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Hundred-Year-Old Fashion Fad: The Hobble Skirt
Hobble skirts ruffled feathers and even changed mass transit—the entrances to street cars and trains were dropped to accommodate tight-skirted passengers. But their reign didn't last long.
Emily Dickinson: Scandalous Spinster?
The Strange Tale of Texas’ All-Female Supreme Court
The Origin of the Conversation Heart
Valentine's Day means chalky candy hearts with a lot to say. But what's behind these very loud little candies?
Why Ice Cream Parlors Were Once Considered Evil
A den of corruption, prostitution, and sin.
Lincoln Turned Down a Chance to Fill the U.S. With Elephants
We blew it.
That Time When Victorians Contracted Fern Fever
Pteridomania was a fearsome ailment. Symptoms caused women to swoon, fall off of cliffs and entire species to fall into endangered status. But the contagious disease wasn’t one of the body—rather, “fern fever” was a fad that swept through England during the nineteenth century.
The Gruesome Assassination of Leon Trotsky
How a one-time Soviet hero ended up buried in his backyard in Mexico.
Minnesota is Introducing a New 'Canoe Share' Along the Mississippi River
Twin Cities residents will soon be able to check out canoes and kayaks for the day, in addition to bikes.
Colonial Reenactors Will Dump Tea Into Boston Harbor Tonight
This marks the first time the beverage has been thrown into the harbor since 1773.
The Famous Composer Who Was Obsessed With Trains
Dvořák was a bona fide trainspotter.
Show & Tell: Calvin Coolidge’s Electric Exercise Horse
"Silent Cal" rode it three times a day for fitness—and fun.
A Scary Snuff Box
Skull-reading used to be all the rage.
“Neither Snow Nor Rain ..." Is Not Really the USPS Motto (or Policy)
It was actually written about another set of postal workers from 500 B.C.E.
Needlework in Memory of the Departed
In the 1880s, nobody was excluded from elaborate mourning rituals.
A Rebus Token for an Abandoned Child
Children at London's Foundling Hospital were left with a tiny token that often served as the only clue to their identity.
Grizzly Bears Once Lived in the White House
In 1807, Thomas Jefferson received an adorable gift of animals that soon went dangerously awry.
How Ella Fitzgerald's Career Began on a Dare
The jazz legend was born 100 years ago today.
The Craft That First Took Humans to the Deepest Part of the Ocean
What do you do when you want to go to the deepest part of the ocean? Build a bathyscaphe, of course.
America’s First Private Mental Hospital Is Still Open Today
The Friends Hospital opened its doors May 15, 1817, back when people with mental illnesses were usually treated like outcasts.
Write a Mozart Waltz With a Game He May Have Invented
Music dice games were popular in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
Holocaust Memorial Museum Launches Kickstarter to Digitize 200 Diaries
The initiative coincides with the birthday of Anne Frank.
Her Other Forte: Comedian Phyllis Diller Was Also a Concert Pianist
She was 53 and one of America's most famous comedians—then she started tickling the ivories in addition to funny bones.
Jane Austen, Home Brewer
Brewing beer was an important part of women's lives for centuries, and Jane Austen was no exception.
How Austin's Neighborhoods Got Their Names
Jollyville got its name from a person, not a state of mind.