I Wouldn't Be Here Without the 1982 World's Fair

On a recent trip home to Knoxville, Tennessee, I had a flashback. Not an acid flashback (I don't think). We were weaving through the hilly streets of downtown in the shadow of the Sunsphere, a discoball of a monument built for the 1982 World's Fair, and suddenly I was there in the crowd, staring at the future. » 4/18/14 12:25pm Friday 12:25pm

Is this week the worst week in American history?

History buffs might not know this already but it seems as if this week—April 14th to April 20th—might be the worst week in American history. Things like President Lincoln being assassinated, the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Columbine shooting, the Virginia Tech school shooting, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Boston… » 4/16/14 12:01am Wednesday 12:01am

Medicinal Soft Drinks and Coca-Cola Fiends: The Toxic History of Soda

Soda’s reputation has fallen a bit flat lately: The all-American beverage most recently made headlines due to an FDA investigation of a potential carcinogen, commonly called “caramel coloring,” used in many soft-drink recipes. This bit of drama follows other recent stories that paint an unflattering picture of the soda … » 4/14/14 4:00pm 4/14/14 4:00pm

Did A "Field of Human Excrement" By The White House Kill A President?

If you remember President William Henry Harrison from U.S. history class at all, then you probably remember him as the poor fellow who died from pneumonia a month after delivering his inaugural address in freezing rain. Except was it really pneumonia after all? A New York Times article suggests a different theory, and… » 4/02/14 5:40pm 4/02/14 5:40pm

These Time-Warp Photos Show Six Cities In the Past and Present

Cities change: skyscrapers go up, row houses are torn down, neighborhoods gentrify, earthquakes destroy. Vintage photographs of cities can be fascinating in and of themselves, but the familiar unfamiliarity of these time-warped photographs are especially intriguing. » 4/01/14 9:00am 4/01/14 9:00am

All About the Military Dolphins of the US (And Now Russia)

In what is easily one of the stranger twists in the military takeover of Crimea, the Russians have seized control of Ukraine's navy dolphin fleet. Yes, dolphins. The annals of dolphin military history is actually teeming with improbable tales, so let this be your guide to the cetacean Cold War. » 3/27/14 10:00am 3/27/14 10:00am

This Amazing 3D Render Lets You Dive Into a Heroic Battle

The Battle of Buda in 1686 was a significant victory over the Ottoman Empire, which threatened Europe, Asia, and Africa during the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1896, Gyula Benczúr painted his gorgeous masterpiece titled "The Recapture of Buda Castle in 1686," depicting the final moments of the Holy League victory, after 78 … » 3/21/14 10:20am 3/21/14 10:20am

The history of movies from 1878 to 2014 in just three minutes

Here's a wide ranging film montage that shows the evolution of film from its conception in 1878 to the whizbang movie trailers of today. It covers over a hundred years of film, with a new movie representing a new year starting from 1920 and on. Made by Scott Ewing, the compilation clip comes quick at you but it's… » 3/20/14 11:22pm 3/20/14 11:22pm

The Soaring and Nearly Forgotten Arches of New York City

Beautiful arches, like the art deco skeletal system of a lost urban era, can be found throughout New York City, from Grand Central Terminal to bars and restaurants. Created with tiles by the Spanish father-and-son duo, Rafael Guastavino and his junior namesake, these structures were also marvels of artistic… » 3/06/14 11:20am 3/06/14 11:20am

How the Art of Tattoo Has Colored World History

Tattoo is among humanity's earliest and most ubiquitous art forms. Cultures from every habitable continent have embedded permanent dyes in their bodies for more than 5000 years—as mystical wards, status symbols, rites of passage, or simply as personal decoration. That tradition continues today, just with a much smaller … » 3/05/14 11:00am 3/05/14 11:00am

The San Francisco Mint Burned Its Carpets to Find $3,200 Worth of Gold

Even after the gold fever died down, gold itself was in the air in San Francisco—as long as you knew where to look. That place would be in the San Francisco Mint. In a majestic granite and sandstone building downtown, bullion was turned into gold coins—as well as lots and lots of gold dust. » 2/27/14 5:40pm 2/27/14 5:40pm