October 8, 2019
From the mid-1800s to well into the 20th century, the Capitol’s Demon Cat was the top dog of Washington ghost stories.
October 7, 2019
In 1956, New York City’s bomb squad used criminal profiling to catch a terrorist known as “The Mad Bomber.”
October 4, 2019
Civil rights crusader Fannie Lou Hamer rivaled Martin Luther King Jr. in her command of audiences.
October 3, 2019
Photographer Boris Yaro shot the haunting photograph of Bobby Kennedy lying fatally wounded in the arms of Juan Romero, a busboy.
October 2, 2019
In 1777, Captain John Paul Jones hatched a plan to take the American Revolution to Britain’s shores.
October 1, 2019
President Abraham Lincoln had two loving and supportive mothers in his lifetime. The second helped him cope with the tragic loss of the first.
September 30, 2019
Before an unnamed senior official in the Trump administration published the opinion piece, “I am part of the resistance inside the Trump administration" in the New York Times, another mysterious anonymous author lit up Washington.
September 27, 2019
Family and friends had known about the president’s intimate relationship with Mary Peck for years, but whispers about their involvement were growing.
September 26, 2019
Emmett Till’s mother opened his casket and sparked the civil rights movement.
September 25, 2019
More than 50,000 soldiers died during the Battle of Waterloo, but their teeth lived on.
September 24, 2019
Despite warnings of icebergs, the John Rutledge set sail from Liverpool, England, to New York.
September 23, 2019
In the fall of 1902, a year into his presidency, President Teddy Roosevelt set off to Mississippi for a bear-hunting vacation. It ended differently than planned.
September 20, 2019
The one night that changed President Nixon’s fate has stuck with us as a reminder of the limits of presidential power.
September 19, 2019
It may be hard to believe, but one single event rocketed Einstein to fame.
September 18, 2019
One simple change to how the Supreme Court bench was designed made a world of difference to how the justices communicated.
September 17, 2019
Ida Lewis saved as many as 25 people during her service at the lighthouse. But her deeds have largely been forgotten.
September 13, 2019
Freddie Oversteegen was 14 when she joined the Dutch resistance.
September 12, 2019
Thomas Blood had somewhat of a shady past. According to Ireland’s History magazine, he had a reputation for espionage and conducting terrorist campaigns — though many of his plans were foiled just in time.
September 11, 2019
Heather Penney was among the first female combat pilots in the country. On Sept. 11, 2001, she got a mission: Bring down the fourth hijacked plane hurtling towards Washington.
September 10, 2019
Both George Washington and Abraham Lincoln wrote poetry. But only one had a way with words.
September 9, 2019
A mysterious stone memorial was found in 2006 in Washington, D.C. But who placed a memorial to Nazi spies on government property? And why?
September 6, 2019
According to James Madison’s Virginia mansion Montpelier, Paul Jennings’ account reveals, “how the racial and gender hierarchies of the time complicate the way we understand roles in historic events.”
September 5, 2019
Their 38-year marriage endured his incarceration and hers.
September 4, 2019
A group of poor women in Puerto Rico were the first test subjects for the birth control pill. Were they guinea pigs or pioneers?
September 3, 2019
Was the Duke of Windsor a Nazi sympathizer? Did he plot to dethrone his brother, King George VI? Did he really suggest more German bombings of Britain might end World War II?
September 2, 2019
In October 1967, antiwar protesters announced that they would march en masse to the front steps of the Pentagon. and levitate it. And then they would try to levitate it.
August 30, 2019
Besides President Trump, whom do scholars scorn the most?
August 29, 2019
In 1935, the Florida Keys ignored the threat of a looming hurricane. When the Category 5 storm made landfall, it left a wake of death and destruction.
August 28, 2019
At the Naval Academy, McCain was in a group called the “Bad Bunch” as he rebelled against his father’s expectations.
August 27, 2019
By 1968, things were going badly for President Lyndon B. Johnson. Morale around the Vietnam War was sinking, and in Washington, political sharks were circling.
August 26, 2019
All over the country, couples rushed to Las Vegas to get married. The demand for quickie weddings was at a fever pitch. But it wasn't Cupid's arrow causing the frenzy. It was the Vietnam War.
August 23, 2019
In 1927, the world watched as two French aviators attempted the world’s first transatlantic flight.
August 22, 2019
Lewis Hine posed as a Bible salesman or machinery photographer to expose the hardships of child labor.
August 21, 2019
In a year of extraordinary, chaotic moments this was a hopeful one - a beat-up country music star recording an album live at a troubled maximum security prison in California.
August 20, 2019
Ski jumping involves flying more than 800 feet in the air and then landing on two feet, without dying. Where on earth did this sport come from?
