by Shahad Al Quraishi, age 15
The Royal Library of Ashurbanipal, also referred to by many as the first library in the world, is considered one of the most important creations in human history. The library, which is located in present-day Iraq near Mosul, was created and built by the sixth Neo-Assyrian king, Ashurbanipal.
The Royal Library contains about 30,000 clay tablets written in a script called cuneiform. The texts ranged in topics such as literature to administrative records. It also contained texts in ancient languages, mostly Akkadian and Sumerian.
Ashurbanipal was not supposed to succeed his father as king until his brother died in 672 BC making him the new heir. Before he was named king, he had the freedom to relish in scholarly pursuits. Because of this, Ashurbanipal decided to create The Royal Library.
by Elim Eyobed, age 11
If you live and breathe air, you have definitely heard of Prince. His album, “1999”, almost singled him out as one of the greatest musicians of all time. Prince Rogers Nelson was born on June 7, 1958. His father, John Nelson, was a jazz pianist, and Mattie Nelson, his mother, was a vocalist. His life at home was not stable, so at the age of 12, he left and was adopted by the Anderson family.
While Prince was still young, he began to teach himself how to play many instruments including the drums, bass, guitar, and among many others. When he was in high school, he joined the band Grand Central with some classmates. Like most artists, Prince left school early at the age of 16.
In 1976, Prince had begun working as a session guitarist for Minneapolis Sound 80 Studios, and a year later he signed a contract with Warner Records. During the early years of his career, Prince and the ”Minneapolis Sound'' became major Musicians on the R&B charts.
by Zayn Khalid, age 12
The sport of basketball was created about 170 years ago and over the years the game has consistently evolved. Basketball has evolved from casually shooting a leather ball held together with lace into a broken peach basket, to playing in expensive stadiums in front of thousands.
The game of basketball was invented in December 1891, by James Naismith. He created the game at a Young Men’s Cristian Association (YMCA) Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts. They started with nine players on the court per team because Naismith had 18 people in his YMCA, but by 1897-98 it was changed to five players on the court per team. At the time, there were nine position. The positions played by forwards were right wing, home, and left wing. The positions played by the centers were center, right center, and left center. The guards positions were goalkeeper, right guard, and left guard. The positions were similar to soccer because basketball was a mix between soccer, American football, and ice hockey. Now the positions for five players are point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, and center. The game spread over to Canada, played by both men and women. It became a popular outside game among the U.S servicemen in World War ll.
Many U.S. colleges began to play basketball; the first college games were played in 1934 at the Madison Square Garden in New York City. By the 1950s, basketball became a major college sport. This increased the interest in professional basketball. The first pro league, the National Basketball League, was formed in 1898 to make the game fair and more organized; this league lasted five years before disbanding. There were lots of loosely basketball leagues in Northern America. In 1949, two big basketball leagues (National Basketball League and the Basketball Association of America) combined to make the National Basketball Association (NBA).
by Aarosh Subedi, age 10
Mount Everest is one the Himalayas' tallest mountains in the world and lies in the continent of Asia.
Mount Everest measures 29,000 feet and lies between Tibet which is in the region of China, and in Nepal. At about 14,000 feet, there are valleys full of villages and Sherpa villagers that form the community.
When climbing Everest, you will encounter all types of hazardous conditions! For example, avalanches, large tumbling piles of snow, can be very deadly. Additionally some challenges include thin air and strong freezing winds, you could also slip on some huge layers of ice called glaciers.
by Emily Bautista, age 13
Zodiac signs are a topic of mystery for many people. Many people do not know how they came to be or what they are used for.
First, zodiacs are primarily used by some believers to predict events during various seasons. There is a long history of civilizations using astronomy to plan their way of living. Take, for example, farmers – they used the sky like it was a calendar. The ancient Egyptian travelers also used the sky, not to plan their lives, but as a compass. Zodiacs are not only for ancient travelers, but Zodiac signs show up in plenty of beliefs from ancient cultures. Noblemen from ancient China would gaze on sunspots or eclipses as bad or good signs that will fall upon the emperor.
The 12 zodiac signs were established during the Ancient Greek period and by 1500 BCE, they were equally divided into 12 signs. Those 12 signs were divided into four equal groups. It is believed that all of these ideas were invented around the time Alexander the Great took over Egypt, around 330 BCE.
by Zayn Khalid, age 12
Michael Jordan stands as one of the greatest athletes of all time, and is considered basketball's most renowned players. Jordan is one of the fastest players to adjust from different sports.
Michael Jordan was born on February 17, 1963 in Brooklyn, New York, where he grew up playing basketball and baseball. As a kid, he enjoyed baseball with his dad, but over time he began to like basketball more. Jordan tried out for basketball in high school, but did not make the team until his senior year of high school. Jordan continued to work on his skills and eventually went on to play for North Carolina State. After college, Jordan got drafted by the Chicago Bulls in 1984 and won three championships and three MVPs, which wouldn’t have been possible without team member Scottie Pippen. Scottie Pippen and Jordan were considered the dynamic duo of the decade.
Unfortunately not too long into this athletic career, Jordan's dad died. He and his dad were very close. Jordan quit basketball and played professional baseball in the 1994-95 season in honor of his father’s death because playing baseball reminded him of his father. Then, he later returned to play professional basketball. Unfortunately, his skills were diminished.
by Daniel Li, age 14
Built-in 1952, the USS Nautilus was the first submarine ever powered by a nuclear reactor and, coincidentally, also the first to ever reach the North Pole by traveling under ice. William Anderson, the commander of the Nautilus, wrote in his logbook, “Embarked following personage at North Pole: Santa Claus, affiliation: Christmas.” Spending multiple days underwater had not seemed to affect the commander’s sense of humor.
The Nautilus was 319 feet long and brought 116 crew members to the North Pole. While these numbers are impressive, the defining characteristic of the ship was its nuclear reactor, which eliminated the need for conventional practices such as surfacing or using snorkels to provide air for engines and batteries. All power was provided inside the submarine.
This trip to the North Pole, codenamed “Operation Sunshine,” provided much scientific knowledge that would eventually lead to our current submarines. The Nautilus proved that nuclear-powered submarines were viable, making it possible for modern submarines to spend months at a time underwater. This first voyage was not only beneficial for scientific research, but also for military purposes. Although the United States was the first to develop nuclear-powered submarines, world powers such as Russia and China have developed many of their own. Since 1969, the U.K. has consistently had at least one submarine carrying nuclear weapons at sea.
by Sofia Zapata, age 13
It is likely that many people have heard something about Simón Bolivar, but do they know how he changed the world? Simón Bolivar, born on July 24th, 1783, in Caracas, Venezuela, was known as “El Libertador” (The Liberator).
On December 17th, 1819, he was named president of the Republic of Gran Colombia, where he had driven out the Spanish army earlier that year. Bolívar himself led multiple expeditionary forces against the Spaniards, and between 1819 and 1822 he successfully liberated the territories.
Bolivar was given the nickname “El Libertador” as he helped six nations become independent from Spain: Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, and Peru. Simón became the most powerful leader in South America through helping these six territories. Bolivar was president of Colombia and Peru at the same time, from 1821 to 1830. This helped create a League of South-American Nations in 1826.
by Elim Eyobed, age 11
Who is your favorite writer? Hemingway? Shakespeare? Well, one great writer you may have never heard of is Octavia E. Butler. Butler was an esteemed African American author who was recently recognized by NASA for her groundbreaking talents. NASA scientists even named a Mars landing site after her.
Butler was raised by her mother and grandmother and was extremely shy as a child. When she was 12 years old, Butler started to read fantasy books, and later wrote science fiction when she was a teenager. The science fiction she wrote helped make her a very strong writer. In fact, she became such a powerful writer that her books won the New York Times Notable Book of the Year award, The Nebula award for the best science fiction novel published in that year, and the Macarthur Genius Grant.
During the 1960’s, Butler attended college at Pasadena City College, California State University, and the University of California. She wasn't a good student in particular, but an avid one. While in Washington, Butler participated in the Black Power movement. She became familiar with The Clarion West Workshop, which was a well-known place for writers.
by Moore Vang, age 13
Ed “Strangler” Lewis was one of the most famous athletes in the world in the 1920s and 1930s, along with baseball player Babe Ruth and boxer Jack Dempsy. During that time, he managed to win five world championships and made the sport of wrestling more popular around the world.
Robert Friedrich, later known as Ed Lewis, was born on June 30, 1891, in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. When he was 13, he and his family moved to Wood County, which is where he began wrestling. In high school, his team had a match near Wisconsin Rapids where he would defeat the local champion after a long fought battle in front of 300 people. Robert took on all types of competitors throughout high school and won most of his matches.
by Anissa Attidekou, age 12
On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first human to ever walk on the moon. When Armstrong put his foot on the rocky moon, it left a footprint. Scientists observing the moon later were not surprised that the footprints remained because unlike Earth, the moon has no erosion by wind or water ---meaning footprints and other evidence of life can last on the moon. All water on the moon is frozen, it helps preserve the footprints even longer, maybe even forever.
Months after the historic Apollo 11 Mission – and finding out about the footprints – scientists continued research on the moon and discovered that the moon is exposed to bombardment by meteorites. All of those collisions left scratches and changed the surface of the moon.
