History »

The Remarkable Indus Valley Civilization

The Remarkable Indus Valley Civilization

Melissa October 10, 2014 0

The Egyptians built massive pyramids, and the Babylonians instituted the first known written system of laws. The Chinese began a fortified wall that eventually spanned (depending on whom you ask) as much as 13,000

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When and How Jeans Became Popular

When and How Jeans Became Popular

Karl Smallwood October 10, 2014 3

Jeans are easily one of the most ubiquitous pieces of clothing on Earth with millions of pairs being made, sold and wrapped around the butts of style conscious individuals every single day. But why

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Who Was The Real Man In The Iron Mask?

Who Was The Real Man In The Iron Mask?

Theodoros II October 8, 2014 3

Gage A. asks: Was the man in the iron mask a real person? On November 19, 1703, a tomb in the Bastille’s Saint Paul Cemetery welcomed the corpse of a man who had spent

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Who Invented the Internet?

Who Invented the Internet?

Theodoros II September 24, 2014 1

Jeremy D. asks: Who invented the internet? While the World Wide Web was initially invented by one person (see: What was the First Website?), the genesis of the internet itself was a group effort

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The Invention of the Slot Machine

The Invention of the Slot Machine

Matt Blitz September 23, 2014 1

Neil asks: Who invented the slot machine? The story of the slot machine is one of intrigue, theft, controversy, and murder. Okay, not murder, but everything else. And it starts in Bavaria…. Augustinus Charles

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How Did Oktoberfest Start?

How Did Oktoberfest Start?

Matt Blitz September 19, 2014 0

Michael R. asks: How did Oktoberfest get started? As we move past the summer and into the fall, we can count on certain things: the leaves changing color, the weather growing crisper, ghost stories

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The Surprisingly Short History of the Pony Express

The Surprisingly Short History of the Pony Express

Melissa September 18, 2014 6

Given that most have still heard of the Pony Express today, unlike so many other messaging companies long gone, you may think that the Pony Express was once an integral part of communication between

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Emily Warren Roebling and the Brooklyn Bridge

Emily Warren Roebling and the Brooklyn Bridge

Matt Blitz September 16, 2014 0

To this day, the Brooklyn Bridge remains a monumental civil engineering feat. Connecting the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn and extending across the East River, the bridge is a New York City icon. When

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The Tlatelolco Massacre of 1968

The Tlatelolco Massacre of 1968

Sarah Stone September 12, 2014 0

The Mexico of 1968 showed every indication of being the most modern nation in Latin America. President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz oversaw a country with a booming economy and a middle class predominately able to

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Jus Primae Noctis: Fact or Fiction?

Jus Primae Noctis: Fact or Fiction?

Kathy Padden September 9, 2014 4

The practice of jus primae noctis (“right of the first night”) is, in simplest terms, the right of the local noble to deflower local peasant brides on their wedding night before their newlywed husbands.

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How Dry Cleaning Works and Who Invented It

How Dry Cleaning Works and Who Invented It

Sarah Stone September 4, 2014 4

Ricky A. asks: How do dry cleaners clean the clothes? What happens to clothes after being dropped off at the dry cleaners is a mystery to most. We know that our clothes come back

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What Killed Mozart?

What Killed Mozart?

Melissa September 3, 2014 1

Karly N. asks: What did Mozart die from? In 35 short years, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart produced over 600 works for symphony, concert, chamber, opera and choir, including Don Giovanni, The Magic Flute and The

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The Invention of Morphine

The Invention of Morphine

Melissa September 2, 2014 0

Justin V. asks: Who invented morphine? Derived from opium but far more reliable and powerful, the invention of morphine changed pharmacology and pain relief. A (Very) Short History of Opium  Derived from the seedpods

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The Twisted Tale of Delphine LaLaurie and Her House of Horrors

The Twisted Tale of Delphine LaLaurie and Her House of Horrors

Melissa September 1, 2014 0

Over 200 years ago, a torture chamber was discovered in the attic of a wealthy socialite. Through the years, the tale of her brutality has grown and shifted, and today, it is difficult to

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That Time About Two-Thirds of China’s Population, and then a Decade Later About Half of Europe’s, Up and Died

That Time About Two-Thirds of China’s Population, and then a Decade Later About Half of Europe’s, Up and Died

Melissa August 27, 2014 2

Pandemics have been the bane of humanity throughout history. Although the past few centuries have witnessed numerous epidemics, and even a handful of pandemics, none compare to the Black Death of the 14th century

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A Brief History of the Ballpoint Pen and Whether NASA Really Spent Millions Developing a Pressurized Version Instead of Just Using Pencils

A Brief History of the Ballpoint Pen and Whether NASA Really Spent Millions Developing a Pressurized Version Instead of Just Using Pencils

Karl Smallwood August 18, 2014 10

Kyle S. asks: There’s a story circulating around that NASA found out pens didn’t work in space, but still needed a writing device that would work there, so they spent millions of tax payer

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The Bum Brigade

The Bum Brigade

Matt Blitz August 15, 2014 0

On October 29, 1929, on what would become known as “Black Tuesday,” the stock market crashed. In one terrible day, the market lost fourteen billion dollars (about $188B today), signaling the beginning of the

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The Greatest Practical Joke of the 19th Century

The Greatest Practical Joke of the 19th Century

Daven Hiskey August 11, 2014 0

Today I found out about the greatest practical jokes of the 19th century, the Berners Street Hoax.The year was 1809. Famed English author, Theodore Hook, made a bet with one of his close friends,

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