The German chemist helped feed the world. Then he developed the first chemical weapons used in battle
June 06, 2012 | By Gilbert King
According to legend, Queen Victoria, informed of an early president's angry insult to her ambassador, struck Bolivia off the map. But is it true?
June 04, 2012 | By Mike Dash
Scientists worry that a contest to send robotic rovers to the moon will threaten lunar landmarks
May 2012 | By Michael Milstein
Instead, Etta Shiber, a widow and former Manhattan housewife, helped smuggle stranded Allied soldiers out of Nazi-occupied in Paris
May 25, 2012 | By Karen Abbott
British officials were alarmed at the rapid distribution of mysterious Indian breads across much of the Raj
May 24, 2012 | By Mike Dash
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
American troops tuning in to wartime German radio broadcasts found themselves listening to one of Hitler's strangest experiments: the swinging sounds and virulently pro-Nazi lyrics of Charlie and His Orchestra
May 17, 2012 | By Mike Dash
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
"Nobody ever remembers anything about me except one thing," Yankees pitcher Carl Mays would say. The circumstances surrounding his beaning of Ray Chapman made sure of that
May 09, 2012 | By Gilbert King
Angered by the way the Soviet Union treated him, Mao Zedong planned revenge on Nikita Khrushchev during the Soviet premier's 1958 visit to Beijing. Mao's weapon: a pool party.
May 04, 2012 | By Mike Dash
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
In the early 1950s, few Americans knew much about organized crime. But Sen. Estes Kefauver, a Democrat from Tennessee, changed that with a series of hearings that turned into a television extravaganza.
April 18, 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
As polio ravaged patients worldwide, two gifted American researchers developed distinct vaccines against it. Then the question was: Which one to use?
April 03, 2012 | By Gilbert King
“Kipper und Wipper”: Rogue Traders, Rogue Princes, Rogue Bishops and the German Financial Meltdown of 1621-23
It is tempting to think of the German hyperinflation of 1923 as a uniquely awful event, but it pales in comparison to what happened in the 17th century.
March 29, 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