered than their black or coloured counterparts."    British journalist Joe Walsh reported that the murder rates in the mainly white suburbs of Johannesburg were far lower than in the black townships of Johannesburg, leading him to conclude: "If there was any kind of genocide being carried out against white people in the country then the safest areas of the continent's most dangerous city would not be predominately white." 
South African journalist Lynsey Chutel reported in 2018: "After a peak in 2001/2002, the number of farm attacks—rape, robbery and other forms of violent crime short of murder—has decreased to about half. Similarly, the number of murders on farms peaked in 1997/1998 at 153, but today that number is below 50."   Chutel stated that although some of the murders of white farmers may indeed be racially motivated, South Africa is a country with a high violent crime rate and white farmers are "isolated and believed to be wealthy".   In the period July 2017 to July 2018, 47 farmers of all races were killed in South Africa, down from 66 murdered between July 2016 and July 2017.  The worst year for farm murders in South Africa was 1998, when 153 farmers were killed. Between April 2016 and March 2017, there were a total of 19,016 murders in South Africa, suggesting that farmers are not especially likely to be killed in South Africa.  Gregory Stanton of Genocide Watch has condemned the misuse of his groups' reports of the threat of polarization in South Africa to further the idea of "white genocide". 
Much of the white genocide claims in South Africa rest on a misrepresentation of the Afrikaner people as conforming to the popular Boer stereotype as hard-working, devoutly Calvinist, gun-loving farmers. In 1989, the British journalist Patrick Brogan noted that the Afrikaners once called themselves Boers (lit. 'farmers') because that was what they were, but the term Boer fell out of use in the 20th century as most of the Afrikaners moved to urban areas, making the term Boer highly anachronistic.  Brogan concluded the popular Boer stereotype does not accurately describe the majority of the Afrikaners, whose way of life is very similar to that of middle-class people in other Western nations. 
Even mainstream American conservatives who often championed the causes of Rhodesia and apartheid South Africa, seeing both regimes as having supposedly more enlightened policies towards black people than the policy of integration in the United States, embraced the variants of the white genocide theory as part of the defense of Rhodesia and South Africa.  In 2015, the Canadian journalist Jeet Heer wrote: "The idea that whites in America have a natural affinity with white colonialists in Africa did not spring from the neo-Nazi far-right, but rather the conservative movement that coalesced around National Review in the 1950s."  In 1957, the American journalist William F. Buckley wrote a justification in National Review of white supremacy in the American South with a defense of colonial rule in Kenya: "The question, as far as the White community is concerned, is whether the claims of civilization supersede those of universal suffrage. The British believe they do, and acted accordingly, in Kenya, where the choice was dramatically one between civilization and barbarism, and elsewhere the South, where the conflict is by no means dramatic, as in Kenya, nevertheless perceives important qualitative differences between its culture and the Negroes', and intends to assert its own." 
Heer wrote that Buckley's equation of whiteness with "civilization" and blackness with "barbarism" led him to support racist regimes in both South Africa and Rhodesia, to paint the possibility of majority rule in both places in the darkest of colors, and his writings on the subject from the 1950s to the 1990s show a strong emotional identification with the whites of Rhodesia and South Africa.  Buckley and other American conservatives consistently portrayed apartheid era South Africa in a favorable light, and warned that majority rule would cause a disaster for whites.  On 23 April 1960 in the aftermath of the Sharpeville massacre of March 1960, National Review ran an editorial stating "the whites are entitled, we believe, to pre-eminence in South Africa."  Russell Kirk in a column in National Review on 9 March 1965 warned that letting African-Americans vote in the US "will work mischief—much injuring, rather than fulfilling, the responsible democracy for which Tocqueville hoped," but in the case of South Africa "this degradation of the democratic dogma, if applied, would bring anarchy and the collapse of civilization."  Kirk stated apartheid was just because South African whites were racially superior and "Bantu political domination would be domination by witch doctors (still numerous and powerful) and reckless demagogues."  On 13 April 1979, Buckley in a column gave an account of South African history very sympathetic to Afrikaner nationalists, suggesting that their concerns about black rule were rational and "their fears are understandable."  In an editorial on 14 March 1986, National Review asked "To what extent, is the vast majority of South African blacks intellectually and practically prepared to assume the social, economic, and political leadership in a highly industrialized country?"  In the July 1988 edition of Commentary, David Roberts, Jr compared Nelson Mandela to Pol Pot and the African National Congress (ANC), the now ruling party in South Africa, to the Khmer Rouge, implying that the ANC would exterminate South African whites if it came to power.  Shortly before his death in 2005 Samuel T. Francis, the former editor of the conservative Washington Times, warned about the possibility of a "white genocide" in South Africa. 
Simon Roche, an Afrikaner nationalist from South Africa and a spokesman for the survivalist group, the Suidlanders, that exists in his words "to prepare a Protestant Christian South African Minority for a coming violent revolution," visited the US in 2017 to promote the thesis that the white minority in South Africa is faced with the threat of ethnic cleansing.  Roche stated he went to the US to "raise awareness of and support for the Caucasian Christian conservative volk [people] of South Africa . There's a natural affinity with conservative white Americans." 
The Afrikaner group AfriForum's deputy director Ernst Roets has been erroneously linked by Radio 702, which it later apologised for,  to false claims of white genocide,  and South African government authorization of uncompensated seizures of land from white farmers.  Roets' 2018 book Kill the Boer argues that the government is also complicit in attacks on white farmers,  and characterizes the events as ethnic cleansing.  Another South African, Willem Petzer, appeared as a guest on Gavin McInnes's podcast, accusing the ANC government of planning genocide. 
Figures on the right of French politics, such as Renaud Camus, have claimed that a "white genocide" or "Great Replacement" is occurring in France.  Camus's definition, which focuses largely on the white Christian population in France, has been used in media interchangeably with white genocide,  and described as a narrower, less extreme and more nationally focused version of the broader conspiracy theory.   Despite his focus on the specific demographics of France, Camus also believes all Western countries are facing a form of "ethnic and civilizational substitution". 
In September 2016, François Lafargue, a senior lecturer at the Paris School of Business, claimed that the Boer white minority of South Africa (referring to them as "Europeans") will experience "the same fate as the French of Algeria or the British of Southern Rhodesia". Invoking the themes of both white Rhodesians and the French-Algerian colonist population Lafargue stated that around 400,000 white South Africans lived in poverty, "grouped together in makeshift encampments to better protect themselves", and that thousands had been violently murdered since 2000, claiming that the country's apparently increased "crime fuels the fear of a white genocide".  White genocide was used as a slogan by anti-immigrant/refugee protesters in Calais during the European migrant crisis.
In June 2017, Senator Stéphane Ravier's aide, running as one of the National Front's candidates, endorsed the conspiracy theory.   Publishing a blonde girl's photograph with the words "Say no to white genocide" days before the 2017 French legislative election, Ravier's assistant gave a political ultimatum "the National Front or the invasion". 
The 2015 New Year's Eve attacks in Cologne resulted in accusations that the federal government and media were deliberately avoiding public interest reporting on 1,200 sexual assaults by thousands of young male Muslim immigrants. [ citation needed ] Apologies for hesitancy by public television channel ZDF strengthened claims of a Lügenpresse (lying press) by populist and far-right parties as evidence for widespread conspiracy by German institutions. [ citation needed ] The unprecedented scale of border crossings during 2015 and 2016 compelled Chancellor Angela Merkel to impose "temporary restrictions" on transit across the border with Austria. The alt-right conspiracy website Zero Hedge listed statistics on migrant crime in Germany alongside statements from politicians and news articles, presented as "contradictions confirming a deep-state level of conspiracy . to push through a pro-immigration policy in Germany". During the 2017 German election campaign, the far-right Alternative for Germany party ran advertisements featuring a pregnant woman's abdomen with the slogan, "New Germans? We'll make them ourselves." 
A state-sponsored campaign led by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has employed a wide range of historical anti-Semitic tropes to accuse philanthropist George Soros of engaging in conspiracies to support and deceive the public about nonwhite immigrants. Orbán has accused Soros, a Jew whose family survived hostile conditions during Hungary's Nazi occupation, of being a Nazi himself, and has introduced legislation known as the "Stop Soros law" to criminalize organized support of immigrants. These fabrications have become popular with the alt-right in Europe and the US.  Orbán's 2018 campaign slogan was, "Christianity is Europe's last hope",  saying, "our worst nightmares can come true. The West falls as it fails to see Europe being overrun." 
Hundreds of Polish Facebook groups such as "Stop White Genocide" have produced and disseminated images depicting African and Middle eastern people as belonging to separate "primitive" species, lacking the human intelligence of white Europeans. Websites such as "Conspiracy Files" have fabricated allegations of political compacts to bolster nonwhite immigration against popular will, such as agreements signed by EU leaders and African nations to increase Europe's African population to 300 million by 2068, making native whites, "minorities within their own homeland". 
Much of the theory that South African whites are faced with the threat of "genocide" originates with internet rumors started by the Government of Russia. Russia-24, a television channel owned by the Russian government, aired a segment in the summer of 2018 about Afrikaner farmers wanting to immigrate to Russia as "brothers in faith". The present government in Russia led by Vladimir Putin often attacks the ideology of liberalism for putting the individual before the collective, and promotes "white genocide" stories both as a way of showing the failure of liberalism and to promote the thesis that group identities matter far more than individual identities. The ideology of the Russian state is that the interests of the collective take precedence over the individual, and evidence of alleged failures of liberalism abroad are extensively covered by the Russian media.  The Australian historian Mark Edele stated: "There is definitely an attempt [by Russia] to support alt-right views and extreme right organisations outside of Russia . Russia supports groups that will undermine liberal views. That's the logic of sponsorship of alt-right groups by Russia . There is a longstanding anxiety among Russia's nationalists that Russians are dying out because of falling birth rates compared to non-Slavic peoples. It reverberates with white genocide fears." 
The Canadian alt-right personality Lauren Southern had a sympathetic interview with the Russian fascist thinker Aleksandr Dugin, who told her "liberalism denies the existence of any collective identities" and that "liberalism is based on the absence of any form of collective identity". Dugin used the case of white South African farmers allegedly threatened with genocide as proof of the failure of liberalism, for putting the individual ahead of the collective. After the end of apartheid in 1994, South Africa was presented as the "rainbow nation" where henceforward people, regardless of their skin color, would be judged only as individuals. From the viewpoint of the Russian state, presenting liberalism in South Africa as a blood‑soaked disaster is a way of discrediting liberalism in general. 
In a 2015 Breitbart News article, the anti-Islamic For Britain party founder and leader Anne Marie Waters described white genocide as "part of a broad-ranging, virulent, and vicious hatred of white Western people" and claimed that European leaders aimed to "extinguish Western culture". 
In December 2015, former EDL leader Tommy Robinson endorsed the white genocide myth.  In his 2015 book Enemy of the State, Robinson claimed how previously white British majority areas of his hometown, Luton, had suffered "ethnic cleansing" and claimed that the United Kingdom was "sleepwalking" its "way towards a Muslim takeover". 
A few weeks before the 2016 Brexit referendum, an unemployed gardener with links to far-right organisations murdered Member of Parliament Jo Cox because of her support of the European Union and work in support of immigrants, saying she was part of a left-wing conspiracy perpetuated by the mainstream media and a traitor to the white race.  A March 2016 survey ahead of the referendum found 41% of Britons thought their government was concealing the true number of immigrants. 
In March 2018, journalist Rod Liddle was reported to have promoted the conspiracy theory. According to Vice, he pushed the narrative of "white genocide", after publishing an article in The Spectator which suggested that the apparent genocide that Lauren Southern had exposed in her documentary in South Africa would have been rewarded with professional acclaim had it been "any other brand of genocide". 
Katie Hopkins, an English media personality, has made a documentary supporting the conspiracy theory of an ongoing genocide against white farmers in South Africa.   She has also promoted the idea that both immigration and multiculturalism are intended to cause white genocide.  Yahoo! News reported that while traveling for the documentary, "her intention was to 'expose' the white genocide" happening to farmers in South Africa.  
In September 2018, with the arrest of some Neo-Nazi members of National Action, the counter-terrorist Prevent programme identified the white supremacist group as subscribing to the white extinction conspiracy theory. A governmental co-ordinator stated that the organization "sees the extinction of white people as a very real and likely possibility". 
In March 2019, Catherine Blaiklock resigned as leader of The Brexit Party after she shared a photo on social media of a multi-racial primary school in England with the caption "This is a British school. This is white genocide".  Another shared post of Blaiklock's claimed that multiculturalism amounted to "the replacement of the indigenous European people".  In April 2019, a Conservative Party candidate for local elections was revealed to have promoted the conspiracy theory after endorsing online material which claimed that the "destruction of the white race" was being brought about by non-white immigrants who were "flooding" Europe "disguised as so-called 'refugees'" in an alleged plot to "enforce miscegenation" on white Europeans. He was subsequently suspended from his party but remained on the ballot for the election. 
The identitarian movement Generation Identity party leader and neo-Nazi Mark Collett has been actively promoting the conspiracy theory on Twitter and YouTube.  
In June 2017, far-right political commentator Faith Goldy endorsed the conspiracy theory. Publishing a video for The Rebel Media called "White Genocide in Canada?",  Goldy compared the shifting demographics of Canada and its immigration policies to "white genocide".   Goldy has been described by GQ magazine as "one of Canada's most prominent propagandists" for the theory.  Later that month, Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes promoted the conspiracy theory after stating that white women having abortions and immigration is "leading to white genocide in the West". He also claimed "white genocide" was "much more intense" in South Africa.    McInnes is one of the main leaders of the far-right factions that believe in the conspiracy theory. 
In December 2017, YouTuber Stefan Molyneux pushed the conspiracy theory, claiming there was a "demographic decline among the whites that is happening in Europe and in North America", that supposedly predicted a "quasi-extinction" of white people.  Molyneux, an advocate of the theory,  in February 2018 published a video regarding the concept, titled "White Farmers Slaughtered in South Africa", which interviewed fellow white genocide conspiracy theorist Lauren Southern.  Southern, a far-right activist, has frequently pushed white genocide rhetoric, using it as an argument against immigration.    She has advocated for European countries to refuse refugees from Africa and Asia, saying that immigration would lead to white genocide,  and has been labelled in media as a "booster" for the conspiracy at large.  In 2018, Southern produced a documentary called Farmlands about post-Apartheid farm violence in South Africa. 
In March 2019, white supremacist Paul Fromm was reported to have endorsed the "white genocide" themed (The Great Replacement) manifesto of the Christchurch mosque shooting perpetrator.  Referring to it as "cogent" and a "historical document", Fromm republished the manifesto on his website, stating that he agreed with its analysis. 
As early as 2007, conservative Ann Coulter described non-white immigration to the United States as "white genocide" in her article titled "Bush's America: Roach Motel".    Vox has reported on Coulter as one of many providing a platform for "the 'white genocide' myth".  She has been described as a "champion" of the ideas behind the conspiracy theory following a book she wrote on the subject.  She has also claimed that "a genocide" is occurring against white South African farmers. 
In October 2014, white nationalist Greg Johnson promoted the white extinction conspiracy theory, suggesting that "the organized Jewish community is the principal enemy — not the sole enemy, but the principal enemy — of every attempt to halt and reverse white extinction. One cannot defeat an enemy one will not name. Therefore, White Nationalism is inescapably anti-Semitic." 
In December 2014, Ku Klux Klan leader Thomas Robb proposed in an interview with Al Jazeera that a white genocide was occurring due to the immigration and high birth-rates of non-whites. He claimed that demographic change was affecting the economic, racial and social landscape of Harrison, Arkansas and the US at large, and that this amounted to "white genocide being committed against our people".  Around that time, the concept appeared on billboards in the United States near Birmingham, Alabama,  and Harrison, Arkansas. 
2016 US presidential election campaigns
In October 2015, Mike Cernovich, a social media personality, published the white nationalist catchphrase "diversity is code for white genocide", claiming that his discovery of the concept had caused him to cease being a libertarian and instead become an alt-right activist.    Days later, he invoked the conspiracy theory again, warning that "white genocide will sweep up the SJWs" a prediction that Muslims would murder what he labelled social justice warriors in the United States.  In November 2015, Cernovich insisted that "white genocide is real" in relation to South Africa.  After a public backlash, he deleted several tweets referring to the conspiracy theory.   
During the 2016 US presidential election, there were allegations that aspects of the conspiracy theory had been adopted as dog-whistling by some mainstream conservative political figures. In January 2016, Donald Trump garnered controversy after retweeting Twitter user @WhiteGenocideTM,  and @EustaceFash, whose Twitter header image at the time also included the term "white genocide."  A 2016 analysis of his Twitter feed during the Republican presidential primaries showed that 62% of those that he chose to retweet in an average week followed multiple accounts which discussed the conspiracy theory, and 21% followed prominent white nationalists online. 
By March 2016, Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., had been accused by mainstream media of being an advocate of the conspiracy theory,  or pretending to be an advocate for political gain,  after his interview with white supremacist James Edwards during the 2016 Trump presidential campaign.  The following month, Jack Posobiec, a leading alt-right Trump activist and, at the time, US naval intelligence officer with military security clearance, began frequently tweeting about white genocide. 
