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Historical Facts

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 art...

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 fact...

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. Th...

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...

Why Do People Always Look So Serious in Old Photos?

October 10, 2017

Most believe it is due to the limited technology at the time to capture a smile - exposure times were long and so it was easier to hold a serious expression over a long ...

15 Largest Things / Living Things on Earth

September 9, 2017

From dinosaurs to large flying birds, the world was once ruled by large creatures. Luckily, some of them are still with us today, and their sheer size never fail to captivate us....

10 Historical Facts They Don't Teach You In School

August 3, 2017

What we were taught in school was only the tip of the historical iceberg. Here are 10 facts from history they never taught you in school...

The Dollar Bill Deconstructed: Know the Meaning of All ...

June 28, 2017

The US dollar bill has been redesigned many times over the years; the version you see now was finalized in 1963. But what do all of the different symbols on the U...

10 Most Noteworthy 'Firsts' in History That Occurred Mu...

April 20, 2017

History can be a tricky subject, especially when you are trying to accurately portray significant events. Nobody is alive to confirm firsthand whether certain eve...

Hollow of 650-Year-Old Tree Used as a Hideout by Two Je...

April 17, 2017

The hollow trunk of this 650-year-old oak tree was used as a hideout by two Jewish brothers during World War II. In Wisniowa, Poland, there is an English oak tre...

Amendments to the U.S. Constitution

April 16, 2017

Since the Constitution was put into operation on March 4, 1789, 33 amendments to the United States Constitution have been proposed by the U.S. Congress and sent to the states for ratifi...

Drunk Debates: In Ancient Persia, People Decide Upon Im...

April 11, 2017

In Herodutus’ discussion of the Persians, he wrote (Book I, chapter 133) that they decide upon important issues by first getting drunk. Once drunk, they start the...

The Largest Bioterror Attack in U.S. History Began at a...

April 7, 2017

One fateful day in September, 1984, a woman stood in front of the Taco Time salsa bar in The Dalles, Oregon, holding a small plastic bag filled with a brownish sl...

13 Things You Had No Idea Were Named After People!

March 29, 2017

Have you ever wondered where names of things or words we regularly use came from? Here are 13 things named after people (some of them actually did not even invent them): ...

Socotra Island: The Most Alien-Looking Place on Earth

March 10, 2017

The landscape of Socotra Island has a view that looks as if it was derived from a sci-fi film but in reality, it has evolved to appear like the 'lost world' island has...

The First Products of 13 Famous Companies

March 7, 2017

Take a look at these 13 giant companies and their modest beginnings. Some discovered their niche and instantly dominated the industry during their launch, while others needed to a...

The Secrets of Medieval Castles: Why Medieval Castles A...

March 4, 2017

A medieval castle is not just a huge glamorous palace with hefty stone walls surrounding it -- it's more than that. It's an architecture that was entirely designe...

The Woman Who Got Hit By a Meteorite and Survived

March 3, 2017

One clear afternoon in Sylacauga, Alabama, Ann Hodges was napping on her couch. It was 1954. She was resting and covered by quilts, when all of a sudden, a softball-size h...

The Day Famous Viking Bjorn Ironside Invaded Rome...Or ...

March 2, 2017

The first ruler of the Swedish Munsö dynasty, Bjorn (Björn Järnsida in Swedish) was a well-known legendary king of Sweden who lived sometime during the 9th centur...

This 2,400-Year-Old Mushroom Is The Largest Living Orga...

February 21, 2017

The Armillaria ostoyae, more popularly known as the honey mushroom, began from a single spore too tiny to be seen by the naked eye. It has been entwining its blac...

22 Fascinating Historical Facts You Probably Didn't Kno...

February 17, 2017

Enjoy these insider information...

How Dr. Naismith Came Up With the Game of Basketball

February 6, 2017

Dr. James Naismith is known world-wide as the inventor of basketball. He was born in 1861 in Ramsay township, near Almonte, Ontario, Canada. The concept of basketball ...

The Most Beautiful Currency Ever Created by The U.S.

February 6, 2017

In 1896, the United States released the Educational Series of silver certificates, a series of currency depicting three allegorical motifs that would become some of the...

How the US Flag Changed Throughout History (1776 - Pres...

February 5, 2017

The layout of the stars was officially standardized in 1912, while the colors were standardized in 1934. Starting in 1818, the new flags were introduced on July 4...

Bound To Be Beautiful: 30 Photos of Chinese Women With ...

February 3, 2017

Foot binding was a custom practiced on young females for approximately one thousand years in China, from the tenth century until the early twentieth century. Wome...

Every Night the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, ...

January 31, 2017

Where do they keep the Charters of Freedom, which is the collective name for the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence, when ...

The President Tree: One Photo, 126 Frames, 2 Billion Le...

January 31, 2017

Located in Sequoia National Park is an astounding natural wonder, the President Tree, stands at 247-feet tall and a several thousand years old. This incredible tr...

20 Fantastic Trivia from History You Can Work Into Conv...

January 19, 2017

Probably unheard-of --- January 4th is National Trivia Day! Celebrate by engaging with some of these fun facts from Mental Floss into conversation. ...

12 Facts From History You Probably Didn't Know

January 16, 2017

In 1536, these three cages, used to hold the dismembered remnants of opposing religious leaders in the region, still hang on St. Lambert’s Cathedral in Münster, Germany The ...

Cost of Living Throughout the Years, 1924 - 1999

January 6, 2017

Cost of living is the amount of money necessary to maintain a certain standard of living, basic expenditures included such as housing, food, taxes and health care. Take a l...

Portland Castle: One of Henry VIII’s Finest Coastal For...

December 31, 2016

Portland Castle is an artillery fort constructed during the time of Henry VIII on the Isle of Portland, Dorset, in the early 1540s. The two-storey keep was buil...