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1800s

How This Black Entrepreneur Changed The Baking Industry

September 16, 2021

Bread machine with bread. (Pavel Ševela/Wikimedia Commons) If you were one of the people who jumped onto the homemade bread-making train during the COVID-19 pand...

The Largest Land Run In History Was A Ruthless Race

September 14, 2021

Crowd on horseback, Oklahoma Land Run of 1893. (Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images) How fast could you run to get some free land? It m...

The Hawaiian Gazette: The First Hawaiian Newspaper Publ...

September 4, 2021

The Summer Residence Of The Late King Kamehameha V. At Waikiki, 1873 Engraving. (Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images) On Septemb...

The Morgan Affair: A Tale Of Secret Societies, Kidnappi...

August 31, 2021

Picturesque History of Freemasonry (1844), Reception of an apprentice. (Photo12/Universal Images Group via Getty Images) It might seem a little strange that t...

The Granger Movement Of The 1860s

August 25, 2021

Vignette inspired by the Granger movement depicts a farmer with a plough and two horses, asserting the importance of the farmer in American society. Dated 1875. (Photo12/Universal Image...

The Real Life Of The Legend: Johnny Appleseed

August 11, 2021

A United States postage stamp depicting American apple tree planter John Chapman, a.k.a. Johnny Appleseed (1774- 1845) in front of a large red apple, released in 1966. (Phot...

History Of The County Fair

August 1, 2021

(Alex Camara/Europa Press via Getty Images) As late summer rolls around, county fair season is in full swing. It's a tradition as popular in rural America as the country music concerts and e...

The Burning Of Washington: When The British Attacked Th...

July 19, 2021

Burning of Washington, Paul de Thoyras. (Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons) The War of 1812 erupted after a series of trade disputes, thanks to Napoleon's...

The Invention Of Aspirin

July 1, 2021

Aspirin tablets spilled from a bottle. (Chris Walton/South China Morning Post via Getty Images) Since 1899, aspirin has been touted as a wonder drug, but people have been using a natural form ...

Policarpa: The Teenage Spy

June 29, 2021

Policarpa Salavarrieta. (José María Espinosa Prieto/Wikipedia Commons) Policarpa Salavarrieta, seamstress, spy, and heroine of Colombian independence, was born January 26, 1795 in the small ...

Did Voter Fraud Kill Edgar Allan Poe? The 'Cooping' The...

June 13, 2021

American short story writer, poet, and critic Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849), circa 1840. (MPI/Getty Images) The stories of Edgar Allan Poe are filled with fanta...

'The Scream:' Facts And Stories About Edvard Munch's Ic...

June 7, 2021

Munch made several versions of his famous painting, including this one in pastels. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images) Norwegian artist Edvard Munch's most well-known p...

Chang And Eng: The Conjoined Twins Who Profited As 'Fre...

June 5, 2021

The Siamese twins, Chang and Eng. (Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images) Conjoined twins are exceedingly rare, thought to occur when a fer...

Spring-Heeled Jack: The Jumping Fiend Who Terrorized Vi...

May 26, 2021

Spring-Heeled Jack, a devil-like character of English urban legend, escapes from an angry mob at Newport Arch in Lincoln. Engraving from Illustrated Police News...

In Many Hispanic Countries, The Tooth Fairy Is A Mouse

May 18, 2021

A house mouse sitting on the glove of a biologist (Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images) In the United States, the Tooth Fairy buys children's teeth fo...

Radical Republicans: The Anti-Slavery Group Who Pressur...

May 4, 2021

Political cartoon by Thomas Nast (1840-1902) depicting the Republican vote, represented by Uncle Sam riding an elephant, walking over the Democratic (Tammany) T...

Guglielmo Giovanni Maria Marconi, 1st Marquis of Marcon...

April 28, 2021

Marconi demonstrating apparatus he used in his first long-distance radio transmissions in the 1890s. The transmitter is at right, the receiver with paper tape r...

The Slave Trade Act: British Parliament Finally Abolish...

April 16, 2021

Sugar plantation in the British colony of Antigua, 1823. (British Library/Wikimedia Commons) The long battle to stop the transatlantic slave trade came to a h...

The Breast Tax: Imposed On Women Who Chose To Cover The...

April 15, 2021

Lithograph from L'Inde Français, 1828. From the collection of Jean Claude Carriere. (Art Media/Print Collector/Getty Images) The breast tax, or the mulakkaram...

P.T. Barnum: Circus Magnate And Entertainer Extraordina...

April 7, 2021

Phineas Taylor "P. T." Barnum (July 5, 1810–April 7, 1891). (Harvard Library/Wikimedia Commons) Called "The Greatest Showman on Earth," P.T. Barnum is known f...

The Rock Springs Massacre Of 1885: When 28 Chinese Mine...

April 4, 2021

Barely past the crack of dawn on September 2, 1885, an argument broke out between the Chinese and European immigrant workers of the Union Pacific Coal Compan...

John Keats: Poet, Father Of Romanticism Who Peaked When...

March 31, 2021

Posthumous portrait of John Keats by William Hilton. (National Portrait Gallery/Wikimedia Commons) During his life, John Keats was far from the most important...

