Stuff You Missed in History Class
The Lady Juliana09/22/14
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.
China’s Cultural Revolution: Rewriting a Nation
In 1969, the tone and direction of the Cultural Revolution shifted dramatically. For the next seven years, until Mao Zedong's death, he tried to remake the government, and the country, after his own vision.
China’s Cultural Revolution: Red Guard and Purges
Mao’s plan to once again put China on the path to modernization was the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, which started in 1966. The first phase was a very aggressive, radical series of purges and arrests that went from 1966 to 1968.
The Father of Dark Matter
Fritz Zwicky is often described as a genius, but also as a caustic figure. His insights into astrophysics are downright baffling, but his prickly interactions with peers were problematic to his career and his place in history.
The Great Famine
In the wake of the Great Leap Forward, issues with supply and demand, variables of weather and labor and a series of poor decisions resulted in a devastating famine. For three years, China struggled, far removed from the utopia Mao had envisioned.
British Royal Navy lieutenant and artist Norman Wilkinson is usually credited with the idea of disruptive camouflage. But, another man, naturalist John Graham Kerr, claimed that he had the idea three years earlier.
The Great Leap Forward
In the mid-20th century, Chairman Mao Zedong launched an ambitious plan to revolutionize Chinese agriculture and industry, build up the economy and turn China into a communist utopia.
Hetty Green, the Witch of Wall Street
She was the wealthiest woman in the U.S., skilled when it came to amassing wealth. But her eccentric behavior and miserly ways led to bad press and a less-than-flaterring nickname.
The Heathen School
The Foreign Mission School in Cornwall, Connecticut was founded with the plan that it would draw young men from world cultures, educate them, convert them to Christianity, and then send them back to their native lands to spread their newfound religion.
Andrews’ Raid, or: The Great Locomotive Chase Pt. 2
As the second part of the story picks up, James Andrews and 22 men have commandeered a northbound train in Big Shanty, Georgia. Its conductor, William Fuller, has begun chasing them on foot with two other men in a valiant effort to thwart their plot.
Andrews’ Raid, or: The Great Locomotive Chase Pt. 1
The Great Locomotive Chase was a very daring – but very failed – plot to commandeer a train and destroy a crucial stretch of railroad during the Civil War. It's a wild and fun story that covers a lot of ground as it travels around the southestern U.S.
The La Scala Opera House
The Teatro alla Scala is one of the most renowned opera houses in the world, and is Italy’s crown jewel of the arts. Even if you have only a passing knowledge of opera, odds are, you know a name connected to the history of this legendary cultural hub.
Victor Lustig: Con Man Extraordinaire
He's most famous for selling an iconic structure he didn't own, but Robert Miller, known better by his alias Count Victor Lustig, led a life of spectacular cons, daring escapes, smooth talking and counterfeiting.
A Brief History of Colors
Pigments and dyes have come from all manner of animals, vegetables and minerals. From ochre to cochineal red to the rarest of purples, color has been an important part of human life for centuries.
The Klondike Big Inch Land Promotion
In the mid-20th century, one ad company had a wacky plan to actually dole out land deeds as part of a cereal promotion. How did they manage it? And was the land worth anything?
The Tulsa Race Riot and Black Wall Street
“Black Wall Street” was a nickname for Greenwood, a vibrant suburb of Tulsa, Oklahoma, which was destroyed in a race riot in 1921. And while Greenwood’s destruction was definitely the product of racial tensions, the event was much more one-sided.
Battle of Blair Mountain
In 1921, coal miners fed up with unfair labor practices and exploitation took up arms against their employers. The resulting conflict lasted five days and has been called the biggest armed uprising on U.S. soil since the Civil War.
Les Filles du Roi
While the building of a population in a new colony seems like a tricky endeavor, France’s King Louis XIV launched a scheme to do just that by shipping eligible ladies to New France in the 1600s. How did this play out?
The Doctors' Riot of 1788
In the late 1700s, medical colleges needed cadavers for educational dissection, but there were no legal means for obtaining them. This led to some unorthodox dealings in the acquiring of bodies, and brought New York to a fever pitch in 1788.
Cosmetics From Ancient Egypt to the Modern World
Makeup has a rich and lengthy history that spans the globe and crosses cultures. From 10,000 B.C.E. to the 20th century, people have been using cosmetics to enhance their looks -- sometimes with unintended side effects.
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