Loch Ness Outdone: Rediscovery of the Coelacanth

In 1938 a fisherman in South Africa caught a fish thought to have been extinct for more than fifty million years. The amazing discovery shocked and thrilled the world, challenged our understanding of species and evolution, and gave new meaning to the term “forgotten history.”

The History of Orthodontics

A 2013 study commissioned by the American Association of Orthodontists found that more than a third of Americans are unhappy with their smile. But the quest for straighter teeth isn’t just a modern one, as the history of humans trying to correct malpositioned teeth goes back to antiquity. The surprisingly long history of orthodontics isContinue reading “The History of Orthodontics”

Orphan Trains

The five decades between 1800 and 1850 saw the United States beginning a massive societal shift toward urbanization, especially in the North East. One result was the proliferation of orphans and runaways living on city streets. One man stepped up to try to solve the problem with an idea that would eventually affect nearly aContinue reading “Orphan Trains”

The Blasting of Blossom Rock

On April 23, 1870 engineers set off “the largest submarine explosion on record.” The great submarine explosion was a stunning engineering feat, but also symbolic of a city that had grown in just a few decades from a remote backwater to become “The Paris of the West.”

“A Brief but Furious Campaign”: The Battle of the Pearl River Forts

The November 1856 battle of the barrier forts, while a testimony to the prowess of the US Navy and Marine Corps, is perhaps one of the most obscure applications of US military force in history. The History Guy remembers the Battle of the Pearl River Forts.

The Powhattan Disaster

The week of Easter, 1854, a powerful nor’easter, that peculiar type of storm that occurs in the North Atlantic caused when a cold air mass from Canada runs into warm gulf stream current, struck the US and Canadian eastern seaboard. The mighty storm would result in the loss of a ship called the Powhattan, inContinue reading “The Powhattan Disaster”

Arthur MacMurrough Kavanagh: A Most Remarkable Man

Very little deterred Arthur MacMurrough Kavanaugh, who, often on horseback, travelled the world, killed tigers, and became what one reporter called “the most remarkable man who has ever occupied a seat in the House of Commons”. His life was a testament to indomitable human sprit, a life that deserves to be remembered.

Fort Sumter and the “Third System”

The first battle of Fort Sumter is generally considered to represent the first shots of the US Civil War. The fort at the center of the attack was a modern, but unfinished fortification, that itself represented the unique nation that had gone to war with itself.

Empires, Pirates, and Jenkins’ ear

On this date, April 9, 1731, a war, which came as the result of a war which was, itself the result of a war, found casus belli in the form of traumatic auriculectomy. It is a story of empires, great navies, pirates- because all great stories include pirates- and perhaps the most famous ear removalContinue reading “Empires, Pirates, and Jenkins’ ear”