Julia Ward Howe

The Long, Winding History of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”

Julia Ward Howe wrote her most famous poem, the legendary Civil War song, “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” in a single burst of inspiration 156 years ago.
Clothing Rack full of T-Shirts at a Thrift Store

How Thrift Stores Were Born

According to the Association of Retail Professionals, about 16 to 18 percent of Americans shop at thrift stores in any given year.
Noah Webster painting

How Noah Webster Invented the Word Immigration

Noah Webster, author of An American Dictionary of the English Language published in 1828, invented the word "immigration."
Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott, Servant

She’s best known as the intrepid author of Little Women, but Louisa May Alcott was once a domestic servant.
Illustration of two house sparrows

The Great Sparrow War of the 1870s

The "sparrow war" in the United States in the 1870s ended with a resounding victory… for the sparrows. 
Mystery airship The Saint Paul Globe (Minn) April 13 1897

The History of UFOs

UFOs are much older than the Cold War's flying saucers. These 1897 and 1909 sightings of flying machines were the talk of the town. 
Black and white illustration of men dueling from the 1899 bestseller, Richard Carvel

The Other Winston Churchill

Do you know about Winston Churchill, the American novelist? Now you do.
Close-up of a voting machine lever

The Early American Origins of Political Terms

What does stump speech and pork barrel mean? A short lexicon of American political terms.