In September 1944 nine US airmen were shot down over Chichi Jima, a small island 700 miles south of Tokyo, Japan. Of these nine men, only one evaded capture by the Japanese. That man, Lt. George H.W. Bush, went on to become the 41st President is the United States. What he didn't know -- and... Continue Reading →
The majestic image of the Statue of Liberty is so firmly connected with the United States that it is hard to imagine it being anywhere else. In fact, the USA received Lady Liberty only when its designer's first choice rejected the gift. Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi visited Egypt as a young man and became captivated by... Continue Reading →
As if assassinating President John F. Kennedy weren't offensive enough, Lee Harvey Oswald has yet another black mark against his name. According to the records of the Dallas Public Library, Oswald checked out the book The Shark and the Sardines by Juan José Arévalo. It was already overdue at the time of Oswald's death.
Were you one of those history students who had difficulty grasping the details of the Middle Ages? Perhaps that's because the Middle Ages didn't actually take place. In 1986 Heribert Illig published Das erfundene Mittelalter (The Invented Middle Ages). He posits that a nearly-300 year period of time, AD 614–911, did not really take place... Continue Reading →
In Babylon, a batman was a unit of weight. It was equal to 7 pounds, five ounces. Following is the weight of the actors who have played Batman, as measured by the batman: Adam West -- 196 lbs. -- 26.8034188034188 batman. Michael Keaton -- 183 lbs. -- 25.02564102564103 batman. Val Kilmer -- 180 lbs. --... Continue Reading →
Before he became the 26th Secretary of Defense, James Mattis was a general in the U.S. Marines Corps. He earned his nickname of "Mad Dog" with his characteristic bluntness and determination. He famously advised fellow Marines, "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet."
For 800 years the city of London has been careful to make sure it pays its annual rent for two pieces of land it leases from the Crown. In its determination not to fall delinquent in payments, it unfortunately overlooked one thing: the location of these properties. It continues to pay the rent, even though... Continue Reading →
Johannes Gutenberg (circa 1400 – February 3, 1468) was responsible for one of the pivotal inventions in all of history: the moveable-type printing press. That invention, more than any other, allowed mankind to begin to collect and disseminate its collective knowledge and progress into the scientific and industrial revolutions. It almost didn't happen. We owe... Continue Reading →
Women would not receive the right to vote in the United States until 1920. Ironically, 144 years before this oversight was addressed, it was a woman who played a key role in the proclamation of American independence. If you don't know who this woman is, take a look at the Declaration of Independence, and you... Continue Reading →
The unexpected explosion of the Hindenburg on May 6, 1937, left an enduring mark on history. Thirty-six people were killed as the massive airship attempted to dock at Naval Air Station Lakehurst in New Jersey. The disaster changed the lives of those who were involved, and it brought about the end of the airship era of... Continue Reading →
Egyptian Pharaoh Pepi II (2284 BC - c. 2216 BC) had an extreme dislike of flies and an ingenious way of dealing with the problem. He would cover servants with honey and use them to lure the flies away from his presence.
Antonio López de Santa Anna (1794-1876) lost his leg in the service of his country, and he wanted to make sure no one ever forgot it. He also lost two other legs, and he probably wished no one would remember. Before becoming the 8th President of Mexico, Santa Anna came to prominence as a military... Continue Reading →
Few military maneuvers instill as many thoughts of heroism and daring as the cavalry charge. Rushing at full speed against an onslaught of enemy forces has inspired such poetic works Alfred, Lord Tennyson's as "The Charge of the Light Brigade," and have launched political careers, as did the Battle of San Juan Hill for U.S.... Continue Reading →
In today's era of multi-million dollar salaries for professional sports figures, it might surprise you that even the wealthiest of modern athletes cannot hold a candle to the best-paid sportsman of all time. In 2017 Real Madrid soccer star Ronaldo Cristiano brought in $93 million. As impressive as that is, it is mere pocket change... Continue Reading →
The current 50-star flag of the United States was designed in 1958 by Robert G. Heft. He was a junior in high school and came up with the design as part of a project for his history class. He received a B- for his efforts. One year later, after President Dwight D. Eisenhower chose the... Continue Reading →