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What was used for birth control in medieval Europe?

Birth is a universal experience for humanity and therefore, so is conception. This makes the issue of contraception one which stretched back into antiquity. While this topic is frequently in modern news, the historic practices of contraception and the specific methods utilized are rarely touched upon. Read more...

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What was George Washington's military experience before the American Revolution?

The Second Continental Congress voted unanimously to put George Washington in charge of the Continental Army in 1775. Washington was only 43 years old at the time, a gentleman planter and local Virginian politician. Read more...

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How did Phillip II of Macedon change Ancient Greek history?

Alexander the Great is one of the most famous men in history. However, it is generally recognized that Alexander’s achievements would have been impossible without his father, Philip II of Macedon, who reigned from 359 to 336 B.C. He is not as well-known as his son but he laid the foundations for the great Empire of Alexander.Read more...

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How did kitchens develop?

Few places in a home are as important or symbolic for our social bonds than the kitchen. In almost every culture, the kitchen serves not only as the place where food is prepared, but serves as a social hub for families and friends. Humans develop deep social bonds with family and friends in their kitchen. The kitchen does not simply provide for our daily nutrition but also helps to reinforce our social character. Whether humans are cooking around a fire or chopping vegetables on a granite counter-top, they are also interacting with one another. Read more...

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When did the First Heart Transplant take place?

When Christiaan Barnard performed the first heart transplant in 1967, it was initially seen as remarkable scientific achievement, but overtime both the medical community and the general public were forced to re-evaluate heart transplants. The medical community quickly realized that the first transplants were little more than dangerous and unpredictable experiments.Read more...

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Gilded Age/Progressive Era History Top Ten Booklist

There are an extraordinary number of outstanding books on this period. These books are a selection of our favorites. Most of these books are focused on trying to define this era as whole, instead of focusing on a single issue. In other words, several of these books are seeking to create a grand narrative of the era to help their readers understand it.Read more...

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Why Did Helen Keller Become a Socialist?

Helen Keller (1880–1967) is best known for her triumph over blindness, deafness, and muteness. Rescued from the isolation of her afflictions as a young girl by the Perkins Institute for the Blind teacher Anne Sullivan, Keller learned to understand a basic form of sign language and learned to “feel” and imitate the sound of the human voice. Read more...

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When was Mesothelioma First Diagnosed?

The history of Mesothelioma is complicated. Medicine struggled to establish its existence and understand what caused it. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that forms on the "tissues that cover the lungs and abdomen." Mesothelioma is typically tied to the exposure of people to asbestos in either their environment or workplace.Read more...

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The Rabbi's Atheist Daughter: Interview with Bonnie S. Anderson

History is fickle. During the 19th Century, Ernestine Rose was one of the most important and famous international advocates for feminism, free thought and anti-slavery. She worked closely with renowned figures in this movement such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Despite her contributions to feminism, atheism, and anti-slavery, since her death she has slowly been erased from history. Read more...

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When did Men Start Wearing Pants?

Why did humans start wearing pants? To answer this question it’s important to understand two things - first, what were the earliest forms of clothing and how did they evolve into pants and secondly, why did a need for pants develop? It is also helpful to define what is meant by pants - specifically a bifurcated garment for the bottom half of the body which covers from waist to the lower leg. It is also helpful to define what is meant by pants - specifically a bifurcated garment for the bottom half of the body which covers from waist to the lower leg. Leggings were comprised of two separate garments. Ötzil the Ice Man, perhaps the most famous archaeological find of prehistoric human remains from the northern regions, was found wearing leggings. Read more...

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What Mistakes did the Allies make during Operation Overlord on D-Day?

June 6, 1944 was arguably the most pivotal day of World War II. Operation Overlord was set to be launched and if successful, was to open a second front in Europe so as to attack Germany from all sides. Stalin’s Soviet Army had been battling the German Army since late 1942 in Stalingrad, Leningrad, and Moscow. Read more...

How Did Black Pepper Spread in Popularity?

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Visiting a restaurant in the Western world or even a home often means finding salt and black pepper as common condiments on the table used to give taste to our dishes. Salt has been native to many regions and is commonly found; however, black pepper was a far more limited plant (Piper nigrum) that natively grew in South and Southeast Asia.Read more...

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American Revolution Top Ten Booklist

On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed by the Continental Congress. This act was only the first step towards the creation of the United States. The impact of this revolution cannot be ignored. Read more...

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Inventing the Pinkertons: Interview with Paul O'Hara

In 1850, Allan Pinkerton founded a detective agency that would grow into the Pinkerton's National Detective Agency. Pinkerton's agency is easily the most famous and infamous security guard and detective agency in United States history. Pinkerton originally created the agency to help railroad companies investigate their employees and catch train robbers. But over time, the Pinkertons developed an intimate relationship with the federal government and as these partnerships grew the Pinkertons' role increased dramatically. Read more...

