When President Obama mentioned in Tuesday's speech to Congress that the United States invented the automobile, podcast listener Hayden questioned if that was exactly accurate. Turns out, your instincts were right, Hayden.
Because invention tends to be a long, collaborative process, pinpointing one inventor is almost always tricky. Nevertheless, most experts agree that it's a mistake to say the car originated in the United States. Purists might want go all the way back to Da Vinci's design for a car. However, many point to Germany's Karl Benz as the inventor of the modern automobile.
Benz invented a horseless carriage with an internal combustion engine on three wheels in 1885. If that doesn't convince you, let's move on to our next eligible contestant: Gottlieb Daimler. Daimler, independent from Benz but also a German, constructed a four-wheeler in 1886 with his partner, Wilhelm Maybach. Only one American team makes the list: the Duryea brothers in 1893.
If you've been to Washington D.C. in the past few years, you may have noticed that their license plates invoke the centuries-old issue of "taxation without representation." But these plates aren't meant to celebrate the historic Revolution as much as they are protesting the problem that exists today. What's that? You thought this debate was over and done-with in America ever since the colonies won independence from the British crown? If so, you were wrong.
According to the organization DCVote.org, it's unfair that District of Columbia residents bear the same burden of taxes as everyone else, but do not have a voting representative in the U.S. Congress. They make an interesting point, and their cause has recently won some momentum in Congress, according to a recent New York Times story. But, why did the Founding Fathers, who risked their lives to rid us of such tyranny, put D.C. in this situation in the first place?
You may have heard buzz this past week about the "discovery" of the ancient mythical island of Atlantis. Using the new feature of Google Ocean, aeronautical engineer Bernie Bamford spotted what he thought looked like a sunken city grid on the Atlantic Ocean's floor 600 miles off the coast of northwest Africa, according to Telegraph.
Alas, this recent find was all a mistake, says Google. The DailyMail reports that Google believes the supposed grid to be just a blip -- rather than an ancient city, it represents the path of the boat that was mapping sonar information.
Although the story had the public and historians excited, we can add this to the long list of dubious theories about the location (or even existence) of Atlantis. So, why are some diehards relentlessly searching for the remains of the ancient civilization while others doubt that it existed at all?
The knights of medieval Europe are often associated with a code of behavior known as chivalry -- but what were these knights actually like? Learn more about the reality behind the popular image of knights in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
There's an article in the Fashion & Style section of NYTimes.com today called But the article cites Doug Wead, author of "All the Presidents' Children: Triumph and Tragedy in the Lives of America's First Families," who explains, "I ...
Going off of yesterday's post about the recent discovery of a possible Da Vinci painting, I wanted to delve a little further into why historians have such trouble pinning down the great Leonardo. Questions of authenticity have plagued Da Vinci schola ...
While historical films don't always make a big splash, the 81st Annual Academy Awards honored a handful of 2008 historical dramas.First, there was "The Duchess," which won the award for Another big winner was "Milk." TIME magazine ...
On Friday, our friends over at Discovery News reported that a (possible) Leonardo Da Vinci self-portrait has recently surfaced. Experts are hesitant to jump to conclusions yet, however, because they've been duped before.
Although the Spanish-American War was a short conflict, many historians believe this conflict marked the United States' emergence as a major world power. Tune in and learn more about the Spanish-American War in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Did you see the For starters, they point to her wedding shoes, which were once deep purple silk with jeweled buckle accents. Very fashion-forward and not the sort of thing a shrinking violet would've worn. There are also some financial records of clo ...
At his press conference yesterday, former President Jimmy Carter discussed some surprising thoughts on his legacy as an ex-president. He also shared some personal experiences as a boy growing up during the Great Depression and whether it's comparable to today's recession.
Like Candace mentioned, she and I are attending a press conference at the Carter Center today. When we got this invitation, it got us talking about what former presidents choose to do with themselves when retirement is awkwardly thrust upon them, despite being just barely past their prime.
Today, Jane and I are going to a press conference at the In light of the day's event, I thought I'd spotlight Mrs. Carter in today's first lady feature. I think she's a pretty unique first lady. Did you know that she traveled solo around the nation t ...
I mentioned yesterday that it's a first lady tradition to have a feature photograph in Vogue. If you're Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama, it's a pretty exclusive tradition to be on the cover. But one first lady opted out: Bess Truman. Since I'll be ...
People in the media have been making a lot of references to Barack Obama's first 100 days in office. CNN even keeps a progress report of how he's doing during this crucial period. But, what's so special about this span of time?
When the Black Death swept across Europe, it killed an estimated 25 million people -- one third of Europe's total population. Tune in and learn more about the lasting effects of the Black Death in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Jane and I have discussed the role of first lady on the Stuff You Missed in History Class podcast. We've explained that the office is an unofficial one (it's mentioned nowhere in the Constitution), and it's a position that a woman falls into by virtu ...
Thomas Jefferson, one of America's founding fathers, was a very unorthodox thinker. His revision of the Bible was one of his most controversial projects -- tune into this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn why.
Eva Peron died on July 26, 1952. After a 13-day wake, Dr. Pedro Ara mummified the body -- but it would take more than twenty years to bury the corpse. Learn more about Eva Peron's decades-long travel to the grave in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.