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The Most Eccentric Presidents in U.S. History

November 22, 2020

President Ronald Reagan throwing a football from his desk in the Oval Office. (Mary Anne Fackelman-Miner/White House/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images) Presiden...

J. Edgar Hoover Cross-Dressing: Did He Really?

November 21, 2020

Hoover photographed in 1959. (Federal Bureau of Investigation/Wikimedia Commons) Long after his death in 1972, J. Edgar Hoover has held the American public's attention, m...

Shirley Chisholm: Everything You Didn't Know About The ...

November 18, 2020

African-American educator and U.S. Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm speaks at a podium at the Democratic National Convention, Miami Beach, Florida, July 1972. (Pi...

Invention of the Radio: Guglielmo Marconi's Genius And ...

October 28, 2020

Guglielmo Marconi, portrait, head and shoulders, facing left. (Pach Brothers/Wikimedia Commons) Born in 1874 in Bologna, Italy, Guglielmo Marconi was the grea...

Pablo Picasso: Everything You Didn't Know About The Ava...

October 25, 2020

This file pictured dated October 13, 1971 shows Spanish painter Pablo Picasso in Mougins, France. (RALPH GATTI/AFP via Getty Images) As the father of cubism,...

Nikola Tesla: Everything You Didn't Know About The Famo...

October 22, 2020

Nikola Tesla (1856–1943), Serbian-American physicist sitting in his Colorado Springs laboratory with his "magnifying transmitter," 1899 (multiple exposure). (S...

Thomas Edison: Everything You Didn't Know About The Fam...

October 18, 2020

Thomas Edison (1847–1931) was a prolific inventor who was issued over 1,000 patents over his lifetime. (George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images) The name "Thom...

Teddy Roosevelt: Things You Didn't Know About The Bull ...

October 14, 2020

Teddy Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States, was a rugged, no-nonsense statesman, writer, and naturalist. When not making policy and negotiating...

Kim Il Sung: Facts You Didn't Know About The Ruthless D...

October 13, 2020

If you were asked who the current President of North Korea is, you'd likely answer Kim Jong Un, the current ruler of the Democratic People's Republic (though...

Eleanor Roosevelt: Facts And Trivia You Didn't Know Abo...

October 11, 2020

As FDR's first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt matured into a icon of the feminist movement and a symbol of charity and activism. But she wasn't always the wise, con...

Groucho Marx: Facts You Didn't Know About Comedy's Firs...

October 2, 2020

You know the greasepaint mustache and the big glasses, but there's so much more to Groucho Marx than his signature look. As a member of the Marx Brothers com...

John D. Rockefeller: The First Billionaire's Biography ...

September 28, 2020

Seated portrait of John Davison Rockefeller (1839-1937), American oil magnate, early twentieth century. (Interim Archives/Getty Images) America's first billio...

Thomas Nast: Father of The American Political Cartoon

September 27, 2020

German-born American cartoonist and caricaturist Thomas Nast (1840–1902). (Hulton Archive/Getty Images) It is true that oftentimes, a picture is worth 1,000 words....

Coco the Clown: The UK's Number-One Vintage Clown

September 25, 2020

Coco the Clown inspects a replica of his face painted on an eggshell. (Peter Johnson/BIPs/Getty Images) On September 25, 1974, the entertainment world, particularly in...

Bill The Butcher A.K.A. William Poole: Bio, Facts, & Tr...

September 22, 2020

(Unknown author/Wikimedia Commons) More than the inspiration for Daniel Day Lewis's character in Gangs Of New York, William Poole, also known as "Bill the Bu...

When Charlie Chaplin Was Banned From America For Commun...

September 18, 2020

(United Artists/Wikimedia Commons) British-born Charlie Chaplin was one of America's best-loved silent film stars and one of the few who made a smooth transit...

Terence McKenna: Psychonaut, Father Of The Stoned Ape T...

September 16, 2020

Did prehistoric man used psychedelic drugs? (Paul Zinken/Picture Alliance via Getty Images) Back in our pre-history, several species of humans marched to the ...

Jackie Kennedy Onassis: Biography, Facts, And Things Yo...

September 11, 2020

It would be impossible for any parent to know that their daughter would grow up to be not only a scholar and journalist but also a century-defining fashion i...

Arnold Palmer: Things You Didn't Know About The Golf Le...

September 9, 2020

(U.S. Coast Guard/Wikimedia Commons) Everyone knows the name Arnold Palmer, be it as a cool drink or one of the greatest golfers who ever lived, but the man w...

William James Sidis: The Smartest Man Alive In The Earl...

June 29, 2020

Imagine being nine years old and, while all the other children experiment with booger sculpture, creating your own language while studying experimental mathe...