While Donald Trump supporters on the Reddit discussion forum /r/The Donald generally agreed that white genocide is occurring, they disagreed about the responsible parties. The Southern Poverty Law Center said "Tea Party conservatives characterize it as a scheme by Democrats to gain voters. For the white nationalists, the main villain is 'international Jewry.' InfoWars fans blame 'globalists'—a label that is often interchangeable with 'Jews'—seeking to dumb down Western populations with 'low-IQ migrants' who are more easily controlled." In August 2017, at least 330 /r/The_Donald posts referred to the "Kalergi plan", a purported conspiracy to replace the European population with African migrants. 
The month before the US presidential election, white supremacist Richard B. Spencer declared that whatever the upcoming result, that he would be "profoundly grateful to Donald Trump for the rest of my life". Invoking "white genocide" in the same interview, he labelled anti-discrimination laws "the enemy of all tradition, not just the Anglo-Saxon American society it has helped destroy", and Martin Luther King Jr. as "the god of white dispossession".  The same month, William Daniel Johnson, leader of the American Freedom Party, was pushing the theory in support of Trump for president denouncing "the death of the white race, caused by the concepts of diversity and multiculturalism", he said that America needed a "strong leader" like Trump, likening the Republican candidate favorably with Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte. 
By early November, one week before the election, KKK leader Thomas Robb was invoking the conspiracy theory in support of Trump's Make America Great Again message, claiming that the concept was inextricably linked with the restoration of white power in the US  In February 2017, it was reported that neo-Confederate activist Michael Hill was using Rhodesia to reference and warn against an apparent "racial genocide" of whites in the United States.  Hill, a co-founder of the League of the South, equates multiculturalism within the country as part of an ongoing white genocide. 
By March 2017, Republican congressman Steve King was using rhetoric that Mother Jones and Paste writers described as invoking the conspiracy theory, saying that "We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies" and using the phrase "cultural suicide".  Vox and The New Republic have described him as an adherent of the theory that immigration and other forms of population shift represent a slow genocide against white populations.   In the same month, white supremacist David Duke, a former Republican Louisiana State Representative, posted YouTube videos stating that Jews are "organizing white genocide."      The former Grand Wizard of the KKK also accused Anthony Bourdain of wanting a genocide of white people.  
Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville
In August 2017, a white supremacist protest named the Unite the Right rally was held in Charlottesville, Virginia, largely driven by the ideology of the "white genocide" narrative. The protest was ostensibly centered around the impending removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, who was the commander of the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. The night before the rally, leaflets were distributed en masse in the city, bearing the recurrent slogan "Diversity is a code word for white genocide". 
Speaking at the event in Charlottesville, Jason Kessler, the primary organizer behind the rally and a white nationalist blogger, claimed that "the first and foremost reason that we're having this rally, is for that park and for that statue. It's about white genocide. It's about the replacement of our people, culturally and ethnically".  Kessler has repeatedly promoted the conspiracy theory, using his website to criticize what he called "white genocide" and an "attack on white history".   
Other prominent white nationalists also tied the conspiracy theory to the motivations behind Unite the Right. Giving a speech at the rally, Neo-nazi Mike Enoch said "We're here to talk about white genocide, the deliberate and intentional displacement of the white race". 
Trump administration foreign policy on South Africa
In the fall of 2017, it was reported broadcaster Alex Jones and his fake news organization InfoWars were promoting the white genocide myth. The Suidlanders (a völkisch group involved in spreading the conspiracy theory in South Africa) accepted invitations to contribute to the platform on multiple occasions.  Around the same time, Jones claimed white genocide was a serious threat in the US on a cultural front, with what he asserted were black NFL players advocating for "white genocide" by refusing to stand for the national anthem, and the apparent physical threat of Democrats and communists plotting genocidal attacks specifically against white Americans. 
Jones has been described as particularly instrumental in the American spread of conspiracy theories about white genocide in Africa,   while his long-time political ally, radio host Michael Savage, has devoted an episode of his show to conspiracy theories about white genocide in the region. 
In August 2018, US President Donald Trump brought the concept of "white genocide" in relation to South Africa significantly further into mainstream media discourse, after he publicly instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to investigate South African farm attacks,  an instruction which was broadly portrayed in media as the Trump and his administration advocating for an unfounded conspiracy theory.    
Trump had apparently gained his information from Tucker Carlson, a conservative political commentator for Fox News, who has been described as bringing the conspiracy theory of an ongoing "white genocide" in South Africa into the mainstream after a piece about the topic on his show caught the attention of president.      Vox described him as having "taken up the cause" of the "virulent, racist conspiracy theory" of white genocide.  Amanda Marcotte, writing in Salon, has said that Carlson avoids using the specific phrase "white genocide," but that "its basic premise is embedded throughout his show."  The SPLC has accused his website, The Daily Caller, of promoting the theory in relation to South African farm attacks.   Carlson asserted he was shocked his statements could be considered an appeal to white nationalists, dismissing questions about his show's high support among them as "stupid" and saying he knew nothing about them. 
New York magazine had claimed Trump was attempting to "change the conversation – to one about 'white genocide' in South Africa"  Esquire reported that the "President of the United States is now openly promoting an international racist conspiracy theory as the official foreign policy of the United States."  According to the SPLC, Trump had "tweeted out his intention to put the full force of the US State Department behind a white nationalist conspiracy theory." 
Reaction to US-South Africa policy
In August 2018, many politicians and public figures responded critically to US President Donald Trump's foreign policy initiative to investigate the seizure of land from white farmers and apparent evoking of the conspiracy theory. These included multiple members of the South African Parliament and RSA Deputy President David Mabuza, who rejected the conspiracy theory, calling it "far from the truth." He stated that "we would like to discourage those who are using this sensitive and emotive issue of land to divide us as South Africans by distorting our land reform measures to the international community and spreading falsehoods that our 'white farmers' are facing the onslaught from their own government." 
Julius Malema MP reacted, saying "there is no white genocide in South Africa",  that Trump's intervention into their ongoing land reform issues "only made them more determined . to expropriate our land without compensation",   and that there is a black genocide in the US  Jeremy Cronin MP stated that the South African government needed to "send a signal to the courts‚ to Trump‚ to Fox News Agency" over the issue. The deputy Minister of Public Works spoke against the conspiracy theory in a committee meeting in the South African parliament, he indicated that land expropriation without compensation should not be viewed as a white genocide.  Whereas Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu, claimed that his foreign policy tweet was "regrettable" and "based on false information",  and that the conspiracy theory in general was "a right-wing ideology, and it is very unfortunate." 
In the US, former US Ambassador to South Africa Patrick Gaspard, and American media personalities Chris Cuomo, Mika Brzezinski and Al Sharpton spoke out against the US President on the issue. Labelling Trump's actions as "dangerous and poisoned",  Gaspard opposed the concept, claiming the conspiracy theory was "trafficking in a white supremacist story line,"  and that the concept is a "white-supremacist meme from the darkest place." 
Cuomo, a television journalist, while stating that "like all conspiracy tripe, there's a kernel of truth" to the theory (in relation to land reform in South Africa) but concluded that the concept was a "bogus cause that white nationalists are selling."   He rejected what he said was Donald Trump, and his administration, claiming "white farmers" were "being hunted down and killed and having their land stolen". 
With a substantive response, American anti-racism activist, Tim Wise, critically analyzed the conspiracy theory further stating that it was a form of negrophobia, being directed politically to "scare white Americans" about non-whites within the US  Wise has proposed that the paranoia around the conspiracy theory dates back to the Haitian Revolution and North American slave rebellions, but that changing demographics of the United States have heightened existing anxiety, stating that "the reason it is amplified today is that in the recent past the cultural norm of the country was still dominantly white." 
While Mika Brzezinski, co-host of Morning Joe, spoke out against the concept,  labelling it as a "a racist conspiracy theory",  American civil rights activist, Al Sharpton joined Brzezinski in her opposition, labelling it as "neo-Nazi propaganda." Discussing the issue on an MSNBC segment with Katy Tur and foreign correspondent Greg Myre, Sharpton stated that it's "not true" that "white farmers are being killed in South Africa" for racial reasons.   A year later, Trump administration speechwriter Stephen Miller claimed US citizens were facing the same threat, saying that nonwhite congresswomen want to, "destroy America with open borders,” even if "American citizens lose their jobs, lose their homes, lose their livelihoods, lose their health coverage, and lose their very lives." 
In November 2018, Matthew Heimbach, former leader of the neo-Nazi Traditionalist Worker Party, led a protest in Little Rock, Arkansas over an alleged white genocide occurring in South Africa.  He called on the US government to sanction South Africa for the "violation of international law" in its treatment of white South Africans.  In January 2019, the KKK distributed business cards in Philadelphia with various racist slogans such as "White People are a World Wide minority and there are programs of Genocide against white children",  in what appeared to be deliberately targeting African-American neighborhoods with material which promoted the conspiracy theory. 
Three independent analyses of Trump re-election campaign advertisements shown in 2019 found 2,200 ads warning of an "invasion" by immigrants. In asking for help to fund a wall along the US-Mexico border, the ads included all-caps warnings of a "state of emergency," saying, "America's safety is at risk," and that it is "critical that we stop the invasion."  Other ads said Trump has, "taken multiple trips to the border to show the true invasion happening but the Democrats and the Fake News Media just won't listen."  In remarks in the Oval Office in March 2019, Trump said immigrants were trying to, "rush our borders. People hate the word 'invasion,' but that's what it is. It's an invasion of drugs and criminals and people." In a June 6 interview, Trump told Fox News, "I told Mexico, if you don't stop this onslaught, this invasion -- people get angry when I use the word 'invasion' -- people like Nancy Pelosi that honestly they don't know what the hell they're talking about." 
Fox News era
The American news channel Fox News is described by multiple mainstream media sources as aligned with the concept and narrative of the white genocide conspiracy theory and using its prominence to bring rhetoric of demographic threats to white Americans further into the center of US discourse. Amanda Marcotte, writing in Salon, has stated that Fox's default ideology is "strikingly similar" to "fascistic replacement theory" and "white genocide". Marcotte wrote that this ideology is especially the case for the network's prime-time commentators, such as Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham.  Paste magazine has argued that "far-right" Great Replacement rhetoric is not only a nightly fixture of Tucker Carlson Tonight, but a "foundational" principle of Rupert Murdoch's media empire. 
GQ has reported that Fox News' "popular primetime" shows are an important pipeline to President Donald Trump's political positions, such as the investigation into land reform in South Africa, and that Carlson's show in particular dedicates segments to "'great replacement' propaganda".  The warnings delivered by "conservative pundits on Fox News" are driving fears of an "existential threat" of a white genocide, according to The Atlantic, who particularly analyzed Laura Ingraham's nativist remarks, such as "massive demographic changes" apparently being inflicted upon white Americans against their will.  While The New York Times identified Carlson as engaging in replacement theory fear-mongering, in relation to family birthrates in the US,  ThinkProgress accused him of using the popularity of Fox News, as a platform, to push fears of demographic change through immigration and feminism, causing a so-called "genocide" of American white men. 
American Neo-Nazi literature such as The Turner Diaries and Lane's White Genocide Manifesto have spread online to right wing groups in Australia. A collection of writings called Siege by James Mason was cited as an inspiration by some of the twenty-two neo-Nazis who infiltrated the New South Wales Young Nationals party from which they were banned for life for trying to advance the creation of an ethno-state.  Themes of the "defense of Western civilization" and the achievements of ethnic Whites have become racist dog whistles for groups advancing theories of an impending white genocide. 
In March 2018, several Australian tabloids owned by the News Corporation ran articles alleging that South African whites were faced with genocide and which led the Australian home affairs minister Peter Dutton to promise fast-track visas for any South African white wishing to emigrate to Australia.  Dutton is known for his anti-immigrant and anti-refugee stance, which led to questions about his willingness to accept South African whites into Australia as refugees, since he normally opposes Australia accepting refugees.  One News Corp columnist, Miranda Devine, wrote about the ties as she saw them between the Australian people and "our oppressed white, Christian, industrious, rugby and cricket-playing Commonwealth cousins" threatened by South African blacks whom she promised would integrate "seamlessly" into Australia as opposed to immigration from Third World countries. 
Another Australian News Corporation columnist Caroline Marcus connected the alleged plight of South African whites to what she saw as a broader attack on whites across the world, writing "the truth is, there are versions of this anti-white, vengeance theme swirling in movements around the western world, from Black Lives Matter in the US to Invasion Day protests back home."  The British journalist Jason Wilson noted that the News Corporation run by the Australian media magnate Rupert Murdoch also owns Fox News, which has aired stories portraying South African whites as a persecuted minority, leading him to accuse the News Corporation of promoting this narrative around the world. 
In 2018, a resolution declaring "It's OK to be white", and decrying "the deplorable rise of anti-white racism and attacks on the Western civilization," was introduced in the Australian Senate by Pauline Hanson, an anti-immigrant Senator who leads the One Nation Party. The motion was narrowly defeated.  The same slogan, which is associated with white supremacist rhetoric, was also depicted on a shirt worn by the far-right Canadian youtuber Lauren Southern during a visit to Australia.  
After Australian white-genocide conspiracy theorist Brenton Tarrant carried out the March 2019 Christchurch mosque shootings, Queensland Senator Fraser Anning released a statement saying the cause of the attacks was "the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place". Anning has called for a "final solution" to nonwhite immigration to Australia,  and frequently issues calls to stop white genocide on social media.  Other politicians such as Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton have helped propel the idea of white genocide into the mainstream. 
The accused perpetrator of the Christchurch mosque shootings alluded to "white genocide" and ethnic and racial "replacement" in a 74-page manifesto posted shortly before the attacks. 
South African expatriates in New Zealand have been spreading white genocide myths on Facebook and by demonstrating in marches. 
Timothy McVeigh, the main perpetrator of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 and injured more than 680, carried pages from The Turner Diaries, a fictional account of white supremacists who ignite a revolution by blowing up the FBI headquarters with a truck bomb.  The book was greatly influential in shaping white nationalism and in the later development of white genocide conspiracy theory.   Although the bomber didn't attribute his motives to the white nationalist movement, he frequently cited The Turner Diaries and had been reprimanded in the Army for wearing a "white power" T-shirt purchased at a Ku Klux Klan rally. 
Richard Baumhammers, the perpetrator of a 2000 shooting spree in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, that killed five people and injured a sixth, complained that European Americans are being outnumbered by minorities and immigrants, calling on a website for "an end to non-white immigration" because "almost all" present day immigration "is non-European."  
Frazier Glenn Miller Jr., the perpetrator of a shooting spree that killed three people at a Jewish community center and retirement home in Overland Park, Kansas, had supported the slogan: "Diversity is code for white genocide."  He stated that the "systematic genocide of white people by Jews" was his motive,  and that he, "had a patriotic intent to stop genocide against my people".  On Easter Sunday, the day after the shooting, white supremacists delivered "white genocide" themed Easter eggs to several houses in Henrico County, Virginia, repeating the "Diversity = white genocide" mantra.  
Dylann Roof, the perpetrator of the Charleston church shooting that killed nine people and injured a tenth, included a photo on his Facebook page of his wearing a jacket decorated with two emblems that are popular among American white supremacists: the flag of the former Rhodesia (now known as Zimbabwe) and the flag of apartheid-era South Africa.    He had been blogging on a website called "The Last Rhodesian" (www.lastrhodesian.com) registered on February 9, 2015,    which included an unsigned manifesto containing his opinions of "Blacks", "Jews", "Hispanics" and "East Asians."   Saying he became "racially aware" as a result of the 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin, he wrote that because he kept hearing people talk about the incident, he "decided to look him up" and read the Wikipedia article about it. He concluded that George Zimmerman had been in the right, and was unable to comprehend why the case had gained national attention. He said he then searched for black on white crime on Google and found the website of the Council of Conservative Citizens, where he read "pages upon pages" of cases involving black people murdering white people, stating that he had "never been the same since that day."  For these reasons, Federal prosecutors said he was "self-radicalized" online, instead of adopting his white supremacist ideology through personal associations or experiences with white supremacists. 
The driver responsible for the Charlottesville car attack against protesters at the Unite the Right rally had previously espoused neo-Nazi and white supremacist beliefs.   He had driven from Ohio to join the rally in which participants chanted, "Jews will not replace us."  He killed one person and injured 28.
The perpetrator of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting that killed eleven and injured another seven wrote "Jews are the children of Satan" in his social media profile, using neo-Nazi and white supremacist symbolism associated with David Lane, along with the Nazi slogan, "Heil Hitler."  He supported white genocide conspiracy theories, writing in one instance, "Daily Reminder: Diversity means chasing down the last white person."  He also wrote diatribes against white women who have relationships with black men.  In the weeks before the shooting, Bowers made anti-Semitic posts directed at the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society   who sponsor the National Refugee Shabbat.  Shortly before the attack, in an apparent reference to immigrants to the United States, he posted on Gab that "HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can't sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I'm going in."  
The perpetrator of the Poway synagogue shooting that killed one and injured three others blamed Jews for white genocide, which he described as the "meticulously planned genocide of the European race" in his manifesto.  
