A letter puzzle

Tales from the History of Cryptography

The history of cryptography.
Fire

The Importance of Fire to Human Life

The cultural importance of fire.
An Election Entertainment by William Hogarth, 1754-1755

Never Mind That Extra Second, What Happened to Those 11 Days?

The 1752 British transition from Julian to Gregorian calendar added 11 days to people's lives.
Pen on a white background

Ballpoint Pen CSI

A short history of the ballpoint pen and early debates about its impact on handwriting.
A swimming beaver

Beavers, Hats, and the Fur Trade

Origins of the North American fur trade.
Backgammon game in progress

The Erotics of Backgammon

James E. Doan reveals the sexual innuendoes and double-entendres based on Backgammon.
Construction paper, scissors, a pen, and cut out hearts; everything necessary for homemade Valentine's day cards

The Origins of St. Valentine’s Day

The complicated origins of St. Valentine's Day.
Let's Talk Turkey

Let’s Talk Turkey

First of all, why the name "turkey?"
A family gathers around the table for Thanksgiving

The Modern Invention of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving as we know it was deliberately invented in the nineteenth century.
Side-by-side black and white photographs from the mid 1800's of two ladies sitting across from each other and dabbling in divination as a specter-like presence hovers between them

Waking the Spirits: The Diaries of John A. Clark

During the fall and winter of 1861-1862, Clark and many other officials in Santa Fe attended at least eight séances.