entertainment history

Fort Shaw Indian School: Basketball Champions (pt. 2)

In 1904, the Fort Shaw Indian School women’s basketball team spent four months at the St. Louis World’s Fair. The team performed mandolin recitals, literary recitations, demonstrations of gymnastics and calisthenics, and became World Champions.

Basketball Comes to Fort Shaw Indian School (pt. 1)

The Fort Shaw Indian School was part of a boarding school system designed to make Native American students conform to white culture. In a surprising twist, it also boasted a champion women’s basketball team.

The Murder of William Desmond Taylor

Even in its youth, Hollywood's rapidly growing film industry had a reputation for debauchery. When a high-profile director was murdered, it added to that image, and revealed that Taylor, like so many in Hollywood, had lots of secrets.

SYMHC Live at SLCC: Lon Chaney, Man of a Thousand Faces

Not only was he a star as an actor, he was famed for his use of makeup. He was passionate about completely transforming himself for each role, and was determined to keep his life off screen as private as possible.

The Crash at Crush and Other Train Wreck Spectacles

For a brief window from the late 1800s to the early 1900s, people in the United States were watching train wrecks for fun. These staged spectacles would draw thousands and thousands of paying onlookers, but why exactly were they so popular?

William Moulton Marston & the Creation of Wonder Woman

Most people know Wonder Woman as an embodiment of truth and justice, but don't know much about the comic's earlier years or its creator. Marston lived an unconventional life, and in many ways, Wonder Woman was an expression of that life.

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.

Abbott and Costello, Part 2

Abbott and Costello made it big in Hollywood during WWII, but the later part of their career together was beset by tragedy, money issues and personal problems that ultimately ended their partnership.

Abbott and Costello, Part 1

The comedy team of Abbott and Costello created some of the most memorable sketches in history. Their perfectly balanced energy catapulted them from burlesque and vaudeville stages to radio, and eventually Hollywood.

Ira Frederick Aldridge, Famous Unknown Shakespearean

He was one of the first Americans to achieve fame as a Shakespearean actor — and the first black man to do so, becoming a famous figure on the Victorian stage. But Aldridge has largely been excluded from biographies of Shakespearean actors.