Best History Articles & Videos on the internet • Discoverology

History

Read the best history articles from around the internet, or watch the most insightful history videos from platforms like Youtube, Vimeo or leading history publishers like The New York Times, The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, New Yorker and many more.

The Deadliest Marksman’s Cold, Brave Stand

The Deadliest Marksman’s Cold, Brave Stand

Crime, History

Eighty years ago, a freezing Finnish farm boy took aim at the unstoppable Red Army — and became the greatest sharpshooter the world has ever seen. Simo Häyhä compiled, by some accounts, a kill count in excess of 500 by sniper rifle, more than anyone in recorded history.

The Violent Eviction That Transformed San Francisco

The Violent Eviction That Transformed San Francisco

History, Videos

In 1968, a group of predominantly Filipino elders in San Francisco launched a battle to protect their home from eviction. Their fight for their neighborhood would evolve into a nearly decade-long protest with thousands of supporters and become a symbol of the campaign for affordable housing for decades to come.

I Survived the Warsaw Ghetto. Here Are the Lessons I’d Like to Pass On.

I Survived the Warsaw Ghetto. Here Are the Lessons I’d Like to Pass On.

History, Politics

As a Polish Jew born in 1925, who survived the Warsaw ghetto, lost my family in the Holocaust, served in a special operations unit of the Polish underground, the Home Army, and fought in the Warsaw uprising of 1944, I know what it means to be at the sharp end of European history – and I fear that the battle to draw the right lessons from that time is in danger of being lost.

The Dark History Of How Coffee Took Over The World

The Dark History Of How Coffee Took Over The World

Food, History

Four hundred years ago, Coffea arabica, a tropical shrub bearing glossy green leaves and bright-red berries, was virtually unknown outside of the Arab world and the corner of Ethiopia where it had been discovered in the ninth century.

How The Dumb Design Of A WWII Plane Led To The Macintosh

How The Dumb Design Of A WWII Plane Led To The Macintosh

Design, Explainers, History, Tech

For all the triumph of America’s new planes and tanks during World War II, a silent reaper stalked the battlefield: accidental deaths and mysterious crashes that no amount of training ever seemed to fix. At first, pilots took the blame for crashes. The true cause, however, lay with the design. That lesson led us into our user-friendly age—but there’s peril to come.

100 Years Ago In Photos: A Look Back At 1919

100 Years Ago In Photos: A Look Back At 1919

History, Photos

A century ago, the Treaty of Versailles was signed, as much of the world was still recovering from the devastation of World War I. Rebuilding was just beginning, refugees were returning home, orphans were being cared for, and a global influenza outbreak was being battled.

The Sexual Assault Case That Shook Ancient Rome

The Sexual Assault Case That Shook Ancient Rome

Crime, History

It was more than 2,000 years before the #MeToo movement, but a scene similar to the ones we’ve witnessed so often lately was already playing out. A prominent politician was on trial for corruption and bribery, charges bolstered by dirt his enemies had dug up from his past: the violent sexual assault of a young girl.

Bashir Sultani

Inspiration
Bashir Sultani
Is An Island Off Cuba The Last Surviving Piece Of East Germany?

Is An Island Off Cuba The Last Surviving Piece Of East Germany?

History, World

The Unification Treaty signed in August 1990 re-Germanied the Germanies, and that West Germany (now known as “Germany”) inherited East Germany’s territories. But there may have been a tiny oversight. Turns out, there could still be a sliver of the Deutsche Demokratische Republik remaining in the Caribbean, just west of Cuba’s Bay of Pigs.

The Fascinating Story Of McLaren's Most Iconic F1 Car

The Fascinating Story Of McLaren's Most Iconic F1 Car

Design, History

The McLaren MP4/4 remains Formula 1’s most successful machine, with a 93.8% win ratio that helped Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost storm to victory in 15 out of the 16 races during 1988. In 1988 McLaren had it all, a brilliant cocktail that helped it deliver one of the most dominant cars the sport has ever seen.

The City Where They Murdered Yugoslavia

The City Where They Murdered Yugoslavia

History, Videos

The Bosnian War happened because a war criminal in waiting didn’t care where his ideology led him. Ratko Mladic did not believe in Yugoslavia. But he did believe in the unity of his people. And in his attempt to get to that natural dead end, he would destroy the dream of Gavrilo Princip. He would destroy all the work of Tito.

CBS News Coverage Of The Apollo 11 Moon Launch

CBS News Coverage Of The Apollo 11 Moon Launch

History, Media, Videos

The Saturn V rocket carrying astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 9:32 a.m. on July 16, 1969 — and just four days later, man first set foot on the moon. The moon mission was a milestone in human history. But it was also a groundbreaking moment in broadcast television.

How Scientists Imagined And Built An Undersea Utopia For Humans

How Scientists Imagined And Built An Undersea Utopia For Humans

Architecture, Cities, History, Science

During the late 1960s many believed revolutionary social and political change was imminent, and Jacques Cousteau was no exception. Soon there would be “undersea parliaments and new nations,” he wrote; “poets, architects, and painters would be needed to give expression” to this “new world.”

Satanic Panic In Rural Canada

Satanic Panic In Rural Canada

History, Long Reads

It was the spring of 1992 in the small town of Martensville. Rumours were spreading that a local family were members of a secret satanic cult, abusing children at their home daycare and at a property outside of town. A horde of devil worshippers was allegedly on its way, looking to attack in the dead of night.

Buried In Sand For A Millennium: Africa’s Roman Ghost City

Buried In Sand For A Millennium: Africa’s Roman Ghost City

History, World

Timgad is a lost Roman city on the edge of the Sahara desert in Algeria that remained hidden beneath the sand for nearly a thousand years. Positively obscure compared to the international notoriety of Pompeii, this ancient city is nonetheless one of the best surviving examples of Roman town planning anywhere in the historical Empire.

