According to documents obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request, in the days just prior to his assassination, President John F. Kennedy asked the CIA to provide him with classified documents about UFOs.

The story is set out in two letters written by Kennedy to the director of the CIA asking for information about the spy agency’s file on alien activity.

What a dreadful Spirit that Man possesses, who can put a private Appetite in balance against the universal Good of his Country, and of Mankind.

-- Cato

As tensions with England intensified in the years leading up to 1776, the United States became a “laboratory of proposals and revised forms of union and confederated government.” One of the concoctions brewed in this laboratory was the Articles of Confederation.

ft. sumterWars are seldom tidy, and often the unfinished business from one war provides the spark and tinder for the next. The forts that guarded Charleston Harbor in the latter half of the 19th century were part of a series of coastal defenses planned after the War of 1812 to protect all the principal seaports of the United States. Like most of the system, the forts in Charleston were still unfinished in 1861. Not long after the war with the British, America became preoccupied with battles within, as wars with Indian tribes continued through most of the century.

JP MorganJunius Morgan was, at best, a third-tier English banker in the 1850s, who was fortunate to have had a hand in a number of lucrative financings, mostly for industries seeking seasonal financing. His conservative nature was partly a cause of his lack of distinction. He’d inherited a substantial sum when his father died and was exceedingly careful when risking any part of it. One of the maxims Junius instilled into his son, John Pierpont Morgan (shown at left), was, “Never under any circumstances do an action which could be called into question if known to the world.”

It is a signal irony that, within days of the apocalyptic earthquake and tsunami that have brought Japan to her knees, archaeologists announced the possible discovery, after millenia of speculation, of the ruins of the legendary lost civilization of Atlantis, buried deep beneath the marshes of the Coto Doñana in southwestern Spain.