Helen Keller: What You Didn't Know About The Outspoken ...

June 27, 2020

Helen Keller on her four-acre estate near Westport, Conn. (David McLane/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images) Today, Helen Keller's name is synonymous with ...

Marquis De Sade: The Father Of Sadism, Explained

June 22, 2020

Poet, playwright, rebel, and seeker of erotic pleasure through all of its nuanced and varied means, the Marquis de Sade literally embodied sadism. This libidinous Fren...

Tupac Shakur: Things You Didn't Know About The Pop Cult...

June 16, 2020

Tupac Shakur is most famous as the king of West Coast '90s hip-hop, rapping alongside fellow Death Row Records luminaries like Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg until h...

Josephine Baker: French Resistance Agent, Old Hollywood...

June 8, 2020

Portrait of American-born singer and dancer Josephine Baker, circa 1925, lying on a tiger rug in a silk evening gown and diamond earrings. (Photo by Hulton Arch...

Rodney King: The Riots, The Movement, And What Eventual...

June 5, 2020

Activist Jasmine Cannock addresses a crowd of reporters and listeners at a memorial for Rodney King on June 19, 2012. (Neon Tommy/Wikimedia Commons) In the ea...

Freddish: The Scientific Formula For How Fred Rogers Ta...

June 1, 2020

Fred McFeely Rogers, better known as simply Mister Rogers, shot to fame during the late 1960s thanks to his inspirational and revolutionary children's televi...

How George Washington Died: Bloodletting, Enemas, and t...

May 30, 2020

In his early twenties, he fumbled his way through the Ohio Country alongside the British Army in his first military outing and quite unintentionally became a...

Howard Hughes: Facts And Stories You Didn't Know (All T...

April 2, 2020

Long before the term "social distancing" entered our everyday vocabulary, there have been people who chose to self-isolate. We called them recluses or—if the...

The Mad Bomber: George Metesky's Bombs Terrorized New Y...

March 30, 2020

As millions of people file for unemployment and still more lack health insurance, it's easy to understand, here in 2020, why someone might get salty with an ...

Charles 'Pretty Boy' Floyd: The Depression-Era Robin Ho...

March 28, 2020

One of the most colorful Depression-era criminals was the cherub-faced, Robin Hood–esque Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd. Floyd's love for his machine gun and hab...

Gary M. Heidnik: The Real-Life 'Buffalo Bill' Who Kept ...

March 27, 2020

Buffalo Bill—the unhinged villain of Silence Of The Lambs, not the greatest showman of the wild west—feels too evil to be real. However, the most frightening thin...

Harry Houdini: Stories, Myths, And Facts About Magic's ...

March 24, 2020

Harry Houdini may have passed away in 1936, but he remains the most well-known magician of the 20th century. He was the scourge of false mystics and imitators, a ...

Alexander Graham Bell: Inventor Of The Telephone, Inter...

March 7, 2020

Although several noted inventors of the day, including Thomas Edison and Elisha Gray, were also tinkering with communication technology, it was Alexander Gra...

Dr. Seuss: Facts And Stories You Didn't Know About The ...

March 2, 2020

Who didn’t grow up reading the fun-tastical books of Dr. Seuss? The rhymes were catchy, the stories had morals, and the illustrations were whimsical. From Th...

Buffalo Bill: The Old West's Greatest Showman

February 26, 2020

The greatest showman of the wild, wild west, William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody, was born 174 years ago today in Scott County, Iowa. You might think you know everythin...

Hiram Rhodes Revels: The First Black Congressman

February 25, 2020

This Black History Month, we'd be remiss to overlook incredible life of Hiram Rhodes Revels, who was sworn into the U.S. Senate on February 25, 1870, just five years a...

The Medici Family: Stories Of The Most Important Family...

February 17, 2020

Lorenzo the Magnificent (1585-1644) with the major artists of the time, in a 1635 fresco by Ottavio Vannini. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images) Before the Roc...

How Much Do You Know About Machiavelli?

February 15, 2020

Just as Machiavelli was put to the test by the Medici family, you, too, are about to face the music. Of course, in this instance, you're just taking a short quiz. Machiavelli was se...

Machiavelli: Biography And Facts About History's Most M...

February 15, 2020

His name is connected with political leaders prone to playing 3-D chess, but was Machiavelli actually the conniving manipulator that we know him as? His most well...

Mary Shelley Kept Her Husband's Heart After His Death A...

February 12, 2020

One of the earliest masters of horror, Mary Shelley wasn't just dabbling in the dark when she wrote one of the most important and influential novels of all time. ...

