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That Time Eisenhower's Presidential Motorcade Picked Up Two Hitchhikers

I was going through US President Dwight Eisenhower’s daily schedule (as one does) and just noticed what might be the weirdest entry I’ve ever seen. On 10 December 1954 Eisenhower was on his way from the White House to Camp David, and he picked up two hitchhikers.


American Scientists Advised Guards To Shoot At Nukes If There Was A Security Breach

Back in late 2014 the National Security Archive published a historical documentary produced in 2010 that went largely unnoticed. The film explores the history of nuclear weapons safety. And if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s pretty frightening.


The History Of Japan Explained In The Best Way Possible

Video: If we cancelled history classes in high schools across the world and replaced them with YouTube videos about history, kids would learn so much more. I just sat through this wonderful 10-minute video on the history of Japan by Bill Wurtz without even skipping ahead because it was so riveting, funny and fast paced. In fact, the video (as silly as it was) was so well done that it actually makes you want to learn more about the history of Japan (which you would do through Wikipedia rather than textbooks, of course).


To Get Customers Acclimated To Rotary Telephones, Theatres Played This PSA

Video: Telephones got their start in the late nineteenth century, connected through exchanges. In the early twentieth century, however, Bell introduced a new dial system, and needed to tell callers how to use it.


We're Growing Twice As Much Food (with Far Fewer Farms) Than We Used To

How do you grow more food? One answer that makes sense is with bigger farms and more farmers. But if you look at the last half century-or-so worth of data, that’s not at all what’s been happening.


This Babylonian Astronomy Text Changes History

More than a thousand years before the first telescopes, Babylonian astronomers tracked the motion of planets across the night sky using simple arithmetic. But a newly translated text reveals that these ancient stargazers also used a far more advanced method, one that foreshadows the development of calculus over a thousand years later.


We Were Wrong About What Happened After Europeans Reached America

The tale of Europeans explorers’ arrival in the Americas is a dark one, coloured by slavery, slaughter and smallpox. But a new study calls key details of that story into question, including how quickly Native American societies succumbed to disease, and how Earth’s climate responded.


Discovery Of Brutal Massacre Pushes Back History Of Human Warfare

Anthropologists working in Kenya have uncovered the remains of a group of prehistoric foragers who were ruthlessly massacred about 10,000 years ago. It’s considered the earliest example of organised violence among nomadic hunter-gatherers, a rare find that’s offering an unprecedented glimpse into what life — and death — was like for prehistoric foragers.


Badass Historical Chemists: This Fisherman's Son Argued For The Existence Of Atoms

Mikhail Lomonosov coined the term “physical chemistry”, was an early advocate of the existence of atoms and wrote poetry to get himself out of prison after being arrested for brawling. Along the way he became one of the greatest names in science.


Columbia Just Digitised A Bestselling Anatomy Flipbook From The 1600s

People in the past were as interested in how the world worked as we are. Authors and illustrated produced works to cater to that interest — including an incredibly bizarre “flap book” that shows what human insides look like. Now you can look at the whole thing online.


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