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Events

Jimmy Carter Announces The 1980 Olympics Boycott

March 21, 2020

The opening ceremony of the 1980 Olympics. (RIA Novosti archive, image #487025 / Sergey Guneev / CC-BY-SA 3.0) This summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo are currently in lim...

The Notorious B.I.G.: Theories And What Really Happened

March 9, 2020

American rapper Notorious B.I.G. attends the 1995 Billboard Music Awards, New York, New York, December 6, 1995. (Larry Busacca/WireImage/Getty Images) In the ear...

Spanish Flu: The Pre-Coronavirus Pandemic That Killed M...

March 4, 2020

Long before the coronavirus, the Spanish flu was one of the first recorded pandemics, infecting at least 27% of the Earth's population at the time and killing 3–5...

The First Indoor Hockey Game Took Place In Canada In 18...

March 3, 2020

Ice hockey became the official winter sport of Canada in 1994, but really, it was just a formality. People have been making jokes about Canada and hockey for...

Grave Robbers Exhumed And Held Charlie Chaplin's Body F...

March 1, 2020

As a performer and director, Charlie Chaplin revolutionized filmmaking. He was one of the few people who successfully transitioned from vaudeville to silent films...

This 1990s LSD Lab Built Inside An Underground Missile ...

February 28, 2020

From the outside, it's just a slate gray, Cold War–era missile silo, but the inside is a different story. No one can agree on exactly what happened on there, but ...

The Impeachment Of Andrew Johnson: Why His Impeachment ...

February 24, 2020

No matter what side of the political aisle you fall on, an impeachment is never good news. In the four instances where impeachment has been levied against a presi...

1904 Baltimore Fire: 80 Blocks Burned And Lessons Learn...

February 7, 2020

Men hurry on the street as they work to demolish buildings during the Baltimore fire, 1904. The leveling of the buildings by dynamite was a desperate attempt to...

The Origins Of Groundhog Day: Why Do We Celebrate It Ag...

February 2, 2020

On February 2, all eyes look to a particular rodent in Pennsylvania to see if he can predict the coming weather better than the television meteorologists. It...

The Assassination Of Mahatma Gandhi: Why, How, And Who

January 30, 2020

After a lifetime of advocating for nonviolence, Mahatma Gandhi was gunned down by Nathuram Godse on January 30, 1948. His assassination ripped through the peace commu...

Ancient Mesoamericans Invented Rubber 3,000 Years Befor...

January 23, 2020

Rubber played a big part in the traditional Mesoamerican ballgame, which was played by many civilizations in Mesoamerica. (Photo by Alex Peña/LatinContent via G...

Brink's Building Robbery: The Heist That Tore A Gang Ap...

January 17, 2020

The Brink's building heist of 1950 is one of the most daring robberies of the 20th century. Like something from a movie, the robbery itself went off without a hit...

The Great Molasses Flood Sounds Like A Joke, But It Kil...

January 15, 2020

On January 15, 1919, the Boston area found itself in a sticky situation. That afternoon, a tank full of molasses exploded while traveling through Boston, sending...

Beer In Russia Wasn't Considered Alcohol Until 2011

January 1, 2020

We know you're hungover, barely alive, just hanging in there like a kitten on a motivational poster. That's why, today, we're bringing you a story about what is no doubt...

Why Are There Helium Shortages Throughout History? We'r...

December 30, 2019

Hearing the sentence "There's a shortage of X" can invoke real fear, depending on what the X stands for. If you're on an airplane and there's a shortage of o...

Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571: The 1972 Plane Crash Th...

December 23, 2019

Life sometimes forces extreme solutions to difficult situations. The crash of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 on October 13, 1972 forced the grizzliest of ans...

George Washington Crossing the Delaware: A Brazen Chris...

December 19, 2019

Copy of 'Washington Crossing the Delaware' by Emanuel Leutze, Abbot Hall, Marblehead, Massachusetts. (Photo by: Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Gro...