The perpetrator of the 2019 El Paso shooting that killed 23 and injured another 23  had published a manifesto expressing support for the Christchurch shooter and his manifesto, saying the El Paso attack was in response to a "Hispanic invasion of Texas . defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement. the Hispanic community was not my target before I read The Great Replacement."  Several commentators noted that the manifesto echoed themes in Donald Trump's campaign speeches, including repeated claims of a Hispanic invasion along with general extremism and hateful language, whose proponents have been emboldened and mobilized by Trump's rhetoric    and increasingly frequent talking points in right-wing media outlets.  Trump, in turn, called for "strong background checks, perhaps marrying this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform", which some commentators said blamed immigration for the massacre. 
Anders Behring Breivik, the perpetrator of the 2011 Norway attacks, had participated for years in debates on Internet forums and spoken against Islam and immigration.  He wrote a 1,518-page compendium including frequent mentions of alleged ongoing genocide against white Europeans.   Analysts described him as having Islamophobic views and a hatred of Islam,   and as someone who considered himself as a knight dedicated to stemming the tide of Muslim immigration into Europe.   The text copies sections of the Unabomber manifesto, without giving credit, while substituting the words "cultural Marxists" for "leftists" and "Muslims" for "black people."  The New York Times described American influences in the writings, noting that the compendium mentions the anti-Islamist American Robert Spencer 64 times and cites Spencer's works at great length.  The work of Bat Ye'or  is cited dozens of times.  It regards Islam and "cultural Marxism" as the enemy and argues for the annihilation of "Eurabia" and multiculturalism, to preserve a Christian Europe.   
The perpetrator of the Christchurch mosque shootings that killed 51 and injured 49 explained in a manifesto that he carried out the attack to fight ongoing "white genocide" by foreign "invaders."  He had forwarded stories about white women's low fertility rates on his social media accounts. Photographs from his initial court appearance showed him making the "OK" symbol appropriated by white supremacists with his fingers. 
White genocide is a myth based on false science, false history, and hatred.    There is no evidence that white people are dying out or will die out, or that they are facing extermination.    White supremacists claim that ethnic diversity is equivalent to white genocide.  Scholars describe white supremacists as fabricating paranoid claims that their survival as a race is threatened, for example by, "individualism, celibacy, feminism and other forms of sex-role confusion, misplaced environmentalism, and white demonization and guilt," all of which are claimed to promote reproductive failure. 
The purpose of the white genocide conspiracy theory is to scare white people in countries that are diversifying and justify a commitment to a white nationalist agenda,  using evidence of a declining birth rate in support of their extremist views and calls to violence.  White supremacists are successfully constructing false narratives of genocide to incite violence at an increasing rate.  Literature propounding the white genocide conspiracy theory has incited violence The Turner Diaries, for instance, is responsible for inciting many violent crimes, including those of Timothy McVeigh.    The US Republican Party as led by Donald Trump has repeatedly and openly courted white supremacists and endorsed the falsehoods they promote, including those of white genocide. 
In October 2016, Sanjiv Bhattacharya analyzed the belief in the conspiracy theory amongst the alt-right. While considering the prospect that non-Hispanic whites will be less than 50% of the US population by 2044 Bhattacharya, a British journalist, pointed out the racist hypocrisy in the statement "Diversity equals white genocide", discussing how the "alt right loves to evoke genocide while harbouring Holocaust deniers". 
Around the Christmas period of 2016, George Ciccariello-Maher, an American political scientist, satirically tweeted "All I Want for Christmas is White Genocide". As a result of the ensuing controversy, Ciccariello-Maher resigned from his job as an associate professor of politics and global studies at Drexel University.  Ciccariello-Maher continued to strongly oppose the conspiracy theory, claiming that it was "invented by white supremacists and used to denounce everything from inter-racial relationships to multicultural policies."  He has labelled the concept as a "figment of the racist imagination" and claimed that "it should be mocked." 
Derek Black, an American former white supremacist and godson of David Duke, after initially supporting and helping to popularize the concept,   has renounced and opposed the white genocide conspiracy theory.  Black has claimed that the concept was about pushing white nationalists into a false and overt paranoia about demographics of the United States.  Eli Saslow, an American journalist who worked with Black on his 2018 book Rising out of hatred, has spoken against the conspiracy theory, labelling it as a "really effective" form of propaganda or indoctrination. He stated that "unfortunately, in part because it's built upon a very real and dark truth in American history—which is that white supremacy has always been a big part of what this country is—white nationalists were able to start capitalizing on that."  Saslow has claimed the conspiracy theory is a way to "sanitize" white America's history of racism and violence, by focusing on the "ways that white people are under attack in this country," including "white genocide" and "building a wall." 
In January 2019, Democratic Philadelphia City Council member Kenyatta Johnson labelled the Ku Klux Klan's distribution of "white genocide" promotional material in black neighborhoods of Philadelphia as an "upsetting and disgusting" act.  In June 2019, Canadian author Naomi Klein addressed the narrative of "white genocide", criticizing the concept as an attack on women's reproductive freedom, in that it wished to deny abortion rights to white women having white children, while seeking to suppress non-white immigrant birthrates.  The following month, critical theorist Bernard Harcourt detailed how the American New Right was seeking to orient its political message around the fear of a white genocide occurring. He proposed that "neo-fascist, white supremacist, revolutionary language" was becoming mainstream and was in effect "starting to change the way people are willing to express themselves", including President Trump. 
In March 2019, journalist Adam Serwer suggested that the conspiracy theory did not sincerely refer to "mass murder, ethnic cleansing, or even violence," but rather to a perceived "loss of political and cultural hegemony in countries that white supremacists think should belong to white people by law." Serwer proposed that the conspiracy was "a kind of projection, a paranoia that the past genocide, colonialism, and ethnic cleansing forced on the West's former subjects will be visited upon it."   The same month, Farhad Manjoo detailed how "white-extinction theory" was nonsense. Proposing that the "white genocide" label had "failed to take off", proving ineffective for conspiracy theorists attempting to push the narrative. Manjoo, an American journalist, suggested that the "Great Replacement" (which the Christchurch mosque shooter used for a manifesto title) was a softer reinvention, being to the white genocide conspiracy theory what the term Identitarian is to "white supremacist." 
In April 2019, British academic Elif Shafak detailed how Renaud Camus' theory of the Great Replacement has created an ideological worldview for the far-right to amplify into a "white genocide" narrative in the West. Shafak argues that the conspiracy theory is also embedded in the works of Thilo Sarrazin, such as Germany Abolishes Itself and 2018's Hostile Takeover.  Later that month, Jonathan Freedland and Mehdi Hasan released a joint analysis of far-right extremism and the ideology behind "white genocide". Discussing Pittsburgh synagogue shooter, Robert Gregory Bowers, and his rhetoric, Freeland and Hasan, both political journalists, labelled the conspiracy theory as racist and unhinged and argued that it had both the Muslim and Jewish "communities in its murderous sights". They concluded that both groups should "stand and fight it together". 
In May 2019, political commentator Nick Cohen analyzed how "white genocide" narratives created anti-immigrant and societal sexual tension. He argued that the conspiracy theory was an effective form of racism and propaganda, which had penetrated Viktor Orbán's Hungarian government, but revealed a far-right paranoia that European men were not virile enough.  In June 2019, professor of economics Jonathan Portes, while describing the concept as a "lunatic" conspiracy theory, detailed how more respectable versions of "white genocide" were being promoted by academic and media figures, and therefore pushing the idea further into mainstream discourse. 
CX-X and Heavy Logistics System Edit
In 1961, several aircraft companies began studying heavy jet transport designs that would replace the Douglas C-133 Cargomaster and complement Lockheed C-141 Starlifters. In addition to higher overall performance, the United States Army wanted a transport aircraft with a larger cargo bay than the C-141, whose interior was too small to carry a variety of their outsized equipment. These studies led to the "CX-4" design concept, but in 1962, the proposed six-engined design was rejected, because it was not viewed as a significant advance over the C-141.  By late 1963, the next conceptual design was named CX-X. It was equipped with four engines, instead of six in the earlier CX-4 concept. The CX-X had a gross weight of 550,000 pounds (249,000 kg), a maximum payload of 180,000 lb (81,600 kg), and a speed of Mach 0.75 (500 mph or 805 km/h). The cargo compartment was 17.2 ft (5.24 m) wide by 13.5 feet (4.11 m) high and 100 ft (30.5 m) long with front and rear access doors.  Meeting the power and range specifications with only four engines required a new engine with dramatically improved fuel efficiency.
General Duane H. Cassidy, former MAC Commander in Chief 
The criteria were finalized and an official request for proposal was issued in April 1964 for the "Heavy Logistics System" (CX-HLS) (previously CX-X). In May 1964, proposals for aircraft were received from Boeing, Douglas, General Dynamics, Lockheed, and Martin Marietta. General Electric, Curtiss-Wright, and Pratt & Whitney submitted proposals for the engines. After a downselect, Boeing, Douglas, and Lockheed were given one-year study contracts for the airframe, along with General Electric and Pratt & Whitney for the engines.  All three of the designs shared a number of features. The cockpit was placed well above the cargo area to allow for cargo loading through a nose door. The Boeing and Douglas designs used a pod on the top of the fuselage containing the cockpit, while the Lockheed design extended the cockpit profile down the length of the fuselage, giving it an egg-shaped cross section. All of the designs had swept wings, as well as front and rear cargo doors, allowing simultaneous loading and unloading.  Lockheed's design featured a T-tail, while the designs by Boeing and Douglas had conventional tails.   
The Air Force considered Boeing's design to be better than that of Lockheed, but Lockheed's proposal was the lowest total-cost bid.  Lockheed was selected the winner in September 1965, then awarded a contract in December 1965.   General Electric's TF39 engine was selected in August 1965 to power the new transport plane.  At the time, GE's engine concept was revolutionary, as all engines before had a bypass ratio less than two-to-one, while the TF39 promised and would achieve a ratio of eight-to-one, which had the benefits of increased engine thrust and lower fuel consumption.  
Into production Edit
The first C-5A Galaxy (serial number 66-8303) was rolled out of the manufacturing plant in Marietta, Georgia, on 2 March 1968.  On 30 June 1968, flight testing of the C-5A began with the first flight, flown by Leo Sullivan, with the call sign "eight-three-oh-three heavy". Flight tests revealed that the aircraft exhibited a higher drag divergence Mach number than predicted by wind tunnel data. The maximum lift coefficient measured in flight with the flaps deflected 40° was higher than predicted (2.60 vs. 2.38), but was lower than predicted with the flaps deflected 25° (2.31 vs. 2.38) and with the flaps retracted (1.45 vs. 1.52). 
Robert F. Dorr, aviation historian 
Aircraft weight was a serious issue during design and development. At the time of the first flight, the weight was below the guaranteed weight, but by the time of the delivery of the 9th aircraft, had exceeded guarantees.  In July 1969, during a fuselage upbending test, the wing failed at 128% of limit load, which is below the requirement that it sustain 150% of limit load. Changes were made to the wing, but during a test in July 1970, it failed at 125% of limit load. A passive load-reduction system, involving uprigged ailerons, was incorporated, but the maximum allowable payload was reduced from 220,000 to 190,000 lb (100,000 to 86,000 kg). At the time, a 90% probability was predicted that no more than 10% of the fleet of 79 airframes would reach their fatigue life of 19,000 hours without cracking of the wing. 
Cost overruns and technical problems of the C-5A were the subject of a congressional investigation in 1968 and 1969.   The C-5 program has the dubious distinction of being the first development program with a $1‑billion (equivalent to $7.1 billion today) overrun.   Due to the C-5's troubled development, the Department of Defense abandoned Total Package Procurement.  In 1969, Henry Durham raised concerns about the C-5 production process with Lockheed, his employer. Subsequently, Durham was transferred and subjected to abuse until he resigned. The Government Accountability Office substantiated some of his charges against Lockheed. Later, the American Ethical Union honored Durham with the Elliott-Black Award.  The Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Management Systems, Ernest Fitzgerald, was another person whose fostering of public accountability was unwelcome. 
Upon completion of testing in December 1969, the first C-5A was transferred to the Transitional Training Unit at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma. Lockheed delivered the first operational Galaxy to the 437th Airlift Wing, Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina, in June 1970. Due to higher than expected development costs, in 1970, public calls were made for the government to split the substantial losses that Lockheed was experiencing.  Production was nearly brought to a halt in 1971 due to Lockheed going through financial difficulties, due in part to the C-5 Galaxy's development, as well as a civilian jet liner, the Lockheed L-1011.  The U.S. government gave loans to Lockheed to keep the company operational. 
In the early 1970s, NASA considered the C-5 for the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft role, to transport the Space Shuttle to Kennedy Space Center. However, they rejected it in favor of the Boeing 747, in part due to the 747's low-wing design.  In contrast, the Soviet Union chose to transport its shuttles using the high-winged An-225,  which derives from the An-124, which is similar in design and function to the C-5.
During static and fatigue testing, cracks were noticed in the wings of several aircraft,  and as a consequence, the C-5A fleet was restricted to 80% of maximum design loads. To reduce wing loading, load alleviation systems were added to the aircraft.  By 1980, payloads were restricted to as low as 50,000 lb (23,000 kg) for general cargo during peacetime operations. A$1.5 billion program (equivalent to $6.8 billion today), known as H-Mod,  to re-wing the 76 completed C-5As to restore full payload capability and service life began in 1976.   After design and testing of the new wing design, the C-5As received their new wings from 1980 to 1987.   During 1976, numerous cracks were also found in the fuselage along the upper fuselage on the centerline, aft of the refueling port, extending back to the wing. The cracks required a redesign to the hydraulic system for the visor, the front cargo entry point. 
Restarted production and development Edit
In 1974, Iran, then having good relations with the United States, offered $160 million (equivalent to $840 million today) to restart C-5 production to enable Iran to purchase aircraft for their own air force,   in a similar climate as to their acquisition of F-14 Tomcat fighters.  However, no C-5 aircraft were ever ordered by Iran, and the prospect was firmly halted by the Iranian Revolution in 1979.  
As part of President Ronald Reagan's military policy, funding was made available for expansion of the USAF's airlift capability. With the C-17 program still some years from completion, Congress approved funding for a new version of the C-5, the C-5B, in July 1982, to expand airlift capacity.    The first C-5B was delivered to Altus Air Force Base in January 1986. In April 1989, the last of 50 C-5B aircraft was added to the 77 C-5As in the Air Force's airlift force structure. The C-5B includes all C-5A improvements and numerous additional system modifications to improve reliability and maintainability. 
In 1998, the Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) began upgrading the C-5's avionics to include a glass cockpit, navigation equipment, and a new autopilot system.  Another part of the C-5 modernization effort is the Reliability Enhancement and Re-engining Program (RERP). The program replaced the engines with newer, more powerful ones. 
A total of 52 C-5s are contracted to be modernized, consisting of 49 B-, two C- and one A-model aircraft through the RERP. The program features over 70 changes and upgrades, including the newer General Electric engines.   Three C-5s underwent RERP for testing purposes. Low-rate initial production started in August 2009 with Lockheed reaching full production in May 2011 [ citation needed ] 22 C-5M Super Galaxies have been completed as of August 2014.  RERP upgrades were completed on 25 July 2018. The Air Force received the last modified aircraft on 1 August 2018. 
As of 2014 [update] , Lockheed is investigating drag reduction by plasma-heating of turbulent transonic airflow in critical points, saving overall weight by reducing fuel consumption. The Air Force Research Laboratory is looking at shape-memory alloy for speed-dependent vortex generators. 
The C-5 is a large, high-wing cargo aircraft with a distinctive high T-tail fin (vertical) stabilizer, with four TF39 turbofan engines mounted on pylons beneath wings that are swept 25°. (The C-5M uses newer GE CF6 engines.) Similar in layout to its smaller predecessor, the C-141 Starlifter, the C-5 has 12 internal wing tanks and is equipped for aerial refueling. Above the plane-length cargo deck is an upper deck for flight operations and for seating 80 passengers in rear facing seats (unlike most commercial airplanes) and the embarked loadmaster crew in forward facing seats. Bay doors at both nose and tail open to enable "drive-through" loading and unloading of cargo. 
The cargo hold of the C-5 is one foot (30 cm) longer than the entire length of the first powered flight by the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk.  For its voracious consumption of fuel and its maintenance and reliability issues  the Galaxy's aircrews have nicknamed it "FRED", for Fucking [N 1] Ridiculous, Economic/Environmental Disaster. 
Takeoff and landing distance requirements for the plane at maximum-load gross weight are 8,300 ft (2,500 m) and 4,900 ft (1,500 m), respectively. Its high-flotation main landing gear provides 28 wheels to distribute gross weight on paved or earth surfaces. The rear main landing gear can be made to caster to make a smaller turning radius, and rotates 90° after takeoff before being retracted. "Kneeling" landing gear permits lowering the aircraft when parked, thereby presenting the cargo deck at truck-bed height to facilitate loading and unloading operations. 
The C-5 features a malfunction detection analysis and recording system to identify errors throughout the aircraft.  The cargo compartment is 121 ft (37 m) long, 13.5 ft (4.1 m) high, and 19 ft (5.8 m) wide, or just over 31,000 cu ft (880 m 3 ). It can accommodate up to 36 463L master pallets or a mix of palletized cargo and vehicles. The nose and aft cargo-bay doors open the full width and height of the cargo bay to maximize efficient loading of oversized equipment. Full-width ramps enable loading double rows of vehicles from either end of the cargo hold. 