Saint Valentine: The Patron Saint Of Bees, Fainting, An...

February 11, 2020

Valentine ministered to persecuted Christians in the third century. Colored engraving, Italy, 1886. (Photo by Fototeca Gilardi/Getty Images). Today, most of w...

Delphine LaLaurie: New Orleans's Famously Sadistic Slav...

February 9, 2020

New Orleans is full of ghost stories, but the most haunting tale is that of Delphine LaLaurie, a mad slave owner who tortured the men and women in her employ. Sto...

Mary Queen of Scots: Stories, Trivia, And A Botched Beh...

February 8, 2020

When King James V of Scotland died at the ripe age of 30 (hey, it was ripe for medieval times), his kingdom was in a bit of a pickle. His only surviving legi...

Elizabeth II: Stories And Facts You Maybe Didn't Know Q...

February 6, 2020

Elizabeth II became queen on February 6, 1952, although she had to wait until June for her official coronation ceremony. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images) ...

Vlad The Impaler: Real-Life Dracula's Most Monstrous Ac...

February 3, 2020

You could say Vlad the Imapler was a bad guy. After all, you don't get to be immortalized as a bloodthirsty monster if you're Mr. Congeniality. Not only did Vlad ...

Clark Gable: Hitler, Bugs Bunny, And More Stories You'v...

February 1, 2020

Happy birthday to Clark Gable! The uber-masculine heartthrob of the Golden Age of Hollywood was born on this day in 1901. This birthday boy lit up the silver...

Guy Fawkes: The Man, The Myth, The Mask

January 31, 2020

A man with a Guy Fawkes mask during a protest. (Photo by Giorgos Georgiou/NurPhoto via Getty Images) In recent years, we've come to know Guy Fawkes more for his dashing, mustach...

The Many Men Of Elizabeth Taylor

January 29, 2020

What comes to mind when you see the name Elizabeth Taylor? Is it Cleopatra? Her humanitarian work? Or is it her stature as the queen of divorce? In 1951, before she was 20 years old, this ...

The Six Wives Of King Henry VIII

January 28, 2020

Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived: A morbid rhyme indeed, but useful if you want to keep up with the lives and fates of the six wives of Henry VIII. While his reign wa...

J.D. Salinger Was Basically Holden Caulfield

January 27, 2020

J.D. Salinger wrote Catcher in the Rye in 1951 and then spent the rest of his life running away from its central character, Holden Caulfield. He didn't want to talk about the b...

The Legend Of The Green Man: Raymond Robinson Had No Fa...

January 26, 2020

Have you heard the one about Green Man? You know, the guy without a face who walks the highway at night? Supposedly, he fell into a vat of acid, but some people s...

Jack The Baboon Operated A Railway, Earned A Salary, An...

January 25, 2020

Anyone passing through Cape Town, South Africa on the Port Elizabeth Mainline Railroad in the late 1800s saw something curious along the railway: a baboon operati...

Rasputin's Daughter Literally Ran Away And Joined The C...

January 24, 2020

Imagine this scenario: Your father is a high-profile mystic, purported to be impossible to kill. Your friends are empresses. Not what most people consider a ...

The Making Of A Mad Monk: How Rasputin Went From A Peas...

January 21, 2020

Grigorj Rasputin, Russia's Mad Monk and mystic. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images) Known as "the Mad Monk," Grigori Rasputin was a central figure in the downf...

Edgar Allan Poe And His Adoptive Father Feuded For His ...

January 19, 2020

Closeups of a very old book by Edgar A. Poe. (Photo by Herbert Gehr/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images) One of the best-known American writers and p...

Winnie Was A Real Bear: A. A. Milne's Inspirations

January 18, 2020

Winnie the Pooh is one of the most beloved children’s literary characters in history. Along with his pals Piglet, Tigger, Owl, Eeyore, and Rabbit, Winnie the Pooh ha...

Emmett Till: The Memorial That Was Vandalized Until The...

January 14, 2020

The legacy of Emmett Till is one of anger and brutality. His death at the hands of two white men in the Mississippi Delta was one of the major sparks of the Civil...

Rebecca The Raccoon, President Calvin Coolidge's Pet Ra...

January 13, 2020

Raccoons are the grimy trash pandas of the west. They roam the streets at night searching for a meal, and as cute as they are, it's obvious that they've got somet...

Joan Of Arc: 13 Insane Things You Didn't Know

January 6, 2020

If you remember your European history, you probably remember Joan of Arc as the determined teenage girl who led the French to victory over the English in a key battle of ...

Mao Zedong Killed 45 Million People In Four Years, The ...

