Category Archives: History

The True Story Behind The Appalling Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment


Controversial research programs, unethical experimentation, and human trials have been part of the medical field for centuries. It doesn’t make it any less wrong, but certain scientists with questionable ethics have gotten away with a lot in the name of, well, science. The more (in)famous examples of wayward science include eugenics sterilization, electroshock therapy, ionizing radiation experiments, and the CIA […]

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Why Native Americans Didn’t Wipe Out Europeans With Diseases


Greg H. asks: Diseases from Europe wiped out most of the Indians, so why didn’t the Europeans also get wiped out by diseases from America? While estimates vary, approximately 20-50 million people are believed to have lived in the Americas shortly before Europeans arrived. Around 95% of them were killed by European diseases. So why didn’t 19 out of 20 […]

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The Stanford Prison Experiment


In the summer of 1971, on the campus of one of the nation’s top universities and under the supervision of a faculty member, 11 students tortured 10 others over a six-day period, all in the interest of “science.” The Experiment Intended to last two weeks, according to the study’s author, Professor Phil Zimbardo, the original focus of the experiment was […]

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The Coushatta Massacre


For a few bloody weeks in August and September 1874, in an effort to retake control of their communities, white supremacists rampaged across Louisiana. By the time the smoke cleared (and federal troops arrived), at least six white men and many dozens of black freedman had been killed. The Carpetbaggers Following the end of the Civil War, a white man […]

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The Large Number of Human Remains Found In Ben Franklin’s Basement


For eighteen years, Ben Franklin, the great American inventor, diplomat, and signer of the Declaration of Independence, was a tenant in a beautiful four story Georgian house at 36 Craven Street in London, mere blocks from the River Thames. As ambassador from the colonies, he entertained, lived, and even allowed other intellectuals of the time to stay at the house […]

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The Fascinating History of Eugenics


The name deriving from the Greek “eugenes,” meaning “well-born,” it should be no surprise that “eugenics” seeks to engineer a better human race by purposefully selecting good traits, and eliminating bad ones, as is common when breeding animals. Over the years, eugenics has had a number of proponents, from some of the greatest and most admires thinkers in western civilization […]

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The First Battery


Fourteen cm in height and eight around, the world’s first battery looked more like primitive pre-Columbian art than an amazing piece of ancient technology. Although most experts agree that the device produced electricity, there is little consensus on what that power was intended to do. Discovery Archaeologists searching for “evidence of Biblical tales like the Tree of knowledge and Noah’s […]

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One of the Greatest Scientists of the 20th Century You’ve Probably Never Heard Of


There’s a perception that religion and science go together about as well as mayonnaise and marshmallows. In some instances, this is, perhaps, true. But on a typically warm Southern California January in 1933 at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California (the same place and same time that Jack Parsons of rocket science fame was doing his experiments — […]

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The Ludlow Massacre


On April 20, 1914, up to two-dozen people were killed in a tent village adjacent to the Ludlow Coal Mine in Ludlow, Colorado. This massacre of striking workers and their families is widely seen as one of the lowest points in labor relations in U.S. history. Southern Colorado Coal Strike From September 1913 to December 1914, the United Mine Workers […]

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