Category Archives: History

A Capital Idea- How a Pile of Unpaid Bills Led to Washington, D.C.

Washington DC Skyline

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader You probably know that the “D.C.” in Washington, D.C., stands for “District of Columbia” and that the district is not part of any state. But do you know why America’s Founding Fathers placed such importance on creating a capital outside of any state? We owe it all to piles of […]

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That One Time a Parachuting Soldier Took Down a Zero Fighter Plane With Nothing But a Handgun

Zero

If you take a peek at a list of pilots who were considered flying aces during WW2, you’ll notice that the top of the list is dominated by Luftwaffe pilots, some of whom scored hundreds of aerial victories during the war. While their skill and prowess in the air is undeniable, it’s arguable that the finest display in aerial combat […]

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That Time Christmas was Banned in Boston

stop-christmas

From Boston’s earliest days, Christmas was not celebrated. Holiday goodies like pudding and mince pies were banned- December 25th was a mandatory work day, and town criers walked through the streets reminding the populace: “No Christmas! No Christmas! No Christmas!” In fact, in 1620, the Puritans spent their first Christmas in the New World building their first structures. The next […]

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The Corporation

skyscraper

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader To some people, the word “corporation” has negative connotations, and not without reason—names like Enron and Lehman Brothers come to mind. But it’s also one of the greatest tools for economic growth ever invented. Here’s a brief, fascinating history of the corporation. BACKGROUND Most of us have a simple understanding […]

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That Time Cadets at West Point Rioted Over Eggnog

eggnog3

From the beginning, heavy drinking was fairly commonplace among the cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point (founded in 1802). In an attempt to stem this in 1826, the academy’s strict superintendent and the “Father of West Point,” General Sylvanus Thayer, began a crackdown by prohibiting alcohol on campus. As Christmas approached and the cadets realized that […]

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That Time When the Elite of the Western World Rented Pineapples by the Hour

Pineapple

The humble pineapple is most often seen today either sitting proudly in the centre of an uncomfortably well stocked fruit bowl or being used as the home of a lovable talking sponge. However, between the 16th and 18th centuries, pineapples were so expensive and rare that they were often displayed like fine works of art. Converting exactly how much a […]

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