The C-5 Galaxy is capable of moving nearly every type of military combat equipment, including such bulky items as the Army armored vehicle launched bridge, at 74 short tons (67 t), from the United States to any location on the globe  and of accommodating up to six Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopters or five Bradley Fighting Vehicles at one time. 
The first C-5A was delivered to the USAF on 17 December 1969. Wings were built up in the early 1970s at Altus AFB, Oklahoma Charleston AFB, South Carolina Dover AFB, Delaware and Travis AFB, California. The C-5's first mission was on 9 July 1970, in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.  C-5s were used to transport equipment and troops, including Army tanks and even some small aircraft, throughout the later years of the US action in Vietnam.  In the final weeks of the war, prior to the Fall of Saigon, several C-5s were involved in evacuation efforts. During one such mission, a C-5A crashed while transporting a large number of orphans, with over 140 killed.  
C-5s have also been used to deliver support and reinforce various US allies over the years. During the Yom Kippur War in 1973, multiple C-5s and C-141 Starlifters delivered critical supplies of ammunition, replacement weaponry and other forms of aid to Israel, the US effort was named as Operation Nickel Grass.   The C-5 Galaxy's performance in Israel was such that the Pentagon began to consider further purchases.  The C-5 was regularly made available to support American allies, such as the British-led peacekeeper initiative in Zimbabwe in 1979. 
On 24 October 1974, the Space and Missile Systems Organization successfully conducted an air-launched ballistic missile test, where a C-5A Galaxy aircraft air dropped an 86,000-pound (39,000 kg) Minuteman ICBM from 20,000 feet (6,100 m) over the Pacific Ocean. The missile descended to 8,000 feet (2,400 m) before its rocket engine fired. The 10-second engine burn carried the missile to 20,000 feet (6,100 m) again before it dropped into the ocean. The test proved the feasibility of launching an intercontinental ballistic missile from the air. Operational deployment was discarded due to engineering and security difficulties, though the capability was used as a negotiating point in the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks.   Aircraft 69–0014, "Zero-One-Four" used in the test was retired to the Air Mobility Command Museum at Dover Air Force Base. 
The C-5 has been used for several unusual functions. During the development of the secretive stealth fighter, the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk, Galaxies were often used to carry partly disassembled aircraft, leaving no exterior signs as to their cargo.  The C-5 remains the largest aircraft to operate in the Antarctic,  capable of operating from Williams Field near McMurdo Station.  The C-5 Galaxy was a major supply asset in the international coalition operations in 1990–91 against Iraq in the Gulf War.    C-5s have routinely delivered relief aid and humanitarian supplies to areas afflicted with natural disasters or crisis multiple flights were made over Rwanda in 1994.  The C-5 is also used to transport Marine One. 
The wings on the C-5As were replaced during the 1980s to restore full design capability.  The USAF took delivery of the first C-5B on 28 December 1985 and the final one in April 1989.  The reliability of the C-5 fleet has been a continued issue throughout its lifetime,   however the C-5M upgrade program seeks in part to address this issue.  Their strategic airlift capacity has been a key logistical component of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Following an incident during Operation Iraqi Freedom where one C-5 was damaged by a projectile, the installation of defensive systems has become a stated priority. 
The C-5 AMP and RERP modernization programs plan to raise mission-capable rate to a minimum goal of 75%.  Over the next 40 years, the U.S. Air Force estimates the C-5M will save over $20 billion.  The first C-5M conversion was completed on 16 May 2006 and C-5Ms began test flights at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in June 2006.  In 2008, the USAF decided to convert remaining C-5Bs and C-5Cs into C-5Ms with avionics upgrades and re-engining.  The C-5As will receive only the avionics upgrades.   The last of 52 C-5Ms was delivered to Air Mobility Command in August 2018. 
In response to Air Force plans to retire older C-5 aircraft, Congress implemented legislation that set limits on retirement plans for C-5As in 2003.  As of November 2013, 45 C-5As have been retired, 11 have been scrapped, parts of one (A/C 66-8306) are now a cargo load trainer at Lackland AFB, Texas and one was sent to the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center (WR-ALC) for tear down and inspection to evaluate structural integrity and estimate the remaining life for the fleet. 
The U.S. Air Force began to receive refitted C-5M aircraft in December 2008.  Full production of C-5Ms began in the summer of 2009.  In 2009, the Congressional ban on the retirement of C-5s was overturned.  The Air Force seeks to retire one C-5A for every 10 new C-17s ordered.  In October 2011, the 445th Airlift Wing based at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base replaced all remaining C-5s with C-17s.  The C-5M reached initial operating capability (IOC) on 24 February 2014 with 16 aircraft delivered. 
On 13 September 2009, a C-5M set 41 new records and flight data was submitted to the National Aeronautic Association for formal recognition. The C-5M had carried a payload of 176,610 lb (80,110 kg) to over 41,100 ft (12,500 m) in 23 minutes, 59 seconds. Additionally, 33 time to climb records at various payload classes were set, and the world record for greatest payload to 6,562 ft (2,000 m) was broken. The aircraft was in the category of 551,200 to 661,400 lb (250,000 to 300,000 kg) with a takeoff weight of 649,680 lb (294,690 kg) including payload, fuel, and other equipment. 
On 18 July 2017, C-5s based at Dover were ordered to stand down so maintenance crews could determine the cause for some nose landing gear failing. 
The C-5A is the original version of the C-5. From 1969 to 1973, 81 C-5As were delivered to the Military Airlift Command of the U.S. Air Force. Due to cracks found in the wings in the mid-1970s, the cargo weight was restricted. To restore the C-5's full capability, the wing structure was redesigned. A program to install new strengthened wings on 77 C-5As was conducted from 1981 to 1987. The redesigned wing made use of a new aluminum alloy that did not exist during the original production.  As of August 2016, there were 10 A-models in service flown by the Air Force Reserve Command's 433d Airlift Wing at Lackland AFB / Kelly Field, Texas, and 439th Airlift Wing at Westover ARB, Massachusetts.  The last operational C-5A was retired on 7 September 2017. 
The C-5B is an improved version of the C-5A. It incorporated all modifications and improvements made to the C-5A with improved wings, simplified landing gear, upgraded TF-39-GE-1C turbofan engines and updated avionics. 50 examples of the new variant were delivered to the U.S. Air Force from 1986 to 1989.  
The C-5C is a specially modified variant for transporting large cargo. Two C-5As (68-0213 and 68-0216) were modified following major accidents to have a larger internal cargo capacity to accommodate large payloads, such as satellites. The major modifications were the removal of the rear passenger compartment floor, splitting the rear cargo door in the middle, and installing a new movable aft bulkhead further to the rear.  The official C-5 technical manual refers to the version as C-5A(SCM) Space Cargo Modified. Modifications also included adding a second inlet for ground power, which can feed any power-dependent equipment that may form part of the cargo. The two C-5Cs are operated by U.S. Air Force crews for DOD spacecraft programs and NASA, and are stationed at Travis AFB, California. Both C-5Cs #68-0213 and #68-0216 have been modified into C-5Ms as of 2017. [ citation needed ]
C-5 AMP and C-5M Super Galaxy Edit
Following a study showing that 80% of the C-5 airframe's service life was remaining,  Air Mobility Command (AMC) began an aggressive program to modernize all remaining C-5Bs and C-5Cs and many of the C-5As. The C-5 Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) began in 1998 and includes upgrading the avionics to comply with Global Air Traffic Management standards, improving communications, fitting new flat-panel displays, improving navigation and safety equipment, and installing a new autopilot system. The first flight of a C-5 with AMP (85-0004) occurred on 21 December 2002. 
The Reliability Enhancement and Re-engining Program (RERP) began in 2006. It includes fitting new General Electric F138-GE-100 (CF6-80C2) engines, pylons and auxiliary power units, and upgrades to aircraft skin and frame, landing gear, cockpit and pressurization systems.   Each CF6 engine produces 22% more thrust (50,000 lbf or 220 kN),  providing a 30% shorter takeoff, a 38% higher climb rate to initial altitude, an increased cargo load and a longer range. [ specify ]   Upgraded C-5s are designated C-5M Super Galaxy. 
Lockheed also planned a civilian version of the C-5 Galaxy, the L-500, the company designation also used for the C-5 itself. Both passenger and cargo versions of the L-500 were designed. The all-passenger version would have been able to carry up to 1,000 travelers, while the all-cargo version was predicted to be able to carry typical C-5 volume for as little as 2 cents per ton-mile (in 1967 dollars).  Although some interest was expressed by carriers, no orders were placed for either L-500 version, due to operational costs caused by low fuel efficiency, a significant concern for a profit-making carrier, even before the oil crisis of the 1970s, keen competition from Boeing's 747, and high costs incurred by Lockheed in developing the C-5 and later, the L-1011 which led to the governmental rescue of the company. 
C-5 Shuttle Carrier Edit
Lockheed proposed a twin body C-5 as a Shuttle Carrier Aircraft to counter the Conroy Virtus, but the design was turned down in favor of the Boeing 747.  
Nine hundred years ago, at a site on a high plateau north of the Limpopo River called Great Zimbabwe, Shona kings built stone palaces where they lived in splendid isolation from their subjects, with absolute authority over their means to sustain life—cattle herds, land, and the gold that came out of the earth. In the nineteen-sixties, members of a liberation movement in what was then Rhodesia, among them Robert Mugabe, adopted Great Zimbabwe’s name to refer to the notional state they were fighting for. Today, Mugabe can be said to be the owner of the riches that remain in the nation of Zimbabwe. After twenty-eight years, he remains in power––Zimbabwe’s only President since the end of whiteminority rule, in 1980. His nephew Leo, therefore, leads a cushioned life. He is an entrepreneur and has stakes in several companies, among them a mobile-phone network. He is a director of Zimbabwe Defense Industries, which purchases the weaponry for his uncle’s Army—most of it, these days, from China. He also controls at least one large farm that had been seized from its white owners. In the nineties, Leo earned notoriety for his alleged role in securing kickbacks, on behalf of his uncle and other officials, in the construction of Harare International Airport. In 2005, he was arrested for the contraband export and sale of government-owned food, but the charges were withdrawn for lack of evidence. (Leo said the allegations in both cases were unfounded.) That year, he was a candidate for Parliament for the Zimbabwe African National UnionPatriotic Front, known as ZANU-P*.*F*.*, the ruling party. He won in a landslide.
Earlier this year, Leo was added to a sanctions list first imposed by the United States in 2003 against Robert Mugabe and members of his government. The sanctions included a travel ban and the freezing of foreign assets, and also prohibit Americans from doing business with those on the list. Leo was also named on a sanctions list maintained by the European Union, for his arms-dealing activities. The new sanctions came in response to a wave of terror that Robert Mugabe had unleashed in the country’s Presidential campaign. More than a hundred and fifty opposition supporters were murdered, many were raped, and thousands of people were beaten or tortured, often after being herded into so-called reëducation camps. Because of the violence, Mugabe’s rival, Morgan Tsvangirai, whose Movement for Democratic Change, or M.D.C., had won a slender majority in the country’s first round of voting in March, dropped out of the race and went into hiding. In the runoff vote on June 27th, Mugabe was unopposed and was quickly declared the winner.
Leo Mugabe works from an office building he owns in Harare, where I met him this summer. His brand-new silver Toyota Land Cruiser Amazon was parked outside. He is a slim, goateed man of fifty-one, and was dressed in a dark tailored suit. On the wall behind his desk hung a map of Zimbabwe made out of a patchwork of animal skins. His secretary, a young woman wearing a tight skirt and jacket, very high heels, and a great deal of jewelry, sat down with us. Her hair was arranged in red-dyed cornrows, and as Leo spoke she scribbled everything down on a notepad, expressing approval whenever he made a point, like a personal cheerleader. He was in a good mood, emanating confidence and optimism over Zimbabwe’s future.
“Have you seen anyone beaten up since you’ve been here?” he asked. “There was less violence here than in Nigeria! And we all know why Zimbabwe’s violence is being exaggerated—it’s about the fortune in the land. We have certain resources here, such as nickel, gold, and platinum. I think Zimbabweans now understand that they are suffering because of sanctions by the United States, Great Britain, and the Europeans.” Otherwise, Zimbabwe’s prospects were excellent—his uncle had been distributing computers to rural schools, for example. “In a few years, rural Zimbabwe will be computer-literate. We are a nation which is moving, and these children will understand what empowerment really means.”
That week, however, the inflation rate in Zimbabwe had officially reached eleven million per cent, the highest in the world analysts later reckoned it to have been two hundred and thirty million per cent. Eighty per cent of Zimbabweans were out of work. Chronic malnutrition was prevalent, and starvation was spreading in the countryside. Close to two million Zimbabweans depended for survival on food handouts from international aid agencies. Twenty per cent of the population was infected with H.I.V./AIDS. Zimbabwe’s life expectancy is forty-four years for men, forty-three for women. But Leo Mugabe scoffed at the idea that the situation was dire. “People are going about their business,” he said. “No one is starving—they are driving nice cars! As a Christian, though, I think it is a challenge by God, and the attention being drawn to Zimbabwe is maybe to highlight that we are the new people of Israel, and that we have our own Moses.” I understood “Moses” to be his uncle. His secretary greeted the analogy with an exclamation of delight.
Under Robert Mugabe’s leadership, in 2000 his most militant supporters—many of them veterans of the seventies civil war—began forcibly occupying the country’s five thousand white-owned commercial farms, with the help of armed gangs and, frequently, ZANU-P*.*F*.* officials. By almost all accounts, these actions precipitated the country’s economic decline. Leo disagreed. “We have no regrets—he has none, and I have none,” he said.
“We have taken the land,” Leo went on. “So what is the next move? The next move is the mines, the minerals. We know we are very rich—without the British or the Americans. Yes, they invested, but if we have to we will go and take over the mines, too.” Zimbabwe has the world’s second-largest platinum reserves and is relatively rich in other minerals. The country’s mining industry accounts for some forty per cent of its export income. In 2006, Robert Mugabe threatened to nationalize the mines by assigning Zimbabwe a controlling fifty-one-per-cent stake in them. Negotiations with the mine owners, which include South Africa’s Implats and Anglo Platinum, and the United Kingdom’s Rio Tinto, have dragged on ever since. “Rio Tinto can stay there in London, but their mines and their equipment will stay here. Is that what they want? Because that’s where they are headed,” Leo said. “We can give the mines to the black Zimbabweans, the people who work them now,” he added. “We are not going to go back on the land issue, and the wealth that lies underneath the land will remain ours, too.”
Leo wasn’t bothered by the possibility that seizing the mines might leave Zimbabwe even more isolated. “We have also invited other rich and powerful countries to come, and we know what they are interested in—the Russians and the Chinese and the Indians, too,” he said. “The Americans and the Brits are not coming to the table, but these guys are willing to deal with us. And they are already here.” He added, “It’s happening this year. By 2010, we will be flying!”
As I took my leave, Leo Mugabe informed me that diamonds had recently been discovered in eastern Zimbabwe. The find had convinced him, he said, that there was “something unique about this time, in this country.”
Robert Mugabe’s regime is hostile to Western reporters, and most of the journalists who visited Zimbabwe this summer were disguised as tourists, avoiding official contacts and possible arrest. (The Times correspondent Barry Bearak was detained for four days.) When I entered Zimbabwe, therefore, I proceeded with some caution. I stayed not in a hotel but in a family’s home, and I drove around Harare in a used Nissan pickup truck, dressed in an Adidas tracksuit I had bought in Johannesburg, passing for a white Zimbabwean.
There were a few ZANU-P*.*F*.* officials whom I could interview, however. More than anything else, I wanted to understand what kind of logic had led Robert Mugabe to destroy his country, and his own reputation. “He was the liberation hero of an era—a poster child for African liberation. Bob Marley played at his inauguration in 1980,” Peter Bouckaert, the emergencies director for Human Rights Watch, told me. “That’s the tragedy of what’s happened there.” Although few African leaders dared to speak out publicly against him, Mugabe, who is eighty-four, had become an object of international derision and contempt. In June, he was stripped of the honorary knighthood that Queen Elizabeth II had bestowed on him in 1994 that same day, Nelson Mandela, at his ninetieth birthday party, lamented “the tragic failure of leadership in our neighboring Zimbabwe.”
“Maybe something a bit more commander-in-chief?”
Even Morgan Tsvangirai, who has paid a hard price for his opposition to Mugabe—surviving three assassination attempts, trial for treason, and, last year, a severe beating by the police that left him with serious head injuries—told me that Mugabe inspired “divided emotions.” “He is, on one hand, the man who liberated our country from the white colonialists, and he is also this man who has murdered and repressed in a dictatorial manner,” Tsvangirai told me. “I say: he is the founding father of Zimbabwe, and the problem we have is to save the positive side of his contribution to this country, and to let history judge his negative contributions.” He added, “For me, I find it quite profound that he is quite an old man who has mismanaged his own succession.”
