The Wright Brothers Fly to the Moon

The first airplane flight covered a mere 852 feet, but a part of that plane ultimately flew nearly half a million miles. When Neil Armstrong and his crew of Apollo 11 landed on the moon on July 20, 1969, they made history. They were also aware that they were standing on the shoulders of giants... Continue Reading →

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The Great Tootsie Roll Battle of the Korean War

On Veteran's Day we honor and celebrate those who have served their country in the armed forces. These individuals are known for bravery, selflessness, commitment to duty, and innovation in the face of challenges. Few moments in history illustrate all of these characteristics better than the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, when soldiers used a tasty... Continue Reading →

The Second Round of the Hamilton/Burr Duel

One of the most famous rivalries in history was between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. It culminated in a duel between the two men, resulting in Hamilton's death  (the rather gory details of which are documented here). What is not as well known is the fact that there was a second round fought between Hamilton and... Continue Reading →

How did Pirates Keep the United States from Going Metric?

Of all the countries in the world, only the United States, Burma, and Liberia have not adopted the International System of Units, more commonly known as the metric system. It may seem odd that the USA, as leader of the free world, has resisted the system that works so well for everyone else. Some chalk... Continue Reading →

Horsing Around With Royalty

President Ronald Reagan shared Queen Elizabeth II's love of horses. During a state visit to the United Kingdom, the President accepted the Queen's invitation to go horseback riding together. As the two leaders rode along, the Queen's horse suddenly began expelling gas loudly, in sync with each step. The Queen was mortified and said, "Oh, I am... Continue Reading →

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 →

Was His Birth a Clue to the Madness That Would Come?

John Hinckley, Jr. will be forever remembered as the man who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity and confined to St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, DC for treatment for narcissistic and schizotypal personality disorder and major depressive disorder. In an ironic bit... Continue Reading →

The President’s Finger on the Button: Disaster, Dessert, or POTUS Pranks?

Hollywood has immortalized the image of the fate of the world resting on a shiny red button on the desk of the President of the United States. With a single press of that button, life as we know it would come to a brutal, inglorious end. It makes for good fiction, but that just isn't... Continue Reading →

Benjamin Franklin and the Bequest Made From a Dare

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) has been credited with calling compound interest the eighth wonder of the world. Whether he actually said that is a matter of debate, but the fact that he believed it is undisputed. When Charles-Joseph Mathon de la Cour wrote a parody of Franklin’s Almanac called Fortunate Richard, he attempted to make fun... Continue Reading →

The President with 5 Stars Also Had Wings

If you are looking for a poster child for "overachiever" you might consider Dwight D. Eisenhower. This Kansas farm boy rose from modest beginnings to become one of only five Americans to achieve the five-star rank of General of the Army and the only one of those to become President of the United States. (see note... Continue Reading →

The Ultimate Rental House Fixer-Upper

As President Harry Truman's daughter, Margaret, played the piano one day, she was startled as one leg of the piano suddenly dropped through the floor of the White House residential level. Engineers were called in to see what was going on, and the report was nothing short of alarming. The 150-year-old mansion was in desperate... Continue Reading →

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