Black December: When Sharks Attacks Compelled The Gover...

December 18, 2019

Even the gnarliest, saltiest surfers in the world admit that sharks give them the willies. Thankfully, sharks attacks are so rare that we don't have to worry...

Spice World Premieres, And Everyone Hates It, Making It...

December 15, 2019

December 15, 1997 is a day that will live in infamy forever. Theaters across the country were invaded by Spice World, a film that followed the madcap adventures o...

John Lennon's Death: 10 Minutes Of Global Silence

December 14, 2019

Few events in history can bring thousands upon thousands of people together for a single cause, but in December 1980, one tragedy silenced the world for 10 minutes st...

The Rape Of Nanking: A Brief History Of One Of The Wors...

December 13, 2019

On December 13, 1937, the Japanese army committed one of the greatest wartime atrocities of history when they carried out a systemic slash-and-burn campaign again...

TV Dinners Exist Because They Killed Way Too Many Turke...

November 30, 2019

As ZZ Top once said, "TV dinners, there's nothing else to eat. TV dinners, they really can’t be beat." It's a succinct argument for the quick meal of the everyma...

Black Friday: History, Who Created It, And Why Do We Ha...

November 29, 2019

Black Friday shopping. (Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images) In recent decades, a new holiday tradition cropped up in the United States: Black Frid...

The White House Thanksgiving: History Of How Presidents...

November 28, 2019

Thanksgiving has been an American tradition since before the country was actually a country, and over the 200-plus years that the United States has been thriving...

The Presidential Turkey Pardon: A History Of Going Easy...

November 27, 2019

Traditions offer interesting insights into the people and cultures who begat them. For instance, nothing explains George Costanza's father more aptly than hi...

The First Thanksgiving: What Happened, When Was It, And...

November 24, 2019

Every kid in America has the bullet points of the first Thanksgiving drilled into their heads---turkey, maize, the pilgrims and Native Americans coming together ...

Gettysburg Address: Facts & Stories You've Never Heard

November 19, 2019

The brief yet powerful speech that President Abraham Lincoln delivered on November 19, 1863, has become one of the most revered speeches in U.S. history. Most pe...

Baby Fae, A Baboon Heart, And Bioethics

November 11, 2019

On October 14, 1984, a tiny, premature, and the very sick baby was born in California. Although her birth certificate listed her name as Stephanie Fae Beauclair, she became kno...

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...

Tulsa Race Massacre: What Happened, Why, And The Afterm...

November 3, 2019

Some acts and misdeeds are so horrendous that they're hidden from history until they're nearly forgotten. The Tulsa Race Massacre is one of those moments in time...

Nuremberg Trials: Sentencing, Trivia, Criminals, And Af...

November 1, 2019

The Nuremberg trials of 1946 were some of the most controversial and difficult legal proceedings of the 20th century. Over the course of five years, 13 trials we...

War of the Worlds: The Original Broadcast, Aftermath, A...

October 30, 2019

As legend has it, Orson Welles's infamous radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds by H.G. Welles was such a polarizing piece of fiction that it sent listeners ...

The Jigsaw Halloween Blood Drives Have Saved Over 360,0...

October 29, 2019

Saw, the film series in which piles of unlucky people are killed in ironic and gruesome ways isn't exactly what you'd call "elevated horror." After raking in som...

The Day Elvis Helped Fight Polio

October 28, 2019

Elvis Presley receiving a polio vaccination from Dr. Leona Baumgartner and Dr. Harold Fuerst at CBS Studio 50 in New York City. Source: (Photo by Seymour Wally/NY Daily News Archive via ...

This Is How Americans Celebrated Halloween In The Early...

October 25, 2019

While it's always been a little spooky and a lot of fun, Halloween hasn't always looked the way it does now. Dressing up and carving pumpkins has always been a p...

Devil's Night, Mischief Night, Or Cabbage Night: What D...

