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.

How A Volcanic Eruption Helped Create Modern Scotland

How A Volcanic Eruption Helped Create Modern Scotland

History, Nature, Science

Over seven terrible years in the 1690s, crops failed, farming villages emptied, and severe famine killed up to 15% of the entire population of Scotland. Soon after, the formerly independent nation joined Great Britain. Now, researchers suggest volcanic eruptions thousands of kilometers away may have helped spark this political transformation.

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.

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 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.

Bashir Sultani

Inspiration
Bashir Sultani
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.

‘I Would Rather Win A Pulitzer Prize Than Be President’

‘I Would Rather Win A Pulitzer Prize Than Be President’

History, Politics

Margaret Coit uncovered many new details about Kennedy’s literary obsession, including his direct involvement in pursuing a Pulitzer and in using his family’s wealth to keep his ghostwriter quiet. In the end, Kennedy got everything he wanted—the presidency and the Pulitzer both.

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 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?

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.

The Long-Forgotten Vigilante Murders Of The San Luis Valley

The Long-Forgotten Vigilante Murders Of The San Luis Valley

Crime, History, Long Reads

For more than a century, historians, writers, and artists were guilty of creating a mythologized version of the American West. How history forgot Felipe and Vivián Espinosa, two of the American West’s most brutal killers—and the complicated story behind their murderous rampage.

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.

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.

Nikolay Schegolev

Inspiration
Nikolay Schegolev
The Beautiful Island Of San Serriffe, The Most Elaborate April Fool’s Joke Ever Printed

The Beautiful Island Of San Serriffe, The Most Elaborate April Fool’s Joke Ever Printed

Design, History, Media

The Guardian’s seven-page feature on the island of San Serriffe looked like any travel feature that newspapers were printing at the time. But not all was as it seemed. The feature was an elaborate April Fool’s Day joke. The island of San Serriffe did not exist and everything was completely fabricated.

Muslims Of Early America

Muslims Of Early America

History, Long Reads

Muslims came to America more than a century before Protestants, and in great numbers. How was their history forgotten? Not just the language of Islam, but the religion itself likely arrived in America in 1492, more than 20 years before Martin Luther nailed his theses to the door, igniting the Protestant reformation.

The School Shooting That Austin Forgot

The School Shooting That Austin Forgot

Crime, History, Long Reads

John Ray barely remembered the details of that day—May 18, 1978—when a friend at his Austin junior high school walked into class and, in front of Ray and twenty other eighth graders, shot and killed their teacher, Wilbur “Rod” Grayson. Ray and his classmates still wonder: What really happened?

The Very Dramatic $3,000,000 Qantas Airlines Heist

The Very Dramatic $3,000,000 Qantas Airlines Heist

Crime, History, Videos

Just after midday on May 26th 1971, Australian authorities received a call from a mysterious Mr. Brown claiming that a Qantas flight from Sydney to Hong Kong was carrying a bomb. He then claimed that he would disclose the location of the onboard bomb in return for a hefty sum.

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.

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 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.”

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.

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.

Michael Crichton

Inspiration
Michael Crichton
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.

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.

Death In The Alps

Death In The Alps

History

Two planes from the same airline crashed in the same spot in the Alps, 16 years apart. Now the glaciers of Chamonix are melting. And as the ice turns to water, it is releasing secrets that have stayed frozen for the past 60 years.

The History Of George Laurer And The Barcode

The History Of George Laurer And The Barcode

Business, History

A 67 cent packet of gum has ballooned into an enormous industry, and five billion barcodes are scanned each and every day. But how did we get to this point, and who was responsible for the UPC barcode?

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.

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 Lie That Helped Build Nintendo

The Lie That Helped Build Nintendo

Business, History, Tech, Videos

In 1981, a young Swede called Owe Bergsten strolled through Singapore to pass the time before his flight home. Passing a camera shop, he spotted a two-button LCD game called ‘Fire RC-04’ in the window. The story of a man, a lie, a video game handheld, and a business empire.

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