When the Continental Congress assembled the Committee of Five to draft the Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Franklin was a perfect candidate to draft the historic document. Franklin was likely the most famous American in 1776. His aptitude across a range of varied pursuits — scientific, literary, and otherwise — granted him a caliber of respect unmatched by his colonial contemporaries. The Franklin stove, bifocals, lightning … Continue reading Why didn’t Benjamin Franklin write the Declaration of Independence?
Although George Washington’s 1781 victory at Yorktown pushed the British into peace talks, hostilities did not end there, with the final fight taking place over 8,000 miles from Virginia. Continue reading The last battle of the American Revolution wasn’t in America
Sean Connery was not the first actor to portray Ian Fleming’s iconic secret agent. Continue reading When James Bond was American
Even most Americans would struggle to pinpoint Wyoming on a U.S. map. The least-populous, and second-least densely populated, of the United States is a perennial afterthought in discussions of the American union. Wyoming has much to offer outside observers, however. In addition to Yellowstone National Park, which lies mostly within the state’s boundaries, Wyoming’s greatest claim to fame is that it was the first political … Continue reading Wyoming and women’s suffrage: How the Equality State earned its name
Most of New Orleans’ iconic architecture was built by another colonial power. Continue reading The French Quarter isn’t French
There could have been more behind the buccaneer accessory than a missing eye. Continue reading Why did pirates wear eye patches?
In a process called parthenogenesis, many species reproduce asexually. This characteristic, also observed in species such as frogs, rattlesnakes, and birds, can be found in sharks. Typically, asexual reproduction in female sharks occurs when the female shark has had no contact with male sharks. The resulting litters are much smaller than what is ordinarily seen among sharks. Whereas ordinary litters of shark pups can exceed … Continue reading Sharks can reproduce asexually
Today marks the 500th anniversary of the death of Ferdinand Magellan, who died in battle before he could complete the world’s first circumnavigation. Continue reading Magellan never sailed around the world
Anyone with a passing understanding of the American Revolution can identify two titular figures in the world-altering American struggle against colonial rule: George Washington, the Commanding General of the Continental Army; and King George III, King of Great Britain. Most would also intuit mutual dislike between the two figures. However, there is considerable evidence that King George III held high regard for the talisman of … Continue reading King George III on General George Washington: Greatest man in the world?
The top spot wasn’t claimed by Elvis Presley or Michael Jackson. Continue reading Who is the best-selling musician in American history?