January 5, 2020

The morbidity of the question "Who is the worst mass murderer to ever live?" is hard to comprehend. How do you calculate the sheer numbers that some world leaders...

Les Miserables, Hitler, And The Nobel Peace Prize: 14 T...

January 3, 2020

When you hear the name Benito Mussolini, you probably think "fascist dictator" and "ruthless leader of World War II Italy." While those titles are accurate, ...

Kim Jong Il Myths: A Prodigy With Superhuman Powers

December 17, 2019

From 1994 until his death on December 17, 2011, Kim Jong Il was the supreme leader of North Korea. Throughout his time as the hermit country's leader, he exhibited stran...

Colonel Sanders: The Unexpected Life Of The Fast Food P...

December 16, 2019

On December 16, 1980, the world lost a business icon and fried chicken guru when Harland David Sanders, better known as Colonel Sanders, died of leukemia. Wh...

Ludwig van Beethoven: Things You Didn't Know About the ...

December 12, 2019

German composer and pianist Ludwig van Beethoven is often called the greatest musical genius in history. Even those of us who don't know Strauss from Stravin...

Buster Keaton Stunts: GIFs, Videos, And Stories Of His ...

December 3, 2019

Though he's remembered for his death-defying stunts, Buster Keaton was so much more than an adrenaline junkie who got his kicks in front of the camera. After get...

John Pemberton, Creator of Coca Cola: Facts & Stories Y...

November 30, 2019

Coca-Cola is one of the most recognizable brands in the world. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for NYCWFF) There are few products as American as Coca-Cola. T...

Sacagawea: Facts You Didn't Know

November 25, 2019

Sacagawea, the Native American woman who helped Lewis and Clark on their expedition through the Northwest, is a larger-than-life figure in American history. Unfortunately, much of the...

D.B. Cooper Hijacked A Plane, Jumped Into A Storm Witho...

November 24, 2019

There are few modern American mysteries that are as arresting as the identity of D.B. Cooper, the man who skyjacked a Boeing jet in 1971 before diving from the p...

Billy The Kid Stories You've Never Heard Before

November 23, 2019

Youthful Old West outlaw Billy the Kid would be celebrating his 160th birthday today, November 23, if he had not been killed at the tender age of 21 (and, you know, if ...

Blackbeard: Myths About The Infamous Pirate Who Was (Al...

November 22, 2019

Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard, was one of the most feared reavers in the Caribbean and east coast of North America during the golden age of piracy...

Queen Elizabeth And Prince Philip: Their Adorable, Quir...

November 20, 2019

In America, our most adored and adulated couples don't tend to stand the test of time. From Liz and Dick to "Brangelina," the watchful eye of the public has ...

What You Didn't Know About Susan B. Anthony

November 18, 2019

Photograph of Susan B. Anthony. Source: (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty images) The name Susan B. Anthony is nearly synonymous with women's suffrage, but ...

Edward Paisnel: A Masked Sex Offender Known As 'The Bea...

November 9, 2019

When you live in an isolated area, you have to find your own ways to entertain yourself. You could go with something harmlessly mild, like erecting the world...

Georgia Tann Abducted Children And Sold Them To Celebri...

November 8, 2019

Have you ever wondered why someone would get it into their head to steal babies and flip them like so many houses? Well, you're in luck, friend. Buckle up, a...

Steve Martin's Wedding Was A Surprise To His Guests

November 4, 2019

Weddings are joyous occasions. Two people tying the knot of the love they share, surrounded by friends and family---what's not to like? Nevertheless, there's always...

60 Unedited Photographs From Hollywood's Past

November 3, 2019

When we see celebrities onscreen or hear their music it’s like we know them, but really, fans are just getting a piece of someone whenever they experience their work. These ph...

Groucho Marx: Behind The Mustache

November 2, 2019

Comedian Grouch Marx with his trademark mustache. (Photo by Ralph Crane/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images) Of the five Marx brothers, Groucho Marx may be the mo...

Wolverine Woman: Jo Cameron Has Healing Powers, Feels N...

October 24, 2019

Not the actual Wolverine woman. Source: (Photo by Ollie Millington/Getty Images) As kids, everyone dreams of gaining superpowers like teleportation or the abi...

Samuel Little: The Most Prolific Serial Killer In U.S. ...

October 23, 2019

Samuel Little, Maybe The Most Prolific Serial Killer In American History (Photo by Bob Chamberlin/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images) Serial killers hold a st...

Isaac Newton Said The World Is Ending In 2060: Was He R...

October 14, 2019

English mathematician and physicist Sir Isaac Newton (1642 - 1727) contemplates the force of gravity, as the famous story goes, on seeing an apple fall in his o...