Modern Historic Eras: Europe
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
In 1978, Soviet geologists prospecting in the wilds of Siberia discovered a family of six, lost in the taiga
January 28, 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
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 basilisk was just a legendary monster–until the day in 1587 that word swept through Warsaw that one was hiding in a cellar in the Polish capital, killing anybody who approached it
July 23, 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
“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
A curator from the National Archives takes us through what the governing charter means
March 2012 | By Megan Gambino
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
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
The first case of stigmata—the appearance of marks or actual wounds like those Christ received during the Crucifixion—was recorded in 1224. Hundreds of cases have followed. But this phenomenon has not been fully explained.
November 18, 2011 | 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
A 1957 "time traveler" recalls "a feeling of unfriendliness and unseen watchers which sent shivers up one’s back"
July 21, 2011 | By Mike Dash