Stuff You Missed in History Class
The Sinking of the S-511/26/14
1920, the S-5 left the Boston Navy Yard on its first mission, with a crew of 36 officers and enlisted men. While performing a crash dive as part of a performance evaluation, the crew found themselves on a sinking vessel.
The Verreaux Brothers
Jules Verreaux and his two brothers collected an impressive array of flora and fauna specimens from around the world for placement with museums and collectors. They also did some really unsavory things that had long-term ramifications.
The Vanishing of Sister Aimee
Aimee Semple McPherson was an extraordinary figure in the early 20th-century religious landscape. As an evangelist, she rose to incredible popularity in the 1920s … and then vanished.
Poverty Point is a collection of earthwork mounds and ridges situated next to Bayou Maçon in Louisiana. It has features that make it unique among Native American sites, and there are still many questions surrounding its purpose and construction.
The House of Worth and the Birth of Haute Couture
Before Charles Worth, the idea of ready made clothes for purchase didn't really exist. Neither did the idea of a design house that showed seasonal collections. This one man's vision invented the fashion industry as we know it today.
The Expulsion of the Jews From Spain
In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue … and Ferdinand, king of Aragon, and Isabella, queen of Castile expelled the Jews from Spain. The reasoning for this move hasn't even been entirely clear.
Reed did truly groundbreaking work into the causes and prevention of yellow fever, building on a foundation of other doctors and researchers. His work impacted public health and the American military’s ability to work in tropical locations.
This Native American dancer was the first grand ballerina of the United States. Through her partnership with famed choreographer George Balanchine, she helped shape ballet in America and served as an inspiration for artists from all backgrounds.
The History of Halloween Candy
Candy and Halloween go hand-in-hand, but when did candy become the standard for trick-or-treating, and who invented the holiday's most famous sweet treats like candy corn?
Villisca Ax Murders
In 1912, a small Iowa town was the scene of a chilling and brutal crime. Eight people were murdered in their beds by an assailant who has never been identified.
Beast of Gevaudan
Attacks on women and children of Gevaudan in the 1760s sparked a huge effort to hunt and kill the mystery beast behind them. While efforts to track the animal struggled, France was gripped in terror.
Christina of Sweden
Christina was a smart, learned woman, but not a particularly good ruler. Her entire life was marked by being kind of a contradictory, restless character – starting basically from the moment she was born.
Bela Lugosi, part 2
While his name instantly conjures an image of the dashing, sophisticated vampire that helped spark an entire horror film genre, Lugosi really lost more than he gained from playing the role.
Bela Lugosi, Part 1
While he’s mostly associated with the role of Dracula, Bela Lugosi's early life was significantly affected by WWI, the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the transition from silent film to talkies.
Transgender activist Sylvia Rivera is often compared to Rosa Parks. She became famous, in part, for participating in the Stonewall Riots, and she spent her life campaigning bravely, stridently and vocally for the rights of gay and transgender people.
The Dyatlov Pass Incident
In 1959, nine students ventured into the Ural mountains for a ski hiking trip, and never returned. While much speculation has swirled for more than half a century, no one knows for certain what caused them to abandon their camp to die in the cold.
Ethan Allen, Part 2
Allen's later years were marred by some unwise political alliances he made in his effort to gain independence for Vermont. After his political work cooled, he turned instead to writing, though he wasn't a hugely popular author.
Ethan Allen, Part 1
Ethan Allen was a huge personality, a founder of Vermont, and an important figure in the Revolutionary War. His story also includes some fascinating side-notes, and some missteps which may account for his hazy spot in historical lore.
A Culinary History of Spam
This famous Hormel Foods product was invented in the 1930s to make use of a surplus of shoulder meat from pigs. Not only was it an instant hit in the U.S., it also played a huge role in WWII and shaped the cuisines of many Pacific Island nations.
The Lady Juliana
Great Britain didn't only send criminals to Australia as punishment; they also wanted to colonize the continent. But to do that, they had to send women in addition to men. This plan involved some unsettling facts, and had some unexpected consequences.
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