The photos taken by Farm Security Administration photographers in the 1930s are some of the most iconic images in American history. We’re all familiar with some of the snapshots of craggy-faced farmers, but unseen photos in government archives tell a more complex story of a struggling country. Yale just released a… »
This past Monday, people from around the world aimed their cameras upwards in hopes of catching a glimpse of the “blood moon” lunar eclipse. But as this 19th century manuscript shows, it’s a phenomenon that’s been chronicled long before the advent of camera phones and telescopic lenses. »
Sometimes the name a person is given just isn’t enough. They’re too bad, too great, too weird, or the nickname you give them is too fun. Here are the ten greatest nicknames in history—and the people who inspired them. »
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, the first time in history that one nation tried to defeat another using airstrikes. Here’s how the Nazis thought they could do it—and how agonizingly close they actually came to achieving victory. »
More than 50 items have been recovered at the site of the ancient Greek shipwreck that yielded the famous Antikythera mechanism. Working at a depth of 180 feet (55 meters), archaeologists managed to pull up the remains of a bone flute, glassware, luxury ceramics, and a bronze armrest.
If you happen to think killing two birds with one stone is a bit inefficient, or you have found your way into a zombie apocalypse, you might be interested in a special type of gun known as a “punt gun,” that used to be somewhat common among commercial waterfowl hunters. What’s so special about this gun? It is capable… »
From 1968 until 1973, the US military spent about $1 billion a year on a new computer-powered initiative intended to end the war in Vietnam. It went by many names over the years — including Practice Nine, Muscle Shoals, Illinois City and Dye Marker. But today it’s most commonly known as Operation Igloo White. »
The treadmill is a time stopping torture machine that was made to remind us all of how we’ll never be in as good a shape as we want to be and how we’ll never be even half way good at estimating how many minutes have passed. And it’s okay because treadmills were basically made to exploit and torture prisoners into… »
This historical mystery is not a “whodunnit.” It’s more of an “ifdunnit.” In 1908 the emperor of China died a very suspicious death. It took until 2008 for people to know that the person who almost definitely did murder him actually did murder him. »
For thousands of years, history has been recorded piecemeal, in books, artifacts, buildings and legends. But in the age of molecular biology, a new archive is helping to fill in the gaps: your genetic code. »
After a violent storm ripped through the Irish town of Collooney, locals were shocked to discover the remains of a 1,000-year-old skeleton hanging from the roots of a fallen tree. »
As we all learned from Game of Thrones (and definitely not sitting through high school history), when there’s a chance to sit on a throne and rule a kingdom, everybody who can sit seemingly wants to be king and queen, even if it means fighting your family members for the chance. Here’s a really fun look at the history… »
CROATOAN. The word was found written on a fencepost in the lost colony of Roanoke, and it still intrigues us after 425 years. But this 16th century settlement is more than a legend. It’s also the subject of archaeological and historical investigations that are now starting to yield answers. »
Whatever you do, don’t press that button. It’s a trope that’s spanned pop culture for generations—and the real world, too. But where did this Big Red Button come from? And why does sick curiosity compel us to mash it down? »
The FBI has a warning for all you antique dealers and museum curators out there: If you’re trading in Syrian or Iraqi pieces right now, you could be funding ISIS. »
Leonardo DaVinci’s wing and glider designs have inspired literature, art, and cinema over the centuries. But plenty of other people have schemed to take to the air, long before the Wright Brothers. Here are just some of the inventors who devised methods of unpowered human flight...with mixed success.