History »

The First Stock Market Crash: The South Sea Company

The First Stock Market Crash: The South Sea Company

Melissa April 25, 2013 3

Building on a long tradition of catastrophic financial market crashes, the economic meltdown caused by the bursting of the housing bubble in 2008 is only the latest in a long line of epic stock

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The Origin of Humpty Dumpty

The Origin of Humpty Dumpty

Emily Upton April 24, 2013 6

Nevin asks: Why is “Humpty Dumpty” always depicted as an egg? As you seem to have noticed, in the “Humpty Dumpty” nursery rhyme, nowhere does it say that Humpty is an egg, yet he

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Who was the Real Mother Goose?

Who was the Real Mother Goose?

Emily Upton April 22, 2013 1

Rachel asks: Was “Mother Goose” a real person? A nursery necessity and childhood favourite, Mother Goose is a household name and the writer of dozens of well-known nursery rhymes like Baa Baa Black Sheep,

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The Last Veteran of the Civil War

The Last Veteran of the Civil War

Matt Blitz April 19, 2013 5

The Civil War ended 148 years ago this past month (April 9th, 1865) with the surrender of the Confederate forces at the Appomattox Court House in Northern Virginia.  54 years ago, in December 1959,

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The History of Cheese

The History of Cheese

Teri Crane April 17, 2013 6

The story goes something like this: an ancient Arab sets out on a journey across the desert. In preparation, he puts a ration of milk into a handy sheep’s stomach to transport it. (Those

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Cinderella’s Castle was Modeled After Bavaria’s Neuschwanstein Castle

Cinderella’s Castle was Modeled After Bavaria’s Neuschwanstein Castle

Emily Upton April 11, 2013 1

Today I found out that Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World and Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in Disney Land are modeled after Bavaria’s Neuschwanstein Castle. Each castle was also inspired by several other castles, including Fontainebleau

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The Fascinating History of Birth Control

The Fascinating History of Birth Control

Yona Williams April 5, 2013 3

Kerry asks: What did people use for birth control before modern methods like the pill and condoms? Pregnancy prevention around the world has a lengthy history that includes many effective yet sometimes lethal methods

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The Origin of “Say Cheese” and When People Started Smiling in Photographs

The Origin of “Say Cheese” and When People Started Smiling in Photographs

Terynn Boulton April 2, 2013 17

Sue T. asks: Why do people say “say cheese” when taking pictures?  Also, why did people not smile in old pictures and when did they start? “Say cheese!” This simple command is meant to

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The History of Yoga

The History of Yoga

Tyler Edwards April 2, 2013 2

Although yoga is something of a recent fad in the West, you’re probably aware that this system of gentle exercise and meditation has very ancient roots. What you might not know is just how

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The History of Shaving

The History of Shaving

Kathy Padden April 1, 2013 16

Kelly asks: When did women and men start shaving different parts of their body? Both sexes have a love-hate relationship with removing body hair. We’ve been pulling, plucking, burning, tweezing and ripping out undesirable

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The Origin of the American Democratic Party

The Origin of the American Democratic Party

Melanie Mayne March 29, 2013 2

Although the Democratic and Republican parties in the United States currently seem extremely polarized, they did not start out that way. In fact, these two parties originated as one, single party. This party was

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The Origins of the Neck Tie

The Origins of the Neck Tie

O'rene Daille Ashley March 26, 2013 7

Jp23 asks: When and why did men start wearing ties? The neck tie has its roots in military history. For starters, a collection of terracotta sculptures discovered in 1974 in Xian, China gives insight

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Excite Had a Chance to Buy Google for $750K, But Turned It Down

Excite Had a Chance to Buy Google for $750K, But Turned It Down

Radhika Basuthakur March 26, 2013 5

Google is practically synonymous with “search” today. But back in 1999, Excite (better known today as Ask.com) was a bigger force in the online world. It was one of the most recognized brands of

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The History of the Goodyear Blimp

The History of the Goodyear Blimp

Sharon Soberry March 21, 2013 1

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Oh… it’s, a blimp… 1925 marked the year when the first Goodyear airships ascended to the skies. More than 85 years later, the iconic Goodyear blimps can still

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The History of Soap

The History of Soap

Melissa March 19, 2013 3

Today I found out that for something that’s supposed to be clean and pure, soap has a murky past. No one knows for sure when soap was first invented, although it appears to have

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The Story Behind the Man Who was Killed in the Famous “Saigon Execution” Photo

The Story Behind the Man Who was Killed in the Famous “Saigon Execution” Photo

Lauren Corona March 19, 2013 15

Perhaps one of the most iconic images to come out of the Vietnam War (see photo here), this photo depicts a uniformed South Vietnamese officer shooting a prisoner in the head. When you look

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“The [American Civil] War Began in My Front Yard and Ended in My Parlor.”

“The [American Civil] War Began in My Front Yard and Ended in My Parlor.”

Rebecca McTear March 18, 2013 8

“The war began in my front yard and ended in my parlor.” This statement about the start and the end of the U.S. Civil War was spoken by Wilmer McLean and is surprisingly almost

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The First “First Lady”

The First “First Lady”

Eddie Deezen February 20, 2013 4

For those not familiar, the “First Lady” is a title which refers to the official hostess of the White House.  Although it is not a firm prerequisite for the title, the First Lady is

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