October 21, 2019

Mischief Night, Cabbage Night, the pre-Halloween candy fast---depending on where you grew up, you not only called the night before Halloween something different,...

The History of Jack-O'-Lanterns: Carving Pumpkins On Ha...

October 19, 2019

Today, jack-o'-lanterns are a Halloween staple that almost single-handedly keep America's pumpkin farmers in business. Originally, though, the practice of ca...

Ragamuffin Day: The Precursor To Halloween That The NYT...

October 18, 2019

Kids dressed in crazy costumes going door to door begging for treats---it sounds a lot like Halloween, doesn't it? It could be, except for a few notable diff...

Rolex Murder: How A Dead Man's Fancy Watch Led To His M...

October 17, 2019

A Rolex watch helped to solve a crime and bring Canada’s most water criminal to justice. Source: (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/FilmMagic/Getty Images) Albert John...

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...

A Brief History Of Europe's Werewolf Trials

October 11, 2019

Werewolves, or lycanthropes if you're feeling fancy, have been around in myth form since time immemorial, but there was a period in Europe when they were taken entirely too...

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...

Rick Rescorla Rescued Over 2,000 Employees On 9/11

October 4, 2019

One of the World Trade Center's twin towers collapses after it was struck by a commercial airliner in a terrorist attack September 11, 2001 in New York City. Source: (P...

Montparnasse Derailment: When A Train Went Through A St...

September 29, 2019

A dramatic snapshot photograph of a derailed steam locomotive at Montparnasse Station, Paris, taken by an unknown photographer. Source: (Photo by SSPL/Getty Ima...

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...

The Salem Witch Trials Were One Long LSD Binge And Here...

September 2, 2019

The Salem Witch Trials stands as one of the greatest WTF moments in all of American history. In 1692, a few girls fell ill, and one year later, 25 people were de...

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...

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...

The Great Plains' Largest Natural Disaster: A Plague Of...

August 7, 2019

A large swarm of locust can eat 100,000 metric tons of vegetation per day. AFP PHOTO/BILAL TARABEY. Source: (Photo credit should read BILAL TARABEY/AFP/Getty Im...

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...

When The Mona Lisa Was Stolen: 1911's Art Theft That Ma...

May 23, 2019

Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vince at the Louvre Museum, Paris, France. Source: (Photo by: Joe Sohm/Visions of America/UIG via Getty Images) Even if you are not a...

The Story Behind 'The Jumping Frogs of Calaveras County...

May 22, 2019

A young boy encourages his frog to perform a long jump. AFP PHOTO Source: (Photo credit STR/AFP/Getty Images) American author Samuel Clemens, better known by ...

Are Tomatoes Fruits Or Vegetables?: The Supreme's Court...

May 15, 2019

A woman picks a tomato at a market. Source: (Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images) The tomato… is it a fruit or a vegetable? Ask a group of botanists and th...

The Sweet and Salty History of the Margarita

May 5, 2019

Mexico Jalisco Puerto Vallarta Frosted glass of a margarita cocktail served with ice and slice of lime with whole limes at side. Source: (Photo by: Eye Ubiquitous/UIG via Get...

What’s a Whirling Dervish?

May 3, 2019

You’ve undoubtedly heard the term ‘whirling dervish’ before, but you may not be aware of the important cultural and spiritual tradition of these frenzied, spinning Turkish dancers. For ou...

Peggy Sue, The Original Rock Groupie Chick

May 1, 2019

In the 1960s and 1970s, the idea of a rock groupie chick, a pretty young girl who hung out with the band, partied with them and dated one or more of the musicians, was well-...

May Day: Welcoming Spring

April 30, 2019

Queen Elizabeth II watches maypole dancers. Source: (Photo by Tim Ireland/PA Images via Getty Images) Although the Spring Equinox occurs several weeks earlier, many ancient cultures celebrate...

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 History of Jelly Beans

April 20, 2019

Easter Brunch. Jelly beans. (Photo by Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images) On Easter morning, children across the country will wake up to find an assortment of candy in their East...