Since the moon does not have an atmosphere, it is exposed to powerful solar wind coming from the sun. This makes it harder for the moon to preserve evidence of life, but the process of the sun’s solar wind making contact with the moon is extremely slow.
by Jazmin Becerril, age 14
During the United States Antarctic Expedition Service of 1939, an amazing new vehicle – unlike any other – was used. The creator, Thomas Poulter, came up with the idea for a huge mobile vehicle base after experiencing a near-death situation in which he was stuck at an Antarctic base due to the weather. He sold his idea to the Research Foundation of the Institute of Technology in Chicago, Illinois in the mid-1930s which agreed to design the vehicle under Poulter’s supervision.
The actual designing of the Snow Cruiser began in 1937. Once he heard that Admiral William Byrd was going on another expedition to Antarctica in 1939, Poulter received the support needed to get the project off the ground with construction taking only 11 weeks.
The appearance of this enormous vehicle was like nothing that had been seen before. It had a wheelbase of 20 feet, was 56 feet long, and was powered by two diesel engines.
by Devika Pal, age 17
As early as the mid-19th century, women made vast contributions to astronomy. They had to fight for representation and recognition in this field. Pioneers such as Maria Mitchell and a group of women known as the Harvard Computers paved the way for the women who followed. However, even now, many women struggle to receive credit for their work.
Maria Mitchell is recognized as the first professional woman astronomer in the United States. She discovered a comet in 1847 using a small telescope, which was later named after her, Miss Mitchell’s Comet. The discovery was initially credited to Italian astronomer Francesco de Vico even though he discovered it after she did; it was not until later that it was credited to Mitchell. The first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, Joseph Henry, even published the comet’s discovery in 1848 without mention of Mitchell’s name. His actions reflect the refusal to credit women astronomers for their achievements, a common tendency at that time. Despite being initially overlooked, she was admitted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1848, becoming the first woman to be recognized by the Academy.
During the early 20th century, Harvard Observatory Director Edward Charles Pickering put together a team of women astronomers who came to be known as the “Harvard Computers.” These women carried out astronomical calculations and invented the Harvard spectral classification, which they used to classify hundreds of stars. Over a century later, this system is still being used by modern astronomers. However, the women worked in substandard conditions, only earning 25 to 50 cents an hour, much less than the men made, while performing a similar wide range of duties. Even Annie Jump Cannon—who was central to development of the Havard classification system—was not credited by name in the title.
by Justin Medina , age 13
Around 66 million years ago, a six-mile wide asteroid called ”Chicxulub” caused one of the most fatal mass extinction events in all of history. When the impact happened, over three quarters of all life on Earth died along with most of the dinosaurs. Fortunately, Earth still carries an extension of dinosaurs: birds.
After the impact, fewer than ten different animal categories survived and were instantly forced into megasurvivorship, which means the animals were able to escape the mass extinction. While the asteroid disintegrated into ash, the sky was completely covered in smoke, blocking the sun. As a result, many plants perished.
With smoke filling the air, baby birds would die due to pollution. Birds could not see very well, making it difficult to find food. After many months of surviving, the atmosphere cleared, allowing the sun to shine again on the Earth’s surface. Plants began to grow again and animals could hunt.
by Emily Rodriguez , age 13
In 27 B.C.E., Rome had its first emperor, Octavian, titled Augustus Caesar Octavianus or Augustus for short. He was a very strong emperor.
After the Civil War, Augustus succeeded his granduncle Julius Caesar who was overthrown and assassinated by some senators for tyranny. A new war erupted, Augustus won and became the ruler of Rome. The senate allowed Augustus to reign in exchange for mutual control. Augustus was christened titles such as consul, First Citizen, tribune, provincial governor, and dictator; however, he was displeased with the common title “king” due to the negative connotations tied to it, so instead he referred to himself as an “Imperator” or emperor.
Augustus built aqueducts, bridges, roads and other necessities to strengthen his relationship with his Roman citizens. Aqueducts are stone structures that channel water from mountain lakes into cities. This provides the citizens with a nearly unlimited source of clean water. Romans built underground sewers to keep the water uncontaminated and keep their cities clear of diseases. In early days, water came from wells and springs which were often found polluted. Nowadays, most cities barely use the old aqueducts thanks to advanced technology.
by Jason Medina Ruiz, age 11
Madison was founded in 1836 and became Wisconsin’s state capital in 1838. Wisconsin was introduced as a state in 1848, the same year the campus of the University of Wisconsin was established in Madison.
The downtown area of Madison was created on an isthmus between Lakes Mendota and Monona. An isthmus is a narrow strip of land between two bodies of water. The city was also named after James Madison, the fourth president of the United States. Madison resides on Ho-Chunk land, and they call it Taychopera or Dejope. This translates to “land of four lakes” in the Ho-Chunk language.
The residents of Madison are known as Madisonians and the city is known for the four lakes it has: Monona, Mendota, Wingra and Waubesa. 13.5 percent of Madison's land area is taken by parks. The height of the state capitol is 284.4 feet tall, and it is modeled after the United States capitol in Washington, D.C.
by Valeria Moreno Lopez, age 16
During the Vietnam War, the U.S. military proposed the usage of herbicides in wartime to sabotage the living conditions of the enemy. Operation Ranch Hand was a program that created various herbicide compounds to destroy crops and plants in urban and agricultural areas that could benefit Vietnam’s forces.
Several companies, including Monsanto and Dow Chemical, were involved in the production of the herbicide compounds. Multiple mixes were made, such as Agent White, Purple, Orange, Pink, Blue, and Green. Though all of them were deployed, Agent Orange turned out to be the most dangerous. It is a combination of toxic chemicals and herbicide, which contains small amounts of TCDD, a type of dioxin. Even the smallest amounts could be harmful to those exposed, as it is a carcinogen— a cancer factor. Throughout 1962 to 1971, 13 million gallons of Agent Orange were aerially sprayed in regions of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.
Dioxins are a toxic chemical that can affect people’s health in unfortunate ways, if exposed long enough. Apart from being carcinogens, they are also associated with nerve and muscle disorders, heart diseases, and liver problems. Dioxins can last many years in the environment, seeping into water and food chains. They can enter animal systems and be present in the food most commonly consumed like meat, fish, poultry, and dairy products.
by Jason Medina Ruiz, age 11
How were ancient American metals crafted and what did they look like?
The most common metals used were gold, silver, and copper. The Peruvian tradition of creating amazing artifacts from precious metals was started 3,500 years ago.
A Kero was a commonly used silver cup in the Andean region in central Colombia where they drank Chicha. Chicha is a beer made out of corn that was placed inside the Kero which had a bird pattern. They have been found in cemeteries near the corpses, and were painted with turquoise. There was also another cup known as the portrait cup, which was made to resemble a real person. It was made out of beaten silver and had very noticeable characteristics such as almond eyes and hooked nose like an eagle's beak.
by Jacob Dunn, age 13
The Valley of the Kings is one of the most important parts of Egyptian history. This ancient place holds almost all the pharaohs of ancient Egypt. This burial site contains the bodies of pharaohs dating back to the 18th,19th, and 20th dynasties (1539 BCE to 1075 BCE).
This burial site can be found west of the Nile River in the hills behind Dayr-al-Bahri. This burial site has 62 known tombs including the one belonging to King Tut. Inside the pharaohs’ tombs, there would be markings and paintings of the kings as well as their treasures.
For that reason, they put the tombs in the valley but the tombs sank deeper into the mountain creating the Valley of the Kings. This place was created was because the pharaohs did not want their riches being stolen by tomb raiders. Unfortunately, they still were robbed by tomb raiders during the New Kingdom (1570 - 1069 BCE). Yet King Tut's treasures were untouched. The people of ancient Egypt even believed that there was a curse put on King Tut's tomb. The curse is said to be real because archaeologist Howard Carter discovered the tomb and died a week later.
by Makya Rodriguez, age 17
Ernest Shackleton was an Irish-British explorer obsessed with sailing to the South Pole. In 1914, Shackleton set sail from the UK on the HMS Endurance. Due to the harsh conditions, the ship got stuck in impenetrable ice. Although he was close to his destination, Shackelton and his crew were forced to abandon their ship.
They set up a camp on ice floes which took them north to an island where the team split off. Half the team left in search of help while the others stayed on the island. Eventually, all 28 crewmembers were rescued and saved.
A century later, the Endurance was found sunk in the Weddell Sea and remains there to this day. The discovery team consisted of a group of scientists, historians, and filmmakers on board to create a film for National Geographic about the mission to find the Endurance. Mensun Bound, director of the exploration said that “This is by far the finest wooden shipwreck I have ever seen. It is upright in the seabed, intact and in a brilliant state of preservation,” adding “This is a milestone in polar history.”
by Justin Medina Ruiz, age 13
In April of 2010, a large meteor struck across the Midwest skies, passing Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri at an altitude ranging between 6,000 to 12,000 feet. The meteoroid released heavy amounts of sound energy, known as a sonic boom, which was heard hundreds of miles away.
The meteoroid rapidly decreased in size, burning up, as it traveled down through the Earth’s sub-atmosphere, until it eventually crashed near Lancaster, Wisconsin. According to the National Weather Service, no one was injured. The impact, however, destroyed several trees and houses and left a huge scar on the Earth’s surface. Scientists estimated that while burning up, it exploded with a force equivalent to 20 tons of TNT.
