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
The inventor's vision of a global wireless-transmission tower proved to be his undoing
February 04, 2013 | By Gilbert King
Ida Wood, who lived for decades as a recluse in a New York City hotel, would have taken her secrets to the grave—if here sister hadn't gotten there first
January 23, 2013 | By Karen Abbott
With the help of his friend Mark Twain, Grant finished his memoirs—and saved his wife from an impoverished widowhood—just days before he died
January 16, 2013 | By Gilbert King
As a film version of his Les Miserables hits theaters, consider traveling in the French writer’s footsteps
December 24, 2012 | By Nina Fedrizzi
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
A working-class Londoner operated the most exclusive gambling club the world has ever seen
November 29, 2012 | By Mike Dash
Without benefit of medical training, Madame Restell spent 40 years as a "female physician"
November 27, 2012 | By Karen Abbott
The rambunctious boy had free rein of the White House, and used it to divert a holiday bird from the butcher's block
November 21, 2012 | By Gilbert King
Early filmmakers faced a dilemma: how to capture the drama of war without getting themselves killed in the process. Their solution: fake the footage
November 19, 2012 | By Mike Dash
Held captive far longer than his surrender agreement called for, the Apache warrior made his case directly to the president
November 09, 2012 | By Gilbert King
Their seances with the departed launched a mass religious movement—and then one of them confessed that "it was common delusion"
October 30, 2012 | By Karen Abbott
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
The true story behind the myth of Mrs. O'Leary and her cow and how the scapegoating ruined one woman's good name and spawned a folk song that would last for decades
October 04, 2012 | By Karen Abbott
Augustus Heinze dominated the copper fields of Montana, but his family's scheming on Wall Street set off the Panic of 1907.
September 20, 2012 | By Gilbert King
Major Taylor had to brave more than the competition to become one of the most acclaimed cyclists of the world
September 12, 2012 | By Gilbert King
Throughout the 1876 campaign, Tilden’s opposition had called him everything from a briber to a thief to a drunken syphilitic
September 07, 2012 | By Gilbert King
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