History »

“Big Ben” is Not the Famous Clock Tower, but Rather the Name of the Great Bell Inside the Tower

“Big Ben” is Not the Famous Clock Tower, but Rather the Name of the Great Bell Inside the Tower

Emily Upton June 13, 2013 5

If you’ve ever been to London, or even seen a picture of London, you’ve probably seen the giant clock tower at the corner of the Palace of Westminster. This tower is one of London’s

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How the Canadian Flag Came to Be as It is Today

How the Canadian Flag Came to Be as It is Today

Emily Upton June 12, 2013 1

Today I found out the origin of the Canadian flag. Oh, Canada—a member of the British Commonwealth and the land of maple syrup, lumberjacks, and bagged milk. The country’s flag, a red field with

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High Heels Were Popular Among Men Before Women

High Heels Were Popular Among Men Before Women

Staci Lehman June 12, 2013 15

Today I found out men wore high heel shoes long before women. The first high heel wearers are believed to have been Persian horseback warriors sometime around the ninth century. The extended heel was

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When the Canadian Government Used “Gay Detectors” to Try to Get Rid of Homosexual Government Employees

When the Canadian Government Used “Gay Detectors” to Try to Get Rid of Homosexual Government Employees

Terynn Boulton June 11, 2013 7

We are all familiar with the colloquialism “gaydar” which refers to a person’s intuitive, and often wildly inaccurate, ability to assess the sexual orientation of another person. In the 1960s, the Royal Canadian Mounted

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The History of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

The History of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Emily Upton June 5, 2013 10

Today I found out the history of Reese’s Peanut Butter cups. A popular chocolate cup filled with delicious peanut butter, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups were created by a man named Harry Burnett (H.B.) Reese.

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The Great Chicago Fire Wasn’t Started by a Cow

The Great Chicago Fire Wasn’t Started by a Cow

Emily Upton May 28, 2013 14

Myth: The Great Chicago Fire was started by a cow. The Great Chicago Fire destroyed 3.3 square miles of Chicago, Illinois, burning for two days in 1871—between October 8th and October 10th. It killed

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The Origin of the Bigfoot Legend

The Origin of the Bigfoot Legend

Emily Upton May 23, 2013 15

Today I found out the origin of the Bigfoot legend. Stories of a giant, hairy creature that appears half man and half ape have existed in various parts of the world for many centuries.

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How the United Kingdom Flag Design Came to Be as It is Today

How the United Kingdom Flag Design Came to Be as It is Today

Emily Upton May 21, 2013 1

Today I found out the origin of the United Kingdom’s flag design. With Britain permeating many a nation’s history, even people who have never visited the place are familiar with the British flag peering

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The First African American Invited to Dinner at the White House

The First African American Invited to Dinner at the White House

Eddie Deezen May 21, 2013 2

In the autumn of 1901, Booker T. Washington, the great educator, author, and orator, was on a speaking tour.  In Mississippi, he received a telegram from President Theodore Roosevelt.  (President William McKinley had been

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The Origin of the Loch Ness Monster

The Origin of the Loch Ness Monster

Emily Upton May 19, 2013 5

Today I found out the origin of the Loch Ness Monster myth. Loch Ness is a long, narrow lake southwest of Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. It is the second largest loch in Scotland

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How Voltaire Made a Fortune Rigging the Lottery

How Voltaire Made a Fortune Rigging the Lottery

Andy Williamson May 16, 2013 13

While history knows him as a great Enlightenment thinker, Voltaire was once Francois-Marie Arouet, the charismatic and rebellious youngest son of a middle-class French family. In his early life, Voltaire fell consistently afoul of

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How Seattle, Washington Got Its Name

How Seattle, Washington Got Its Name

Emily Upton May 9, 2013 4

Today I found out how the city of Seattle got its name. Seattle is one of the only major cities in the United States to be named after a Native American chief. In his

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People in Columbus’ Time Did Not Think the World Was Flat

People in Columbus’ Time Did Not Think the World Was Flat

Melissa May 8, 2013 27

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue… with a whole lot of maps and information about the very round Earth. Contrary to popular belief, not only did Columbus realize the world was round, so

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1816- The Year That Had No Summer

1816- The Year That Had No Summer

Terynn Boulton May 6, 2013 2

For those who are used to a year with four seasons, imagine how hard it is to believe there could ever be a year where summer never came. In 1816, people living in the

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The Siberian Family Who Didn’t See Another Human for Over 40 Years

The Siberian Family Who Didn’t See Another Human for Over 40 Years

Matt Blitz May 3, 2013 1

To this day, the Siberian wilderness is still one of the most isolated places in the world. Known as the Siberian taiga (meaning “forest” in Russian), its harsh, cold climate greatly discourages human habitation.

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Vasili Arkhipov: The Man Who Saved the World

Vasili Arkhipov: The Man Who Saved the World

Matt Blitz May 2, 2013 9

In 1962, the U.S. and the Soviet Union were on the brink of possible mutual destruction- the world as a whole was facing a possible nuclear winter and all the devastation that would come

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Et Tu Brute? Not Caesar’s Last Words

Et Tu Brute? Not Caesar’s Last Words

O'rene Daille Ashley April 30, 2013 8

In terms of famous last words, Julius Caesar’s supposed “Et tu, Brute?” may be the most well known of any in history. For context, William Shakespeare would have us believe, Julius Caesar, in his

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The Nazi Origin of the Volkswagen Beetle

The Nazi Origin of the Volkswagen Beetle

Melissa April 26, 2013 4

Hard to believe but true- the industrial production of the lovable VW Bug was partially the brainchild of none other than Adolf Hitler. While most of us, when we think of Hitler and the

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