Pinkertons: The Old West's Secret Police That Still Exi...

March 30, 2021

Pinkerton on horseback on the Antietam Battlefield in 1862. (Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons) The Pinkerton National Detective Agency is one of the olde...

1837 Canada Gives Black Citizens Right To Vote, Though ...

March 24, 2021

The path to equal voting rights in Canada is a long and winding road. While Europeans have inhabited the land since the 1400s, the actual origin of its hist...

The Rebecca Riots Of The 1830s And 1840s (When Welsh Pe...

March 19, 2021

During the Rebecca Riots in Wales, men and boys, dressed as women, attacking a turnpike gate in protest at charges at tollgates on public roads. From The Illust...

The Sausage Duel: When Two Politicians Almost Faced Off...

March 11, 2021

Engraving of Otto von Bismarck, 1873. (Evert Duykinck/Wikimedia Commons) The concept of the duel takes up quite a bit of space in our collective consciousness...

1828: John Quincy Adams's Son Marries First Cousin At T...

February 25, 2021

Daguerrotype of the south front of the White House, 1846. (Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons) When John Adams II married his first cousin in a small White...

Jesse James: Biography, Facts, & Things You Didn't Know...

February 13, 2021

American outlaw Jesse James, circa 1870. (MPI/Getty Images) Between 1866 and 1879, Jesse James terrorized the people and wallets of America. From Minnesota t...

Abraham Lincoln: Biography, Facts & Things You Didn't K...

February 12, 2021

President Abraham Lincoln. (Alexander Gardner/Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images) If you went to elementary school in the United States, you pro...

13th Amendment To The U.S. Constitution: What It Looked...

January 31, 2021

13th Amendment of the United States Constitution. (National Archives of the Unites States/Wikimedia Commons) On January 31, 1865, Congress ratified the 13th A...

The United States' First Ever Presidential Assassinatio...

January 30, 2021

The etching of the assassination attempt. (Unknown author/Wikimedia Commons) In 1835, Andrew Jackson almost became the first American president to be killed i...

The Whiskey Ring: The First Time Abraham Lincoln's Repu...

January 9, 2021

A contemporary cartoon about the Whiskey Ring. (Thomas Nast/Wikimedia Commons) We think of the splintering of American political parties and government corrup...

War Of 1812: The Last Time The Capitol Was Stormed In A...

January 8, 2021

The British burning Washington. (Paul M. Rapin de Thoyras/Wikimedia Commons) Despite its catchy title, the War of 1812, when Americans watched as their capito...

When We Switched From Horses To Cars: How Did We Stop R...

December 4, 2020

(Unknown author/Wikimedia Commons) We may look back at the horse-and-buggy days as a simpler, quaint, and romantic time when life moved at a slower pace and p...

Phonograph: Invention And History Of The World's First ...

November 23, 2020

American inventor and businessman Thomas Edison with an Edison Standard Phonograph, at his lab in West Orange, New Jersey, 1906. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images) ...

1820 U.S. Presidential Election: The Last President Who...

November 11, 2020

Portrait of James Monroe circa 1819. (Samuel Morse/Wikimedia Commons) What's the most amount of electoral votes ever gotten? Is it possible to receive all the...

Victoria Woodhull: The First Woman To Run For President...

November 10, 2020

If you Google "Who was the first woman to run for president of the United States?" you may expect articles about Hilary Clinton to pop up, but Clinton wasn't...

Reconstruction Era: What Happened After The Civil War T...

October 27, 2020

Dressed in period clothing, Viola Stoops of Woodville, Texas walks past Civil War reenactors gathered in Gettysburg to celebrate the 140th anniversary of the fa...

The Moulin Rouge: A Famous French Theater That Held The...

October 6, 2020

Moulin Rouge, Paris, April 2011. (Christine Zenino/Wikimedia Commons) Whether you're a lover of art, dance, or pop musicals, you've probably heard of the famo...

The Orient Express: A Famous Train Ride Across Europe T...

October 4, 2020

The Orient Express at the Salzburg station. (Culture Club/Getty Images) Perhaps the best-known train in the world, the Orient Express conjures images of luxur...

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...

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...

Sleeping Beauty Syndrome And How It Takes Over Your Lif...

September 2, 2020

The Sleeping Beauty - Fairy tale by French author, Charles Perrault: 12 January 1628 – 16 May 1703. The scene where the Prince appears to the Sleeping beauty ,a...

What Happened To Aaron Burr After He Shot Alexander Ham...

September 1, 2020

Even if you haven't seen the smash Broadway musical Hamilton, you probably know that Alexander Hamilton, one of America's founding fathers and the first secr...

1894: Two Scientists Discovered The Bacteria That Cause...

August 25, 2020

Man being injected by doctor during an outbreak of bubonic plague in Karachi, India. Photograph, 1897. (Wellcome Collection/Wkimedia Commons) By 1894, the bub...

The Invention Of Potato Chips In 1853 By A Half-Black, ...

August 24, 2020

Potato chips. (Urbano Delvalle/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images) If there's anything people love more than sweet, sweet fried potatoes...

