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1922 - Discovey Tutankhamn

Discovery of Tutankhamun's Tomb - Howard Carter reveals the final resting place of the young pharoah Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings

During the early twentieth century, Howard Carter, a British Egyptologist, excavated for many years in the Valley of the Kings—a royal burial ground located on the west bank of the ancient city of Thebes, Egypt. When Carter arrived in Egypt in 1891, he became convinced there was at least one undiscovered tomb–that of the little known Tutankhamen, or King Tut, who lived around 1400 B.C. and died when he was still a teenager. Backed by a rich Brit, Lord Carnarvon, Carter searched for five years without success. In early 1922, Lord Carnarvon wanted to call off the search, but Carter convinced him to hold on one more year.

Finally the wait paid off when Carter came upon the first of twelve steps of the entrance that led to the tomb of Tutankhamun. He quickly recovered the steps and sent a telegram to Carnarvon in England so they could open the tomb together. Carnarvon departed for Egypt immediately and on November 26, 1922, they made a hole in the entrance of the antechamber in order to look in.

Carter recalled: “At first I could see nothing, the hot air escaping from the chamber causing the candle flame to flicker, but presently, as my eyes grew accustomed to the lights, details of the room within emerged slowly from the mist, strange animals, statues, and gold –everywhere the glint of gold”.

When Carter and Lord Carnarvon entered the tomb’s interior chambers on November 26, they were thrilled to find it virtually intact, with its treasures untouched after more than 3,000 years. The men began exploring the four rooms of the tomb, and on February 16, 1923, under the watchful eyes of a number of important officials, Carter opened the door to the last chamber.

Inside lay a sarcophagus with three coffins nested inside one another. The last coffin, made of solid gold, contained the mummified body of King Tut. Among the riches found in the tomb–golden shrines, jewelry, statues, a chariot, weapons, clothing–the perfectly preserved mummy was the most valuable, as it was the first one ever to be discovered.

In total 5,398 items were found in the tomb, including a solid gold coffin, face mask, thrones, archery bows, trumpets, a lotus chalice, food, wine, sandals, and fresh linen underwear. Howard Carter took 10 years to catalog the items



Further Reading  


National Geographic - Close Call: How Howard Carter Almost Missed King Tut's Tomb

MashableThe Discovery of Tutankhamun: Color Photos

1922 - March on Rome

March on Rome - organized mass demonstration which resulted in Benito Mussolini's National Fascist Party ascending to power in Italy

From a humble middle-class family to the stern, no nonsense dictator of Italy, Benito Mussolini grew his following from the ground up. Mussolini’s campaign erupted on the current discontent with the Italian economy and political field. Italians felt Italy didn’t get justice in terms of territorial settlements at the end of WWI despite being on the winning side. Socialists and communists were fighting for their view of a future Italy, scaring many in the middle class. Italy was also hurting economically, as the Italian economy was stagnant after WWI. Many of those who were hit hardest by the economy were also in the middle class.1However, there were many other moving parts as to why Mussolini came to power. Overall, individuals wanted to see a drastic and significant change in Italy, and to them, Mussolini was the answer.

Mussolini entered politics in earnest in 1917, promoting nationalism, militarism, and the restoration of the bourgeois state. Mussolini did not like where Italy was heading in terms of its foreign policy and its domestic economy. Mussolini had the vision of returning Italy to the grandeur of the Roman Empire. Furthermore, he wanted to be like a modern-day Julius Caesar ruling over his nation. He could not sit around and watch Italy fall even further into a recession, or be pushed around by foreign powers. 

In 1919, Mussolini started surrounding himself with sympathetic minds, like General Emilio De Bono, Italo Balbo, Cesare De Vecchi, and Michele Bianchi, growing his following so he could create his own political party. As his organization broadened, his supporters started wearing black shirts to their rallies.

In 1922, Mussolini found his opening into national politics. Blackshirt volunteers crushed a strike called for by trade unions, and in the process, his party began to gain the support of many Italians who found Mussolini’s nationalism appealing, mainly among the middle class. However, Mussolini was also supported by veterans, industrialists, and bankers. He urged his supporters to march to Rome with him, like the great Giuseppe Garibaldi did after he unified Italy in the nineteenth century.4 Mussolini stated that either his party, the Fascists, would be given power, or they would take it themselves by force.

The Blackshirts’ first objective was to seize the towns around Rome. After the towns were seized, fascist columns of Blackshirts were to converge on Rome. The official date of the march was to begin on October 24, 1922, at a rally in Napoli. As the days led up to the march, Luigi Facta, Italy’s Prime Minister, became increasingly worried about his position as Prime Minister of Italy. In a last-ditch attempt to protect his position, he ordered a proposal of martial law.


The order would have placed the army in between the government and a fascist takeover. However, the order needed to be signed by King Victor Emmanuel III. After consideration, the King was not confident in the loyalty of his army and feared a revolt that would jeopardize his power. For that reason, he did not sign the order on October 29, which effectively forced Facta out, making Mussolini the new premier of Italy. On October 30, Mussolini arrived in Rome iby train with 30,000 Blackshirts following behind on foot. He presented himself to the king by announcing, “Majesty, I come from the battlefield—fortunately bloodless.”


Further Reading


Slate - The Political Violence That Helped Mussolini Attain Power

Warfare History NetworkBenito Mussolini & The Fascist March on Rome

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