Historical Figures

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

How the Vikings Worked

The Vikings were bloodthirsty raiders outfitted with armor and dragon boats, pillaging the coasts. Or was there more to the Age of Vikings?

Two Competing Amelia Earhart Theories Present New Evidence

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.

The U.S. Vice President Who Took the Oath of Office In Cuba

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.

Sylvia Rivera: A Pioneer of the Modern LGBTQ Rights Movement

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

When Grave Robbers Hold Famous Corpses for Ransom

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

Why Is Ayn Rand Still So Popular Today?

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

How Attila the Hun Worked

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 Plan to Dig Up President James K. Polk — For a Third Time

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.

Why We Shouldn't Forget Ellen Richards, Founder of the Home Ec Movement

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

A Newly Surfaced Photo of Harriet Tubman Is Going to Auction

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

Ridiculous History: Surgeon Robert Liston Was 'Fastest Knife in the West End'

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