This is not the first account of a meteor crash in Wisconsin. On record, approximately 13 meteorites have hit the State since the 1860s. These cometary remains were observed. They weighed between one and 530 pounds. When meteors are spotted in the sky, they are called “falls,” and when recovered from the ground, they are called “finds.”
by Daniel Garduno, age 11
Archaeologists have recently discovered a town in Turkey near Mesopotamia that they believe is the oldest known town in the world.
The old Turkish city is called Catalhoyuk and is about 9,000 years old. From what archeologists estimate, 10,000 people used to live in this region; now the town is a set of decomposing ruins. The town of Catalhoyuk had no front doors, and homes were built right next to each other. Evidence shows that instead of using streets and paths to travel between homes, people usually had to walk across the rooftops. Without any current resources, the town looks prehistoric.
Catalhoyuk is known for various things. A signature of the townsfolk in this area was their talent for art. Their art was mostly creative design that included murals and sculptures. The townsfolk usually put their finished art in interiors and exteriors of the most used room - an ancient equivalent of changing wallpaper every few months. Usually the main room was featured with red painted plaster bull skulls attached to the walls of the room. They also used animal bones and remains which included beaks, teeth, skulls, and tusks.
by Aissata Bah, age 12
Did you know that Madonna is one of the most successful female artists in history? She has sold over 250 million records, 75 million singles, and 125 million albums.
Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone was born in Detroit, Michigan on August 16, 1958. With her mother dying of breast cancer and her father remarrying, it started to affect her, especially at the age of five. After graduating school, she studied dance at the University of Michigan. She idolized a mentor at her school, Christopher Flynn, who encouraged her to become a dancer in New York City. By the age of 19, Madonna left Michigan and moved to New York where she supported herself by dancing with a variety of dance companies and working low-paid jobs.
During her early career, she auditioned for theatrical and musical roles, which later gave her an opportunity to visit Paris to take part in a revue. Madonna’s trip to Paris in 1979 led her to meet her boyfriend at that time, Dan Gilroy. After heading back to New York together they formed a band called The Breakfast Club, but once she became lead singer, the group broke up along with her relationship with Gilroy. Soon later, Madonna formed her own band called Emmy where she later collaborated with another former boyfriend to help launch her solo career in singing.
by Aissata Bah, age 12
Rhythm and Blues (R&B) is a musical genre that has a lot of important history and began in the mid-twentieth century. It is a genre that grew from the difficulties of young Black people. As told by Mark Puryear, curator for the 2011 Folklife Festival, “It tells a complex story of many strands and experiences.”
Originating in the 1940s, R&B was sparked by the Great Migration, a huge migration of African Americans moving to Northern, Midwestern and Western states, and the Civil Rights Movement. Primarily originating from inner-city ghettos or urban communities like Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Memphis, and Detroit, R&B began to expand. The term for R&B was originally African American music but started to change its meaning over time. It has many different forms and had grabbed the attention among wide youth audiences after war periods and helped contribute to less racial division. For example, Elvis Presley had covered an R&B song to present to a white audience. The reason was to bring both audiences from different backgrounds together.
In 1959, an american cooperation, Motown, had become one of the most successful Black-owned influential independent recording companies. It was founded by Berry Gordy Jr. in Detroit, Michigan. Once he had recorded for a group, he started the Motown Records. By the late 1950s there had been two other Black owned record companies that were really successful. Peacock Records, emerged in Houston, Texas by Don Robey. Then Vee Jay Records, formed in Chicago by Vivian Carter Bracken, James Bracken, and Calvin Carter. Due to Black radios becoming a force of popular music after World War II, it was possible for black record company owners to market their ware. Many groups or singers, especially girl groups went to Motown for recordings like, The Miracles, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Temptations, Martha and the Vandellas, The Marvelettes, Four Tops, The Contours, The Supremes, Jackson 5 and even more.
by Julian Medina, age 14
Where did the present-day Milwaukee Brewers originate? The Milwaukee Brewers baseball team, formerly known as the Seattle Pilots, was established in Seattle, Washington, in the 1960s.
In 1969, the team was accepted into the American League Western division; however, their first season was unsuccessful. With only 64 wins and 98 losses, the team placed last. Despite having 677,944 fans who attended games over the season, the team still faced myriad problems such as a poor quality stadium, low attendance, and poor weather conditions. As the upcoming season was approaching, the Seattle Pilots’ owner could no longer pay the team.
Consequently, the owners lost the team to Bud Selig, an American baseball executive, who relocated the team to Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 31, 1970. Here, the Milwaukee Brewers were officially established and became Wisconsin’s second major league baseball team.
by Justin Medina, age 13
King Tutankhamun, better known as King Tut, was ancient Egypt’s youngest Pharaoh being only nine years old. He was largely erased from history until his tomb was discovered in the early 1900s. His tomb and mummy continue to be studied today using high-tech tools.
Before he became a pharaoh, his father, Akhenaten, forced his people away from polytheism, the practice of worshiping more than one god. Instead, he had them worship Aton. However, when Akhenaten died, advisers influenced King Tut to change many of his father’s decisions. One of these changes was implemented through Egypt returning back to polytheism.
King Tutankhamun’s tomb was found by British archaeologist Howard Carter and his expedition team in 1922. This discovery gave scientists insight on how life was in ancient Egypt. The tomb contained over five thousand artifacts, in addition to various
by Owen Ayite-Atayi, age 14
The Golden State Warriors are a National Basketball Association (NBA) team that is worth 5.3 billion dollars as of 2022. The Warriors rank the third most valuable NBA team and the fifth most valuable sports team in history. The Warriors as a team have set many franchise and league records over the decades.
From 1946 through 1962, the Golden State Warriors were an Eastern Conference team that was named the Philadelphia Warriors. The team was established in 1946 and coached by Eddie Grattlieb, the first ever coach of Warriors basketball. Grattlieb coached for 11 years and retired in 1955, with a championship ring.
In the 1959 NBA Draft, the Philadelphia Warriors selected Wilton Norman Chamberlain, also known as Wilt. He was a 7’1” lengthy center who was phenomenal and knew how to use his body to beat his competition. He had a 7’8” wingspan and a 48 inch vertical. He was a territorial pick from the Kansas Jayhawks who led his team to a 42-8 record and the Final Four. When he was in college, he averaged 29.6 points per game and 18.9 rebounds per game. In his rookie season 1959-60 for the Philadelphia Warriors, he was an explosive center who averaged 37.6 PPG, 27 REB and 2.3 assist per game. He was selected to play in his first NBA All-Star game as a rookie. Wilt won Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player of the year as a rookie.
by Mariama Bah, age 15
Once known as "The World's Greatest Weekly," the Chicago Defender newspaper has been publishing news and information for nearly 117 years. Providing dependable and important news to the African American people of Chicago, it remains one of the most influential black weekly newspapers in the nation.
The newspaper was launched by Robert S. Abbott in 1905. Inspired by his beliefs in equal job opportunities and social justice, Abbott published the first issue of the Chicago Defender on May 5th, of that year. By 1910 the Defender began to gain popularity and readership.
The Chicago Defender soon became more than just a newspaper. It was also a beacon, especially for African American readers in the Southern United States.
by Emily Rodriguez Lima, age 13
Crocodiles are some of the few living creatures today that were alive at the time of the dinosaurs. Their lifestyle and anatomy have helped crocodiles survive for millions of years.
Crocodiles are known to be large reptiles. Some of them can grow up to 20 feet (6 meters) In length. The biggest alligator ever found was 19 feet long and most alligators only grow to about 9.75 feet. Crocodiles take up to 8 to 10 years to fully develop. They live in lakes and rivers, spending most of their lives in the water.
When crocodiles are trapping their prey, they drag them to water and keep them under the surface until they drown. Some crocodiles have small legs that don't allow them to walk on land, so they don't always need to come out of the water. When necessary, they stick their eyes and nose out to be able to breathe. They also do this when they are hunting.
by Gabriella Shell, age 16
Often overshadowed by the wider Great Depression, the Dust Bowl was a major ecological crisis that gripped the Great Plains in the 1930s. The result of decades of failed land management and cyclical droughts, the Dust Bowl led to the loss of crops and livestock. It also took more than 7,000 human lives.
The worst storm of the Dust Bowl era claimed the lives of 300 Americans. The storm hit the Oklahoma panhandle on April 14th, 1935. Described by onlookers as a rolling wall of dust, the storm picked up dirt as it traveled across the Great Plains. In some places, the storm left behind several feet of sediment. Everywhere it went this great wind storm left disaster in its wake.
After seeing the storm roll in, Lucian Doll, a 14 year old farm hand, told reporters he “thought the world was coming to an end.” First-hand accounts like Doll’s played a significant roll in the reporting of the horrific Dust Bowl.
by Amelia Mieko Pearson, age 12
You may not know this but birds are dinosaurs! As much as they do not look like dinosaurs, the connection between these two species does exist. In the Jurassic age, 150 years ago, the first bird was hatched from a small and feathery raptor-like dinosaur and became another branch of the dinosaur family tree.
Birds were hatched and survived for more than 80 million years. They all look different in their own ways. Some can swim, some fly, and others have unique patterns on their feathers.
Scientists group dinosaurs into two categories, avian and non-avian. The creation of these groups began after a major event that occurred 66 million years ago. That was the period when an asteroid struck, triggering a mass extinction. Over 75% of Earth’s animals disappeared. The only dinosaurs that survived were beaked birds.
by Dilma Attidekou, age 7
Have you ever wondered what was the biggest creature to walk the Earth? Over 90 Million years ago, Argentinosaurus lived in the region that we currently know today as South America. Argentinosaurus originated in the Southern Continents of Gondwana. They were given the name after the country Argentina, where they were discovered.
