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19th century

The Extinction of the Stephens Island Wren

The extinction of one New Zealand bird species is often attributed to a single cat. While feline predation played a significant role in the end of the Stephens Island wren, the story is actually more complex. See more »

Louis Riel

Riel was labeled both a traitor and a hero in his time. His work as a political leader for the Métis Nation in the Red River Rebellion led to the establishment of Manitoba. His involvement in the North-West Rebellion did not have a positive outcome. See more »

Annette Kellerman

Australian Kellerman gets a lot of the credit for developing the women's one-piece bathing suit. But she was also a competitive swimmer, as well as a vaudeville and film star who designed her own mermaid costumes. See more »

The Ladies of Llangollen

In the late 18th century, Sarah Ponsonby and Lady Eleanor Butler, also known as the Ladies of Llangollen, abandoned their life in the upper tiers of Irish society and made a home for themselves in Wales. And they became rather famous in the process. See more »

The Kentucky Derby's First 50 Years

Although horse racing in general has been around much longer than the Kentucky Derby, including in the United States, the Derby itself has become the nation's most famous and prestigious horse racing event. See more »

The Cato Street Conspiracy

Urbanization and mechanization, and all the downsides they brought with them, had continued in Great Britain in the years since the Luddite Rebellion. In response, a radical group plotted to assassinate the Prime Minister's entire cabinet. See more »

Walt Whitman, Poet of Democracy

Whitman is often touted as the best and most important poet in U.S. history, but he also worked as a teacher and a journalist. And his poetry career didn't start out particularly well. See more »

A Brief History of Foreign Food in the U.S.

One of the most diverse things about the U.S. is its food industry. Foodies obsessively seek out the “authentic” flavors of any given culture. But many of the foods brought to the U.S. via immigration were initially viewed with suspicion and disdain. See more »

Edmonia Lewis

The American sculptor was a celebrated artist in her day, but she receded from the spotlight; her final years remained a mystery for quite some time. Her marble works are striking examples of the neoclassical style popular at the end of the 19th century. See more »

Henry Dunant, Founder of the Red Cross

After witnessing the brutality of a battle first-hand, Swiss-born Dunant dedicated his life to easing the suffering brought by war. But he did so at great cost to his personal life. See more »