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Historical Facts

History of the Democratic Party: The Evolution of U.S. ...

November 17, 2020

When George Washington resigned as President of the United States in 1796, he published a farewell address in the popular American Daily Advisor for the nati...

History of the Republican Party: The Evolution of U.S. ...

November 16, 2020

1874 Nast cartoon featuring the first notable appearance of the Republican elephant. (Thomas Nast/Wikimedia Commons) Whether you call it the G.O.P., the conse...

Bikini Laws: When Women Could Be Arrested For Wearing T...

November 15, 2020

We've come a long way, baby. Considering all the barely there string bikinis on display at every public beach and pool these days, it's hard to imagine there...

Concession Speech History: How U.S. Presidential Candid...

November 14, 2020

William Jennings Bryan speaking at the 1908 Democratic National Convention. (Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons) One of the most important parts of the ele...

When the Supreme Court Decided The Election Through His...

November 12, 2020

You've got to hand it to the Founding Fathers. When they wrote the U.S. Constitution, they put some clever rules in place to ensure a fair election process i...

The History Of Post-Election Riots: Should We Expect Ci...

November 5, 2020

Inauguration of Abraham Lincoln, March 4, 1861. (Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons) Nothing has defined the modern era of presidential elections like fear...

Dictators Who Kept Their Dire Health Scares Secret From...

October 9, 2020

(Warren K. Leffler/Wikimedia Commons) Whether they're ruthless warlords or seemingly benevolent monochrome jumpsuit enthusiasts, all dictators want to be seen...

Every Time A Sitting U.S. President Has Ever Hidden The...

October 8, 2020

(N. Currier/Wikimedia Commons) No matter the era, the well-being of the U.S. president has global ramifications. If the commander-in-chief knows the state of ...

How The Electoral College Was Created To Give The South...

October 1, 2020

(Howard Chandler Christy/Wikimedia Commons) To paraphrase the Insane Clown Posse, "The electoral college—how does it work?" We all more or less know that a ca...

Black And Mexican Cowboys Made Up At Least 25% Of The A...

September 13, 2020

When you think of the Wild West, you probably think of a lonesome cowboy who maybe looks a bit like John Wayne, out on his own, fighting the elements and str...

What Was Life Like In Russian Gulags? The Horrors, Expl...

July 23, 2020

Beginning under the leadership of dictator Vladimir Lenin, the Soviet Union established a forced labor camp system that soon earned a reputation for brutalit...

Bastille Day: Storm The Prison, Revolutionize The Count...

July 14, 2020

(Bibliothèque nationale de France/Wikimedia Commons) On July 14, 1789, A.K.A. Bastille Day, a crowd of Parisians stormed the Bastille and demolished the forme...

The History Of Peaceful Protests in America

June 10, 2020

Throughout history, protests have been used by regular people who want to have their voices heard. Civil unrest has been whipping around humankind since the first rule was ...

How The U.S. Police Service Was Founded As A Slave Hunt...

June 7, 2020

It may seem like police have been around since the first caveman stole a rock from another, but they've actually only been patrolling since just before the C...

Humans In Dark Isolation Develop 48-Hour Sleep Cycles, ...

April 3, 2020

Isolation messes with our heads. Humans who lose contact with other people and the normal stimuli that occurs during the day react in strange ways. One of the wei...

Smoking On Airplanes: Unreal Facts And Stories About Wh...

November 21, 2019

Air travel has seen many changes since the days of Mad Men, getting on a plane meant getting suited and booted for the occasion. Today, we're lucky if people...

The Elizabethan Era's Most Horrifying And Disgusting Re...

November 17, 2019

The Elizabethan era began on November 17, 1558, when Queen Elizabeth I ascended to the throne. The era is remembered as a time of beautiful clothing, luxurious h...

Charles Henry Dow: The Man Who Created Modern Economics

October 8, 2019

The day's numbers for the Dow Jones Industrial Average are displayed on a screen at the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square. Source: (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Ima...

The Edelweiss Pirates Fought Back Against The Hitler Yo...

October 6, 2019

Edelweiss Pirates youth group in Nazi Germany. They emerged in western Germany out of the German Youth Movement of the late 1930s. Source: (Universal History Ar...

Rock, Paper, Scissors Goes Back To Ancient China

September 24, 2019

Can't decide where to have dinner? Need to determine who will take out the trash? Battling over who gets the front seat? All of these disputes can be easily solved by ...

