History

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The Origins of Traffic Safety Stuff

Stop, yield, and try not to run over these stories. Stop In the early days of car travel in the late 19th century, driving was chaos—there weren’t many universal or codified laws related to traffic or safety measures in place. In 1900, a concerned citizen—meaning he didn’t actually drive a car—named William Phelps Eno published […]

Hooray for Hollywood

Hollywood is so closely identified with the “decadent” film industry, that it’s hard to imagine that it started out as a prim Victorian town…but it did. History In 1886, Kansas prohibitionists Harvey and Daeida Wilcox “bought a 120-acre citrus farm in sleepy Cahuenga Valley, a suburb of Los Angeles, for $150/acre.” They built an elaborate […]

Life Imitates “The Onion”

The Onion isn’t a real newspaper—it’s satire that sends up most all aspects of modern culture. But sometimes they’re so spot on in their mockery that they wind up predicting the future. (1) The Onion: Shortly after the Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional, thereby laying the groundwork […]

Infamous Weapons

We couldn’t find Uncle John’s old Fart Bazooka, but we managed to find some other famous weapons. John Wilkes Booth’s Gun The gun that Booth used to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln now resides in the basement museum of Ford’s Theatre, in Washington, D.C. The gun is a single-shot flintlock, made by Philadelphia gunsmith Henry Derringer. […]

Missed It By That Much

It’s bizarre to think that the outcome of some of the most momentous events in Western history have hinged on one detail. But that’s the case. Here are four examples of what we mean. The American Revolution Near Miss: If, in 1776, a pro-British soldier had read a note instead of sticking it in his […]