Glasses: A Brief History of Vision Correction

On this day in history, May 23, 1785, Benjamin Franklin announced his new “double spectacles” which are now known as bifocals. The quest for perfect vision has a long history, and numerous advancements were required to provide the range of products and services that today help millions of people keep the world in focus. TheContinue reading “Glasses: A Brief History of Vision Correction”

Mustache Petes, Young Turks, and The Commission

In 1928 Joe “The Boss” Masseria, boss of the New York Morello gang, took the title “capo dei capi,” or “Boss of all Bosses.”: But being on top paints a target on your back, and by 1930 a new boss had entered the field, with the goal of taking down Masseria. The war that followedContinue reading “Mustache Petes, Young Turks, and The Commission”

Next Exit: A History of Roadside Attractions

At countless stops along the old highways travelers could find all manner of attractions like the “World’s Largest Ball of Paint”, “Cadillac Ranch”, and “The Thing”, giving birth to an entire culture of kitsch, monuments to the mammoth, and shrines to the strange. The history of these roadside attractions – or less charitably, tourist trapsContinue reading “Next Exit: A History of Roadside Attractions”

The Great South End Grounds Fire of 1894

In a game on May 15, 1894, a fight between Baltimore third baseman John McGraw and Boston first baseman Tommy Tucker became heated. As the fans watched the fight, everything else in the stadium became heated as well.

Panfilov’s 28 Guardsmen and The Battle of Moscow

Featuring SABATON and their new single “Defense of Moscow.” The Battle of Moscow was truly epic in scope, and represented a desperate effort by a people defending their homeland. One of the great legends of the battle- the brave last stand of Panfilov’s Twenty-Eight Guardsmen, stands as a symbol of the sacrifice of theContinue reading “Panfilov’s 28 Guardsmen and The Battle of Moscow”

Reinheitsgebot: Bavarian Beer Laws

Signup for your FREE trial to The Great Courses Plus here: There are more than 8200 craft breweries in the United States. But it is a strange irony of the history of beer that, in sixteenth century Bavaria, such adulterations of brew were banned in a proclamation that still affects the industry today. TheContinue reading “Reinheitsgebot: Bavarian Beer Laws”

The Great Guns of the Siege of Kimberley

In their initial offensive of the Second Anglo-Boer War, the Boer armies quickly overran parts of the British territories of Natal and Cape Colony, besieging three strategically important towns. The defense of the Cape Colony city of Kimberly resulted in a surprising arms race and the employment of unique, and startlingly large for the era,Continue reading “The Great Guns of the Siege of Kimberley”

Canada, the Great War, and Flanders Fields

Canadians would distinguish themselves in the Great War, and the words of Canadian John McCrae would come to, perhaps more than any other, encapsulate the sacrifices of the soldiers of that war. The story of one of the most important poems about war ever written deserves to be remembered.