Abraham Lincoln's Jokes: The 16th President's Forgotten...

September 22, 2019

Abraham Lincoln stands as one of the most revered and respected Presidents in U.S history. Though the 16th president of the United States is most remembered ...

Protection Against Witches: How Ornaments Used To Ward ...

September 12, 2019

It's mostly reserved for quiet nights following horror movie marathons these days, but most people in 17th- and 18th-century England and the United States tr...

Frank R. Beckwith: The First Black Presidential Candida...

September 11, 2019

Long before the historic presidency of Barack Obama, one man cut himself off a little slice of that history by becoming the first African-American candidate ...

The History Of The Real-Life Death Ray

September 8, 2019

In science-fiction, death rays are defined as weapons that shoot beams of energy to conveniently kill the enemy without bullets or bombs. Because of this, death rays are a stapl...

Cruise Control's Humorous And Unbelievable History 

September 7, 2019

An automobile cruise control system is an outer control loop that "takes over" control of the throttle - normally exercised by the driver through the accelerator peda...

Dr. William Halstead: The Cokehead Who Fathered Modern ...

September 4, 2019

By now, you have probably heard many stories of how cocaine was used in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It was used in quack medicines, cocktails, stimulants...

So That’s Why They're Called Hookers!

August 25, 2019

There are a surprising number of nicknames for the oldest profession in the world---call girls, streetwalkers, strumpets, ladies of the night---but the term you've probably hea...

Drink in the Past: Prehistoric Yeast Extracted Jurassic...

August 19, 2019

Remember that iconic scene in Jurassic Park in which scientists extract dinosaur DNA from a mosquito that became encased in amber millions of years ago? This...

What You Didn’t Know About the Practice of Neck Elongat...

August 15, 2019

Human beings, it seems, have always practiced some sort of body modification or another. Piercings, tattoos, foot binding, and skull flattening are practic...

Wedding Traditions: Why Bridesmaids, Veils, and Bells? ...

August 14, 2019

Wedding ceremonies are steeped in tradition, and let's face it, some of them are rather odd. A quick look into the origins of many of today's wedding traditi...

Trees of the Gods: Worshiping The Mighty Oak Tree

August 11, 2019

The Forest Scenery Of Great Britain Oaks In Needwood Forest, UK, Britain, British, Europe, United Kingdom, Great Britain, European. Source: (Photo by: Universal History ...

Carpathia to the Rescue: The Ship That Saved Titanic

August 10, 2019

Survivors of the sinking of the Titanic on April 18, 1912, aboard the RMS Carpathia the ship that rescued them. Washington, Library Of Congress. Source: (Photo by DeA...

Extra Bread: The Origins Of The Baker's Dozen

August 9, 2019

An itinerant baker's cart. Source: (Photo by: Leemage/Universal Images Group via Getty Images) Many times, when you order a dozen rolls or loaves of bread at a bakery, you...

The Spy Who Hung Her Laundry

August 8, 2019

The most effective spies are the ones that don't appear to be doing anything suspicious at all. They look as though they are going about their normal lives. During the Revolutionary War, ...

Air Travel Before the Jet Age

July 27, 2019

Love it or hate it, commercial air travel is a staple of modern life. Even small and medium-sized cities around the world enjoy direct flights that can connect them to distant family and...

Childless Presidents

July 25, 2019

When we elect a president to lead our country, we are also, indirectly, electing a first family that includes presidential children ... usually. Nearly all of our former presidents balanced the d...

The Dog Days of Summer: Less About Hot Dogs and More Ab...

July 24, 2019

When the heat of July hits like a blanket fresh from the dryer, the old-timers like to say that we are in the dog days of summer. If you are like most people...

Bald Eagle Versus the Turkey

July 21, 2019

A bald eagle sits on a perch in front of an American Flag. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images) The majestic bald eagle—the symbol of the United States—has a reputati...

Timeless Beauty: Skincare Through The Ages

June 20, 2019

A detail of a painting from the tomb of Nakht depicting three ladies preparing for a feast by using skincare products. Source: (Photo by Werner Forman/Universal Images Group/Ge...

The History of Ship Figureheads

June 18, 2019

Nautical figurehead of Norwegian sail training ship Christian Radich, a tall ship participating in the Tall Ships Races 2016 arrival day on July 22, 2016 in Lisbon, Portugal. Source: (Pho...