These dinosaurs were among the largest animals to ever live on Earth. This creature is believed to be the heaviest animal to ever live. To give you an idea, imagine 20 Elephants stacked on top of each other, this was the weight of one Argentinosaurus. This dinosaur was known as a Sauropod, meaning it walked only on four legs. Its length was 35 meters and weighed roughly around 70,000 kilograms.
Argentinosaurus were herbivores, meaning they only ate plants. These plants included Araucarian trees and other hard plants, which still grow in Argentina and South America. Their teeth were sharp which helped them chew and swallow easily.
by Dalya Alquraishi, age 9
Did you know that Mount Fuji is only 8,000 years old? Mount Fuji, the tallest and most famous mountain in Japan, is only 8,000 years old. It is a beautiful site to see and is located 60 miles away from Tokyo, the capital of Japan.
Mount Fuji sits on the rim of the Pacific Ocean, a region named “The Ring of Fire.” This area is home to many volcanoes and earthquakes. Since the mountain is so isolated from the city, its peak can be seen well from most parts of Tokyo.
Mount Fuji is one famous example of the common volcanic activity in the area, which can be seen from the many dead lava fields and hot springs near the mountain. Mount Fuji is symmetrical, and also has a central crater that is hidden by the eroded summit. The tip of the mountain is typically covered with snow. During spring time, the view of Mount Fuji from the city is framed by the blossoming cherry trees.
by Haliah Berkowitz, age 11
The first ice skates were very different from the skates used today. They did not have metal blades. In many countries, traditional ice skates were made from the shin bones of cattle or horses. This bone had to be extremely flat to be effective on the ice. Bone skates were flexible and could travel in all directions.
In the 15th century, ice skates were used for transportation in the Netherlands. During the winter, the Dutch used ice skates to travel to and from different places on the frozen water canals located in cities.
Ice skates now have many different uses, like figure skating. Today's skates, figure skates specifically, while better in some ways are also prone to cause more injuries. Modern skates with metal blades can only travel back and forth. This makes them more stable than the wobbly or flexible bone skates used before.
by Katina Maclin, age 16
Harriet Tubman was an expert naturalist. The Underground Railroad’s most famous conductor used her understanding of geography, wildlife biology, and astronomy to guide people to freedom.
Harriet Tubman was born in Maryland in 1822. At the time, Maryland was considered a border state. While the state didn’t have a lot of enslaved people, slavery was allowed there.
Maryland was also a coastal state with many port cities and access to the Atlantic Ocean. Tubman grew up knowing about slavery and was from an area where knowledge of ships and sailing was common. That’s how she learned to navigate using the stars in the night sky. She learned these skills from Black shipyard workers and she understood how they used astronomy to navigate.
by Aissata Bah, age 12
If you know who Vikings were, you might think that the men were stronger, more courageous and adventurous than the women, but that is not the case. There is evidence that suggests Viking women were just as brave and capable as the men. One of those women was Gudrid.
More than 1000 years ago, there lived a woman, Gudrid Thorbjarnardóttir, who sailed to Vinland, now known as Canada, with her husband and crew. They lived there and explored the area for three years. All together, she made eight crossings on the North Atlantic Sea and traveled farther than any other Viking.
Not surprisingly, this story is perhaps just a tale. People do not know for sure if Gudrid really existed or if she actually “found” America 500 years before Christopher Columbus. But, this is what scientists and historians are still researching and debating.
by Desteny Alvarez, age 17
Last summer, Tamara Thomsen, a maritime archaeologist for the Wisconsin Historical Society, and Mallory Dragt discovered a 15-foot-long dugout canoe in Wisconsin’s Lake Mendota. What sets it apart from other sunken boats is its age – the canoe was estimated to be 1,200 years old.
Thomsen and Dragt work together at Divisions Scuba, and they discovered the boat in 27 feet of water near Shorewood Hills while testing some scuba equipment. The canoe was brought to shore by a team of divers near the Spring Harbor Neighborhood. For the next two years, the canoe is set to undergo a series of preservation treatments so it can safely be put on display at the Wisconsin Historical Society’s renovated museum on the Capitol Square.
One of the several treatments will take place at the State Archive Preservation Facility, on the East side of Madison. The canoe will be positioned in a 16-foot-long, 3-foot-wide tank. Inside this tank, aside from water meant to keep the environment of the boat stable, there will be a biocide to ensure there are no microorganisms or algae growing on the wood. Then, a treatment of polyethylene glycol will take the place of water that the wood had soaked up.
by Valeria Moreno Lopez, age 15
History classes often overlook the history of Latin countries. Sometimes that’s true no matter how tragic events were.
Nearly five decades ago, Argentina’s military government unleashed a seven-year war against its own people. In what would become known as the Dirty War, thousands of victims mysteriously “disappeared.” Most were imprisoned, tortured, and murdered.
In March 1976, the Argentine military junta forcefully removed President Isabel Peron from office and took over the government. Many changes quickly followed Peron’s removal. Those who did not agree with the new policies and politics were suspected and targeted as “leftists” and “socialists.” The junta (military leaders) established hundreds of secret detention camps throughout Argentina. The camps were so secret that many people thought the camps were just rumors used to intimidate.
by Katina Maclin, age 15
Amanda Gorman is a well-known poet, scholar and activist in America today. But before there was a young, powerful, Amanda Gorman, there was Gwendolyn Brooks.
Gwendolyn Brooks used her passion and command of language to advocate for change during the Civil Rights movement. She experienced many changes of American history in her lifetime, Gwendolyn Brooks found her voice, and her voice as a Black women, through writing.
Today, Brooks is remembered as one of the most respected writers of the 20th century. She was a Poet Laureate and a Pulitzer Prize winner.
by Ayelen Flores Ruiz, age 11
Harriet Tubman, a former slave, helped many African-American slaves reach freedom via the Underground Railroad. She also made significant contributions to the Union Army and was an important activist during the Civil War. She was known for being the first African American woman to assist the Union Army during the Civil War.
Harriet Tubman was born in Dorchester County in Maryland between 1820 and 1822. Tubman was born into slavery. She was one of nine siblings, born to Harriet Green and Benjamin Ross. When Harriet Tubman was young she got hit in the head for helping a man who was being beaten for trying to escape, causing her to have horrible headaches and narcolepsy.
Tubman escaped slavery by using the Underground Railroad. She then navigated people who were trying to escape to freedom by using the Underground Railroad. Harriet Tubman was never caught and never lost a passenger while assisting people to freedom. Because of her success in escaping many slaves, Tubman had a $40,000 bounty on her head.
by Eleanor Pleasnick, age 13
It is considered common knowledge that Egypt is home to Planet Earth’s oldest pyramids. But recent discoveries seem to show that Peru has equal claim to this title. Scientists believe a pyramid excavated in the sacred city of Caral Supe was constructed around to 2,600 B.C.E. That means the pyramids in Egypt and Peru are about the same age.
Caral is known as the biggest and most complex community built by the oldest known civilization in the Western hemisphere. The 1,500-acre city is located 125 miles north of Lima (the capital of Peru) and 14 miles from the Pacific coast. The site contains six pyramids, sunken circular plazas, and a huge staircase all resting on a desert terrace looking over the Supe river.
The largest pyramid in Caral is called Piramide Mayor and is approximately 100 feet tall with a base that covers about four football fields. Archeologists say that this stunning artifact is around four to five thousand years old, which construction took place around the same time as the earliest Egyptian pyramid.
by Valeria Moreno Lopez, age 15
After the Middle Ages, a new era arose in Europe that prompted new and unique cultural, political, artistic, and scientific views. This era is known as the Renaissance, an influential and golden era for many people.
The Renaissance started in the beginning of the 14th century throughout the 17th in Florence, Italy. The city itself had a rich and cultural background, but Italy in general already had revolutionary impacts. The movement spread to other Italian cities at first, but later spread to western and northern Europe by the 15th century. In French, the word renaissance means “rebirth,” and refers to the rebirth of Europe after the end of the Middle Ages.
Years before the Renaissance, Europe went through a dark period of time called the Dark Ages. War, famine, plagues, illnesses, and death terrorized the continent, and awful hygiene and unhealthy lifestyles contributed to most of the Dark Ages. A heavily criticized way of thinking, called humanism, was introduced during the Renaissance, making traditional and religious beliefs questioned and disregarded. Instead, humanists focused on their own needs and desires, and created their own ethics and laws to live by rather than following a religion.
by Jules Da Costa, age 13
Have you ever wondered what the world’s oldest structure is? Well, archaeologists have found an answer: Gobekli Tepe.
The Gobekli Tepe, informally known as “Cathedral on a Hill,” is located east of the Mediterranean Sea in the country of Turkey. It was discovered atop a limestone plateau close to Urfa. It currently stands as humanity's oldest known structure, built over 11,000 years ago.
by Juan Esteban Palma Zuluaga, age 9
Throughout history, superstition and fear have made people dream up all kinds of abnormal things and imaginary monsters.
Some of these stories came about because travelers would often bring unusual or strange looking animals with them to new parts of the world. This would make the local people, who hadn’t seen them before, to imagine crazy stories about them!
