During World War II, Hedy Lamarr raised $7 million in one night by kissing war-bond buyers. But she and the Hollywood composer George Anthiel also designed a radical new torpedo-guidance system
May 23, 2012 | By Gilbert King
Captain Lawrence Oates wrote that if Robert Scott's team didn't win the race to the South Pole, "we shall come home with our tails between our legs." Actually, worse was in store
May 16, 2012 | By Gilbert King
The evidence against Albert Tirrell was lurid and damning—until Rufus Choate, a protegé of the great Daniel Webster, agreed to come to the defense
April 30, 2012 | By Karen Abbott
When a would-be assassin shot his .38 at the presidential candidate, the 50-page manuscript and metal eyeglasses case tucked against Roosevelt's chest absorbed the blow
April 25, 2012 | By Gilbert King
A hundred years ago, the British Empire looked enviously at the efficient carrier pigeon networks established by its European rivals. Yet during the First World War, Allied birds outperformed their rivals and saved thousands of lives–all thanks to the efforts of one London pigeon fancier.
April 17, 2012 | By Mike Dash
She entered the brothel business without apology and set out to become the best madam in America
April 12, 2012 | By Karen Abbott
The Dalai Lama is one of the world's most revered religious leaders, but that didn't prevent four holders of the office from dying under mysterious circumstances
April 10, 2012 | By Mike Dash
The Big Easy's red light district had plenty of tawdriness going on—except when Ernest J. Bellocq was taking photographs of prostitutes
March 28, 2012 | By Gilbert King
Custom in the Ottoman Empire mandated that a condemned grand vizier could save his neck if he won a sprint against his executioner
March 22, 2012 | By Mike Dash
His 20-volume masterwork was hailed as "the most ambitious enterprise in publishing since the production of the King James Bible"—and he paid dearly for his ambition
March 21, 2012 | By Gilbert King
In 1887, a painter was inspired by an idea: commemorate the everyday heroism of men, women and children who had lost their lives trying to save another's
March 19, 2012 | By Mike Dash
"Don't talk to me about X-rays," Edison said after an assistant on one of his X-ray projects started showing signs of illness. "I am afraid of them."
March 14, 2012 | By Gilbert King
A new biography tells the story of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts
March 07, 2012 | By Megan Gambino
The massacre almost brought the United States to war against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but only one man was brought to trial: John D. Lee
February 29, 2012 | By Gilbert King
Sir Basil Zaharoff was the archetypal "merchant of death"—an arms salesman who made a career out of selling to both sides in a conflict and stood accused of starting World War I for his personal profit.
February 16, 2012 | By Mike Dash
The officer who gained glory as a warrior in the Civil War also had a domestic side.
February 14, 2012 | By Gilbert King
The secret of Glamis Castle—a concealed room, a hidden heir—was one of the great talking points of the 19th century. But will the mystery ever be resolved?
February 10, 2012 | By Mike Dash
Charles J. Guiteau said he wanted to kill President James A. Garfield "in an American manner." He passed up several opportunities before he thought the time was right.
January 17, 2012 | By Gilbert King
No one had ever tunneled under a major river before Marc Brunel began a shaft below London's river in the 1820s
January 03, 2012 | By Mike Dash
Coya Knutson won a seat in the U.S. House in 1954 but was undone by a secret she brought to Washington
December 29, 2011 | By Gilbert King