Historical Figures

From Musketeers to Nazis, Archimedes to Harriet Tubman, these famous historical figures changed the course of history -- for better or worse.


Women have long been instrumental in America's labor rights movement. One early leader was Lucy Parsons, a woman of color who agitated for the eight-hour workday.

Katharine McCormick's name may not be as famous as Margaret Sanger's, but McCormick played a major role in the development of "the pill" and the progression of the reproductive rights movement.

Did Adolf Hitler really commit suicide with Eva Braun like history says he did? Tune in to Stuff They Don't Want You To Know and see what Matt, Ben and Noel have to say.

A new expedition to the island of Nikumaroro takes forensic dogs... but was the aviator captured by Japan? Two new investigations point in different directions.

William Rufus DeVane King was the young nation's 13th vice president, and its only one to take the oath of office in another country.

As a zealous advocate for marginalized people in the LGBTQ community, Rivera was a progressive and important, if controversial, figure in the movement.

Corpsenapping still happens today, with grave robbers targeting celebrities and politicians. Here are some famous recent examples.

Ayn Rand's philosophies have drawn a very diverse, even contradictory, group of followers.

Even 1,600 years later, we still reach for the name Attila the Hun when we want an example of vicious (and successful) fighter. But how did his memory live on so long?

The 11th president of the United States is buried in Nashville, Tennessee. There's a campaign underway to exhume and move his remains, and it's happened before.

Richards applied her extensive knowledge of chemistry and sanitation to everyday domestic tasks — and opened the door for women in science.

In the image, the abolitionist is in her 40s, seated and wearing a fashionable blouse and skirt. See it here.

In the era before anesthesia, a surgeon with quick hands was highly sought-after.

We know Martin Luther King Jr. was a civil rights activist and world-changer. But did you know he was also a Trekkie?

Cooking up a new dish is in some ways like being a parent. For one, you get to name the new concoction. Here are the inspirations behind some culinary favorites.

Look beyond Europe for history! The "Arthashastra," written in the third century B.C.E., predated "The Prince." Maybe we should be saying Kautilyan, not Machiavellian.

On Election Day, citizens choose a special way to remember her struggle to get U.S. women the right to vote.

Is Austria's step to remove the place where the Nazi leader was born a way of cleaning up the present and future, or of trying to sweep the past under the rug?

LBJ really dug phones. The 36th U.S. president dug them so much that he had a tree phone. With a switchboard. How many presidents can say that?

Harriet Tubman won't be the first non-president whose face appears on the front of U.S. paper currency, but in 2020 hers will be the first black woman's to do so.

Ben Franklin was the kind of guy who couldn't help tinkering with everything he touched, whether it was eyeglasses, catheters or ... the alphabet.

Star of a musical, cover boy for the $10 bill, shaper of the American economy — what can't Founding Father Alexander Hamilton do?

Simeon Ellerton walked the U.K. in search of the right materials to build his home. Was the centenarian merely eccentric? Or completely brilliant?

But what about Hubert Humphrey? Or Millard Fillmore?