Around the world they went!

In November of 1889, two women set off to see if they could beat the record of Jules Verne’s imaginary hero, Phileas Fogg (who went around the world in 80 days). Nellie Bly, a reporter for the New York World, set off first, boarding the steamship Augusta Victoria and beginning her 40,070 kilometer journey eastward…
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“One slash of the sword:” the history of renaming a city

On September 6, 1991, Leningrad was renamed St. Petersburg by Russian legislators following the collapse of the Soviet Union.  The city had been known as Leningrad for 67 years, but in 1991, this question was put to Leningrad’s voters: "Do you wish to restore to our city its original name, St. Petersburg?"  Thus began one…
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Carrots and World War II

Did your parents ever try coercing you into eating carrots? Did they claim “it will help you see better” or “they improve eyesight”? Would you be surprised to learn that this “fact” about carrots started during World War II as a means of deceiving the Germans? Let us explain. As the Blitzkrieg raged across Europe…
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The Great Hurricane of 1938

With the technology of today, hurricanes are tracked from the moment they develop till they make landfall or dissipate at sea. They are constantly monitored by satellites, airplanes, buoys and dozens of meteorologists. But in 1938 meteorologists did not have these fancy gadgets. They had to rely on ships to report conditions or storms they…
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The Red Baron

April marks the death of Manfred von Richthofen, more commonly known as Baron von Richthofen or the Red Baron. Manfred was a German fighter pilot born May 1892. He served in World War I first in the cavalry, before joining the air reconnaissance, and finally trained as a fighter pilot. While having some early success…
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Three Mile Island Accident

In March 1979 an accident at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station forever changed public opinion of nuclear energy. Though there were a multitude of problems which led to a partial meltdown, it really came down to a stuck valve and a broken indicator light. Construction of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station…
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