Lincoln’s Dog Followed Him Even in Death

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) knew the value of a faithful friend. Maybe that's why he acquired a yellow mixed-breed dog in 1855 when he lived in Springfield, Illinois. The future President named the dog Fido, and they quickly became inseparable. Their connection would unite them in life -- and in death.  Fido accompanied Lincoln everywhere in... Continue Reading →

Wearing the Crown Takes a Lot of Heart

Robert the Bruce (1274-1329) reigned as King of Scots from 1306 to 1329. He led a ragtag bunch of Scottish farmers to defeat England's Edward II's professional army that was four times the size of Scotland's. He unified the Scots and secured their freedom from England and is remembered as the greatest of Scotland's monarchs. Such... Continue Reading →

Was Tycho a Psycho? Weird Facts About One of History’s Greatest Astronomers

Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) was one of the greatest astronomers to ever live. He was also probably at least a little bit off his gourd, if history is to judge. The Danish astronomer who brought a new level of exactitude to astronomical observations and applied that specificity to the theories and observations of Copernicus and Ptolemy,... Continue Reading →

He Gave Away His Lucky Flower — and Ran Out of Luck

President William McKinley was known for wearing a red carnation. He referred to it as his "lucky flower," and he began the practice of placing a fresh carnation in his lapel after winning his first Congressional campaign in 1876. His opponent in that race was Levi Lamborn, an amateur horticulturist, who gave McKinley a carnation... Continue Reading →

Springtime at the Gallows

Justice in the Old West was quick, decisive, and occasionally poetic. Witness this colorful death sentence issued in United States v Gonzales (1881), U.S. District Court, New Mexico Territory. Jose Manuel Miguel Xavier Gonzales, in a few short weeks, it will be spring. The snows of winter will flee away, the ice will vanish, and the annual... Continue Reading →

Together in School, War, and Death

College students have been ditching classes for centuries, but rarely in such numbers as to effect the educational institution. Even the most casual observer would have known that this was no ordinary skipping of classes at the University of Mississippi in May 1861. Out of the 139 students enrolled, 135 left the school on May... Continue Reading →

Meeting Death on His Feet — Just to Prove a Point

Branwell Brontë was the brother of Wuthering Heights author Emily Brontë. He is historically noteworthy in his own right as a painter and writer. He would perhaps be better remembered had he not hastened his death through abuse of alcohol and opium. The approach of his own death really illustrated his tenacity. Although suffering from depression and... Continue Reading →

The 20-Year Flight of the Killer Bullet

   Sometimes you just can't escape fate. Take Henry Ziegland, for example. When he broke up with his girlfriend in 1893, she committed suicide. Her brother blamed Ziegland for his sister's death and vowed revenge. He confronted Ziegland, pulled a gun, and took a shot at him. Fortunately for Ziegland, the bullet only grazed his... Continue Reading →

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