Tag Archives: history

An Encyclopedia Finished in 1408 That Contained Nearly One Million Pages

Yongle Encyclopedia

Today I found out about an encyclopedia finished in 1408 that contained nearly one million pages.  This particular encyclopedia was called the “永樂大典”, which translates to “The Great Canon of the Yongle Era”; today it’s  just called, in English, the “Yongle Encyclopedia”.  This encyclopedia was originally commissioned by Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty in China.  It was not only […]

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The First Professional Baseball Team Was the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings

Cincinnati Red Stockings

Today I found out the first fully professional baseball team was the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings, ten men on salary for eight months from March 15th to November 15th.  The team was organized by Harry Wright, who also played center field for the team and managed the defensive positioning, which was something that typically wasn’t done at that time. The […]

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The Baseball Box Score was First Developed by Henry Chadwick

Henry Chadwick

Today I found out the baseball box score was first developed and introduced by Henry Chadwick, “The Father of Baseball”.  Chadwick also authored Baseball’s first rule book; devised the batting average and earned run average; compiled the game’s first instructional guides and player and statistical reference books, among a variety of other contributions to the game.  He is also the […]

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Where the Word “Algebra” Came From

Today I found out the origins of the word “Algebra”. It all started back around 825 AD when a man named Abū ʿAbdallāh Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī, the “father” of Algebra, wrote a book called “Kitab al-jabr wa al-muqabalah”.  This roughly translates to “Rules of Reintegration and Reduction”.  This work was specifically covering the branch of mathematics we now know […]

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The Pilgrims Did Not Celebrate the First Thanksgiving in America

Myth: The Pilgrims Celebrated the First Thanksgiving in America. The Pilgrims did not celebrate the first Thanksgiving in America. In fact, the particular Pilgrim event that is often cited as the first Thanksgiving wasn’t even the Pilgrim’s first Thanksgiving. They had several before then at various times and none of them were an annual thing. These days were simply a […]

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John Wilkes Booth’s Brother Saved Abraham Lincoln’s Son’s Life Shortly Before Lincoln Was Assassinated

Robert Lincoln's Mansion, Manchester Vermont

As a general rule, historical anecdotes that seem a little “too perfect,” like “John Wilkes Booth’s brother saved the life of Abraham Lincoln’s son shortly before Lincoln was assassinated,” when researched thoroughly almost never turn out to be true.  This, however, is one of the exceptions to that rule and it was no less than Robert Todd Lincoln himself who, in […]

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Harry Houdini Piloted the First Airplane That Flew Over Australia

harry houdini

Today I found out Harry Houdini piloted the first controlled airplane flight over Australia. Houdini initially became fascinated by aviation in 1909, purchasing a French Voisin biplane for $5000 and subsequently hiring a full time mechanic to maintain it.  In his first flight attempt, he crashed the plane, but with the help of his mechanic, fixed it up and made […]

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