Historical Figures

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

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Katharine Dexter McCormick: A Forgotten Trailblazer in the Birth Control Movement

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.

What Really Happened to Hitler?

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.

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.

Ridiculous History: How MLK Influenced the Direction of 'Star Trek'

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

Who Are the Real Caesar, Melba and General Tso?

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.

Ridiculous History: Ancient India Beat Machiavelli to the Punch by 1,800 Years

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.

Thousands Line Up to Place Voting Stickers on Susan B. Anthony's Grave

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

Austria Will Demolish Adolf Hitler's Birthplace

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?

Ridiculous History: LBJ Talked on the Phone More Than a Teenager

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?

No, Not Only U.S. Presidents Are on American Money

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.

Ridiculous History: When Benjamin Franklin Remade the Alphabet

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

How Alexander Hamilton Worked

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

Ridiculous History: Meet Simeon Ellerton, Noted Pedestrian & Rock Hound

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

Alexander Hamilton? Yeah, He Wasn't a U.S. President

But what about Hubert Humphrey? Or Millard Fillmore?

Ridiculous History: The Woman Who Once Was a Cabdriver's Worst Nightmare

Cabbies in 19th-century London would flee when they'd hear someone shout the warning "Mother Prodgers!"


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