History

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She Saw Three Ships (And Lived)

Twenty years ago this month, millions of filmgoers packed movie theaters to watch Titanic, the heartbreaking, realistically-rendered telling of the sinking of the famous ocean liner of the same name in 1912. Here’s the little-known — and very harrowing — tale of a Titanic survivor. Tuberculosis Socialite and activist Molly Brown became known as “The […]

Did Van Gogh Cut Off His Own Ear?

Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear (1889) is one of Vincent van Gogh’s most recognizable paintings The bandaged right side of his face has fascinated art historians for decades—some believe he only sliced the earlobe, while others wonder if the wound was not self­inflicted at all. (This article was first published in Who Knew?) An Earful of […]

That Country’s Real Name Is…

Many countries around the world have an informal or “short form” name by which its commonly referred, and an official “long form” name. Here are some countries whose actual names you may not have known. Oriental Republic of Uruguay About the only place where it’s culturally acceptable to use the word “oriental” is when referring […]

State of Confusion

U.S. states have split up a few times in history—Kentucky and West Virginia broke away from Virginia, and Maine was once part of Massachusetts, for example. In the 200-plus years of American history, nearly every state has faced a similar “partition request,” or areas of the state that tried (and failed) to form a new […]