August 19, 2019
Samuel Cutler Ward, also known as the “King of the Lobby,” is credited with shaping the craft of lobbying. And like lobbyist and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, he also had some seriously expensive tastes.
August 16, 2019
"The Birth of a Nation" depicted life after the Civil War in a way that glorified Klansmen. The film and its cultural impact led one man to conclude that the time was right to bring back the Klu Klux Klan.
August 15, 2019
It’s World War II, and you’re King George VI of England. You fear a Nazi invasion of England could come at any moment. How do you protect the crown jewels? Not even Queen Elizabeth II knew how her dad did it - until recently.
August 14, 2019
An American in the 1940s would not recognize the woman from the “We Can Do It!” poster as Rosie the Riveter.
August 13, 2019
When President Reagan told Mr. Gorbachev to “tear down this wall,” it was not seen as a historic moment. It took the actual fall of the wall to resurrect the speech and drill the quote into the nation's political consciousness.
August 12, 2019
The anti-Semitic conspiracy theories surrounding the Rothschild family date all the way back to The Battle of Waterloo.
August 9, 2019
In April 1917, Jeannette Rankin, the first woman elected to Congress, faced an agonizing choice: should she, or should she not, vote for the United States to enter World War I?
August 8, 2019
In 1925, 30,000 Klansmen descended on Washington, D.C. The city cheered their arrival.
August 7, 2019
William Liebenow rescued John F. Kennedy from an island filled with coconuts.
August 6, 2019
Ivanka Trump might be the only first daughter in American history to score a West Wing office, but she’s not the first presidential daughter to wield power in the White House.
August 5, 2019
In 1951, a televised Senate hearing caught America’s attention.
August 2, 2019
The most recent British royal wedding puts all eyes on the Windsor family. But perhaps no royal is as controversial as Harry's grandfather, Prince Philip.
August 1, 2019
Millions of British children were evacuated from London and other cities to escape the horrors of war. But the family separations seemed to impart long-term trauma that was in many cases as severe as if they had stayed behind and faced the bombs.
July 31, 2019
In 1971, Stephen Burns was 18 years old and a newly minted voter. He was so jazzed to be a part of the Democratic process.
July 30, 2019
People have long been fascinated by the books presidents choose to read. But how much do reading habits actually reveal about a president?
July 29, 2019
For over 50 years, the phrase “under God” was not a part of the Pledge of Allegiance. One sermon changed that.
July 26, 2019
When Harry Truman became president in 1945, Southern members of Congress were delighted. They thought he’d be sympathetic to segregationists. He proved them wrong.
July 25, 2019
The Tuskegee syphilis experiment is a horrific piece of American history.
July 24, 2019
For the past 100 years, Mata Hari has been revered as the quintessential glamorous spy. But the real Mata Hari was much more complicated.
July 23, 2019
A hungry congressman didn’t get the breakfast he ordered. So he shot the waiter.
July 22, 2019
The movement organized by survivors of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., is not the first time that kids have taken a stand. H
July 19, 2019
Host Lillian Cunningham's next podcast explores the real story of why we went to the moon -- a darker, but truer story than the one you've heard before. Listen to this trailer, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app or at
July 18, 2019
Back in 1941, a get-together that should have been fraught with uneasiness didn't turn out that way, which is surprising given the participants: President Harry S. Truman and Joseph Stalin.
July 17, 2019
Katherine Graham's leadership in the decision to release the Pentagon Papers was the subject of the Stephen Spielberg film "The Post." But it was her leadership during the pressman's strike in 1975 that is perhaps the most gripping moment of her life.
July 16, 2019
The Alderson Federal Prison Camp has a history filled with powerful women. Some pushed for the prison to be built. Others served time there.
July 15, 2019
In a largely forgotten experiment, a group of students from Gallaudet University spent years helping NASA understand the mechanisms of motion sickness and how to prevent it.
July 12, 2019
For most of American history, no one was scared of sharks. One week--and one shark--changed people's opinions of the marine creatures.
July 11, 2019
Charles Asbury’s digitized songs serve as a time capsule to the music of the 19th century.
July 10, 2019
Raw questions of complicity versus compulsion have surrounded the 1941 murders of a Polish village's Jewish residents.
July 9, 2019
On display in Washington, D.C. are the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and another document that details a fundamental institution in American life: baseball.
July 8, 2019
Benjamin Lay wrote one of the first treatises against slavery in Colonial America, a time when many prosperous Pennsylvania Quakers were slave owners. But the Quakers disowned Lay for speaking out.
July 5, 2019
Sixty years after Congress welcomed its first woman, it welcomed its first baby.
