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 Many Lives Of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”

The Many Lives Of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”

History, Media

Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” has been covered by more than 300 other artists in virtually every genre. It’s an impressive feat by any standard, but even more so when you consider that “Hallelujah” was originally stuck on side two of an album that Cohen’s record label deemed unfit for release.

Who Invented The Wheel? And How Did They Do It?

Who Invented The Wheel? And How Did They Do It?

History

The wagon—and the wagon wheel—could not have been put together in stages. Either it works, or it doesn’t. And it enabled humans to spread rapidly into huge parts of the world.

OK Soda Marketing History: Not Good, Not Bad, Just OK

OK Soda Marketing History: Not Good, Not Bad, Just OK

Food, History

A quarter-century ago, a really big soda company attempted to subvert itself to reach Gen X. The problem? Coca-Cola’s OK Soda was a couple of decades too early. The story about The Coca Cola Company’s failed attempts to use irony, disenfranchisement, and disillusionment to sell us subpar soda.

The Last Ditch Attempt To Save The USSR, August Coup Of 1991

The Last Ditch Attempt To Save The USSR, August Coup Of 1991

History, Politics, Videos

One of the most important events in the decline and fall of the USSR was the August Coup of 1991 which saw its Vice President attempt to overthrow its president, Mikhail Gorbachev. It didn’t go too well and was hastily planned but the fact that it ended peacefully is frankly nothing short of miraculous.

The Bizarre Social History Of Beds

The Bizarre Social History Of Beds

History

Groucho Marx once joked, “Anything that can’t be done in bed isn’t worth doing at all.” You might think he was referring to sleeping and sex. But humans, at one time or another, have done just about everything in bed. And yet, they’re more of an afterthought.

Bashir Sultani

Inspiration
Bashir Sultani
The Chaotic Story Of Dexys Midnight Runners & "Come On Eileen"

The Chaotic Story Of Dexys Midnight Runners & "Come On Eileen"

History, Videos

When faced with the phrase “One Hit Wonder” Dexys Midnight Runners would be one of the first bands to come to most minds. Their megahit “Come On Eileen” is one of the eternal dancefloor fillers. So who were Dexys Midnight Runners? Why did they go through sixteen members before their worldwide smash?

The Long-Lost Story Of The Longest Book Ever Written

The Long-Lost Story Of The Longest Book Ever Written

History, Long Reads

For or a long time, Joe Gould thought he was going blind. This was before he lost his teeth, and years before he lost the history of the world he’d been writing in hundreds of dime-store composition notebooks, their black covers mottled like the pelt of a speckled goat, their white pages lined with thin blue veins.

Stunning Photographs Of A Pre-Fame Prince In 1977

Stunning Photographs Of A Pre-Fame Prince In 1977

History, Photos

In 1977 the photographer Robert Whitman was asked to take some promo shots of an unknown 19-year-old musician called Prince Rogers Nelson. Over a couple of days, he shot the 19-year-old musician all over Minneapolis. Whitman was the first professional photographer ever to shoot Prince.

The Day The Music Died: Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens And The Big Bopper

The Day The Music Died: Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens And The Big Bopper

History, Videos

When Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson passed away on February 3rd, 1959 after a small plane crash, rock and roll lost some of its most notable early pioneers. Singer-songwriter Don McLean called this moment in music history “The Day the Music Died,” in his song “American Pie.”

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.

"Abandoned", The Story Of The S.S America Vessel

"Abandoned", The Story Of The S.S America Vessel

History, Videos

In 1940, a stunning and iconic vessel was launched called the S.S America. A ship of pride for the United States and after a long career in her golden years, the vessel ended up in a state of limbo for a while. She was left abandoned floating aimlessly until she was bought out and renamed to the SS American Star.

Nikolay Schegolev

Inspiration
Nikolay Schegolev
The Origins Of The Sicilian Mafia

The Origins Of The Sicilian Mafia

Crime, History, Videos

The Sicilian Mafia, referred to by its own members as Cosa Nostra, a phrase meaning “our thing”, is an infamous association of criminal syndicates. They are famous for their heavy-handed role in protection racketeering, alcohol and drug smuggling, and other organized illegal activities across the world.