During my visit, I drove through farmlands that were unkempt and fallow and largely depopulated. Much of the land had been scorched by fires. Here and there, bluish tendrils of smoke curled upward from the burning bush. I passed one former white-owned commercial farm after another, their owners gone, their croplands ravaged. There were roofless barns and greenhouses, collapsed boundary fencing, and what had been plowed land dotted with squatters’ thatch-roofed huts. Groups of destitute-looking men and boys stood at the roadside selling whatever they could—onions, oranges, wooden carvings of animals—or waiting hours for the chance of a ride. There were very few cars on the roads. At checkpoints on the outskirts of Harare, policemen waved down vehicles to inspect them for illegal quantities of “mealie-meal”—ground maize, the Zimbabwean national staple. Along with the severe food shortages, there was a thriving black market, and the Mugabe government had imposed strict price controls on essential foodstuffs. Individuals caught carrying more than the legal amount of food often had to pay bribes to the police, or face confiscation of their goods.
In the weeks after the election, as the political stalemate persisted, the value of Zimbabwe’s currency plummeted. Before crossing the border from South Africa, I had exchanged a hundred American dollars for three trillion five hundred billion Zimbabwean—thirty-five billion to a dollar. Most of the cash was newly minted five-, twenty-five-, and fifty-billion-dollar notes, with pictures of giraffes and grain silos. A few days later, the going rate was a hundred billion to one. Food prices tripled overnight, and many salaries were made virtually worthless. Cash was becoming nearly impossible to obtain banks were allowing customers to withdraw the equivalent of only one U.S. dollar per day. The effect was a state of existential madness. Prices bordered on the fantastic, and ordinary people had to grapple with calculations in the trillions for the most prosaic transactions. One day, I wandered into a supermarket to buy some water. The price for a half-litre bottle was $1,900,000,000,000 Zimbabwean, or nineteen U.S. dollars. On a nearby shelf, I found a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black for $83,000,000,000,000.
It wasn’t only Zimbabwe’s economy that had a looking-glass quality. In the capital, there was a semblance of outward calm—people went to work, African women walked by with loads on their heads, and pairs of white women went jogging through neighborhoods with names like Trelawney, Avondale, and Belgravia—but the tortured bodies of missing M.D.C. members were still turning up, and Tsvangirai and many of his fellow party members were living in semi-hiding. The city was plastered with campaign posters of Mugabe in a defiant pose, one fist raised, bearing the slogan “The Final Battle for Total Control.” Notwithstanding the terror tactics that had for years been used to intimidate Zimbabwe’s media, opposition newspapers continued to be published, with front-page photographs showing victims of official violence. These were sold at Harare’s traffic lights, alongside pro-government newspapers, which reported from a parallel reality in which Comrade Mugabe was the much beloved leader of all Zimbabweans, the country’s election violence had been caused by the M.D.C., and the true reason for Zimbabwe’s economic suffering was the “illegal sanctions” imposed by the West.
The Sunday Mail of July 13-19th ran a front-page article headlined “FIRST LADY DISTRIBUTES TRACTORS.” There was a photograph of Grace Mugabe, the President’s second wife. (They were married in a lavish ceremony in 1996, after his first wife died of a kidney ailment Mugabe was seventy-two and Grace, who had been his secretary, was thirty-one. At the time of the wedding, they already had two children they have since had a third.) She was seated behind the wheel of a tractor, wreathed in jewelry and wearing a campaign shirt emblazoned with her husband’s portrait. “President Mugabe has taken it upon himself to make sure the nation is fully empowered to utilize the land,” the First Lady told the paper. “Nowhere in the world has a government distributed farm equipment to its citizens. He is doing this because he has the people at heart.” In an allusion to the war veterans, she added, “Those who died during the war did not die in vain. They died so that we can have 100 percent total empowerment.”
“Empowerment” has been one of the rhetorical pillars of Mugabe’s government, but many of the schemes to benefit black “indigenous Zimbabweans” have been used by those in positions of authority or influence to enrich themselves. For all the talk of redistribution, Mugabe and his circle have not so much broken with the past as assumed for themselves an updated version of the country-club life style once enjoyed exclusively by the nation’s whites. There are many newly built luxury villas in Harare, and a sizable number of Mercedes-Benzes and Volvos, the vehicles of choice among Zimbabwe’s black nomenklatura. (Affluent whites seem to prefer S.U.V.s.) In 2005, Mugabe and his wife moved into a new twenty-five-bedroom mansion in Borrowdale Brooke, a Harare suburb, which cost a reported ten million U.S. dollars to build. Nobody knows exactly how he paid for it, but in Harare it is received wisdom that the mansion was financed by the Chinese, to whom the President had granted lucrative mining and trade concessions. Mugabe said openly that he had the help of “foreign governments.” (He added that Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad, a personal friend, had donated tropical timber for the roof China was reported to have supplied the shiny blue roof tiles.) Grace Mugabe has become infamous for her shopping expeditions abroad and, like Imelda Marcos, her expensive taste in shoes she has been quoted as saying that because of her narrow feet she can “only wear Ferragamo.” Shortly after her marriage to Mugabe, Grace oversaw the construction of another mansion, called Graceland, which was allegedly built with public funds. She later sold Graceland to the Libyan government.
Another legacy of the colonial era is the cross-hatching of interests between the government and the private sector. A mining-company official I met with, a white man and a prominent figure in Zimbabwe, spoke of fending off direct requests for bribes from a senior cabinet minister, whom he described as “especially rapacious.” He confided that the executives of several mining companies had, under pressure, given large sums of money to government officials that were used to help fund the ZANU-P*.*F*.* election campaign. He added that Mugabe and his cronies would probably continue to use the threat of expropriation of the mines as a “political bludgeon” to extract bribes from mining companies. Meanwhile, he expected to see “more Chinese take over more dubious concessions.”
This kleptocratic style of government has had a trickle-down effect: corruption and graft are depressingly unremarkable in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe. Transparency International places the nation near the bottom of its global index on corruption for 2008, at No. 166 out of a hundred and eighty countries surveyed. Corruption is the key to the regime’s survival, and the economic instrument that sustains it.
The First Lady’s tractor-giving munificence was also a form of patronage. The beneficiary was Zvimba, a rural district just northwest of Harare, where, on February 21, 1924, her husband, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, was born, in the British colony of Southern Rhodesia. Mugabe was the third of four sons of a Shona couple. When he was ten, his two older brothers died, and Mugabe’s father, a carpenter, abandoned the family. His mother was left to look after him, his younger brother, and his two sisters. (One of them, Sabina, Leo’s mother, was the M.P. for Zvimba, and was involved in orchestrating a number of violent land seizures.) She managed to have Robert educated at a Jesuit mission school, where he was given a scholarship by the Irish headmasters. He went on to attend a South African university, Fort Hare, where, in 1951, he obtained a B.A. in history and English literature. He spent several years teaching, and earned two more degrees, in Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), and newly independent Ghana, where the charismatic Marxist leader Kwame Nkrumah was providing inspiration and tutelage to a generation of black nationalists.
“Polly want half of everything you own.”
Mugabe was radicalized during his time in Ghana he also met Sally Hayfron, his first wife. In 1960, they returned to Southern Rhodesia, and Mugabe, who had developed into a skilled orator, soon emerged as the secretary-general of ZANU, one of the country’s two main black nationalist parties. The other was the Zimbabwe African People’s Union, or ZAPU, led by Joshua Nkomo. ZANU’s constituency was principally the Shona people, Zimbabwe’s dominant ethnic group ZAPU’s support came mostly from the Ndebele, the Zulu-related tribe that inhabits southwestern Zimbabwe. And ZANU, Mugabe’s party, was nominally Maoist, receiving Chinese assistance, including training by Chinese military instructors, while ZAPU adhered to Soviet policy and enjoyed Russian backing. (Key members of the ruling élite, particularly in the military, have personal ties to China that go back to those days.)
In 1964, Mugabe, who had been arrested a number of times, was charged with encouraging subversion and spent the next eleven years in prison. In 1965, as other colonies were gaining independence under black African leaders, Southern Rhodesia’s colonial Prime Minister, Ian Smith, unilaterally declared independence from Britain, on behalf of the white minority (eventually proclaiming the land the republic of Rhodesia). The following year, Mugabe’s only child with Sally, Nhamodzenyika, a boy of three, died of encephalitis. During his time in prison, Mugabe obtained four more degrees, including one in law, after passing correspondence courses from British and South African universities.
After his release, in December of 1974, Mugabe fled to Mozambique, to join his exiled ZANU comrades, who by then had a guerrilla force engaged in a full-scale fight against the Rhodesian Army. Some thirty thousand people are believed to have died in Rhodesia’s civil war, which black Zimbabweans refer to as the Liberation War, and which whites call the Bush War. The fighting continued until 1979, when the British brokered ceasefire talks at Lancaster House, in London. Mugabe was one of the signatories to the resulting agreement, and, in February, 1980, he and his party won Zimbabwe’s first general election.
Mugabe had agreed to an “independence constitution” that could not be altered for ten years: whites, who made up five per cent of the population, were granted twenty seats out of a hundred in Parliament, and, in return for a British commitment of financial assistance for a “willing seller, willing buyer” scheme to help settle landless blacks, Mugabe agreed not to touch the country’s white-owned farmlands.
The land issue did not go away, however. It dated to the eighteen-nineties, when great swaths of land were granted to white settlers, while Africans were forcibly confined to designated “communal lands” a century later, most blacks were still landless. In its first decade, Mugabe’s government purchased some six and a half million acres, about a third of the white-owned land, and settled some fifty thousand families on it. But there was little follow-through, and most of the black farmers did not thrive. In 1990, Mugabe secured a constitutional amendment that allowed his government to requisition land at will, and to set the purchase price. Wrangling between the government and the white farmers ensued, with no resolution, even as expropriations proceeded in a haphazard and arbitrary fashion. The process was accompanied by corruption: Mugabe’s political opponents lost farms while his allies and relatives were allocated land.
The gathering contradictions of those years laid the groundwork for a new political opposition, led by Morgan Tsvangirai. In contrast to Mugabe, who is moody and socially aloof, Tsvangirai is outgoing and warm and, at fifty-six, is a generation younger than Mugabe. His origins are equally humble: he is the son of a bricklayer, the eldest of nine children. Unlike Mugabe, he did not finish high school but went to work in a nickel mine to put his siblings through school. He became a labor organizer, and in 1988 was elected secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions. Under Tsvangirai, the labor movement became the main vehicle for Zimbabwe’s fledgling opposition, gradually taking shape, in 1999, as the M.D.C.
In the late nineties, Tony Blair’s Labour government and other Western donors refused to continue subsidizing Zimbabwe’s “land reform.” In retaliation, Mugabe staged a constitutional referendum, in February of 2000, that would give him wider powers, including the authority to confiscate land without consultation. The M.D.C.—which, in those days, had close ties to Zimbabwe’s white farmers—campaigned forcefully against Mugabe’s bill, and it was defeated. A few weeks later, groups of machete-wielding so-called “war veterans” simultaneously invaded white-owned farms across the country. Mugabe made it plain that the land invasions had his blessing.
In the textbooks used in Zimbabwe’s public schools, the issues of land, wealth, and race are pointedly linked. In a chapter titled “Money and Wealth” in the fifth-grade social-studies textbook, there is a section that reads:
The whites took over the land. They farmed the best parts themselves, and sold their crops for money. The blacks were left with poor land, and not enough of it. They soon began to need money to buy food, because they could no longer grow enough for themselves. They also needed money to pay taxes to the white government.
But the blacks found it hard to earn much money. They had to work for the whites, and they were never paid very much. All the best paid jobs went to the whites. Unlike their ancestors, who often had many possessions, most Zimbabweans were now poor. . . . This has now changed blacks and whites are working together in Zimbabwe.
But the results of the farm-seizure policy have been disastrous for almost all Zimbabweans. Of the forty-five hundred white-owned commercial farms that existed eight years ago, and which accounted for more than half of Zimbabwe’s arable land, all but about four hundred have been taken over most were looted and destroyed. About a dozen white farmers and many more black farmworkers have been murdered. Half a million black farmworkers have been made destitute, along with their families, having lost their jobs and their homes at the same time. (In 2005, Mugabe ordered the police to bulldoze shantytowns in Harare and other cities, where many of the black farmworkers had ended up, in an operation that he called “Drive Out Rubbish.” Seven hundred thousand were left homeless.) Less than a decade ago, Zimbabwe was one of the breadbaskets of Africa, exporting maize and meat to its neighbors today, there is no commercial agriculture to speak of. As many as three million Zimbabweans have fled to South Africa as migrant workers. (They have not been entirely welcome: last May, in an outbreak of xenophobic violence, many were killed by marauding gangs in townships in Johannesburg and elsewhere.) Life for most Zimbabweans revolves around economic survival.
“Everyone is agreed on the need for land reform we didn’t agree on the methodology,” Tsvangirai told me. “The landless are still landless, freebooters are still exploiting, the selection process was wrong, and everything is chaotic.” He added, “We can’t go back to pre-2000, but the chaos that is taking place now cannot continue.”
In an elevated parking garage in downtown Harare, I met with a war veteran whom I’ll call Baltazar. He was in his late fifties, dressed in a worn houndstooth jacket. Baltazar was one of ZANU’s élite Chinese-trained guerrilla cadres. He had worked directly for Mugabe at the beginning of his Presidency—and had liked him—and then for Zimbabwe’s intelligence service under diplomatic cover in China, the United States, and Africa. But he had a large family, and needed money for school fees. He told me that he had been involved in the takeover of a white-owned farm. “I was one of several people working in the President’s office who were offered a farm,” he said. “We made an arrangement with the owner. He would do the plowing for us with his tractors, and he would give us the seed we needed, and he would keep seventy per cent of the returns.” They had been there about a year and a half when, he said, “an official came out with a document saying that the area would be taken over by a big man in the government. We resisted until they called in a police support unit, and we realized it was hopeless and gave up.”
Things had not worked out for the “big man,” however, and Baltazar and his associates had been told that they might be able to reoccupy the land. So far, they hadn’t. “We now realize we would not be able to do anything with the land without resources—we would need equipment, loans, which are not there. And, secretly, it’s because we anticipate a radical change in the country and we don’t want to be associated with a regime that took over land and then misused it.”
Baltazar shot me a look, and said, “The occupation of land was very popular after the liberation, because the whites owned it and they were rich, and so the people, and many war vets, thought that if we took over the farms then we will automatically be well-to-do, like the whites whom we removed. We didn’t realize that it took them decades to make those farms productive. Most of us now realize that farming is not a simple process.”
“As usual, the employees are the last to know.”
Baltazar was defensive about the war veterans’ role in the country’s unfolding catastrophe. “My experience is that most are not interested in violence—those involved in violence are either pseudo-vets or opportunists.” But, he conceded, “some are, and some are benefitting.” One of the things that had led to the push for land, he said, was that veterans with serious injuries had received nothing from a highly publicized war victims’ compensation fund, while senior officials had been given large sums for slight or imaginary wounds. Now, things had gone very far, and veterans felt obliged, because of what they had done, to back the regime at all costs: “The regime has instilled fear in the war vets that they will lose their pensions and they might face retribution from whoever might take over.”
The elections in March, which Tsvangirai won by almost forty-eight per cent to Mugabe’s forty-three (forcing a runoff, since neither candidate achieved an absolute majority), were a shock to Mugabe and his supporters, and led to a rush to attach blame. “ZANU-P*.*F*.* began to be too relaxed about things,” Ben Moyo, a Mugabe loyalist since the sixties and a former M.P., told me. “They didn’t see this party”—the M.D.C.—“as an agent of British colonialism, as a real threat, and so they didn’t campaign much. I didn’t, either. We thought the people would vote for us, as they always do,” Moyo said. “And, meanwhile, the people forgot the vision of the liberation struggle. The people were saying, ‘What good is liberation without food?’ That’s when we had to begin the reëducation process for the 27th of June, to remind them why it was we took up arms to fight.”
The “reëducation process,” I realized, was Moyo’s euphemism for the terror camps into which thousands of people had been herded in the weeks before the June 27th runoff. Most were detained and given political lectures by ZANU-P*.*F*.* militants many were beaten, or worse.
“I was the commander of a base camp,” Moyo acknowledged. “We brought youths to the camp. We also used them to control the black market. We feared some prices were being rigged by the opposition. It was also used to punish those people who were misbehaving, from the opposition and also from ZANU, and they’d be beaten up. But each base commander was different. At my camp, we disciplined people from our own party, but never the opposition party. The violence was not as bad as reported. Some disciplining was necessary. But one can’t deny there were abuses, especially in rural areas.”
Even so, Moyo said, the M.D.C. had grossly exaggerated the violence to make the ruling party look bad. “They are experts in the art of lying,” he said. “If a couple has a domestic dispute, the opposition party goes and takes pictures and then says, ‘This is ZANU-P*.*F*.* violence.’ And the foreign media believe it.” Moyo paused, and then appealed to me: “Look at Zimbabwe! Go around and look where these things are supposed to be happening every day. The violence here is not as bad as what we have seen in other countries in the continent. Sometimes on the satellite television channels they show images of violence that are supposed to be from here, and we can see they are really television images taken in Kenya, or from Rwanda—not Zimbabwe at all!”