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How did Edwin Drake create the World's first oil well?

Even though there was no one "first discover" of oil. Oil was known in antiquity when it was used to heal wounds. But by the middle of the 19th century methods for collecting oil from the ground had not changed for thousands of years. Edwin Drake's oil fundamentally changed this process and dramatically increased oil production around the world. Read more...

Gilded Age/Progressive Era History Top Ten Booklist

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Creating a Top Ten List for the Gilded Age/Progressive Era is challenging. There are an extraordinary number of outstanding books on this period. These books are a selection of our favorites. Creating a Top Ten List for the Gilded Age/Progressive Era is challenging. There are an extraordinary number of outstanding books on this period. These books are a selection of our favorites. Most of these books are focused on trying to define this era as whole, instead of focusing on a single issue.Read more...

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What was the dominant medical sect in the United States during the 19th Century?

Nineteenth-century medicine was characterized by constant competition among three major medical sects: Regulars, Eclectics, and Homeopaths.[1] Each of these medical sects not only meaningfully disagreed on how to treat illnesses and diseases, but sought to portray their type of practice as the most effective and scientific.Read more...

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Why are there so many Monuments to the Confederacy across the United States?

As one travels across the southern United States, it is not unusual to find monuments and memorials to the Confederate dead in many small towns. In fact, these sculptural pieces, often composed of the same statues and plinths from the Monumental Bronze Co. of Bridgeport, Conn., can be found as far north as Pennsylvania and New York. A study in 2016 found some 1,500 monuments still standing. While in recent years these monuments have become a new source of political conversation their very erection was a movement by Confederate women. Read more...

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Why did the Congress of Vienna fail to stop future European wars?

The Congress of Vienna was a gathering of representatives of European kingdoms that was presided over by the Austrian Chancellor Klemens Von Metternich. The Congress was held in Vienna from 1814 to 1815. The goals of the Congress were to secure peace and stability in Europe and to ensure that revolutions did not destabilize the Continent. Read more...

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History of God Top Ten Booklist

The concept of God and his historical development is an extraordinarily complex topic and it is not easily addressed in ten books. These books seek attempt to explain a complex story on how the concept of God developed in different cultures, places, and across time. The history of the idea of God is long and has its roots from prehistoric to early historic periods in the ancient Near East. Later cultures developed concepts that derive from ancient Iran, Greece, Egypt, and perhaps other regions.Read more...

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How historically accurate is Braveheart?

Braveheart was a popular movie released in 1995 that won 5 Oscars and featured Mel Gibson as William Wallace. Wallace was a Scottish knight who became a hero in the Scottish rebellions against the English in the late 13th and early 14th century. The movie helped to inspire Scottish national pride while also, to some, represent an early, Medieval warrior who fought for freedom for himself and his people. While much of the story depicted did occur, including the English occupation of Scotland during the time of Edward I, king of England, the depiction of the revolt against the English and other events do not correspond well to historical accounts.Read more...

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What Was the Importance of Bill Mauldin to WWII Infantrymen?

Bill Mauldin once said that the infantryman “gives more and gets less than anybody else.” He knew this from his experience on the front lines with K Company, 180th Infantry Regiment, of the 45th Division. Mauldin went through basic training as an infantryman and stayed with his regiment throughout the invasion of Sicily and the Allied campaign up the boot of Italy. The talented cartoonist succeeded in ruffling the feathers of the “brass” all the way up to General George Patton.Read more...

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Why did the Italian Renaissance End?

The Italian Renaissance was one of the most exciting periods in human civilisation. It witnessed a great flourishing of the arts, literature, philosophy, architecture and politics. Many of the greatest figures in World Civilisation appeared during the Renaissance in Italy, including Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Machiavelli and Raphael. Read more...

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Civil War Battles Top Ten Booklist

A DailyHistory.org top ten booklist focusing on best book on the battles of the American Civil War. The books on this list explore the battles of Antietam, Gettysburg, Chancellorsville, and many others. Take a look at our list.Read more...

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Why did Germany lose the Battle of Stalingrad?

Hitler saw the war in terms of his personal rivalry with Stalin and he decided to attack the city, because of its symbolic value. However, the original aim of the offensive in Southern Russian was to secure the oil fields in the Caucasus. The oil was essential for the German war machine. Hitler knew this – instead of opting for concentrating all his forces on the conquest of the oil fields, he made perhaps a fateful mistake.Read more...

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The Mysterious Illness of Jim Bowie: How Did He Contribute to His Own Decline?

Directly or indirectly, Jim Bowie’s enigmatic illness resulted from his own actions. A hearty man of six feet in height, Bowie was a walking contradiction; a slave trader who fought for freedom, a generous and congenial man who called out his thunderous temper on a whim, and a commanding leader who was prone to binges of sloppy drunkenness. Read more...

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