Mythical monsters might be real, we just don't know for sure. Every year, tourists look at lakes in Scotland to see if they can spot a loch ness monster. Have you ever heard of this monster? Some believe that the monster could be a surviving plesiosaur, a prehistoric sea creature.
by Kadjata Bah, age 16
The Black Panther Party of the late 1960s was revolutionary for a number of reasons—their use of armed resistance, their powerful community programs and campaigns, and overall, their outstanding cry for Black power during a tumultuous time in American history. Emory Douglas, the Black Panthers’ Minister of Culture and Revolutionary Artist, was pivotal in spreading the party’s messages with posters, pamphlets, and newspapers donning striking Black figures calling Black people to join their radical cause.
Douglas was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1943, and later moved to San Francisco with his family in 1951. He first tapped into his artistic side as a teen incarcerated at the Youth Training School, where he learned printmaking. Douglas went on to continue studying art into the 60s, becoming involved in the growing Black Arts Movement and solidifying his passion for activism.
by Dulce Maria Vazquez, age 13
Surprisingly, the Bubonic plague, known to cause one of the deadliest disease outbreaks in history, only lasted for only four years. During those four years, two million people died in the country of England alone. In total, the plague killed over 20 million people worldwide. Due to the large death poll, the Bubonic plague is commonly known as the Black Death.
The pandemic started in Italy around the year 1346 and rapidly spread through the continent of Europe. Many decided to leave everything they owned behind just to flee the plague. Others decided to stay in their homes, which usually resulted in their death. In 1349. The disease left victims with painful boils on their bodies gave them high fever, nausea, and delirium. Various villages and towns were nearly wiped out by the Black Death.
Very little was known about medicine during the Middle Ages, leading doctors at the time to be incapable of fighting the disease. Rumors began to spread just as quickly as the plague, numerous people believed that the Black Death was a punishment sent from God. Although many thought that the plague affected only sinners, major fear and panic continued when people realized that the disease affected everyone alike.
by Dyami Rodriguez, age 16
On August 24th 1970, a bomb went off outside Sterling Hall at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As a result of the attack, a university researcher was killed and others were injured. The cost of the bombing was 6 million dollars and years worth of research.
The people behind the bombing were a group called “The New Year’s Gang.” The group consisted of four people: David Fine, Leo Burt, Dwight Armstrong, and Karl Armstrong. The bomb attack on Sterling Hall occurred in the context of protests against the Vietnam war.
Members of The New Year’s Gang believed that research at UW-Madison’s Army Math Research Center was supporting the U.S. war effort and that this research helped kill innocent people in Southeast Asia. Many of the group’s ideas stemmed from the Anti-war Movement that took place during the 1960s and 70s.
by Sandy Flores-Ruiz, age 15
Joseph McCarthy was one of the most controversial politicians in American history. He served as a Republican Senator from Wisconsin, from when he was first elected in 1947 until his death in 1957. He is known for declaring that communist spies and sympathizers had penetrated the U.S. federal government and for launching anti-communist investigations that polarized the country.
The events that took place after World War II convinced many Americans that the “Red menace” was real. For example, in 1949, the Soviet Union detonated its first atomic bomb. In the same year, communists declared victory in the Chinese Civil War. And in 1950, Soviet-backed forces in North Korea invaded their pro-Western neighbors in the South starting the bitter Korean War. The United States quickly joined the fight on the side of the South Koreans.
In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the prospect of communist subversion at home and in other places around the world caused concern for many in the U.S. The fear of communism corroded the political culture, creating a lack of trust among Americans. Joe McCarthy was seen Americans as a savior during this “Red Scare''. He spent most of his time trying to expose communists and other left-wing loyalists within the U.S. government. Few people dared to speak out against McCarthy because his accusations were so intimidating. For those who did criticize McCarthy, the consequences were often dire. He would dramatically denounce them and accuse that person of being a communist. Jobs were lost and reputations were ruined.
by Devika Pal, age 16
Olympia Brown, a leader in the women's suffrage movement, was born on January 15th, 1835, in Prairie Ronde, Michigan. She was raised in a home where education was vital and she was the oldest of four children. Her dad built a schoolhouse in order for his children to receive an education.
Brown convinced her father to let her attend college. In 1860, she graduated from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, with a Bachelor of Arts. She was one of the few women who graduated at that time. Two years later, in 1862, she went on to graduate from the St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, and became the first woman to graduate from the theological school.
Brown’s family commitment to the Universalist Church greatly impacted her life growing up. In 1863, she became the first woman to be ordained as a minister, despite the lack of support from the church. In the coming years, Brown’s involvement in the women’s suffrage movement grew. She worked with Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, and other suffragists.
by Valeria Moreno Lopez, age 15
One of the worst economic crises in American history began almost 100 years ago. On October 29, 1929, called “Black Tuesday,” the stock market crashed and led to approximately 10 years of economic failure and psychological trauma known as the Great Depression.
Before the Great Depression, people enjoyed lively and wild lifestyles over the decade of the 1920s. Known as the “Roaring 20s,” this was a time when many Americans lived carefree and the economy grew quickly, changing the lives of citizens. Automobiles, radios, telephones, and such were sold and bought; clubs and exclusive parties with jazz music became popular; women abandoned conservative fashions; and the country’s economic prosperity shone brightly. Life was good. Until investors, who had built their wealth by purchasing shares of companies in the stock market, panicked on Black Tuesday.
by Valeria Moreno Lopez, age 15
The famous Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo, is known for her original and symbolic self-portraits and paintings. A new and important Frida Kahlo exhibit opened recently in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. The exhibit is titled "Frida Kahlo: Timeless" and opened on July 31 at the Cleve Carney Museum of Art at the College of DuPage.
“Timeless” showcases Kahlo’s life story and includes 26 original works. Most of the pieces in the show were inspired by events in Frida’s life.
Early on a Saturday morning, a group of seven Simpson Street students met at our South Towne newsroom for a Frida Kahlo exhibit field trip. As we excitedly arrived at the College of Dupage, large posters with Kahlo’s face and name decorated the entrance, welcoming us. Before getting into the actual exhibit, museum workers checked and confirmed our tickets.
by Aviana House, age 13
Diana, Princess of Wales, was one of the most famous people in the world. Known for her empathetic image, she gained the attention and respect of people worldwide during her life.
Princess Diana was born as Lady Diana Frances Spencer on July 1st, 1961 in Sandringham, England. Diana constantly moved around throughout her schooling years. After her grandfather, Earl Spencer, died, she moved to Althorp, Northamptonshire with her family in 1975. She was sent to board West Heath School in Kent around that time. Not long after, she moved to Switzerland to a finishing school, and shortly returned to England to work as a nanny and school teacher.
Diana's family was close to the British royal family for years. In fact, Charles, the prince and Diana's soon to be husband, briefly dated Diana's sister, Lady Sarah. Diana married Charles instead of Sarah because of family pressure including expectation of Diana to become the future queen. They married on July 29th, 1981 when Diana was 19 and Charles was 32 years old. Since royal weddings are highly newsworthy, over one billion people watched and listened to their wedding.
by Sandy Flores Ruiz, age 15
In 1943, protests coined the Zoot Suit Riots (named after the outfits worn by young Latinos and minority groups) took hold of Los Angeles in the wake of swelling racial tensions and prejudice.
The outfit that became the namesake of the protests, the zoot suit, was a popular outfit in the 1930s. The style consisted of loose baggy clothing, jackets, shoulder pads, lapels, leg pants and accessories like chains, watches, and a variety of hats. For example, many Harlem dancers wore these types of clothing and their popularity spread across the country, specifically among Latin American, African American, and other minority groups. Over time, zoot suits evolved to be used to scapegoat minority groups. People who wore these outfits were seen as street thugs, gang members, and rebellious delinquents.
During World War 2, the zoot suits gained an even more malicious reputation as many service men viewed them as an unpatriotic waste of resources since the U.S. needed silks, wools and other fabrics to support war time efforts. Nonetheless tailors across the U.S in places like Los Angeles and New York continued to make zoot suits. As summer 1943 approached, tensions started to rise between white members of the military and zoot suiters, most notably in Los Angeles.
by Katina Maclin, age 15
Aretha Franklin made a significant mark in the history of American vocal music. For example, she sang at the inauguration of the very first African American president Barack Obama. And she was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Aretha Franklin was popular and accomplished across musical genres.
Most people are aware that Aretha Franklin was crowned the Queen of Soul. Though the question still may linger as to why and what makes her immortal status beyond Rihanna's, Tina Turner’s, or Jennifer Lopez’s. Was it because she won many awards? Because she could sing so well? Or perhaps something else? Franklin was the Queen of Soul because she rose through adversity, she persevered, and because of her undeniable talent.
Aretha Louise Franklin was born March 25th, 1942. This means that she lived through the Civil Rights Movement in the late 40’s to the late 60’s and witnessed the initiation of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2013. She witnessed an era of racially motivated attacks against Black people, such as the 16th Street Baptist church bombing which happened in 1962. These are among the major events in Franklin’s lifetime that shaped and affected her. All of these experiences influenced her music and her standing in American society.
by Abigail Comerford, age 15
A summer of droughts in Extremadura, Spain, brought the Dolmen of Guadalperal--a prehistoric monument--back to the surface to be appreciated and studied by archeologists all over the world. Droughts, known for wreaking havoc on small towns and farms, are actually goldmines for archeologists; they allow them to look further into the past and study monuments that would typically be covered by water, such as the Dolmen of Guadalperal.
In past years, water levels in the Valdecañas Reservoir have fluctuated, causing tips of some of the stones to peek through, but the 2019 droughts revealed the entire monument, which is a very rare occurrence.