Listening to Moyo’s explanations, I recalled an encounter I had had in South Africa the previous week with a twenty-three-year-old Zimbabwean refugee named Michael. He was being interviewed by Paul Verryn, a Methodist bishop who runs an asylum for Zimbabwean political refugees at Johannesburg’s Central Methodist Church. It was a filthy and overcrowded building, but it provided a refuge of last resort. On the night that I visited, more than a thousand Zimbabweans were living there I had to step over their sleeping bodies, packed tight on every surface, including the stairways. Verryn invited me to sit in as he questioned prospective new residents. Michael, a lanky young man, stood out from the others—he appeared troubled and his body was rigid. When he spoke, he looked down, and did not make eye contact with either of us. At Verryn’s prompting, he said that he was from the town of Masvingo, and that his parents were elderly and unemployed. The breadwinner of the family had been his elder brother, but he had fled to South Africa. This had left Michael to look after his younger brother and sister by himself. “This was very hard,” he said. “I was so under pressure.”
Michael still did not look up.
“In order to get work, I was forced to join the Youth”—the youth wing of ZANU-P*.*F*.*—“and forced to beat the people, and other things, and I became so desperate.” Michael spoke hurriedly. “And I came here to refresh myself.” He was trembling. He had run away without telling anyone, and had arrived in Johannesburg four days earlier. Verryn asked him a few more questions, and then told him that he could stay. He called an aide to give Michael an I.D. and some food. Once Michael was gone, Verryn said, “I think that young man may have killed people.”
Verryn said that there were many young refugees like Michael, soldiers and youths who had been compelled to do terrible things to other Zimbabweans. As Zimbabwe’s political violence worsened, he was seeing much anxiety and “derangement” among the recent arrivals. He speculated about the motivations behind Mugabe’s use of political terror. “I don’t think Mugabe has ‘lost it,’ ” he said. “I think he knows exactly what he is doing. I think he’s politically astute, and he thinks this is the way you run a country. You don’t countenance any opposition.”
The diamond discovery that Leo Mugabe mentioned had occurred in the hills around the town of Mutare, near the Mozambique border. There were reports that, in rural communities in the vicinity, killing and torture at the hands of ZANU-P*.*F*.* militants and war veterans continued apace well after the election. On the town’s outskirts, in an abattoir, I met with Pishai Muchauraya, a thirty-two-year-old newly elected M.P. for the M.D.C. “Twenty-one cases of murder, eighteen in the runup and three since,” Muchauraya told me. The killers were “ZANU-P*.*F*.* and soldiers, sometimes assisted by the police.” An additional twenty-five people, he said, had disappeared. They were believed to have been murdered and dumped in a reservoir, a place called Ruti Dam. “It’s crocodile-infested,” he said.
I asked Muchauraya how he had survived. He grinned, and replied, “Ah, with difficulty.” Like all of Zimbabwe’s Members of Parliament, he hadn’t been able to take his seat, because Parliament had yet to be convened. For the time being, he lived semi-underground, sleeping in other people’s homes.
A white woman came in and, at Muchauraya’s instructions, began showing me images on a computer screen. A young man’s back was covered with what looked like a few dozen large puncture holes they had been caused by the drips from burning plastic, Muchauraya said. Another man’s buttocks were covered with suppurating wounds. It was a common form of torture in Zimbabwe: people were forced to sit on something hot, like a fire grate, and then beaten badly on their buttocks. This was humiliating as well as painful. Other victims were injured on the soles of their feet, which made it hard for them to walk.
Three local women, the wives of M.D.C. officials, had been gang-raped. In the worst incident, one of the women was raped by eighteen men. “Probably she will contract H.I.V.,” Muchauraya said. “Given Zimbabwe’s statistics, as many as six of the men who raped her were probably infected.” As digital images of torture, abuse, and mutilation flicked by, Muchauraya looked at me and said, “As you can imagine, all of this makes the thought of reconciliation difficult. Of course we want reconciliation, but as a responsible party we cannot ignore these crimes, and the people responsible for them must be held accountable.”
In July, South Africa’s President, Thabo Mbeki, had come to Harare in a bid to negotiate a settlement. After first refusing to meet with Mugabe, Tsvangirai relented. He and Mugabe had dinner together, and afterward signed a Memorandum of Understanding, committing themselves to further talks. When I asked Muchauraya how he felt about all that, he bristled. “So he had dinner with Mugabe,” he said. “It was obligatory. But in our view things are moving in the right way, because, by sitting down with Tsvangirai, Mugabe was also recognizing him, and that has never happened before. We have tamed the bull.” Still, within the M.D.C. there were widespread worries that Tsvangirai might be outmaneuvered. (It had happened before. In the mid-eighties, faced with a restive ZAPU, Mugabe created a new Army brigade, sent it to North Korea for training, and then deployed it in a vicious counterinsurgency campaign. After an estimated twenty thousand civilians were killed, Joshua Nkomo agreed to unity talks, which led to his party’s absorption into ZANU. He was given the newly created post of executive vice-president, which turned out to be largely ceremonial. When Nkomo died, in 1999, Mugabe declared him a “national hero.”)
“He’s not so much a conversationalist as an expounder.”
In September, a deal appeared to have been reached in which Mugabe would stay on as President while Tsvangirai would become Prime Minister and the M.D.C. would be given about half of all cabinet posts. But Mugabe made it clear that he would have all the powerful ones, including Defense, Home Affairs, and Justice, leaving the M.D.C. minor portfolios like Water Management. As of last week, the outcome was unclear.
“In an ideal world, in such negotiations, you have an honest partner, not a dishonest one. Mugabe has been dishonest,” Tsvangirai told me in a phone interview last week. “Anything can happen if this falls apart—there can be unintended consequences from the people, or from people fed up within certain institutions. This is it. There is nothing else, which is why they cannot fail.” Still, he wasn’t sure how long his side could continue talking. “People have shown resilience, but now people’s confidence is being undermined, as they see that this is a deal with a bad man,” Tsvangirai said. “What I am trying to get is a good deal with a bad man.”
Mugabe and his allies have long accused the M.D.C. of being little more than a Trojan horse for Western powers. In September, Mugabe complained to a crowd of his supporters, “Putting ZANU-P*.*F*.* and the M.D.C. together to work together is like mixing water and fire. It is quite difficult for these parties to be friends—especially if one party is being supported and sponsored by the outside countries that are pushing for a regime-change agenda.” Speaking of himself in the third person, Mugabe added, “They want Mugabe to go. But where should he go?”
Mugabe is not entirely wrong about official U.S. and British hostility toward him. On the day that I visited James McGee, the U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe, a satellite television in his office was tuned to CNN, which was broadcasting live images of Radovan Karadzic from The Hague, where he was being arraigned before the International Criminal Tribunal on war-crimes charges. Karadzic had been arrested nine days before, and still wore the bushy white beard that had disguised him for years as a fugitive. With reports circulating that Mugabe and his senior aides had demanded guarantees of immunity from prosecution in their talks with the opposition, the timing seemed apt. I asked McGee whether he thought that seeing Karadzic brought to justice was alarming to Mugabe.
“Yeah,” McGee said, smiling. “I happen to know for a fact that this has had Mugabe worried—and, personally, I like that.”
Since assuming his post, in late 2007, McGee, a fifty-nine-year-old Vietnam veteran, had shown, for a diplomat, an unusual willingness to confront Mugabe. This has earned him the admiration of Mugabe’s critics, and the enmity of the regime. In May, at the height of the political violence, McGee led a convoy of diplomats into a ZANU-P*.*F*.* reëducation camp, where, he charged, people were being tortured. This resulted in a standoff with police in which McGee leaped onto the hood of a car and snapped pictures with his cell-phone camera. A few days later, Mugabe threatened to expel him. McGee told me that on a recent trip to Washington he had recommended pressuring Mugabe further by placing the members of ZANU-P*.*F*.* on a terror watch list. I asked if that was likely to happen.
“Nope,” McGee said, with a shrug, but he added that the United States and the European Union’s new, expanded sanctions list—the one with Leo Mugabe’s name on it—might do some good. He cited the announcement by Zimbabwe’s central-bank governor, that morning, of a new currency that had ten fewer zeros. The “new” banknotes were, in fact, old ones that had been stockpiled. McGee believed that the measure had come about because a German company had halted its shipments of banknote paper after calls for it to be placed on the E.U.’s sanctions list—the country, quite simply, was running out of paper on which to print its money. “They think it’ll buy them three months,” he said. “I don’t think it will give them more than two weeks’ breathing space.”
McGee viewed the regime’s threats to seize the mines with both anger and dismissiveness. “They’ll screw it up just like they did the agriculture with the farm invasions, and they’ll be left with nothing,” he said. “The Russians and the Chinese would take what they wanted and leave again, and it would not affect us at all. They can’t touch us. Let them do it. I’d like to see them try.”
The problem for McGee is that the U.S. has little direct leverage over Zimbabwe. Since 2005, Mugabe has sought to counter the West’s sanctions with a policy called “Look East,” and has been sustained, in part, by the trade deals he has struck with China. On July 11th, the members of the U.N. Security Council voted on a U.S.-sponsored draft resolution that called for further sanctions against Zimbabwe China and Russia vetoed it. For the application of pressure, the U.S. has been forced to defer to Zimbabwe’s neighbors in the African Union and the Southern African Development Community, but the talk-softly approach adopted by their appointed “facilitator,” Thabo Mbeki, who is seen as partial to Mugabe, has effectively kept Mugabe in power. Mbeki was himself forced out of office in September but continued to act as mediator, with even less authority.
Mugabe is one of the last of Africa’s so-called big men, the generation of post-independence nationalist leaders who ruled their nations for decades and, with few exceptions, stifled democratic alternatives. In recent years, that has changed: Kenneth Kaunda stepped down from power in Zambia, as did Julius Nyerere in Tanzania. Both settled into roles as their countries’ grand old wise men, similar to the one enjoyed by Mandela. Mugabe, however, seems incapable of giving up. Jon Elliott, a former British Foreign Office official who now works with Human Rights Watch, suggested that the West had to take care in facilitating Mugabe’s removal without giving him an alibi for clinging to power. “Mugabe is part of the dinosaur generation, as compared with what’s happening elsewhere in Africa,” he said. “I think Mugabe wants to go, but won’t if it’s because of international pressure. The economy is in a desperate situation, so he’s looking for a deal that will bring in money and investment and buy him a grace period to choose his successor.”
The M.D.C.’s national organizing secretary, Elias Mudzuri, told me, “We are isolated here, fighting for democracy, but we need the West to help us. I am not ashamed to say this. I am not a puppet of the West.” When I met Mudzuri, he was wearing a baseball cap that said “National WW II Memorial, Washington, D.C.” on it. In 2002, he was elected mayor of Harare, but under government pressure left his job and the country. He took his family to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he earned a master’s degree in public administration at Harvard. When he returned for the recent campaign, he said, ZANU-P*.*F*.* militants went to his home village and severely beat his eighty-year-old father several weeks later, the old man was still hospitalized.
“It’s the U.S.’s responsibility, because it is democratic, and is the most powerful country in the world,” Mudzuri said. “Don’t expect Russia and China to do it, because they are not democratic, and, meanwhile, wherever there is a dictatorship, and natural resources, they will loot our countries. That’s what they want, and they are busy establishing themselves. Look at Darfur.”
He added, “The West is afraid to be accused of being neocolonial, as Mugabe accuses it of being. But this is not what is happening. What is happening is that twelve million people are under siege by a purported liberator.” Mudzuri concluded, “Why is it O.K. to help Iraq and fund everything there, but wrong here? To leave Africa to the dictators and the looters doesn’t help you. Where is Big Brother? He is not here.”
In the nineteen-nineties, Zimbabwe was an emerging destination for tourists, with such attractions as Victoria Falls, but almost no one travels there anymore. Nor do many come to see Great Zimbabwe. The citadel’s ruins—the fortified bastion, on a bluff, of the Royal Enclosure, and below it the high-walled kraal and the conical tower of the Great Enclosure, believed to have been used for sacred rites—are the largest man-made stone structures in Africa south of Egypt. Since 1986, Great Zimbabwe has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, but on the day I went the only other visitors were several Arab men wearing tracksuits, and their wives, in head scarves and long dresses. They turned out to be off-duty diplomats from the Libyan Embassy.
Between the eleventh and the fifteenth centuries, when the citadel was abandoned for reasons that remain mysterious, Great Zimbabwe was a regional power and an important trading center. Celadon utensils from China, along with glass beads and porcelain from India and Arabia, have been found there. Early Portuguese explorers brought word of its existence to Europe, but their descriptions were cloaked in myth and legend some believed that the citadel had a connection to the Queen of Sheba, or that it was the Biblical city of Ophir. In 1889, Cecil Rhodes, the mining tycoon, was granted a royal charter by Queen Victoria to explore and settle all the lands between the Limpopo and the Zambezi Rivers. The first city founded by Rhodes’s heavily armed Pioneer Column of gold-hungry settlers was Fort Victoria (now Masvingo), not far from Great Zimbabwe. Rhodes was fascinated by the ruins, and he commissioned several archeological expeditions to explore the site. These archeologists suggested that the ruins, and especially the tall stylized birds, carved from soapstone, that guarded the citadel, were evidence of an advanced white or “Semitic” civilization, possibly Egyptian or Phoenician or even the scions of “mythical inhabitants of Great Britain.” (Such theories persisted well into the sixties, even though thay had long been debunked.) By 1902, the year Rhodes died, all but one of Great Zimbabwe’s intact soapstone birds had been looted, including one that had been given pride of place in Rhodes’s elegant Cape Town home, Groote Schuur.
The soapstone birds, and Great Zimbabwe itself, came to form an indispensable part of the contested historiography of the country. Rhodes and his colonialist successors sought a white presence in the country’s distant past to justify their claims to it, while the black-nationalist leaders who emerged in the sixties—men like Robert Mugabe—saw an ancient indigenous civilization as vindication of their own rights. Since 1980, all the known birds, except for Rhodes’s, have been returned.
At the doorway to Great Zimbabwe’s little museum, the sole attendant, a young woman, was reading a romance novel. She checked my ticket and waved me through. At the back of the dimly lit building, seven of the sphinx-like birds were perched like sentinels on stone plinths. The birds faced a wall hung with faded photographs of Robert Mugabe.
Since assuming power, Mugabe’s avowed mission has been to efface Rhodes’s legacy. Harare’s name was changed from Salisbury, and its main boulevards have been renamed after African liberation heroes—Mandela, Samora Machel, and, of course, Mugabe. But twenty-eight years after a bronze statue of Rhodes was toppled by a mob in Cecil Square—now Africa Unity Square—there is still a Cecil Rhodes Street, and his presence is felt in other ways. “Mugabe has totally absorbed the colonial legacy,” Bishop Verryn told me. “Look at his clothes and the way he speaks, his spending sprees. It’s wonderful, it’s amazing, given his anti-colonial rhetoric. But his radical discourse—that’s what he thinks people want to hear.”
Since the end of white rule, the relationship between the races has remained tentative, and unresolved. But one effect of the farm seizures is that Zimbabwe’s white population has shrunk, from about two hundred thousand in 1980 to some twenty thousand now. Most of the so-called “Rhodies” emigrated to South Africa and the United Kingdom, but many have also settled in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States. In recent years, some of Zimbabwe’s dispossessed white farmers have found a welcome for their agricultural skills in such African countries as Nigeria and Zambia. (Whites who, despite everything, have stayed in Zimbabwe refer to themselves, familiarly, as “Zimbos.”)
For a few days, I was the guest of a white farming family, among the last remaining in the area, in a rural valley north of Harare. It was at the edge of the Great Dyke, a mineral-rich geological formation that extends for some three hundred miles across Zimbabwe. The family, whom I will call the Edwardses, were tobacco farmers. In the spring, invaders had begun moving onto their land, they said, but had been inexplicably turned back by the commander of the local ZANU-P*.*F*.* terror camp, who was also one of the most notorious war veterans in the area. The Edwardses didn’t know how long they would be able to stay. Both the husband and the wife were born in Zimbabwe and had spent their entire lives there. They were taking each day as it came. Edwards told me that every morning, at the roll call he conducted for his workers, several war vets showed up. They either approached him directly or sent him written requests for things—usually fuel, or mealie-meal—through his farm manager. He generally gave them what they asked for. He estimated that it was costing him forty to sixty thousand U.S. dollars a year out of the hundred thousand that the farm earned (down from about seven hundred and fifty thousand in good times). “There is really no choice,” he said. “It’s either give them a version of what they want or face a militant invasion.”
One day, we climbed a granite mountain near the Edwards farm to view some prehistoric San, or bushmen, cave paintings, but found them marred by freshly scrawled graffiti. We drove past a local wildlife preserve where, at the start of the year, there had been ten white rhinos. Now there were only four the others had been attacked with machetes or shot and left to die. (Since the beginning of the land invasions, poaching has finished off much of Zimbabwe’s wildlife.) Edwards said that the culprits were believed to be poachers who would sell the horns to the Chinese miners who had recently moved into the area powdered rhino horn is prized as an aphrodisiac in China. A couple of miles away, a Chinese-run nickel-mining camp had sprung up on a friend’s confiscated land. The camp straddled a public-access dirt road that traversed the area, and we slowly drove through it. Chinese men wearing floppy hats and sunglasses were overseeing several dozen black Zimbabwean workers in blue overalls there were Caterpillars, and rock-sifting machines, and newly erected workers’ dormitories. As we drove past, the Chinese men stopped to glare at us. In the distance, we heard explosions.
