Historical Facts

History Of Space Travel: From Science Fiction To Science Fact

July 23, 2021

Humans have been dreaming of visiting the stars for over a millennium, with ancient Sanskrit writings dating back to 300 C.E. telling of mythological flyi...

The Affair Of The Diamond Necklace, Or How A Queen Lost Her Head

July 11, 2021

Marie Antoinette's execution on October 16, 1793. (Unknown author/Wikimedia Commons) The Affair of the Diamond Necklace reads more like a farce than a f...

Saint Pierre and Miquelon, A Bit of France Just Ten Miles From North America

July 5, 2021

Saint Pierre and Miquelon. (DeAgostini/Getty Images) The last remaining vestige of France's colonial empire is a couple of small islands jus...

What's A Shibboleth? Origin And Meaning Of The Biblical Word Test

May 30, 2021

Antique Bible texts in exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum. (Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images) "Shibboleth," when translated directly f...

Parade History: When Did We Start Doing This All The Time?

March 15, 2021

The word "parade" usually evokes a feeling of excitement and celebration, the deep urge to celebrate a person, idea, or event above the everyday humdrum of l...

Doughboy Prophylactic: A Full History of Condoms And Prophylactics For Men

March 7, 2021

Condoms may seem like a no-brainer when it comes to protected sex, but that hasn't always been the case. Despite the earliest birth control ...

A Full History Of Eyelashes And Their Place In Culture: Why Are We So Obsessed?

March 6, 2021

Ancient Egyptian women wearing kohl, from a tomb mural in Thebes (1420–1375 B.C.E.). (British Museum/Wikimedia Commons) Artistic and sens...

The History Of The U.S.'s Peaceful Transition Of Power

January 19, 2021

The "President's House" in 1807. (White House/Wikimedia Commons) For as long as the U.S. has had a government, a peaceful transition of power has been fundamental...

Senate Sergeant At Arms: History Of The Police Officer That Protects The U.S Senate Floor

January 15, 2021

You may not realize it, but the sergeant at arms and doorkeeper of the United States Senate has one of the most important jobs...

Where Does The Term 'Redneck' Come From? How Redneck Culture Was Originally Far Left

January 10, 2021

Comedian Jeff Foxworthy is shown performing on stage during a "live" concert appearance on April 12, 2014. (John Atashian/Getty Images...

The History Of Sriracha: How The Famous Vietnamese Condiment Made It To The U.S.

January 2, 2021

A man dresses up with his hot dog with Huy Fong Sriracha Hot Sauce. (Paul J. Richards/AFP via Getty Images) As the hottest (literally) h...

The History Of Food Delivery: How Fast Takeout Became A Human Fact Of Life

January 1, 2021

Whether you've got a craving for pizza, pot stickers, or pho, there's probably a restaurant that's willing to deliver that scrumptious treat ...

A Brief History of Champagne: Where Did Champagne Come From And How?

December 31, 2020

In a celebratory setting, a man's hands pour champagne into a glass slipper, while bubbles float in the background, ca.1970s. (Photo by Tom Kelley/Get...

Cultures That Don't Celebrate New Year's Day On January 1

December 28, 2020

Performers take part in the traditional dragon-and-drums Chinese new year parade. (Joel Saget/AFP via Getty Images) As midnight approaches on December 31, the ...

The History Of Why We Leave Milk And Cookies Out For Santa Claus Every Year

December 24, 2020

The Norse god Odin or Wotan, ruler of Asgard. He is holding the spear Gungnir and accompanied by the ravens Huginn and Muninn (Thought and Memo...

Scotland Banned Christmas For 400 Years: Became A Public Holiday In 1958

December 16, 2020

The war on Christmas didn't start with holiday coffee cups and the phrase "season's greetings." It goes back to at least 16th-century Scotland,...

4 Times The United States Was More Divided Than It Is Right Now

November 25, 2020

(Boston Athenæum/Wikimedia Commons) If it seems like the United States has always been divided, that's likely no accident. The purposeful separation of C...

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