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 →

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Nothing Says, “I Love You” Like Your Husband’s Severed Head in a Bag

Sir Walter Raleigh’s life came to an end on October 29, 1618. On orders from James I, the executioner took Raleigh’s head from his shoulders (although needing two strikes of the axe to finish the job). It then fell to his wife to bury his body -- well, most of it, anyway. Having removed Raleigh’s... Continue Reading →

Great Strategy. Bad Geography.

When it came to big names in the Viking community, Hastein was certainly a rising star. This 9th century chieftain made his name with raids in the Frankish Empire (notably avoiding Scotland, as Vikings had been warned to do) and joint efforts with Sweden’s King Björn Ironside to raid countries in the Mediterranean. It was... 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 →

A Look Inside the Subterreanean City Beneath Kansas City, Missouri

There is more to Kansas City, Missouri than what you see on the surface. In fact, 10% of its industrial real estate is underground. Situated atop vast limestone deposits, Kansas City was a prime location for underground development. One notable example is SubTropolis, the world’s largest underground business development. Dug into the Bethany Falls limestone mine,... 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 →

Winston Churchill’s Prescription for Prohibition

Winston Churchill was well known for his fondness of alcohol, and he was concerned that his access to his favorite drink would be curtailed during his visits to the United States in its Prohibition days. To make sure he was never without accessible libation, he persuaded his physician to write him a prescription, describing his... Continue Reading →

Nonstandard Celebration Of World Standards

World Standards Day commemorates international efforts to develop voluntary standardization among regulators, industries, and consumers. By using the same measurements and identical baselines, it promotes less waste and greater efficiency. The date to celebrate this international unity is October 14. The United States of America celebrates World Standards Day five days later, on October 19.

Et tu, Next Breath?

One of the most famous assassinations in history took place on March 15, 44 BC. Julius Caesar was attacked by a group of Roman senators and stabbed to death. William Shakespeare famously records his last words as, “Et tu, Brute? Then fall Caesar!” (Julius Caesar). Others say his last words were Greek, “Καί σύ, τέκνον.”... Continue Reading →

Banking on Italian Values and the American Dream

Amadeo P. Giannini was proud of the Italian heritage he inherited from his immigrant parents. Although born in California as an American citizen, Giannini was raised to value the culture of his family’s homeland. That’s why he chose the name Bank of Italy for the financial institution he founded on October 17, 1904. This San... Continue Reading →

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