The History Of CTRL + ALT + DELETE

The History Of CTRL + ALT + DELETE

History, Tech

In 2013, Bill Gates admitted ctrl+alt+del was a mistake and blamed IBM. With the del key across the keyboard from the other two, it seemed unlikely that all three would be accidentally pressed at the same time. Here’s the story of how the key combination became famous in the first place.

Germany's First Postwar Army

Germany's First Postwar Army

History, Videos

In 1951 Germany’s first postwar armed forces unit was formed – the Bundesgrenzschutz or Federal Border Guard. Until the formation of the Bundeswehr in 1955, it was effectively Germany’s army. Armed and equipped from the old wartime Wehrmacht, the BGS guarded the inner German border between East and West Germany.

History Remembers These People, Just Not Their Names

History Remembers These People, Just Not Their Names

History

Throughout history, people have made a name for themselves without anyone actually knowing their name, from the protestor who stood up to a tank in Tiananmen Square in 1989, to notorious successful hijacker D.B. Cooper (almost certainly not his real name).

The Soviets’ Unbreakable Code

The Soviets’ Unbreakable Code

History, Tech

Created at the end of World War II and introduced in 1956, the Fialka replaced the Albatross, a Soviet cipher machine that was itself more complex than the Enigma. By the 1970s, Fialka encryption machines had been widely adopted by Warsaw Pact and other communist nations, and they remained in use until the early 1990s.

Events That Changed The Course Of History, In Photos

Events That Changed The Course Of History, In Photos

History, Photos

Great documentary photography will capture turning points: moments that change the course of history on a global, national, or even personal level. The world’s best photographers pick out the most powerful images from their archives.

World's First City Discovered By U.S. Spy Satellite

World's First City Discovered By U.S. Spy Satellite

History, Videos, World

Old U.S. spy satellite images of the Middle East have unearthed a stunning discovery: the world’s first city, Tell Brak – 4,000 years older than the Great Pyramids. Where Tell Brak lies is an area of the Middle East known as the Fertile Crescent.

Michael Crichton

Inspiration
Michael Crichton
How The CIA Turned The Tables On Soviet Industrial Espionage

How The CIA Turned The Tables On Soviet Industrial Espionage

History, Politics, Videos

When French President Mitterrand tells President Reagan in July 1981 that the KGB has been stealing Western technology, it confirms Reagan’s distrust of the Soviet Union. Reagan fears that stolen technology will help the Soviet Union complete a giant engineering project, the Trans-Siberian pipeline.

The Bomb Didn’t Beat Japan… Stalin Did

The Bomb Didn’t Beat Japan… Stalin Did

History, Long Reads

The US bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, when the Japanese finally succumbed to the threat of further nuclear bombardment and surrendered. The support for this narrative runs deep. But there are three major problems with it, and, taken together, they significantly undermine the traditional interpretation of the Japanese surrender.

The Love Story That Shocked The World

The Love Story That Shocked The World

History, Videos

When Seretse Khama, an African prince, and Ruth Williams, a white middle-class clerk from Lloyd’s underwriters, got married in 1948, it provoked shock in Britain and Africa. Khama was exiled from Great Britain and later became the first president of Botswana when it became an independent country.

Why Socialism Failed in Africa

Why Socialism Failed in Africa

History, Politics, Videos

Considering capitalism to be equal to colonialism, Africa’s founding fathers rejected it and adopted marxist-socialism in the 1960s. Foreign companies were nationalised, state-owned enterprises were created and all sorts of controls on rents, prices, imports and foreign exchange.

The Playboy Serbian Spy Who Inspired James Bond

The Playboy Serbian Spy Who Inspired James Bond

History, Videos

His name was Popov. Dusko Popov. As a Serbian double agent during the Second World War, Popov was an expert gambler, known womaniser and even crossed paths with James Bond’s creator Ian Fleming. But was he really the inspiration behind 007?

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 Curse Of The Ship Of Gold

The Curse Of The Ship Of Gold

History, Long Reads

How Tommy Thompson, a brilliant scientist, went from discovering a mother lode of treasure at the bottom of the sea to fleeing from authorities with suitcases full of cash.

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