On September 25th, a few weeks after I left Zimbabwe, I went to see Mugabe address the United Nations General Assembly, in New York. An audible buzz of anticipation filled the hall as he approached the podium. He was reported to have come to New York with an entourage of fifty-four people, including his wife, Grace, but, despite the tentative power-sharing deal, without Morgan Tsvangirai, whose passport was being held by the authorities.
Timbaland and Missy Elliott
"If you listen to my songs, they tell stories," Missy Elliott has said. "I write almost as if I'm in conversation with somebody." The crucible of her collaboration with Timbaland was the Swing Mob, a loose constellation of performers and producers who worked with Jodeci's DeVante Swing in the early Nineties. Tim and Missy started working in earnest as a writing team in 1996, when they collaborated on most of Aaliyah's One in a Million. That was followed by Missy's 1997 breakthrough Supa Dupa Fly — a set of cool, witty, deceptively minimal tracks that flipped between hip-hop, R&B and electronica with finger-snapping ease — and a string of genre-melting records like "Get Ur Freak On" and "Work It" that lasted until the early 2000s. The duo has also penned hits for other artists including SWV's "Can We," Total's "Trippin'" and Tweet's "Call Me." Missy hasn't released a new album for 10 years, but she and Timbaland have dropped hints that they've got something brewing.
Women and science
The Sciences and Medicine are fields of study that have long been dominated by men. Whilst this has slowly begun to change over the last 150 years or so, even now, men still outnumber women in most research labs and university science departments.
Historically the male bias is understandable. For centuries, the majority of women were not educated at all and those fortunate enough to receive tutoring were pushed towards the arts, literature, language and other “ladylike” pursuits. The potential dangers of the chemistry lab or the visceral nature of anatomy were not considered suitable for ladies. However, there are historic examples of women who, despite society’s disapproval, made significant contributions to the advancement of science. They were not always credited for their work (Mary Anning for example) and were sometimes shunned or, like Hypatia and the countless herbalists burned as witches in the Middle Ages, killed for it.
In this article I look at the careers of ten women whom I consider to be crucial to the history of women’s role in the western scientific tradition. Whether as teachers and disseminators of information like Hypatia and Jane Marcet, or as brilliant research scientists like Marie Curie and Rosalind Franklin, these women are inspirational. It was very hard choosing only ten from the legion of brilliant female scientists, especially those of recent years, but I have tried to represent a variety of scientific subjects here and the women below are each trailblazers in their own way.
Hypatia 350 (or 370)AD – 415AD
Hypatia is somewhat of a legend in the history of women’s role in the sciences, not least for her dramatic end, torn apart by a Christian mob. Hypatia was the daughter of Theon Alexandricus, the last known mathematician to be associated with the Museum of Alexandria, and she is credited with being the first notable woman in the field of Mathematics. She was not a pure scientist, rather a teacher and commentator who encouraged logical and mathematical study. Among works attributed to her are commentaries on the Arithmetica of Diophantus and Conics by Appollonius. She edited Ptolemy’s Almagest and her father’s commentary on Euclid’s Elements and wrote a text on The Astronomical Canon. It is impossible to say to what extent Hypatia’s work was also a collaboration with her father but there is reason to assume she was a talented mathematician in her own right.
Louise Bourgeois 1563-1636
Louise Bourgeois can be credited as the founder of modern midwifery. Married to the French Royal Surgeon, Bourgeois encouraged a new, scientific approach to midwifery and collaborated with male surgeons in order to gain a better understanding of her subject. She studied Ambroise Parés book on Obstetrics and wrote several treatises of her own on the subject. Her 1609 book, ‘Various Observations on Sterility, Ability to Conceive, Childbirth, Female Illnesses and Infants’ went through five editions and was translated into four languages. She was also the first person to describe the treatment of Chlorosis (severe iron deficiency anaemia) with iron. Midwifery had always been the preserve of women, but until Louise Bourgeois, it was more about experience and folk medicine than science. Her approach changed that and undoubtedly made childbirth safer for countless women.
Caroline Herschel 1750-1848
Caroline Herschel was fortunate in that her brother William Herschel was the Royal Astronomer at the court in Windsor. William trained Caroline as his general assistant to help with writing down his observations and helping him to produce reflective telescopes. She thus became the first woman to receive a salary for scientific work. But Caroline also taught herself algebra and the formulae needed to observe the stars and, between 1786 and 1797, she discovered eight comets and 14 nebulae as well as writing a catalogue of star clusters and nebulae and contributing to Flamsteed’s ‘Atlas of Stars’. She was awarded the gold medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1828 and became an honorary member of this organisation in 1835.
Jane Haldemond Marcet 1769-1858
Jane Marcet was a popular science writer. Her contribution to science lay with her ability to explain complicated theories in ways that anyone could understand. Pure science is important but so is the popularisation of science. A teacher or writer who can inspire people to take up scientific enquiry is every bit as important as scientists themselves. Mrs Marcet attended Humphry Davy’s lectures at the Royal Institution and was an exponent of experimental chemistry. Her 1805 book, ‘Conversations in Chemistry’, was illustrated with clear diagrams of the equipment needed for experiments and she constantly updated the book with new discoveries, indeed it saw 16 editions. Her work had a profound effect on a young Michael Faraday who praised her as “one able to convey the truth and principle of those boundless fields of knowledge which concern natural things, to the young, untaught and enquiring minds”.
Mary Anning 1799-1847
Mary Anning was born in Lyme Regis, Dorset, on what is now known as the Jurassic Coast. Anning’s knowledge of the coastline and skill for locating and preparing fossils provided the sciences of geology and palaeontology with a series of important finds. Among these and perhaps most well known were her discovery of the first Ichthyosaur to be recognised (now in the Natural History Museum, London), the first Pterosaur skeleton outside Germany and the first two Plesiosaur skeletons ever to be found. Anning’s discoveries along with her observations from the field played a key role in changing the way scientists thought about changes in the natural world. She did not always receive full credit for her contributions during her lifetime and, after her death was largely forgotten in scientific circles. However, without Mary Anning’s sharp eye and keen observation, our knowledge and understanding of prehistoric life forms would be much poorer.
Florence Nightingale 1820-1910
Every schoolchild hears the story of Florence Nightingale, the caring “lady of the lamp” However, it is not for Florence Nightingale’s nursing work that I include her, rather for her work as a statistician. Whilst in the Crimea nursing wounded soldiers, Nightingale kept meticulous records on the causes of death of soldiers in the hospital. She used these to demonstrate that the death toll rose in certain months due to the presence of diseases such as Typhus and Cholera. Her findings were not just useful for the military, workhouses had the same problems and her statistics were used as the basis for poor law reform in the UK. For much of her life, Florence Nightingale was bedridden, yet she still published over 200 pamphlets and books on subjects ranging from Public Health in India to Sepsis in lying in institutions. She was the first woman elected as a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, as well as being made an honorary fellow of the American Statistical Society. Nightingale showed great insight into the use of statistical analysis in the pursuit of public health and it is my view that she should be remembered for this, rather than nursing.
Hertha Ayrton 1854-1923
Hertha Ayrton became the first woman to be elected a member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers in 1899. In assisting her husband with his experiments in physics and electricity, she became an expert on the electric arc (now used industrially in welding, steel furnaces, movie projectors and stage spotlights) and published the widely acclaimed work, ‘The Electric Arc’ in 1902. In the same year she was the first woman to be nominated a Fellow of the Royal Society but her married status prevented her from being elected. In 1904, she was the first woman to read her own paper (‘The Origin and Growth of the Ripple Mark’) before the Royal Society.
Marie Curie 1867-1934
It is impossible to compile a list of influential women in the sciences without including the brilliant Marie Curie. Not only the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, Marie Curie is also one of only two people (the other is Linus Pauling) to win two Nobel Prizes in different disciplines.
Marie Curie’s first Nobel Prize (Physics, 1903) was for her work on radiation. She shared the prize with her husband, Pierre Curie and Henri Becquerel. Becquerel had discovered in 1896 that uranium salts emit rays, now known as radiation. The Curies built on Becquerel’s discovery and discovered that the rays emitted by uranium salts caused the air around the sample to conduct electricity. Most importantly, Marie Curie went on to prove that the radiation came from the atom itself, rather than an interaction of molecules. Her discovery forced physicists to reconsider the basic principles of their science.
During her research, Marie Curie tested the uranium-related minerals, pitchblende and chalcolite, as she found a much greater radioactivity, she postulated that these minerals contained another element, much more radioactive than uranium. She and Pierre worked together processing vast quantities of ore and managed to isolate a new element which they named Polonium, after Marie’s native Poland. Several months later they succeeded in isolating the more unstable Radium. By 1902 they had succeeded in extracting one tenth of a gram of radium chloride from a tonne of bismuth, but by 1906 Marie, working on her own after Pierre’s death, had isolated the pure radium metal. Marie Curie won the Chemistry prize in 1911 in recognition of her work in isolating the elements, Polonium and Radium. The implications of her work were far reaching. Diametrically opposed in terms of their effect on society, her discovery led ultimately to both the development of the atomic bomb and radiation therapy for cancer patients.
Rosalind Franklin 1920-1958
Crick, Watson and Wilkins received the Nobel Prize for their work on DNA in 1962 without mentioning the work of Rosalind Franklin, which had provided them with crucial information regarding the structure of the double helix. It is one of science’s most outrageous omissions that Franklin was never credited in their work.
Rosalind Franklin was a brilliant physical chemist and a specialist in x-ray crystallography, a method used to find the arrangement of atoms within a crystal. An x-ray is focussed on the crystal and when it strikes, diffracts in many different directions. From the angle and intensity of these beams, a crystallographer can work out the position of the atoms, chemical bonds and the structure of the crystal. Rosalind Franklin’s work concentrated on materials that were poorly crystallised, such as carbon, graphite and plant viruses. These are not easy to work with, yet Franklin was renowned for her incredible ability to get results from these difficult samples.
In 1951, she began work on DNA at King’s College, London. Like the carbons she had worked with in France, DNA gives poor diffraction patterns, but this did not deter Franklin. DNA has two forms – A and B, it was Rosalind Franklin’s unique photograph of the B-form, shown secretly to Crick and Watson that provided them with the essential evidence to back up their proposed double helix structure.
Rosalind Franklin died 4 years before Crick, Watson and Wilkins received the Nobel Prize for their work on DNA. Had she survived would she have been the third recipient? Probably not as it wasn’t until 1968, in his book, ‘The Double Helix’, that Watson admitted to the secret viewing of the photograph.
Dame Kathleen Mary Kenyon 1906-1978
Kathleen Kenyon was an archaeologist and one of the early proponents of Mortimer Wheeler’s systematic approach of meticulously controlled and recorded stratigraphic excavation. She was one of the founders of UCL’s Institute of Archaeology along with Wheeler and worked on some of world’s most fascinating sites including Great Zimbabwe, Sabratha and Verulamium. But it is for her work at Jericho that Kenyon is remembered. Here she made ground-breaking discoveries about the Neolithic and early Bronze Age cultures of the Levant and formulated one of the two leading theories at the time regarding the development of agriculture and the domestication of animals. Kenyon made a huge contribution to our understanding of ancient culture.
Finally, a mention of the unknown women who have in their own way contributed to the History of Science. Most people have heard of Edward Jenning, the man who pioneered the smallpox vaccination, undoubtedly saving millions of lives worldwide and leading ultimately to the eradication of the disease. However, the woman who provided him with the crucial information that lead to his discovery (that she could not contract smallpox as she had already had the cowpox) only goes down in history as “a milkmaid”. There are many such examples in the history of medicine the “old woman” who told Ambrose Paré to apply onion to burns (onions were, much later, discovered to have anti-microbial properties) and “Mother Hutton” whose foxglove cure for fluid accumulation (oedema) inspired William Withering to isolate digitalis. For thousands of years, the majority of Britain’s population consulted “wise women” or herbalists when they were sick. These anonymous women rarely feature in the history books as they quietly went about their business, doling out folk remedies and medical knowledge based on their observations of nature. Robert Boyle recognised the value of this knowledge when he commented that useful scientific information could be gathered from “midwives, barbers, old women, empiricles and other illiterate persons”. These women were not great scientists like Marie Curie and Rosalind Franklin, but their observations often contributed invaluable information to the field of scientific enquiry.
Copyright: Fiona Michie, 2010
Women and Enlightenment science, BBC In Our Time, 4 November 2010
Women and witchcraft, BBC In Our Time, 21 October 2004
The 20th century
The subject of contemporary African architecture is as vast as the continent itself. Each African region and country has experienced colonization, nationalism, and modernity in a unique way, and generalizations about the continent would have to be so broad as to be virtually meaningless. Nevertheless, an examination of selected colonial influences and national architectural identities reveals much about the diversity and plurality of postcolonial Africa.
As has always been the case in Africa, contemporary architecture reveals the influence of a rich array of cultures. Colonial explorers and administrators brought European architectural forms to the coasts and urban areas of Africa, a phenomenon that is echoed in both nationalist architecture and urban planning. The Portuguese, for example, brought medieval European fortress architecture to Africa, primarily along the western and southwestern coastal regions. Characteristic features of Portuguese colonial architecture—primarily manifested in coastal forts and castles—include high towers, thick masonry walls with gun turrets, large storage spaces and dungeons for slaves, and living quarters sited within defensive walls. Many of the European forts and castles in Africa are located along the coast of Ghana because of the large quantities of gold exported there.
The influence of the British on coastal architecture in Africa was also significant. The architectural historian Nnamdi Elleh argued that
[e]xcept for the mansions designed for the governors of their colonial provinces and the administrative buildings, the English were obsessed with recreating their country villages abroad. Hence, they stipulated rigid cardinal rules for the surroundings and layout of houses of their colonial administrators.
Strict segregation of Africans from colonial administrators and their families also characterized British architectural plans.
Commercial ambitions motivated the French to establish a presence in a number of regions. In Fès, Casablanca, Dakar, Cairo, and Abidjan, the home environment of France was re-created in urban architecture. This shows itself, for example, in the broad Parisian-style boulevards and their diagonal intersections that can be seen in many African urban centres.
The influence of the Dutch is most pronounced in the Cape Coast of South Africa, where Victorian-style structures accompanied Dutch traders and immigrants. German architectural influence is evident in Cameroon, Togo, Namibia, and Tanzania. The colonial administration building in Cameroon, for example, has a foundation of volcanic rock and walls of masonry brick with iron girders. Many houses built in Cameroon at the turn of the century employed the Cameroonian practice of mounting buildings on stilts.
Repatriated Africans, released after the abolition of the slave trade, also had an influence. Freetown in Sierra Leone and Monrovia in Liberia were major centres of resettlement, as were the coastal cities of Lagos, Ibadan, Abidjan, Banjul, and Dakar. Repatriated Yoruba in Nigeria built mosques and dwellings that employed the architectural vocabulary of Portuguese Baroque colonial churches and administrative buildings in Brazil. The influence of Brazil, Spain, Portugal, Jamaica, and the United States is particularly evident in wood-framed Victorian-style houses, often with shuttered windows and verandas, and in the buildings of Fourah Bay, Freetown, Sierra Leone.
With independence came the need for an architectural infrastructure and an architecture that expressed national identities. The influence of the International Style—advanced by Le Corbusier and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe—is evident in urban plans and structures commissioned from Europe, Canada, and the United States. The city of Dodoma, for example, was established as a response to the colonial character of the former capital of Dar es Salaam, and its plan, executed by the Canadian architect James Rossant, reveals the influence of the International Style. The influence of Modernism is evident in the capital cities of Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Lilongwe (Malawi), Maputo (Mozambique), Lusaka (Zambia), Dakar (Senegal), Accra (Ghana), Lomé (Togo), Abuja (Nigeria)—indeed, in many of the urban centres of Africa.
South African architecture was influenced by European design perhaps more than the architecture of any other African nation. The South African policy of apartheid led the Boer and English communities in Pretoria, for example, to exclude the majority of South African citizens from architectural schemes and to construct Edwardian and Neoclassical structures merged with the influences of Modernism. Cape Town, the oldest European town in the Republic of South Africa, contains a fortified castle constructed by the Portuguese in 1666. The Cecil Rhodes memorial, designed to evoke images of the Greco-Roman past, contains self-conscious architectural references to the Avenue of the Sphinxes and the Luxor Temple in Egypt and to the Avenue of the Rams in the Temple of Amon at Karnak. Ironically, this monument to pure Egyptian heritage and civilization borrows from the peoples whose cultures were supposedly “civilized.”
Contemporary architecture in Cape Town is epitomized by high-rise buildings and low-cost housing complexes inspired by the International Style. In Durban, Victorian and Edwardian buildings were constructed in the 19th century, and at the turn of the century the city hall was constructed in an early Renaissance style and surrounded by Corinthian columns. Like Cape Town, Durban has since added high-rise apartment complexes, as well as Hindu temples. Port Elizabeth’s European-style development is characterized by Victorian terrace architecture. Like Durban, Port Elizabeth has a Renaissance-style city hall the highly ornate public library building was designed in the Flemish style by an English architect, and nearby is a statue of Queen Victoria. Johannesburg, originally a mining town, was also significantly influenced by the importation of European architecture, as evidenced by the Neoclassical city hall designed by Hawke and McKinlay of Cape Town and the shining multinational headquarters of IBM. Like all other metropolises in South Africa, Johannesburg is troubled by an architecture segregated by income and race, with black Africans notably concentrated in shantytowns.