Ugly Laws: A 1867 San Francisco Attempt At Making Ugly ...

August 14, 2020

Can you imagine walking down the street and being stopped by a police officer for public unattractiveness? It sounds like a bad comedy sketch, but it was som...

Lizzie Borden: 1892's Unsolved Axe Murder Mystery Case

August 4, 2020

We probably all remember the morbid schoolyard ditty about Lizzie Borden, in which we learned that she gave her parents 40–41 whacks with an ax. Officially, howe...

The White Declaration Of Independence: When White Supre...

July 3, 2020

In 1898, white supremacists permanently scarred the community of Wilmington, North Carolina by stoking anger and resentment among the white citizens of this ...

Leopold Von Sacher-Masoch: The Father Of Masochism, Exp...

June 28, 2020

Leopold von Sacher-Masoch and Fanny Pistor Bogdanoff, c. 1870-1880 (note the whip). (Unknown author/Wikimedia Commons) Human sexuality is a vastly complicated...

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 ...

Emily Dickinson: Things You Didn't Know About The Famou...

May 28, 2020

Whether you're a fan of poetry or prefer HBO, you know Emily Dickinson, the poet from Amherst, Massachusetts who spent the 1800s writing private pieces and s...

Samuel Morse: Inventor Of The Telegraph, Failed Painter...

May 24, 2020

You may only know Samuel Morse for that code he invented, but there was much more to the man than dots and dashes. He was also a mediocre student who dreamed...

The First Bicycle Is Introduced In New York City, 1819:...

May 21, 2020

In 1819, the bicycle rolled across the Atlantic into the Big Apple all the way from Europe. Known as "velocipedes" or "swift walkers," these strange contrapt...

1891: What It Was Like When Carnegie Hall Opened In New...

May 5, 2020

1895: View of Carnegie Hall on the corner of Seventh Avenue and 57th Street, New York City. (Photo by Museum of the City of New York/Byron Collection/Getty Imag...

1878: The First White House Easter Egg Roll And The Lon...

April 22, 2020

Easter is an important holiday to many Americans, but there's a special tradition in Washington, D.C. that's been occurring on and off for more than 100 year...

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 ...

Horatio Nelson's Body: When The British Pickled Their D...

March 11, 2020

At the Battle of Trafalgar during the Napoleonic War, Britain's most beloved naval hero, Horatio Nelson, was struck by a musket ball on the deck of the Victory. T...

The Weird History Of Babies In Advertising

March 10, 2020

It's no secret that babies are popular. As a species, we have about 258 of them every minute, so if we weren't designed to find their squishy little faces adorable enough to...

Ladies' Ordinaries: Women-Only Restaurants That Shielde...

March 8, 2020

The Gloppe patisserie on the Champs-Elysees, two women eating pastries, 1889, Jean Beraud. (M. Seemuller / De Agostini Picture Library via Getty Images) A gir...

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...

Aspirin: The History Behind The Heroin Addict Who Inven...

March 6, 2020

Not to alarm you, but those little white pills that make your headaches dissolve and soothe inflamed muscles have more in common with heroin than you think, i.e. ...

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...

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. ...

Robert Smalls's Great Escape: How A Slave Stole A Confe...

December 4, 2019

Born into slavery and forced to work as a ship's captain without any of the respect usually afforded to a ship's captain, Robert Smalls was a man who refused to ...

"Jingle Bells" Is A Thanksgiving Song: What?

December 1, 2019

As one of the best-loved songs of the Christmas season, "Jingle Bells" has become part of our holiday culture, but there is more to this catchy ditty than meets the ear. F...

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...

Steinert Hall: The Secret Antique Symphonic Theater Hid...

September 28, 2019

Cue The Phantom of the Opera: This is the story of a real-life hidden concert hall, tucked deep underground and forgotten beneath the bustling street above. ...

Who Was The Real Betty Crocker?

September 26, 2019

Today, we know her as the premier purveyor of boxed cake mixes, but a generation or two ago, Betty Crocker was the go-to expert for all things baking. It may surprise you to know that ...

Letter Perfect: The History of Varsity Jackets

July 15, 2019

If you played a sport in high school, you probably couldn’t wait to get your Varsity letter. That meant you could officially have a varsity jacket, or letterman jacket, ...

A Charming History: Charm Bracelets Through the Years

September 17, 2018

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall shows off her charm bracelet while visiting Portugal on March 29, 2011. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images) One particular style of ...

Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death: The Year Without S...

September 14, 2018

(Photo by BSIP/UIG via Getty Images) Think our weather is wacky sometimes? It is nothing compared to 1816, also known as the Year Without a Summer in the Unit...

Mysterious spiral staircase of Loretto Chapel in New Me...

July 12, 2018

Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe, New Mexico, The design may have been inspired by the Paris Sainte Chapel. (Photo by: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images) Back in...

Vintage Photos: Victorian Girls And Their Books, 1800s

December 16, 2016

In the late 1800s, people posing for their portraits were given the chance to decide what they would like to be doing in their photos. While many chose to simply look...