Mao Zedong was one of history’s most devastating dictators. His leadership is often ignominiously credited with leading to more non-combatant deaths than any other in history. While estimates vary, between thirty and eighty million deaths are attributed to Mao’s whims. The sheer scale of Chairman Mao’s outright barbarity is poorly understood by many even today. An example of his bloodlust can be seen in the … Continue reading Chairman Mao: The twentieth century’s deadliest dictator
Though the term “trick or treat” did not become widespread until the 20th century, the annual rite of passage for cosplaying toddlers had its beginnings almost a thousand years before. Continue reading Trick or treat: The origins of a hallowed tradition
Australia, as with many countries, has had a rocky political history. Its now-famous war against emus in the early 1930s has become the subject of countless memes and YouTube videos. The country faced a historic constitutional crisis in 1975, when Queen Elizabeth II’s Governor General removed the Prime Minister and imposed his preferred government, in what some have labeled a soft coup d’état. Perhaps the … Continue reading One of Australia’s Prime Ministers disappeared without a trace in 1967
Mickey Mouse is arguably the most famous cartoon character on earth. One survey even showed the iconic personality to edge out Santa Claus in recognition among children. In political and animation circles, it is often remarked that Mickey Mouse will fall into the public domain in 2024 if copyright term lengths are not extended before then. If Mickey’s copyright expires, this would allow the public … Continue reading Is Mickey Mouse in the public domain?
The slur against the English should have been a compliment. Continue reading Why are the Brits called ‘limeys’?
The Book of Luke relates one of the most famous parables of Jesus, the story of the good Samaritan. In this tale, a man is beaten and left alongside a road, only to be ignored by a Levite and Jewish priest, both prestigious members of contemporary Jewish society. Only a Samaritan, an ethnoreligious minority frowned upon by most Jews at the time, was willing to … Continue reading Remember the Samaritans from Sunday School? They’re still around
Only three American cities have held the summer games since the start of the modern Olympics in 1896. Continue reading Which U.S. cities have hosted the summer Olympics?
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 showdown taking place over 8,000 miles from Virginia. Continue reading The last battle of the American Revolution wasn’t in America
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