The richly embellished homes of the Ndebele, Sotho, and Pedi, with their decorated lapa (courtyard) walls and facades and their ziggurat details, have a colourful vitality. Although these decorations are mistakenly often thought to represent “traditional” architecture, such adornment emerged after the resettlement of populations during the apartheid era. Elsewhere, notably in Maputo, in Mozambique, and in Johannesburg, owner-built houses and resettlement townships were erected, extended, or decorated, often with originality, with limited means and in restricted space.
The phenomenon of urbanization has had significant consequences for the African continent. Many regions of Africa are in the midst of a transition from rural to urban areas, and challenges associated with this transition—population growth, illiteracy, segregation, poverty, lack of sanitation, high unemployment, and the draining away from rural areas of agricultural labour, as well as a devastating imbalance in infrastructure—abound. While the history of outside influence on African architecture is centuries old, the impact of 20th-century Western architecture helped create previously unknown class distinctions, some flowing from the segregated quarters designed in the 19th century. As Elleh suggested, most African cities are composed of a new town area developed during or after the colonial period and sometimes including the central business district European quarters reserved for Europeans only during the colonial era an African immigrant quarter, found mainly in parts of Africa with strong Islamic influence, such as Kano and Zaria and the indigenous African town, in which the chief lived before government or Europeans expanded the city. The deterioration of African immigrant quarters is noticeable and indicates an urgent need for invigorated urban planning.
It is important to note that the wholesale adoption of Western designs and materials also has proved in many cases inappropriate for African urban environments. Open house plans surrounding a courtyard, as well as traditional building materials such as earth and thatch, keep houses cool and well-ventilated, while the use of such materials as brick and aluminum roofing can make houses uninhabitable. The exorbitant cost of new capital construction has also challenged regional economies: the basilica of Our Lady of Peace in Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire, is estimated to have cost $500–900 million, and the King Hassan Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco, was completed in 1993 at a cost of $1 billion.
In many instances, however, Western and local (indigenous) architects have demonstrated remarkable facility in wedding Modernist architecture to local climates and needs. The Finnish architect Aarno Ruusuvuori carefully considered the environment and local climate as well as financial realities in designing commercial and private housing, notably a development centre and other buildings in and around Addis Ababa. In Uganda the architectural designs of Swiss architect Justus Dahinden at Namugongo National Shrine and Mityana Pilgrims’ Shrine, both in Uganda, artfully combined modern building materials and design elements with the spherical shape of indigenous architecture. St. Anne’s Basilica in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo, employed the arched design elements of traditional homes from the region, with neo-Gothic clerestory windows, in a harmonious whole, while the architecture of Julian Elliott in Zambia—notably the Kasama Cathedral (1965)—beautifully synthesized traditional architectural forms with Western styles. The Bulawayo Pentecostal church in Zimbabwe also represented a successful melding of traditional architecture and Western design forms. The wholesale adoption of Western architecture too can be symbolically effective: the Arch of Independence in Accra, Ghana, built like an imperial Roman triumphal arch to celebrate the freedom of Ghanaians from British imperialism, represents a rich and ironic play of architectural and national histories.
Former Team Members
YING LEE, Political Advisor [email protected]
Ying taught in the Berkeley Unified School District and served on the Berkeley City Council in the 1970s. She joined Congressman Ronald Dellum&rsquos staff in 1984 and later served as Legislative Director for Congresswoman Barbara Lee. After Ying retired in 2000, she worked in the anti-war movement, was a Trustee for the Berkeley Public Library, and was an active member of Grandmothers for Peace. Her oral history book makes fascinating reading: Ying Lee: From Shanghai to Berkeley, An Oral History (Berkeley Historical Society, 2012).
ERIN REDING, Project Manager, 2017-18 [email protected]
Erin is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, earning highest honors, Phi Beta Kappa and the Best Student in Geography. She finished Berkeley Law School in 2007, first worked for Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, and then the County of Alameda as Deputy County Counsel. She is now an attorney with Moscone, Emblidge & Otis in San Francisco.
DYLAN NELSON, Research Assistant < [email protected] >
Dylan is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where he studied history, ecology, and Native American Studies. His thesis was a cultural and environmental history of mining and anti-mining resistance at the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation in north-central Montana. He helped us with research on the CCC in the National Parks, using the NPS survey of historic buildings.
GABE MILNER, Project Manager, 2014-17 [email protected]
Gabe holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Berkeley, where he worked closely with the Regional Oral History office of the Bancroft Library. During the period he worked for the Living New Deal, Gabe was also an Adjunct Professor at the University of San Francisco, where he taught US history. Gabe&rsquos research centers on cultural memory in the late 19th and early 20th century United States. He has moved to Los Angeles to teach AP US and African American History at the Episcopal School of Los Angeles, a diverse school drawing students from around greater L.A.
ALEX TARR, Project Manager 2013-14 [email protected]
Alex is a past project manager for the Living New Deal. He was a doctoral student in Geography at the University of California, Berkeley, at the time he served as our manager. He is now Assistant Professor of Geography at Worcester State University in Massachusetts. He studies the geography of cities, especially Los Angeles, and urban agriculture. He is both a New Deal devotee and an IT magician who kept our website functioning in the face of many challenges. He formerly served as Secretary of the Living New Deal non-profit board of directors.
RACHEL BRAHINSKY, Project Manager 2012-13 [email protected] g
Rachel was our first Living New Deal project manager and left an indelible mark on the project. She holds a Ph.D. in Geography from UC Berkeley and now teaches at the University of San Francisco in the Graduate Program in Urban Affairs. Rachel was postdoctoral fellow in the Berkeley Geography Department in 2012-13, at the same time as she served as the Living New Deal&rsquos project director. She serves as Secretaryt on the Living New Deal non-profit board of directors.
SHAINA POTTS, Senior Research Assistant [email protected]
Shaina was out primary RA and Gatekeeper from 2010 to 2013 and again in 2015-17. She was essential to building our archive and map in a critical period of growth, and again in building our pocket map of New Deal New York City. As a doctoral student in Geography at the University of California, Berkeley, she studied the geography of finance, focusing on the intersection of finance, politics, and space. She completed her dissertation on international finance and the law in 2017 and moved on to the faculty at UCLA.
LINDSEY DILLON, Research Assistant
Lindsey is a former graduate student in the Geography Department at the University of California, Berkeley, and currently a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Davis. She was our first student Research Assistant, when the project was just getting off the ground, and was invaluable in those early years, 2007-10.
JOHN ELRICK, Research Assistant [email protected]
John is a doctoral student in the Department of Geography at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is working on his dissertation on the history of land development and property capital in 19th century San Francisco. He assisted us with documenting New Deal sites for the national database and map.
BEN HASS, Website Developer [email protected]
Ben is a web developer and interactive media specialist. Prior to working as a technology consultant, Ben studied Art History and Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Ben vastly improved the design of the Living New Deal website and built the Google map and infrastructure we still use. He served as our webmaster from 2010-2013.
JOHN STEHLIN, Submissions Gatekeeper
John was our RA in charge of all submissions of site data and stories to the Living New Deal database and map, which includes background research and verification of information. He was the main conduit from our Research Associates to the Berkeley Team and for contacts to [email protected] . He completed his Ph.D. in the Department of Geography at the University of California, Berkeley, in 2015. His work concerns the role of the bicycle in the gentrification of American cities and he is a long-time bicycle activist.
GRETA MARCHESI, Research Assistant [email protected]
Greta was in charge of all submissions of site data and stories to the Living New Deal database and map in 2014 and 2015. Greta was a doctoral student in the Department of Geography at the University of California, Berkeley. She studies how political visions have shaped scientific knowledge, including the influence of the New Deal on scientific experiments at the Soil Conservation Service and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
CHRIS CARLSSON, New Deal Film Archivist < [email protected] >
Chris helped create our New Deal film archive in 2015. He is a well known activist, writer and historian in San Francisco. His books include Ten Years That Shook The City, Nowtopia and Critical Mass (the bicycle movement he helped to found in the early 1990s). Chris overseas the wonderful history website on San Francisco called shapingsf.org and has worked closely with the Internet Archive.
GARRETT BRADFORD, Cartographer [email protected]
Garrett is a GIS analyst with the casualty practice of Milliman, Inc. in San Francisco. Garrett is a trained cartographer with expertise in the creation and management of spatial data, spatial analysis, geocoding and python scripting. He received a B.A. in Geography from the University of California, Berkeley in 2009 and an M.S. in Geographic Information Science at San Francisco State University. He helped with our New Deal map of San Francisco in 2014-15.
OTHER PAST CONTRIBUTORS
Elizabeth Camacho, programmer at IRLE, University of California, Berkeley
Heather Hunsinger, former programmer at IRLE, now with Splunk
Lisa Ericksen, our first project manager, formerly with the California Historical Society
Terry Diggs, Adjunct, Hastings School of Law
Tim Drescher, Professor Emeritus, San Francisco State University
Terry Huwe, Librarian, IRLE
Jane White, Berkeley.
Bay Area meeting of New Deal Team, November 2017
Reding, Walker, Boettiger, Thompson, Leighninger, Ives, Smith, Brechin, Anton
Bay Area New Deal Team, Spring 2015
Bay Area New Deal Team, January 2015
Front: Walker & L. Leighninger back: Carlsson, Wiley, Brechin, Smith, Tarr, Nicolaus, Jordan, Thompson, R. Leighninger, Milner, Stehlin
LND Team, May 2012
LND Team, 2008
Terra is a fourth year undergraduate student studying Geography, with a focus on food systems. She grew up in eastern North Carolina and is currently researching the role of New Deal programs in shaping this area of the country.
Claire is an undergraduate studying English, with a focus on American literature, and a double minor in Geography and Creative Writing. She co-runs and illustrates an online literary magazine, Oatmeal Magazine: A Literary Breakfast of Champions. She is currently doing research on the New Deal in South Carolina.
Tomoyo is majoring in Sociology, with a double minor in Demography and Music. She has performed on the Carillion in Sather Tower. And, thanks to growing up Sapporo, site of the 1972 Winter Olympics, she is also a black diamond skier. Currently, she is doing research on New Deal Art in New Mexico.
Burt was an Industrial Engineering and Operations Research Major major. He was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and grew up in San Ramon, California. He did research on the effects of the New Deal on the state of Hawaii.
ELISE CHRISTINA TAM COOC
Elise was cognitive science major from the Bay Area and involved with the Asian American Association (AAA) and Cal Opportunity Scholars Association (COSA). She did research on the New Deal in Oregon.
Ian was a Cognitive Science major, with a concentration in Cognitive Psychology. He was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, but has family ties are to the Hudson Valley of New York. He researched the differential impact of New Deal programs across racial lines due to discriminatory institutions and legislation.
Read more about how these people contributed time and expertise to the Living New Deal on our project history page.
The world's most incredible ancient ruins (according to you)
The Borobudur temple in Java, Indonesia Credit: AP
This week's winning entry
A Mediterranean mystery
W as the wall that I was sitting on really part of the oldest structure on Earth? Older than the Pyramids or Stonehenge? Did I really have it entirely to myself? There was no sound in the surrounding rocky countryside, save the bees buzzing and larks singing. In the distance, the azure Mediterranean shimmered around the island of Filfla, a few miles south of Malta.
The early morning sun burnt down from a cloudless blue sky to bring out the rich golden colour of the limestone that built Mnajdra temple. They certainly knew where to site a ritual centre, those Maltese builders, 5,000 years ago. But why? And how?
Fast forward 50 years. A car park now welcomes visitors to this Unesco World Heritage site. Barriers and walkways keep visitors away. A vast canopy provides protection against erosion. A tourist bus arrives every half-hour. It is busy. The romance has gone… and yet the mystery remains.
Mike Vingoe, from London, wins a £500 travel voucher and a guidebook from Expert Africa.
More feedback from readers
Discover the forgotten Pacific city of Nan Madol
Few people go to such a faraway and abandoned place as the ancient city of Nan Madol, in the Pacific Ocean. A short boat ride from the island of Pohnpei, these offshore ruins are baffling. Basalt slabs covered in venomous-looking creepers mark the remains of ancient buildings said to have been constructed more than 700 years ago – part of a city built in the mangrove swamps, on artificial islands linked by Venetian-style canals. How the stones arrived in Nan Madol is a mystery, but legend has it that they were flown there by a powerful magician.
To many Pohnpeians, Nan Madol is sacred and locals are reluctant to go there. Permission has to be sought from the Nahnmwarki, or chieftain, before visiting – and respect for him must be shown by remaining seated in the boat while passing his home.
Explore Zimbabwe’s original houses of stone
Little is known about the origins of the 1,750 acres of the Great Zimbabwe ruins in the hills of Masvingo Province, Zimbabwe, presumed to have been built in the 11th century by Shona people. Zimbabwe means House of Stone, and people have suggested that the Great Enclosure contained a royal residence for the king, or perhaps a temple, with walls built of granite blocks designed in curves, topped by chevron patterns which would have needed an architect.
There are folk stories of caravans bringing Arabs, Phoenicians, the Queen of Sheba and others who used the city as a trading stop when travelling across Africa in search of gold, copper and minerals. Chinese pottery, Arabian coins and other such artefacts were found at the site, suggesting that the builders could have been other than local.
Bridgett Wilson, Dorset
Butrint – a once great Roman town in Albania
Many years ago, when I was about 14, I visited Butrint in Albania, the first ancient ruins I had ever visited. Once a great Roman town, it had been reduced over time to a collection of ruins, inhabited by groggy tortoises and incessant cicadas. I recall the guide taking us around and bringing the ruins to life with stories of the town’s history. I vividly remember the vibrant floor mosaics being uncovered as the guide pulled back the plastic tarpaulin that was the only method of preservation. It was my first visit to a UnescoWorld Heritage site – and the first of many.
Rachel Dayan, Birmingham
A new day dawns over the stupas of Borobudur
The alarm went off at 4am and we walked through the quiet hotel grounds listening to the monks chanting in the nearby monastery. Borobudur in Java, Indonesia, had been on my list to visit since I had seen a picture of it many years ago, but “in the flesh” it was wonderful. We arrived at 4.40am along with other tourists using their now ubiquitous selfie sticks, and waited for the first flash of the sunrise. Within 10 minutes, all the other visitors had disappeared and we had the place to ourselves. Our guide said it was the best sunrise he had ever seen over the wonderful array of stupas – and we were back at our hotel for breakfast by 8.30am.
A rare glimpse of Buddha before the Taliban called
In 1976 we travelled in a camper van with our two young children from Zambia back to the UK, crossing from Africa to India and then through Afghanistan to Europe. We count ourselves among the privileged few to have seen the Bamiyan Buddhas before they were destroyed by the Taliban. We rode by donkey, accompanied by a guide, passing through a valley in the early morning mist and approaching along a rough track to see the statues. The sheer size and grandeur of the Buddhas was jaw-dropping, but what made the experience so special was that we knew how lucky we were to see one of the ancient wonders of the world, far from the usual tourist sights. We were devastated to hear of their destruction.
A Mayan temple reveals its secrets after 1,000 years
One magical day in Belize, we visited the ancient Mayan temples at Caracol. They had remained unexcavated for hundreds of years, concealed under grassy mounds, and their glories were still being discovered. Lenny, our guide, introduced us to the head of archaeology, who was enthusing about a remarkable mask which had just been uncovered in the Temple of the Jaguars. We were thrilled at being invited to view it, aware that we were among the very first people to set eyes on it for about a thousand years.
No photographs were permitted, but we retain in our memories a vivid image of the bold protuberant nose and the stunning pristine colours which glowed as though the mask were freshly painted. What exuberant colours were present in the ancient world. What other rich treasures, I wonder, does that Earth conceal?
King of the castle in Wales, but just for one day
At the age of seven or eight, my sister and I were taken by our parents to Llangollen in Wales for a day trip. We went often, but this time was special we were to walk up to the ruins of Dinas Bran, a castle dating from the 1200s, perched high above the valley of the River Dee and the town.
I recall standing at the bottom, looking up at the castle ruins, with the well trodden pathway to the summit zigzagging ahead. Eager to reach the top and see this crumbling construction close up, we set off.
Once at the summit, there was so much to take in. The spectacular views, the sense of achievement of scaling the heights and the mystery of seeing these 700-year-old ruins and wondering what events it had witnessed during its history.
Fair weather and fine ruins in Tulum, Mexico
I have fantastic memories of visiting Templo Dios del Viento (God of Winds Temple) in Tulum, Mexico. The beach below this temple is protected for nesting sea turtles and is rated one of the best in the world. It’s easy to see why. The view looking over to the temple and down to the beach is breathtaking, and snorkelling there was a treat. We were lucky to have picked such a calm day. Tulum archaeological site is small but impressive. There are lots of other beautiful temples and ruins, with superb views over dense jungle. We ended the day with a chilled bottle of local beer and traditional Mayan food.
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