Hunting Down an Assassin: The Manhunt for MLK’s Killer

June 16, 2019

American Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 - 1968) speaks at Quinn Chapel on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, 1960s. Source: (Photo by Robe...

The Evil Eye

May 27, 2019

Nearly every ancient culture has had some sort of superstitions about evil eyes and curses. The curse of the evil eye hasn’t changed a wink over the years. It is basically the belief that someone could s...

Italian Food Before the Tomato

May 25, 2019

We all know Christopher Columbus, our elementary school teachers taught us that he sailed the ocean blue in 1492. He also began an important process of knowledge and material transfer b...

8 Things You Didn't Know About Real-Life Covered Wagons

May 24, 2019

Conestoga Wagon. Source: (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images) Every movie and television show about the old west and the pioneer days include...

Hitting the Rails: Hobo Life

May 12, 2019

When the Great Depression hit, jobs dried up and families lost their houses and farms. In desperation, many hard-working, able-bodied men left home in search of any work they could get. T...

Folktale Origins Of Wishing Wells

May 6, 2019

Wishing well at Ramona marriage place old town, San Diego, California, 1930. Source: (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images) In the mall, in the park, or in your neighbor’s fron...

How Did Werewolf Legends Start?

April 26, 2019

American actor Glenn Strange (1899 - 1973) is transformed into a werewolf in the film 'The Mad Monster', 1942. Source: (Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images) Most myths and legends have...

The Incredible Saga of the Crown of Thorns

April 21, 2019

Earlier this week, the eye of the world watched in horror at the televised footage of the devasting fire that swept through the historic Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. The a...

The Bob: A Revolutionary And Empowering Hairstyle

April 14, 2019

American actress Louise Brooks, shown here in 1929, was known for her daring short bobbed hair. Source: (John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images) Prior to the 20th century,...

The Mysteries Of Outer Space – How Far Science Has Adva...

April 6, 2019

For years and years, people have asked the age-old questions about outer space. Is there life on other planets? What does the moon look like? How far away ...

Things You Didn’t Know About The Spring Equinox

April 2, 2019

On Wednesday, March 20, at exactly 12.15 p.m. Eastern Time, the Spring, or Vernal, Equinox will occur. This is the precise moment when winter ends and spring begins a...

Toilet Tales: The John Versus The Crapper

March 29, 2019

When it comes to indoor plumbing, two names stand out—the John and the Crapper. Please understand that when we say this, we are not being crude or impolite by using these inf...

The Legend Of The Dream Catcher

March 28, 2019

Dreamcatcher In Anishinabe Community Of Kitcisakik, Abitibi, Quebec, Canada. Source: (Photo by David DUCOIN/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images) A Native American item that has achieved widesp...

Things You May Not Know About Women Rulers In History

March 24, 2019

Queens of the Nile Exhibition At Rijksmuseum van Oudheden. Source: (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images) For centuries women have been in leadership roles as...

Historical Figures Who Suffered From Diseases or Disord...

March 23, 2019

There are numerous diseases and disorders that average people suffer from every day with no respecter of persons. These diseases can come upon anyone at any ...

Rum Runners: A Short, But Profitable Prohibition-Era Ca...

March 6, 2019

When the United States Congress finally caved to pressures from temperance groups and passed the 18th Amendment in 1920, the country went dry. Alcohol produc...

When Texas Was Its Own Country

March 1, 2019

1839: The flag of the Republic of Texas, the 'Lone Star' state was admitted to the Union in 1845. Source: (Photo by MPI/Getty Images) Today, it seems strange to think that Texas could st...

Thanks to These Ladies, Women Have the Right to Vote

February 25, 2019

On May 3, 1916, Suffragettes carry a banner announcing that 'Women have full suffrage in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and Idaho' at the Women of all Nations Parade in New ...

Native Americans: Top Ten Famous Native Americans From ...

February 23, 2019

Many Native Americans helped to shape the history of the United States. Some of them lost their land as well as their heritage while others thrived and beca...

“Happy Birthday To You”: The Celebratory Song With the ...

February 21, 2019

Finally, in 2015, more than 90 years after it was first published, the song everyone sings before blowing out their birthday candles, the ditty “Happy Bi...

The True Story of the Essex, the Inspiration for "Moby ...

