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.

What Do We Do With Robert E. Lee?

What Do We Do With Robert E. Lee?

History, Long Reads, Politics

The president of Washington and Lee University, Will Dudley, understood the depth of his problem the moment he turned on the television and saw hoards of white men in collared shirts and khakis carrying tiki torches as they marched through Charlottesville, Virginia, protesting the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee.

Schlitterbahn’s Tragic Slide

Schlitterbahn’s Tragic Slide

History, Long Reads

In the water park business, Jeff Hendry was considered a genius of sorts. He often said that his goal in life was to make customers of his family’s legendary water parks happy—“to put a smile on their faces, to give them a thrill or two.” It was a beautiful vision. Until it went horribly wrong.

Nietzsche On How To Find Yourself And The True Value Of Education

Nietzsche On How To Find Yourself And The True Value Of Education

History, Life, Psychology

Friedrich Nietzsche considered the journey of self-discovery one of the greatest and most fertile existential difficulties. “Any human being who does not wish to be part of the masses need only stop making things easy for himself. “Be yourself! All that you are now doing, thinking, desiring, all that is not you.”

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.

The Secret History Of Facial Recognition

The Secret History Of Facial Recognition

History, Long Reads, Tech

Sixty years ago, a sharecropper’s son invented a technology to identify faces. Then the record of his role all but vanished. He died on October 4, 1995. His obituary in the Austin American-Statesman made no mention of his work on facial recognition. Who was Woody Bledsoe, and who was he working for?

Bashir Sultani

Inspiration
Bashir Sultani
Before Beauty Vlogging, There Were Renaissance ‘Books of Secrets’

Before Beauty Vlogging, There Were Renaissance ‘Books of Secrets’

History, Media

So-called Books of Secrets were a new and wildly-popular literary genre during the Italian Renaissance. Written in vernacular Italian, they instructed an increasingly literate public in the pursuit of alchemy, making secrets previously circulated in Latin manuscripts amongst the educated elite more broadly accessible.

On Harriet Tubman’s Final Escape Mission

On Harriet Tubman’s Final Escape Mission

History

There was one more dire mission to complete; she had to return to Maryland and try once again to rescue her sister Rachel and her two children, Angerine and Ben. With the exception of these three people, Harriet had pulled her entire immediate family that remained in Maryland away from slavery’s hold.

Unearthed Photos Reveal What Happened To Those Who Dared To Flee Through The Berlin Wall

Unearthed Photos Reveal What Happened To Those Who Dared To Flee Through The Berlin Wall

History, Videos

The US filmmaker Scott Calonico obtained a cache of photographs from security service records of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR). One sequence in these never-before-seen images shows the arrest of a West German couple and the East German family they were trying to smuggle out in the boot of their car on 3 September 1988.

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.

At War With The Thruth

At War With The Thruth

Crime, History, Long Reads, Politics

A confidential trove of government documents obtained by The Washington Post reveals that senior U.S. officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable.

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.

Nikolay Schegolev

Inspiration
Nikolay Schegolev
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.

The Lost Neighborhood Under New York's Central Park

The Lost Neighborhood Under New York's Central Park

Cities, History, Videos

A story that goes back to the 1820s, when that part of New York was largely open countryside. Among them was a predominantly black community. It became known as Seneca Village. And when Irish and German immigrants moved in, it became a rare example at the time of an integrated neighborhood.

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.

Into The Unknown

Into The Unknown

History, Nature

It was December 14, 1912. Thirty years old, already a seasoned explorer, Douglas Mawson was the leader of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE), a 31-man team pursuing the most ambitious exploration yet of the southern continent. What followed was one of the most terrifying survival stories of all time.

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 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
Who Owns South Africa?

Who Owns South Africa?

History, Life, Long Reads, Politics

The Glen Grey Act was the first piece of legislation to enshrine in law the residential separation of the races. It was also the basis for the notorious Natives Land Act of 1913, which in its final form allocated a mere thirteen percent of all arable land to the black majority. 

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.

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.

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.

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 British Once Built A 1,100-Mile Hedge Through The Middle Of India

The British Once Built A 1,100-Mile Hedge Through The Middle Of India

Economics, History, Nature

There was nothing charming about what the British built. It wasn’t meant to protect anything except imperial revenue. It grew along the Inland Customs Line, a bureaucratic barrier that the British created to impose a high salt tax on the people living on one side of the line—the relatively saltless one.

Revisiting An American Town Where Black People Weren’t Welcome After Dark

Revisiting An American Town Where Black People Weren’t Welcome After Dark

History, Life, Long Reads

Anna is a city of a little more than 4,000 people located in the middle of Union County, where soybean fields and flatlands to the north give way to the forests and sandstone canyons of southern Illinois. Most people I met, wish the racist lore behind the city’s name would go away. So why hasn’t it?

In Search Of Russia's Lost Gold

In Search Of Russia's Lost Gold

History, World

Before World War I, Russia possessed the third-largest gold reserve in the world, bested only by the US and France. During the Russian Revolution, the Bolsheviks captured the entirety of Tsar Nicholas II’s family gold reserve – or so they thought.

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.

How Leonardo Da Vinci Made A "Satellite" Map In 1502

How Leonardo Da Vinci Made A "Satellite" Map In 1502

Art, History, Videos

When infamous Italian politician Cesare Borgia brought Leonardo da Vinci — the guy who drew this portrait — to the city of Imola, it was as a military engineer. When Leonardo was installed at Borgia’s newly acquired fort, one of his duties was to help Borgia learn the territory.

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