The whaler Essex was indeed sunk by a whale—and that's only the beginning
March 01, 2013 | By Gilbert King
Did members of a powerful society of warlocks actually murder their enemies and kidnap children?
February 19, 2013 | By Mike Dash
Does the evidence against these 44 slaves really stack up?
January 02, 2013 | By Mike Dash
Turks and Caicos had one of the world's first, and largest, salt industries—which led, indirectly, to their becoming the only tropical jurisdiction to have a pair of igloos on their flag.
December 14, 2012 | By Mike Dash
The Great Pacificator was adept at getting congressmen to reach agreements over slavery. But he was less accommodating when one of his own slaves sued him
December 06, 2012 | By Gilbert King
Blanchard was said to be afraid of riding in a carriage, but she became one of the great promoters of human flight
October 18, 2012 | By Gilbert King
Can modern science determine who shot this 18th century Swedish king?
September 17, 2012 | By Mike Dash
When a 18th century German prince visited Mt. Vesuvius in Naples, he insisted on building a replica of it on his estate back home. 200 years later, a chemistry professor brings it back to life
August 30, 2012 | By Andrew Curry
Through centuries of human suffering, one vision has sustained: a belief in a terrestrial arcadia that offered justice and plenty to any explorer capable of finding it
August 28, 2012 | By Mike Dash
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
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
In 1782, an unknown French engineer offered an invention better than radar: the ability to detect ships hundreds of miles away
October 13, 2011 | By Mike Dash
For the better part of 200 years, thousands of female soldiers fought and died to expand the borders of their West African kingdom. Even their conquerors, the French, acknowledged their "prodigious bravery."
September 23, 2011 | By Mike Dash
Renowned for their ruthlessness, these two female pirates challenged the sailors’ adage that a woman’s presence on shipboard invites bad luck
August 09, 2011 | By Karen Abbott
Thomas Jefferson and Noah Webster argue over conventional wisdom that lasted thousands of years
July 15, 2011 | By Joshua Kendall
William-Henry Ireland committed a scheme so grand that he fooled even himself into believing he was William Shakespeare's true literary heir
June 2010 | By Doug Stewart
Outside of Philadelphia, America's first botanical garden once supplied seeds to Founding Fathers and continues to inspire plant-lovers today
April 13, 2010 | By Robin T. Reid
A mammoth discovery in 1705 sparked a fossil craze and gave the young United States a symbol of national might
April 2010 | By Richard Conniff
Two new exhibitions celebrate the enduring wares of ceramics designer and entrepreneur Josiah Wedgwood
September 29, 2009 | By Nancy Mann Jackson
The biographer of William Bligh—he of the infamous mutiny on the Bounty—tracks him to Jamaica, still home to the versatile plant
September 2009 | By Caroline Alexander