Category Archives: People

The One-Legged Woman Who Was “the Most Dangerous Of All Allied Spies”


Today I found out about the one-legged woman who was “the most dangerous of allied spies.” Her name was Virginia Hall, an American spy born in Baltimore in 1906. She attended both Barnard College and Radcliffe College—two prestigious all-women’s higher education facilities—and continued her studies at schools in France, Germany, and Austria. She had dreams of a career in foreign […]

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The Canadian Man Who Single-Handedly Liberated the City of Zwolle in the Netherlands from German Occupation


Leo Major was a French Canadian man born in 1921. He probably didn’t think he was going to be more of a hero than the average soldier when he joined up with the Canadian Army at the start of World War II—supposedly he simply joined up because he wanted to show his father, with whom he had a shaky relationship, […]

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The Man Who Ate an Airplane and Three Other People Who Eat Weird Things


John Cochran impressed Survivor fans this past season by winning a food challenge in which he had to eat beetle larvae, shipworms, a balut (duck/bird embryo complete with feathers and a beak), and finally pig brains. So gross but at least they are all digestable right? There are people in this world who suffer from an eating disorder called pica, […]

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The Forgotten Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico, Norton I


Today I found out about the largely forgotten colorful benevolent dictator of the United States and protector of Mexico, Emperor Norton I. His Imperial Majesty Joshua Abraham Norton I was born between 1811 and 1818 in England. Records of his birth date vary considerably, but it’s likely that the latter date is the correct one. His family immigrated to South […]

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The Man Who Survived Two Nuclear Bomb Attacks


Tsutomu Yamaguchi died from stomach cancer.  The cancer part perhaps isn’t surprising given that Yamaguchi is currently the only person officially recognized by the Japanese government as having lived through the atomic bombings of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (Note: There were actually well over a 100 or so others as well, perhaps as many as 165; they just have never […]

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10 Interesting Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Ben Franklin


Ben Franklin was a man of many and varied accomplishments- a Renaissance man in the grand tradition of Leonardo da Vinci. He was a writer, scientist, musician, inventor and innovator, despite only ever receiving 2 years of formal schooling. His ideas and principles helped shape his fledgling nation, and his diplomatic skills assured the newly born United States of America […]

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Before He Was President, JFK Was a Bestselling Author and Won a Pulitzer Prize


Most remember John Fitzgerald Kennedy as our youthful and inspiring 35th President who, with his elegant wife, turned the White House into Camelot until his assassination in November 1963. But what few today recall is that long before his presidency, JFK was a well-respected author and even won the Pulitzer Prize for history in 1957 with Profiles in Courage. Born […]

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


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. Its steep hills and difficult terrain makes it nearly impossible to travel through it, much less live there. It’s filled with pine and birch trees, nearly […]

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