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The Real Monuments Men

The Real Monuments Men

Matt Blitz February 12, 2014 3

War is ugly. Especially in contrast to the beauty of centuries-old European art. That was the very the reason that the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program was established in 1943, to protect fine

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

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

Matt Blitz February 10, 2014 0

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

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The Ludlow Massacre

The Ludlow Massacre

Melissa February 7, 2014 0

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

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The Sacking of Osceola

The Sacking of Osceola

Melissa February 6, 2014 1

In 1861 in southwestern Missouri, near its border with Kansas, the city of Osceola was sacked by rabid anti-slavery jayhawkers (from Kansas). When the looting and burning were over, ten people were dead and

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Why the Standard Retirement Age Is Set Where It’s At

Why the Standard Retirement Age Is Set Where It’s At

Melissa February 5, 2014 0

Sheel P. asks: How was the official retirement age for people first determined? The idea of “retirement” from working is a relatively recent one in the Western world. In fact, even at the end

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The Checkered History of Slush Funds

The Checkered History of Slush Funds

Matt Blitz February 3, 2014 1

“Slush funds” has gotten many politicians and government officials in trouble over the years. The 19th and 20th century politics are riddled with fallen and, sometimes, corrupt individuals who were hit with the dreaded

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Smedley Butler and the Business Plot

Smedley Butler and the Business Plot

Melissa January 31, 2014 1

In 1933 and 1934, an alleged plot to overthrow the government of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) by Wall Street Bankers may have happened. While contemporary newspapers called it a “gigantic hoax,” others, including the

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An Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny History of the Bikini

An Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny History of the Bikini

Kathy Padden January 29, 2014 1

The modern bikini has a relatively short history only spanning a little over a half century or so, but bikini-like suits have been around and worn commonly for certain activities since at least the

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How the Axis and the Allies in WWII Got Their Names

How the Axis and the Allies in WWII Got Their Names

Melissa January 27, 2014 1

Derek asks: Why were the two groups in WWII called the Axis and the Allies? Marking the two main groups of belligerents in the Second World War (1939-1945), the Axis and the Allies slugged

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United States: Republic or Democracy?

United States: Republic or Democracy?

Melissa January 22, 2014 5

Mike asks: Why does everyone say the U.S. is a Democracy when it’s really a Republic? Frequently, politicians, and many ordinary Americans, refer to the United States as a democracy. Others find this aggravating

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Emus vs. Humans: The Great Emu War of 1932

Emus vs. Humans: The Great Emu War of 1932

Emily Upton January 21, 2014 4

Today I Found Out about the Great Emu War of 1932. Emus are native to Australia, and as everyone knows, nearly everything in Australia seems capable of killing you. If the sun doesn’t do

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The Mysterious Encephalitis Lethargica Epidemic

The Mysterious Encephalitis Lethargica Epidemic

Karl Smallwood January 15, 2014 2

What if we told you that around 90 years ago an epidemic swept across the world that killed over a million people while affecting numerous others, before disappearing, leaving the finest scientific minds of

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Have Your Cake and Eat it Too

Have Your Cake and Eat it Too

Matt Blitz January 15, 2014 6

Masen P. asks: Where did the expression “have your cake and eat it too” come from? The idiom “You can’t have your cake and eat it too” deliciously illustrates the concept of making trade-offs

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Al Capone vs. George Moran: The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre

Al Capone vs. George Moran: The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre

Emily Upton January 14, 2014 1

In the 1920s, gang warfare threatened the streets of Chicago. In the midst of prohibition, mobsters were making a killing by providing alcohol to thirsty cityfolk from all walks of life. The infamous Al

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Written in Human Blood: Draconian Laws and the Dawn of Democracy

Written in Human Blood: Draconian Laws and the Dawn of Democracy

Theodoros II January 9, 2014 5

In ancient Greece, since laws were unwritten at first, the social pyramid’s elite of nobles and rich men interpreted and twisted the aforementioned laws for their own exclusive benefit. Of course, as usually happens

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The Ponce Massacre

The Ponce Massacre

Melissa January 8, 2014 0

In March 1937, several days before Palm Sunday, Puerto Rican Nationalists in the city of Ponce obtained permits for a parade and demonstration. The former was to commemorate the end of slavery in 1873

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A Larger Conspiracy: The Failed Assassinations of Seward and Johnson

A Larger Conspiracy: The Failed Assassinations of Seward and Johnson

Matt Blitz January 7, 2014 0

On the evening of Good Friday- April 14, 1865, as President Abraham Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd enjoyed Our American Cousin at the Ford’s Theatre, famous stage actor and Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes

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When People Started Burning Books

When People Started Burning Books

Emily Upton January 2, 2014 0

Evan asks: When did the practice of burning books start? To a writer, a bookworm, or a believer in the freedom of press and knowledge, there is nothing quite as horrifying as hearing about

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