Category Archives: History

WWII Files: Pigeon-Guided Missiles and Bat Bombs


Today I found out about Project Pigeon and Project X-Ray, WWII plans to use pigeons to guide missiles and (literal) bat bombers. The man behind Project Pigeon was famed American behaviorist and Harvard professor B.F. Skinner, who teamed with the U.S. Army to develop such a system.  Pigeons were trained using operant conditioning, a type of learning pioneered by Skinner […]

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The Resurrectionists and the Doctors’ Mob Riot


Since long before colonoscopies, mammograms and physicals (turn your head and cough), patients have had a love-hate relationship with doctors. Often uncomfortable (or downright awful), the procedures employed by physicians are frequently met with distrust and revulsion (until those methods achieve desired results). This was no different during the early years of modern medicine when one practice in particular, human […]

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JFK’s Assassination: Do Official Reports Tell the Whole Story?


In Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963, the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, was assassinated. Despite two official investigations concluding that Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed the President, doubts linger. This is due in no small part to the fact that neither Oswald, nor the official account, has ever been put on trial. Without the […]

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While the Roman Colosseum is More Famous Today, Its Predecessor, the Circus Maximus, Could Hold About 3 to 6 Times More People


Today I found out that the Colosseum in Rome wasn’t finished until 80 AD; before that, Romans used the Circus Maximus for games. The Colosseum is one of the most iconic landmarks in Rome and incredibly popular with tourists. Movies would have you think that chariot races, gladiator shows, and battle simulations always took place there, but that isn’t true. […]

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Did Newton Really Have an Apple Fall on His Head, Inspiring Him to Come Up with His Theory on Gravity?


Kerry asks: Did an apple really fall on Newton’s head? In grade school you probably learned Newton’s apple story around the time you learned that George Washington chopped down a cherry tree, that people in Columbus’ time thought that the world was flat, or that the Pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving in America and invited the Native Americans to join […]

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Mark Twain Was Born and Died in the Same Years That Halley’s Comet Flew By the Earth


Today I found out that Samuel Clemens was born and died during Halley’s comet years. This is a somewhat uncommon occurrence given that Halley’s comet only passes by the Earth approximately every 76 years. What makes it even more remarkable is that Clemens predicted the year of his death. In 1909, Clemens—known by his pen name, Mark Twain—said, I came […]

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When Lincoln Was Almost Assassinated Nine Months Before He was Assassinated


In August 1864, the Sixteenth President of the United States of America was nearly assassinated about nine months before he was actually assassinated. This is the story. The Soldier’s Home Throughout the Civil War (1861-1865), President Abraham Lincoln and his family spent the summer and fall in a cottage on the grounds of the Soldiers’ Home in the country outside […]

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