Never-before-seen photos capture the wild audience at a 1970 Bowie performance


Image: Tom Busby/The Roundhouse

In March 1970, London music venue The Roundhouse (a one-time railroad structure celebrating its 50th anniversary this year) held what they billed as “Seven Nights of Celebration” in a “Living Theatre Environment.”

The weeklong festival, “Atomic Sunrise,” was a collaboration between regular performers at the venue’s Sunday Implosion gigs and The Living Theatre, a radical experimental theatre company.

While the Living Theatre performers moved among the dancing and reveling audience, a succession of bands played onstage, including Genesis and David Bowie with one of his early bands, The Hype. Read more…

More about Rock Music, David Bowie, Music, History, and Retronaut

Soldiers on WWI’s Italian Front fought enemies, frostbite and avalanches



Soldiers hoist a field gun up a cliff face.

Image: Robert Hunt/Windmill Books/UIG via Getty Images

While the muddy and horrific trench warfare of the Western Front has become the most enduring image of World War I, some of the conflict’s bloodiest battles were fought high in the mountains of the Italian Front.

At the start of the war in 1914, the Kingdom of Italy was part of the Triple Alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary, but refused to commit troops to their allies’ campaigns, arguing that their obligations were purely defensive.

The Italians also had their eyes on several territories controlled by Austria-Hungary along the Adriatic coast and the Alps Read more…

More about War, Italy, World War I, History, and Retronaut

During WWI, interned German sailors built a charming village in North Carolina


German internees playfully stage an “alligator attack” on the shore of the French Broad River.

Image: North Carolina Museum of History

During World War I, the sleepy North Carolina resort town of Hot Springs more than doubled in population as it became host to one of the largest internment camps in the country.

When the United States abandoned neutrality and declared war on Germany in April 1917, thousands of German commercial sailors were unlucky enough to be docked at American ports, including the crew of the world’s largest passenger ship, the SS Vaterland, which had been stuck in Hoboken, New Jersey since the outbreak of hostilities three years earlier. Read more…

More about German, Internment, World War I, History, and Retronaut

In 1908, racers attempted to drive from New York to Paris in the dead of winter. It got complicated.


The racers line up at the starting point in Times Square.

Image: Library of Congress

On the frigid morning of Feb. 12, 1908, a quarter of a million people lined the streets of New York City to witness the start of a contest without precedent: a westward automobile race from New York to Paris.

Sponsored by the New York Times and the French newspaper Le Matin, the race featured six cars from four countries — three from France and one each from the United States, Germany and Italy

The planned route would take the racers across the United States, up through Canada into Alaska, over the Bering Strait (which race organizers hoped would be frozen solid in the dead of winter) to Siberia, through Russia and finally Europe and Paris. Read more…

More about New York, Racing, Cars, History, and Retronaut