July 4, 2019
Somehow, in the depths of his personal misery towards the end of his life, Thomas Jefferson once again found his powerful way with words.
July 3, 2019
George Washington and his fellow partiers racked up a hefty bill--$15,000 in today’s currency--celebrating the completion of the Constitution.
July 2, 2019
In 1998, the world briefly panicked over an asteroid that seemed headed straight for Earth.
July 1, 2019
Suzanne Lenglen was physically ferocious, always fashionable and a disrupter of convention.
June 28, 2019
The very first pride parade was held in 1964 and was a bit calmer than what we think of today.
June 27, 2019
In 1868, Ellicott City, Md. flooded. The lack of rain made the natural disaster totally bizarre and unexpected.
June 26, 2019
Eleanor Roosevelt held news conferences just for female reporters. The men were not impressed.
June 25, 2019
Linda Brown and her father Oliver Brown are heroes of the civil rights movement. The backstory of the landmark Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education is more complicated than what you learned in school.
June 24, 2019
When the NRA was founded in 1871, its primary concern was not gun rights or the Second Amendment.
June 21, 2019
Designer Louis Réard left automotive engineering to work in his mother’s lingerie business. He decided to compete with another design to create the world’s smallest swimsuit.
June 20, 2019
Andrew Higgins wasn't in the Army. He wasn't a paratrooper. He was a wild and wily genius, a tough, crafty, businessman. And he built the built the boats that brought troops ashore at Normandy on June 6, 1944.
June 19, 2019
Oregon’s original constitution banned black people from the state, and the law stayed in the constitution for well over 100 years.
June 18, 2019
'A Wrinkle in Time' author Madeleine L'Engle said she received 26 rejection letters from publishers.
June 17, 2019
The man who called the police on the Watergate burglars never received the credit he deserved.
June 14, 2019
When the White House was built over 200 years ago, it lacked certain modern conveniences. A hodgepodge of improvements have been added over the years.
June 13, 2019
The Boy Scout movement began 110 years ago on a tiny island just off the southern coast of England.
June 12, 2019
At a White House luncheon, actress Eartha Kitt would not let the president or the first lady avoid the issue of the Vietnam War. She paid a heavy price for her boldness.
June 11, 2019
If you love gossip, drama and D.C. politics -- this story is the gift that keeps on giving.
June 10, 2019
On the day before D-Day, Supreme Allied Commander in Europe Dwight D. Eisenhower gave a speech to the troops that totally masked how nervous he actually was.
June 7, 2019
The spy business is all about masking the truth. One CIA agent’s deceptions and sham identities were so enterprising that he earned the nickname “Master of Disguise.”
June 6, 2019
Joseph Stalin wanted his political rival dead. When bullets didn’t do the job, his intelligence service tried something even more gruesome.
June 5, 2019
When a Russian sub sank at the height of the Cold War, the CIA got help from Howard Hughes and created a fictitious mining operation to snag the vessel at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.
June 4, 2019
During World War II, U.S. intelligence operatives devised a plan to airdrop one-shot handguns, nicknamed the Liberator pistol, to allies in Europe in hopes of ending the war quickly.
June 3, 2019
In the first of a weeklong series of episodes about spies, subterfuge and intelligence, a look at how the CIA used dead rats to send secret messages in the former Soviet Union.
May 31, 2019
In the 1950s, Dr. Virginia Apgar created a quick test that nurses have since performed on millions of babies just after birth. She is considered one of the most important figures in modern medicine — a world that almost pushed her away.
May 30, 2019
When author Ernest Hemingway killed himself in 1961, the political strain between the United States and Cuba was escalating. In the midst of that struggle, Hemingway's widow scrambled to recover the author's work from his beloved home in Cuba.
May 29, 2019
In 1939, an unknown copy editor from Washington, D.C., begged famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright to design his family a home. The result was a modern house that stood decades ahead of its time.
May 28, 2019
The world watched Notre Dame as it burned in April. But the cathedral has endured a lot in its 856 years.
May 24, 2019
Beginning in the earliest days of baseball, fans, journalists and even physicists disputed whether or not pitchers could make a ball curve.
May 23, 2019
While on a research trip to the Arctic in the early 20th century, scientist Clarence Birdseye — a name you might recognize from the frozen food aisle — made an observation that would go on to change the way we eat.
May 22, 2019
In the 1950s, millions of people suffered from measles every year. David Edmonston, an 11-year-old student, became the cure.
May 21, 2019
The nurse who founded the American Red Cross had no formal training in medicine. She tended to countless wounded soldiers.
May 20, 2019
Every year, freshmen at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis take part in an annual tradition where they must climb a 21 foot high obelisk covered in vegetable shortening and place a hat at the very top.
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