19th Century

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.

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.

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.

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.

While stranded in the Sierra Nevada mountains, members of the Donner Party resorted to cannibalism in an effort to survive the harsh winter of 1846. Learn more about the fact and fiction of the Donner Party legend in our HowStuffWorks article.

Why was Davy Crockett king of the wild frontier?

Davy Crockett is one of America's great real-life legends. With a little help from Walt Disney, Crockett experienced a resurgence in popularity more than 100 years after his death. Check out our HowStuffWorks article to learn if this is fact or fiction.