Nikolay Schegolev

Inspiration
Nikolay Schegolev
What Was Libya Like 25 Years Ago?

What Was Libya Like 25 Years Ago?

History, Politics, Videos

Gaddafi’s 25 Years in Power (1994): A historic report filmed as Libya celebrated 25 years of Gaddafi’s rule. This short documentary challenges the West’s view of Libya and looks at Gaddafi’s struggles both at home and abroad.

'The Intelligence Coup Of The Century'

'The Intelligence Coup Of The Century'

Crime, History, Long Reads

For more than half a century, governments all over the world trusted a single company, Crypto AG, to keep the communications of their spies, soldiers and diplomats secret. But what none of its customers ever knew was that Crypto AG was secretly owned by the CIA.

The True Toll Of The Chernobyl Disaster

The True Toll Of The Chernobyl Disaster

Health, History, Science

On 26 April 1986 reactor number four at the power plant suffered a catastrophic explosion that exposed the core and threw clouds of radioactive material over the surrounding. Covered up by a secretive Soviet Union at the time, the true number of deaths and illnesses caused by the nuclear accident are only now becoming clear.

The Man Who Walked Backward

The Man Who Walked Backward

History, Long Reads, World

When the Great Depression put Plennie Wingo’s bustling Abilene, Texas, cafe out of business, he tried to find fame, fortune, and a sense of meaning the only way he knew how: by embarking on an audacious trip around the world on foot. In reverse.

Chasing Escobar

Chasing Escobar

Crime, History

Javier Peña, as a character, was popularized through the Netflix series ’Narcos.’ But the story of the real Peña—who lives in San Antonio—and his quest to end the reign of Pablo Escobar is bigger than a screen. Peña’s life, or death, was particularly valuable to Escobar—fear of the U.S. government made DEA agents a tough mark for hitmen.

The Dictatorship Of Data

The Dictatorship Of Data

Economics, History

Big data is poised to transform society. Yet big data also exacerbates a very old problem: relying on the numbers when they are far more fallible than we think. Nothing underscores the consequences of data analysis gone awry more than the story of Robert McNamara.

Michael Crichton

Inspiration
Michael Crichton
The 1968 Sci-Fi That Spookily Predicted Today

The 1968 Sci-Fi That Spookily Predicted Today

History, Media

In John Brunner’s 1968 novel Stand on Zanzibar, for instance, he peers ahead to imagine life in 2010, correctly forecasting wearable technology, Viagra, video calls, same-sex marriage, the legalization of cannabis, and the proliferation of mass shootings.

The True History Behind 'The Plot Against America'

The True History Behind 'The Plot Against America'

History, Media, Politics

Philip Roth’s classic novel, newly adapted by HBO, envisions a world in which Charles Lindbergh wins the 1940 presidential election. Roth’s account of a celebrity-turned-politician winning the presidency on a platform of fearmongering and “othering” proved more prophetic than he could have predicted.

‘We’re The Only Plane In The Sky’

‘We’re The Only Plane In The Sky’

History, Long Reads, Politics

Nearly every American above a certain age remembers precisely where they were on September 11, 2001. But for a tiny handful of people, those memories touch American presidential history. Where was the president in the eight hours after the Sept. 11 attacks? The strange, harrowing journey of Air Force One, as told by the people who were on board.

The Rise And Fall Of Pan Am

The Rise And Fall Of Pan Am

Business, History, Videos

Pan Am was once the largest international airline in the US. In 1970 alone, it carried 11 million passengers to 86 countries worldwide. But after 60 years of flight, decades of financial turbulence, and a devastating terrorist attack above the skies of Lockerbie, Scotland, Pan Am went bust.

In A Disaster, Humans Can Behave… Pretty Well, Actually

In A Disaster, Humans Can Behave… Pretty Well, Actually

History, Life

In his new book, Jon Mooallem tells the story of the Great Alaska Earthquake and Genie Chance, the woman whose voice on the radio held everyone together. It’s a beautiful exploration of how people tell stories on the radio, on stage, in books, and generally to each other.

The Invention Of Money

The Invention Of Money

Business, Economics, History, Long Reads

When the Venetian merchant Marco Polo got to China, he saw many wonders. One of the things that astonished him most, however, was a new invention, implemented by Kublai Khan, a grandson of the great conqueror Genghis. It was paper money, introduced by Kublai in 1260.

The Forgotten History Of How Automakers Invented The Crime Of "Jaywalking"

The Forgotten History Of How Automakers Invented The Crime Of "Jaywalking"

Business, Crime, Explainers, History

If there’s traffic in the area and you want to follow the law, you need to find a crosswalk. And if there’s a traffic light, you need to wait for it to change to green. Fail to do so, and you’re committing a crime: jaywalking. It’s the result of an aggressive, forgotten 1920s campaign led by auto groups and manufacturers.

The Illustrated History Of How Sugar Conquered The World

The Illustrated History Of How Sugar Conquered The World

Food, History

If you want to understand Western history, you have to understand sugar. And vice versa. Because sugar’s not just something sweet: over the centuries it’s been a medicine, a spice, a symbol of royalty, and an instrument of disease, addiction, and oppression.

London Underground 1970-1980 By Mike Goldwater

London Underground 1970-1980 By Mike Goldwater

Cities, History, Photos

The first thing that strikes anyone who regularly rides on the London Underground is how clean it looks in Mike Goldwater’s photographs. Homeward bound tourists keen to recapture the thrill of minding the gap and cooling their heels on overcrowded platforms are not offered a range of signature scents.

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