During Francisco Franco’s attempt to modernize Spain, his regime carried out many civil engineering projects, including building a dam and the Valdecañas Reservoir that flooded in 1963. These floods and man-made lakes resulted in many monuments hidden under water.
by Josepha Da Costa, age 15
“If I fall, I’ll fall five feet four inches forward in the fight for freedom. I’m not backing off,” said a small woman who stands tall in the history of Black women. Fannie Lou Hamer helped Americans take giant steps toward equality in our country.
Raised in Montgomery County, Mississippi, Fannie Lou Hamer grew to be an impassioned and inspiring civil rights activist. She fought tirelessly for better treatment of African Americans and was a pioneer for voting rights. [read more]
by Sandy Flores, age 14
Michael Starr Hopkins is currently circulating a petition he created to rename the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. To date, over 500,000 have signed the petition.
The newly proposed namesake, John Lewis, was an American politician and civil-rights leader who served in the United States House of Representatives from Georgia. He recently passed away on July 17, 2020. He was known as one of the “big six” leaders who organized the 1963 march on Washington during which Martin Luther King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Lewis fulfilled many key roles in the civil rights movement, which fought to end legalized racial segregation in the United States.
The Pettus bridge was the scene of the infamous “Bloody Sunday” march for Civil Rights. On that Sunday, March 7th, 1965, many brothers and sisters came together to march along the 54-mile highway from Selma, Alabama to the state capitol of Montgomery. Many people were almost beaten to death while others suffered severe injuries. John Lewis had his skull fractured by police during the first of three scheduled marches from Selma to Montgomery.
Robert Smalls Rode from Slavery to Congress on a Stolen Confederate Warship
by Hanna Eyobed, age 15
Robert Smalls was born in 1839, son of a slave owner. Growing up, Smalls wasn’t aware of the miseries of slavery as he was removed from it. Being the master's son he was given less work, allowed inside, and to play with white children as well. As he started to grow up, his mother worried he wouldn’t understand the dangers of the world for black people. So when Smalls was about ten years old his mother made him work in the fields, witness whipping and live among his own people. As he became more familiar with slavery he decided to rebel. In fear for his safety his mother asked his owner to send him to Charleston to work.
After a few years of working odd jobs, fifteen year old Robert Smalls was hired as crew on a ship called CSS Planter, which had been refitted as a warship. For the next few years he learned all about the ship, even becoming the wheelman, a position almost as important as captain. He received only one dollar for every fifteen dollars he earned; the rest went to his owner.
By the spring of 1862, in the midst of the Civil War, Smalls was a 23 year old man with a wife and two children and desperate to buy their freedom. Freedom came at a cost. A cost of 800 dollars. After a lifetime of saving, Smalls had barely 100 dollars to his name. But he had an idea. Smalls knew every aspect of running the ship. He knew all the shipping routes up and down the coast. And by coincidence he resembled the captain. He decided to steal the CSS Planter.
Chinese Immigrants Built the Transcontinental Railroad
by Christy Zheng, age 17
In June of 1867, Chinese workers constructing the transcontinental railroad returned to their tents and refused to work until their wages were raised to a white man’s wage of $40 a month, workdays were shortened to 10 hours, and working conditions improved. That started a labor strike, one of the largest in America history up to that point. For seven days, the Chinese workers remained at the campsite and peacefully protested. It ended with starvation.
When work began on the transcontinental railroad— a paramount effort to connect the eastern United States to the West— top executives of the Central Pacific railroad company exclusively hired white employees. As Central Pacific’s second year of construction on the transcontinental railroad dragged on, however, it became clear there were not enough white laborers to build the railroad. Newspaper ads failed to attract a sufficient workforce. Only 600 men worked on the railroad during that time, which fell far short of the 5,000 that was needed. [read more]
Unraveling the Code of the Incan Khipu
by Moises Hernandez, age 15
Out of all the things a first-year student at Harvard could do during spring break, Manny Medrano, with the help of his professor, spent his making an archaeological breakthrough.
Gary Urton, professor of Pre-Columbian Studies at Harvard University, worked with Medrano to interpret a set of six khipus -- tied strings utilized for record-keeping by the Inca Empire. Matching the khipus to a Spanish census document from the colonial-era, Medrano and Urton revealed the importance of the cords in higher detail than in the past, with findings that could provide a deeper understanding of the Andean civilization’s daily life.
“There’s something in me, I can’t explain where it came from, but I love the idea of digging around and trying to find secrets hidden from the past,” Medrano said to the online magazine and travel company Atlas Obscura.
Langston Hughes: A Poet of the Harlem Renaissance
by Yoanna Hoskins, age 14
Langston Hughes was an African American poet, playwright and novelist. He became an early cultural icon, and his writing became part of the Harlem Renaissance during the 1920s. He focused on the failed dreams and bright hopes of his world.
Langston Hughes was born on February 1, 1902, in Joplin, Missouri. His parents separated when he was just a child. His father moved to Mexico, and Hughes was mainly raised by his grandmother. When he became a teen, he lived with his mother in Cleveland, Ohio. He started writing poetry around this time because of Carl Sandburg and Walt Whitman, and he was involved in the literary magazine in school.
Journalist Jacob Riis Exposed Inequality, and Galvanized the Progressive Movement
by Alice Cykana, age 14
Jacob Riis was the living definition of a muckraker who devoted his life to exposing the harsh living conditions of the New York tenements.
Jacob August Riis was born on May 3, 1849 in Ribe, Denmark. He immigrated to the United States in 1870 with nothing but the clothes on his body, a locket and $40. After a number of menial jobs, he became a small time police reporter, but quickly became interested by the idea of photography. He picked up his first camera and fell in love. Riis started to learn more and more about the world of photography, and thanks to his natural talent, he thrived.
Remarkable Ancient Texts Preserved in Remote Libraries Deep in the Sahara Desert
by Zainab Yahiaoui, age 14
An ancient and remote village in the middle of the Sahara Desert is home to many sacred texts from libraries that were built more than 1,000 years ago. Now the world’s greatest desert threatens to engulf the history and the libraries of this remarkable place.
The village of Chinguetti was a stopping off point for pilgrims on their way to Mecca. These travelers would stop in Chinguetti to study religion, astronomy, mathematics, and law. All these topics were included in the texts and kept in the libraries at Chinguetti. People could read and study at the libraries as part of their pilgrimage to Mecca.
Breaking Barriers: The Stonewall Rebellion
by Leilani McNeal, age 15
Hundreds of laws in the United States have kept gays oppressed, and despite the efforts to dismantle these homophobic rules, the country for centuries has not welcomed those in the LGBT community. New York, in particular, has always maintained a notorious reputation for allowing discrimination and laws against gays.
“The 1960s were dark ages for lesbians and gay men all over America," William Eskridge, Professor of Law at Yale Law School said in an interview, " The overwhelming number of medical authorities said that homosexuality was a mental defect, maybe even a form of psychopathy."
Pogo The Killer Clown
by Lah'Nylah Bivens, age 12
John Wayne Gacy, known as Pogo The Killer Clown, was born on March 17, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois.
He was raised by Danish and Polish parents and did not have a happy childhood. His father was an alcoholic and because of this he would abuse John, John's sister Karen, and John's mother. He would be hit them with a razor strap if they misbehaved. Gacy’s sister would tell him to toughen up and not cry. Gacy had troubles at school as well. He didn’t have any friends and he didn’t play with other kids due to having a heart condition that his father knew about and blamed him for. While Gacy was at school, he realized he liked boys, which confused him about his sexuality.
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Where did the present-day Milwaukee Brewers originate? The Milwaukee Brewers baseball team, formerly known as the Seattle Pilots, was established in Seattle, Washington, in the 1960s. [read more...]
The Golden State Warriors are a National Basketball Association (NBA) team that is worth 5.3 billion dollars as of 2022. The Warriors rank the third most valuable NBA team and the fifth most valuable sports team in history. The Warriors as a team have set many franchise and league records over the decades. [read more...]
Rhythm and Blues (R&B) is a musical genre that has a lot of important history and began in the mid-twentieth century. It is a genre that grew from the difficulties of young Black people. As told by Mark Puryear, curator for the 2011 Folklife Festival, “It tells a complex story of many strands and experiences.” [read more...]
King Tutankhamun, better known as King Tut, was ancient Egypt’s youngest Pharaoh being only nine years old. He was largely erased from history until his tomb was discovered in the early 1900s. His tomb and mummy continue to be studied today using high-tech tools. [read more...]
Crocodiles are some of the few living creatures today that were alive at the time of the dinosaurs. Their lifestyle and anatomy have helped crocodiles survive for millions of years. [read more...]
Crocodiles are some of the few living creatures today that were alive at the time of the dinosaurs. Their lifestyle and anatomy have helped crocodiles survive for millions of years. [read more...]
Did you know that Mount Fuji is only 8,000 years old? Mount Fuji, the tallest and most famous mountain in Japan, is only 8,000 years old. It is a beautiful site to see and is located 60 miles away from Tokyo, the capital of Japan. [read more...]
Once known as "The World's Greatest Weekly," the Chicago Defender newspaper has been publishing news and information for nearly 117 years. Providing dependable and important news to the African American people of Chicago, it remains one of the most influential black weekly newspapers in the nation. [read more...]