February 13, 2019

Gregory Peck in a scene from the 1956 movie “Moby Dick'' Source: (Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images) In 1851, Herman Melville published hi...

The Underground Railroad

February 10, 2019

Fugitive slaves fleeing from Maryland to Delaware by way of the 'Underground Railroad', 1850-1851. Engraving. Source: (Photo 12/UIG via Getty Images) Slavery, in any form, is an abomination of...

Hudson Bay Point Blankets: Important Trade Good or Gift...

February 8, 2019

We might not think that a common, household object like a blanket could have an impact on history, but that has happened with the iconic Hudson’s Bay point b...

Nursery Rhymes Are Not What They Seem: The Story Behind...

January 25, 2019

We all remember the children’s nursery rhyme about Little Jack Horner. It’s the about the little boy who sticks his thumb into a pie and pulls out a plum. Pl...

The Real Story of the Star Spangled Banner

December 10, 2018

Patrons walk among the canons and an American flag flown at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, MD on September 9, 2014, the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner. (Photo by Lin...

The Vile Vortices Of Ivan T. Sanderson

December 9, 2018

Ten of the twelve vortices/image from pinterest In 1972, Ivan T. Sanderson, a Scottish biologist who founded the Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained, published an ar...

Who Invented the Magnetic Compass?

November 5, 2018

For ancient explorers, sailors, and navigators, knowing which way to go was a challenge. The very first sailors used the sun and the stars to help them find their way to their destin...

Survivors of the Titanic

November 4, 2018

The RMS Titanic sank early in the morning of April 15, 1912, after striking an iceberg only four days into their voyage. Only 710 passengers out of 2,224 people on board survived. Here are just a...

How Much Do You Know About the Mayflower?

November 1, 2018

Visitors of the Mayflower II in Plymouth. (Photo by Essdras M Suarez/The Boston Globe via Getty Images) As kids, we learned about the Mayflower at an early age. It was, in fac...

Fast Food Drive-Thru: A Product of the Car Culture

September 24, 2018

Drivers wait in the drive-thru line at an In-N-Out Burger restaurant in Alhambra, California. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. B...

A Blast From the Past

September 23, 2018

What baby boomers would refer to as having a “blast” would be perceived as “boring” to today’s generation. Yesterday’s culture looked quite different than ours does today. The forms of entertainment ...

Paul Revere: What You Didn’t Know About This American H...

September 21, 2018

American silversmith, engraver, and Revolutionary patriot, Paul Revere (1735-1818), on his famous ride spreading the alarm that the Royal troops were advancin...

Four Unusually Dramatic Disasters of the Past

September 16, 2018

An abandoned house, damaged by Hurricane Katrina, in the eerie glow of streetlamps is seen in the lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans on August 15, 2015. AFP PHOTO / LEE CELANO ...

Unbelievable But True

September 15, 2018

A robot waiter stands in a restaurant at Huangpu District on July 3, 2016 in Shanghai, China. The robot waiter is used to deliver food to customers, and it can play welcoming words and music. (Phot...

The Great Lakes Version of The Bermuda Triangle

September 12, 2018

Sunset over Lake Michigan with lighthouse (Photo by: Digital Light Source/UIG via Getty Images) The Bermuda Triangle has cemented its status as one of the most mysterious...

Disney’s "Moana" Depicts an Actual Event in Polynesian ...

September 10, 2018

There was much hype and anticipation when Disney announced that it would release a Polynesian-based feature-length animated movie, called Moana, in 2016. T...

Common “Facts” Disproved

August 8, 2018

We’ve grown up hearing people say “it’s a fact” about something or other, we’ve even been taught certain “facts” in school. However, a fact is a fact until disproved or until someone disco...

Past Predictions That Came True

July 25, 2018

If you think about it, the future that is, it’s not hard to come up with something so “out there” as a possible futuristic invention. In fact, the more ridiculous it sounds to us at t...

Things You Didn’t Know About Ancient Birth Control

June 28, 2018

Birth control didn’t start with The Pill in 1960. In fact, women have sought out ways to control their own fertility since antiquity. Today's generation of women m...

Did You Know That The United States Once Planned on Nuk...

October 30, 2017

The United States once planned on shooting a nuclear bomb at the moon. If you presumed that the reasoning behind such an act was “because we can,” you are absolut...