The White House Easter Egg Roll: A Tradition Like No Ot...

April 17, 2019

Kids participate in an Easter egg roll race during the 139th White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, April 17, 2017....

Jubilee: Mobile Bay’s Unique Ocean Phenomenon Equals Go...

April 16, 2019

Mobile Bay in Alabama, a shallow arm of the Gulf of Mexico, is home to a strange and unique ocean phenomenon that, for hundreds of years, has been cause fo...

What Do You Know About St. Elmo’s Fire, Not the 1980s B...

April 8, 2019

In 1985, a movie called St. Elmo’s Fire, starring brat-packers Ally Sheedy, Demi Moore, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Andrew McCarthy, and Judd Nelson, was rel...

Running With the Bulls: A Strange and Dangerous Annual ...

April 3, 2019

For eight days in July, the streets of Pamplona, Spain, are wild and crazy. Wild because that is when the annual Running of the Bulls takes place, with long-...

Springtime Is The Time For Weddings

March 31, 2019

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - MAY 10: Alexis Preston poses before her wedding ceremony. Source: (Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images) In the photo above: “Disney Royal Wedding: Alexis Prest...

Did Captain Kidd Hide His Loot In a Thimble? The Unique...

March 26, 2019

Thimble Islands archipelago in the Long Island Sound, Branford, Connecticut. Source: (Photo by Carol M. Highsmith/Buyenlarge/Getty Images) In Long Island Soun...

What You Didn’t Know About the Boston Tea Party

March 22, 2019

Our U.S. history lessons in elementary school often include the bold and rebellious act by the American colonists of raiding a British cargo ship and dumping loads of...

The Real Story Of The Mutiny On The Bounty

March 7, 2019

Marlon Brando as Fletcher Christian, and Trevor Howard as Captain William Bligh, in a scene from the 1962 film 'Mutiny on the Bounty' directed by Lewis Milestone. Source: (MGM ...

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...

How a German U-Boat Ended Up In Chicago

March 4, 2019

French warship 'Sirocco' sinking German U-Boat, 24 November 1930. French destroyer sank two submarines. From British 'Epic Series' Postcards, No. 8. 'Passed for Publication by Min...

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 ...

Ben Franklin and His Kite Experiment, The Real Story

February 22, 2019

A Currier & Ives lithograph of Benjamin Franklin and his son William using a kite and key during a storm to prove that lightning was electricity, June 1752. Source: (...

“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...

Lorne Greene and the Fate of a Horse

February 19, 2019

Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright on Buck in a scene from TV’s “Bonanza” Source: (Photo by: Fred Sabine/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images) TV’s Bonanza was one of the longest runni...

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...

Thor Heyerdahl and the Voyage of the Kon-Tiki

February 12, 2019

Thor Heyerdahl aboard the Kon-Tiki (Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images) In 1778, Captain James Cook, who had been sailing from island to island in the S...

Faith Over Baseball: Where Sandy Koufax Wasn’t On Yom K...

February 7, 2019

The LA Dodgers were having a great season in 1965…so great, in fact, that they made it to the World Series against the Minnesota Twins. Much of the team’s ...

The Sinking Of The “Unsinkable” Bismarck

February 3, 2019

The Bismarck 1918: The German merchant navy ship 'Bismarck'. Source: (Hulton Archive/Getty Images) In the early morning hours of May 19, 1941, Bismarck quietly set out on i...

Teddy Roosevelt Bull Moosed His Way Through An Assassin...

January 31, 2019

Theodore Roosevelt was waving his hat to the crowd just like this when an assassin shot him. Source: (Topical Press Agency/Getty Images) Theodore Roosevelt, t...

The Lindbergh Baby: The Kidnapping, the Investigation, ...

January 29, 2019

Portrait of the American pilot Charles LINDBERGH, the first to succeed to cross the Atlantic without stop over. His fame made his young child a target for kidna...