Often overshadowed by the wider Great Depression, the Dust Bowl was a major ecological crisis that gripped the Great Plains in the 1930s. The result of decades of failed land management and cyclical droughts, the Dust Bowl led to the loss of crops and livestock. It also took more than 7,000 human lives. [read more...]
The first ice skates were very different from the skates used today. They did not have metal blades. In many countries, traditional ice skates were made from the shin bones of cattle or horses. This bone had to be extremely flat to be effective on the ice. Bone skates were flexible and could travel in all directions. [read more...]
Harriet Tubman was an expert naturalist. The Underground Railroad’s most famous conductor used her understanding of geography, wildlife biology, and astronomy to guide people to freedom. [read more...]
If you know who Vikings were, you might think that the men were stronger, more courageous and adventurous than the women, but that is not the case. There is evidence that suggests Viking women were just as brave and capable as the men. One of those women was Gudrid.
More than 1000 years ago, there lived a woman, Gudrid Thorbjarnardottir, who sailed to Vinland, now known as Canada, with her husband and crew. They lived there and explored the area for three years. All together, she made eight crossings on the North Atlantic Sea and traveled farther than any other Viking. [read more...]
History classes often overlook the history of Latin countries. Sometimes that’s true no matter how tragic events were. [read more...]
Did you know that the Eiffel Tower is 984 feet tall? The Eiffel Tower is a well- known landmark that was constructed in 1887 and took two years to be completed. This tall landmark, which has become an attraction, can be found in Paris, France. [read more...]
How did wolves go from fierce and strong creatures to friendly and obedient dogs? Over time, many past wolves species have evolved into dogs, domesticated animals. According to an article published by BMC Biology
, wolves’ natural behaviors evolved before their physical appearances. [read more...]
Gladys West was a splendid mathematician. She was an African-American woman who accomplished many things during her career. Glady West is best known for developing a Global Positioning System, which today we call GPS. [read more...]
Harriet Tubman, a former slave, helped many African-American slaves reach freedom via the Underground Railroad. She also made significant contributions to the Union Army and was an important activist during the Civil War. She was known for being the first African American woman to assist the Union Army during the Civil War. [read more...]
After the Middle Ages, a new era arose in Europe that prompted new and unique cultural, political, artistic, and scientific views. This era is known as the Renaissance, an influential and golden era for many people. [read more...]
Can you imagine diving in a lake and finding a shipwreck? It’s estimated that there are 6,000 shipwrecks in the bottom of the great lakes. Bernie Hellstrom, a diver, was one who found two ships – Peshtigo and St. Andrews – in the depths of Lake Michigan. Both of these ships collided more than 140 years ago. [read more...]
Throughout history, superstition and fear have made people dream up all kinds of abnormal things and imaginary monsters. [read more...]
On August 24th 1970, a bomb went off outside Sterling Hall at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As a result of the attack, a university researcher was killed and others were injured. The cost of the bombing was 6 million dollars and years worth of research. [read more...]
Have you ever wondered what the world’s oldest structure is? Well, archaeologists have found an answer: Gobekli Tepe. [read more...]
The Black Panther Party of the late 1960s was revolutionary for a number of reasons—their use of armed resistance, their powerful community programs and campaigns, and overall, their outstanding cry for Black power during a tumultuous time in American history. Emory Douglas, the Black Panthers’ Minister of Culture and Revolutionary Artist, was pivotal in spreading the party’s messages with posters, pamphlets, and newspapers donning striking Black figures calling Black people to join their radical cause. [read more...]
The discovery of Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) led to its wide use as a pesticide in the 1940s and 50s. This successful scientific advancement, however, came with unintended consequences. [read more...]
Olympia Brown, a leader in the women's suffrage movement, was born on January 15th, 1835, in Prairie Ronde, Michigan. She was raised in a home where education was vital and she was the oldest of four children. Her dad built a schoolhouse in order for his children to receive an education. [read more...]
Joseph McCarthy was one of the most controversial politicians in American history. He served as a Republican Senator from Wisconsin, from when he was first elected in 1947 until his death in 1957. He is known for declaring that communist spies and sympathizers had penetrated the U.S. federal government and for launching anti-communist investigations that polarized the country. [read more...]
The United States military is a dominant power in the modern age. It has the capability to devastate any foe with its bomber squadrons, special forces units, tanks, naval ships, and artillery equipment. Before the turn of the twentieth century, though, the US did not invest much in its military. Looking back, how did the United States rise from a military force of forty-eight thousand soldiers in the Revolutionary War to 1.4 million soldiers today with some of the most advanced technology known to mankind? [read more...]
One of the worst economic crises in American history began almost 100 years ago. On October 29, 1929, called “Black Tuesday,” the stock market crashed and led to approximately 10 years of economic failure and psychological trauma known as the Great Depression. [read more...]
Horses are not like most farm animals. They are used for many things. For thousands of years people rode on horses to deliver mail and visit family members. [read more...]
Before the 16th century, there was little to no knowledge on human anatomy. Most of the information came from centuries prior and was largely incorrect. This changed in the 16th century with the anatomical discoveries of Andreas Vesalius. His works on dissecting and studying bodies helped greatly to expand the knowledge of human anatomy. [read more...]
Diana, Princess of Wales, was one of the most famous people in the world. Known for her empathetic image, she gained the attention and respect of people worldwide during her life. [read more...]
Many know about the Maya and the Aztecs, but have you ever heard about the lost city of Cahokia? Not many people know about the people who lived in Cahokia. Archaeologists do not know much about them either. [read more...]
The fall of the Mayan empire remains a mystery, but today’s scientists believe they’ve found clues to understand how the empire collapsed. For 3000 years, the Mayans lived in Mesoamerica where they made creative structures and built an advanced community. After reaching their peak in power, the empire collapsed in only 150 years. [read more...]
Michael Joseph Jackson was born August 29, 1958, in Gary, Indiana, the son of Joseph Jackson, who would later become his manager. He was the younger brother of Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon Jackson, who were also musicians. [read more...]
In 1943, protests coined the Zoot Suit Riots (named after the outfits worn by young Latinos and minority groups) took hold of Los Angeles in the wake of swelling racial tensions and prejudice. [read more...]
Have you ever heard of The Beatles? Do you know just how famous they truly were during the 1960s? [read more...]
The Olmec Civilization is an archeological culture in Southern Mexico that thrived between 1200-500 C.E. This means it is understood through artifacts left behind, especially huge head statues, rather than by written history. [read more...]
Aretha Franklin made a significant mark in the history of American vocal music. For example, she sang at the inauguration of the very first African American president Barack Obama. And she was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Aretha Franklin was popular and accomplished across musical genres. [read more...]
The Colosseum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Rome with millions of people visiting each year. Also known as the Flavian Amphitheater, it has a very rich history dating back to the early A.D. 70’s when it was built as a gift to the Roman people. [read more...]
A summer of droughts in Extremadura, Spain, brought the Dolmen of Guadalperal--a prehistoric monument--back to the surface to be appreciated and studied by archeologists all over the world. Droughts, known for wreaking havoc on small towns and farms, are actually goldmines for archeologists; they allow them to look further into the past and study monuments that would typically be covered by water, such as the Dolmen of Guadalperal. [read more...]
The Silk Road stretched across Europe and Asia, and traders carried goods back and forth along its routes. Silk was often bought from China to dress European royalty and any patrons who had enough money to afford it. Jades, other precious jewels, porcelain, tea, and spices also were exchanged from Asia. From Europe came horses, textiles, and manufactured goods. [read more...]
Described as a “majestic” and “luminous” journalist, Lillian Parker Thomas Fox is one of many Black women who were pioneers in the field of journalism during the 19th century. Publishing her sharp and poignant writing across the Midwest, Fox aspired to direct “human thought forward.” [read more...]
“If I fall, I’ll fall five feet four inches forward in the fight for freedom. I’m not backing off,” said a small woman who stands tall in the history of Black women. Fannie Lou Hamer helped Americans take giant steps toward equality in our country. [read more...]
Michael Starr Hopkins is currently circulating a petition he created to rename the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. To date, over 500,000 have signed the petition.
The newly proposed namesake, John Lewis, was an American politician and civil-rights leader who served in the United States House of Representatives from Georgia. [read more...]
Mary Virginia Cook-Parrish was born in 1862 in Bowling Green, Kentucky. During this period in history slavery was ending, but it was not at all forgotten. It was a time of very little justice for Black Americans. Hence, it was a terrible time to be Black. And it was usually even worse to be a Black woman. [read more...]
When Mary Ellen Britton addressed the Eighth Annual State Association of Colored Teachers Convention in 1887, she started with a confession. The theme of her speech was women’s suffrage—a right, she admitted, she had not always believed in. Britton explained that the South she grew up in neither condoned nor supported equal rights for women. Human rights, not women’s rights, was the cause for which she had always felt compelled to agitate. [read more...]
Katherine Davis Chapman Tillman was born in Mound City, Illinois on February 19, 1870. Although Tillman’s mother was teacher and taught her to read, the family didn’t have money for Katharine to attend a formal school until 1882, when she was 12-years old. That’s when her family decided to move to Yankton, South Dakota. It was during this time that her writing skills started to emerge. And from there, things just took off as Davis Chapman quickly decided she had found her calling--writing. [read more...]
Ida B. Wells is one of the most famous and respected journalists in American history. As a strong and influential Black women, she changed the field of journalism in many important and lasting ways. One thing that makes the story of Ida B. Wells so inspirational, even to this day, is that she began life as a slave. [read more...]
