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Right Now in Stuff You Missed in History Class

The role of First Lady is extraconstitutional, and the functions of this position have varied across administrations. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about the influence political parties may have on the role of the First Lady.

Although Columbus is often thought to be the first European in America, an Irish monk may have reached the New World in the sixth century. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about the fact and fiction surrounding St. Brendan.

The U.S. Constitution grants several powers to the President, including the ability to pardon anyone for several types of crime. Learn about the origins of pardons in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.

When the U.S. was still a young nation, the notorious Barbary pirates demanded tribute from countries across the world. Rumor has it that President Jefferson was the first to stand up to the pirates. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more.

The framers of the Constitution put the electoral college in place as a compromise, and ever since voters have wondered if their vote counts. Check out this podcast from HowStuffWorks to learn more about the fact and fiction of the electoral college.

Did someone really escape from Alcatraz?

Alcatraz was one of the United States' most notorious prisons -- isolated on an island and surrounded by sharks. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about the fact and fiction surrounding escape attempts at Alcatraz.

In the United States, the presidential debate is a time-honored institution. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to as our staff writers trace the fact and fiction surrounding presidential debates.

Marie Antoinette was only ten when Rousseau published the famous 'let them eat cake' quote. Check out our HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about what this statement actually meant -- whether or not Marie actually said it.

A donkey and an elephant are the symbols of the U.S. Democratic and Republican parties, but how were these symbols chosen? Check out our HowStuffWorks article to learn more about the fact and fiction surrounding America's political symbols.

The Beijing underground city may sound like the stuff of legends, but it's a real place built to escape Soviets. Check out our HowStuffWorks article to learn more about the fact and fiction surrounding the city underneath Beijing.

Thomas Jefferson's life was peppered with accomplishments -- but what about the disparity between his public image and private life? Check out our HowStuffWorks article to learn more about the fact and fiction surrounding Thomas Jefferson.

John Billington was one of the signers of the Mayflower Compact -- he was also the first American murder. Check out our HowStuffWorks article to learn about the fact and fiction surrounding America's first murderer.

Versions of the Great Flood float around in nearly every human culture, and Christianity, Islam and Judaism share the overarching plot points of a man, a flood, and animals marching two by two. Check out our HowStuffWorks article to learn whether this sto

How did Rasputin really die?

Rasputin, mystic and advisor to the Romanov family in Russia, was distrusted and seemingly immuned to death. How did Rasputin finally die? Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more.

What happened to the two other men on Paul Revere's ride?

Although Paul Revere's ride has evolved into an American legend, he was not alone on his famous midnight ride. Check out our HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about the fact and fiction surrounding Paul Revere.

Did the Great Chicago Fire really start with Mrs. O'Leary's cow?

In all of history, no cow is more infamous than Mrs. O'Leary's. The farm animals was accused of kicking over a lantern and starting the Great Chicago Fire on Oct. 8, 1871. Check out our HowStuffWorks article to learn whether this story is fact or fiction.

Thanks to his enduring presence in western culture, the name King Arthur conjures up a very specific image. Take a look at our HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about the fact and fiction surround King Arthur.

Known today as Egypt, Kemet is one of the longest-lived cultures in the world. The great Greek scholars studied at the Kemetic temple-universities, and based their learning on the Kemetic system. Check out our HowStuffWorks article to learn more.

How the Great Train Robbery Worked

On the night of August 8, 1963, a gang of thieves stole bank notes worth the equivalent of $50 million. Take a look at our HowStuffWorks article to learn more about the fact and fiction surrounding the great train robbery.

Vlad Tepes, a 15th-century Wallachian prince, was the notoriously blood-thirsty basis for Dracula, Bram Stoker's classic gothic horror character. Check out our HowStuffWorks article to learn more about Vlad Tepes.