Who’s Who?: Santa Claus, Saint Nick, and Father Christmas

There’s three main names that get thrown around a lot during the Christmas Season. You’ve got Santa Claus – the name you hear in all the Christmas songs who goes around on a sleigh pulled by reindeer delivering toys to well-behaved children on Christmas Day, and you’ve got Saint Nicholas, the guy who’s generally associated […]

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5 Historical Christmas Foods Most People Don’t Eat Anymore

The human race has been celebrating the holiday of Christmas for a very long time – about a thousand years, actually. Of course, no matter what time period in history you’re at, there’s always a traditional food or two that have been associated with the holiday. Some are still on the menu, and some haven’t […]

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Duelling with wax bullets, 1909

In the early 1900s, the age-old custom of pistol dueling was briefly resurrected as a non-lethal sport by using wax bullets. While it still involved men shooting firearms at one another, the difference here was that defeated parties could be “theoretically pronounced dead… and the supposedly fatal results created general merriment”. These pictures show the […]

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Hitler’s Nephew; The One Who Fought For The Allies

It was a cold day in Long Island that January 1939 when William “Willy” Patrick Hitler immigrated with his Irish mother to the United States. William Randolph Hearst had invited him to join a lecture tour. It was a notable month. Only days before, FDR delivered the 1939 State of the Union Address to congress. Officials […]

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Who Was Socrates, Really?

We all know Socrates as the classical Greek philosopher who is credited with being one of the main founders of modern thought. However, Socrates is a bit of a historical enigma. He never wrote anything down for himself. Instead, his thoughts and reasoning were recorded by his student, Plato. We only know what others have said […]

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History’s Nutcases: Jemmy Hirst

Last time on History’s Nutcases, we talked about the famous Romantic poet, Lord Byron, whose life was characterized by love affairs, strange habits, and a love of all things dark and mysterious. This time, we’re talking about famous English eccentric, Jemmy Hirst. He was a man so strange that King Edward III had to invite him over […]

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Absorbing Details in the Classroom: Photographs of Schoolroom Interiors

The semester is well underway in many U.S. schools and, by now, one would expect their classrooms to have acquired what my family referred to as the “lived-in look.” One of my favorite photo detail explorations is to peer closely at classrooms—particularly what appears at students’ seats, on the chalkboards and adorning the walls—and to […]

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