Lucy Wilmot Smith was born on November 16, 1861, in Lexington, Kentucky. She was one of seven children, raised by her widowed mother, Margaret, who worked as a housemaid. In spite of her humble beginnings, and although she died at a young age, Lucy Wilmot Smith grew to become an influential writer, educator, speaker, and journalist. [read more...]
The influenza pandemic between 1918 and 1919, more commonly known as the Spanish flu, was the biggest and most devastating pandemic of the 20th century. In fact, it was one of the worst so far in human history. The virus killed and spread very quickly. Not much was known about it at the time, which scared many people. [read more...]
In June of 1867, Chinese workers constructing the transcontinental railroad returned to their tents and refused to work until their wages were raised to a white man’s wage of $40 a month, workdays were shortened to 10 hours, and working conditions improved. That started a labor strike, one of the largest in America history up to that point. For seven days, the Chinese workers remained at the campsite and peacefully protested. It ended with starvation. [read more...]
Dr. Charles Drew, known as the Father of Blood Banks, was an African-American surgeon who developed innovative methods to store blood plasma for transfusions and established the first grand-scale blood bank in the United States. [read more...]
Reggie White is one of the best professional football players in the history of the National Football League. Because he was also a passionate Christian, he was known in Wisconsin as the “Minister of Defense.” Reggie White was a committed and generous benefactor for his communities. He lifted up the reputation of the Green Bay Packers and helped create free agency as we know it today. [read more...]
obert Smalls was born in 1839, son of a slave owner. Growing up, Smalls wasn’t aware of the miseries of slavery as he was removed from it. Being the master's son he was given less work, allowed inside, and to play with white children as well. As he started to grow up, his mother worried he wouldn’t understand the dangers of the world for black people. So when Smalls was about ten years old his mother made him work in the fields, witness whipping and live among his own people. As he became more familiar with slavery he decided to rebel. In fear for his safety his mother asked his owner to send him to Charleston to work. [read more...]
Out of all the things a first-year student at Harvard could do during spring break, Manny Medrano, with the help of his professor, spent his making an archaeological breakthrough. [read more...]
When you think of Rosie the Riveter, the first image that likely comes to mind is a woman with her hair pulled back in a bandana, flexing her muscles, and saying “We Can Do It!” However, this version of Rosie the Riveter, painted by J. Howard Miller, was only on display for two weeks, and few people saw it at the time. On the other hand, Norman Rockwell’s version was printed on the cover of the May 1943 edition of the Saturday Evening Post
and was seen and shared by millions. [read more...]
Jacob Riis was the living definition of a muckraker who devoted his life to exposing the harsh living conditions of the New York tenements. [read more...]
An ancient and remote village in the middle of the Sahara Desert is home to many sacred texts from libraries that were built more than 1,000 years ago. Now the world’s greatest desert threatens to engulf the history and the libraries of this remarkable place. [read more...]
Chinese paddlefish are now declared extinct. These giant 23-foot long "fish" were known as water tigers because of their incredible speed and survived for 150 million years in the Chinese river Yangtze. [read more...]
Hundreds of laws in the United States have kept gays oppressed, and despite the efforts to dismantle these homophobic rules, the country for centuries has not welcomed those in the LGBT community. New York, in particular, has always maintained a notorious reputation for allowing discrimination and laws against gays. [read more...]
Located in Mazomanie, Wisconsin at the intersection of Highway F and Highway 19 is Dane County’s oldest rural elementary school: Halfway Prairie School. From 1844 to 1961, Halfway Prairie School operated as a one room schoolhouse. It was not until 1964 that it became a part of the county park. [read more...]
Langston Hughes was an African American poet, playwright and novelist. He became an early cultural icon, and his writing became part of the Harlem Renaissance during the 1920s. He focused on the failed dreams and bright hopes of his world. [read more...]
Dr. Robert Ballard, the legend who discovered the Titanic, is looking for another, greater adventure. How much greater? He wants to take on the unsolved mystery of Amelia Earhart. Ballard has embarked on an expedition to find the place where Earhart crashed. [read more...]
Between the Southern Ocean and McMurdo Antarctic Research Station there lies the Ross Ice Shelf. During the months of December and January, the time when America sends the most supplies by boat to the research station, there is about 27 kilometers of ice in between the station, and the edge of the ice shelf. This ice can be over three meters thick. [read more...]
Danan and Perboewetan which were part of the Krakatoa Islands part of the Indonesian archipelago. Volcanic eruptions which had been happening for over one million years on Danan and Perboewetan. Then, in the fall of 1880, powerful earthquakes started lasting for three years. [read more...]
John Wayne Gacy, known as Pogo The Killer Clown, was born on March 17, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois. He would go on a murdering spree that results in 33 people dead and numerous sexual assaults. [read more...]
Through his political and military leadership, Simon Bolivar fought for the freedom of many countries in South America. He even became president of Gran Colombia, which no longer exists. He supported other countries like Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. [read more...]
There is a new street on the Eastside of Madison to commemorate the world-renowned bassist, Richard Davis. The street bridges Webb Avenue and Darbo Drive, which neighbor the Salvation Army. [read more...]
The Midwest, especially the state of Wisconsin, is covered with thousands of ancient effigy mounds. From ground level, these mounds usually just look like small hills, but they were actually created by Native Americans hundreds of years ago. Some of these mounds are over 1,500 years old and can be over 100 meters in diameter. These mounds are usually made in the shape of an animal or human. It is believed that they were often built at the base of hills in order for the entire mound to be seen during construction. [read more...]
On May 31st, 2019, Ava Duvernay’s limited series, ‘When They See Us,’ began streaming on Netflix. The names Yusef Salaam, Antron McCray, Raymond Santana, and Kevin Richardson will forever be remembered for the injustices they endured. This series unfolds the real story of a 16-year-old boy named Korey Wise while unveiling the disturbing truths of the justice system. Duvernay humanizes Wise and takes this opportunity to tell America his truth. [read more...]
Society in the latter half of the 19th century held the rigid expectation that women limit their activities and aspirations to housework and raising a family. These expectations were present for, yet irrelevant to, Wisconsin’s most famous poet, Ella Wheeler Wilcox. [read more...]
Outside of the Midwest, The Upper Peninsula is by all accounts a puzzle to a significant part of the U.S. populace. Shockingly, even to the absolute midwest, it is normal to imagine that the Upper Peninsula is a piece of Canada; and some of the time course readings do not have the foggiest idea what express the Upper Peninsula is in. The vast majority accept that the Upper Peninsula is bordered by water in other locations. [read more...]
The Cape Canaveral Air Force Station is widely known for the Apollo 11 lunar landing on July 16, 1969. [read more...]
Mosquito repellent typically contains two main chemicals: DEET and picaridin. However, a recent discovery found that using bacteria is much more powerful in terms of ridding mosquitoes. [read more...]
On January 13, 1982, a flight attendant named Kelly Duncan was seen trying to grasp a lifeline from a helicopter. The cold river made her fingers go numb, and she was unable to hold on any longer. Seconds after she had fallen into the river, a helicopter crew risked their lives to save her. [read more...]
Things took a turn for the worse, however, when doctors noticed an irregular heartbeat during one of Slayton’s training sessions. They realized Slayton had atrial fibrillation, which did not affect his physical performance but made people in Washington nervous. Slayton was deemed unfit to fly just two years before his flight. He was pulled as an astronaut from Project Mercury and Slayton decided to return home to Wisconsin. [read more...]
Did you know the first land animals lived 450 million years ago? [read more...]
A connection between modern day birds and dinosaurs has been discovered by researchers at UW-Madison. The fossil of a small, winged dinosaur called Lori is at the forefront of this discovery. [read more...]
When Georgia O’Keeffe finished eight grade she decided she wanted to be an artist. She had this epiphany after seeing a drawing in one of her mothers’ books depicting a girl that she thought was beautiful. She said, “that picture started something in me that kept on going and has had something to do with the everlasting urge that makes me keep painting.” [read more...]
Wisconsin housing rights champion, Vel Phillips, took on many firsts as a Black woman in Milwaukee. [read more...]
Do you know the significance of both the city of Aztalan and the Mississippians in Wisconsin’s history? [read more...]
Did you know that millions of years ago, there were fish with armor? [read more...]
Did you know that there were prehistoric giant animals? Well, here are just a few, and they are pretty amazing. [read more...]
People think the Incas were not a sophisticated civilization because of their lack of a written language, but they were very intelligent. They had, however, a unique way of communicating: a language that was written in knots. [read more...]
What does Wisconsin have to do with the Civil War? It turns out, quite a bit. [read more...]
Everyone knows that dinosaurs lived a long time ago. But do you know about the other ancient animals that roamed the Earth then too? [read more...]
Did you know that scientists have found the skull of an extremely rare threatened species? [read more...]
Animals today are different from South American animals that lived 100,000 years ago when the continent used to be an island. It had animals that weren’t found anywhere else. Here are some of those animals. [read more...]
The 1990 documentary Paris Is Burning
is not about a fire in Paris at all. Rather, it is about the passion that set aflame Harlem’s diverse youth in a search for identity and belonging. The film portrays the struggles of LGBTQ people of color in the 1980s and the establishment of ballroom culture, a phenomenon that began long before the '80s and one that has now become more mainstream. From the jarring realities of race and gender to voguing and legendary houses, ballroom was the American Dream reborn for Black and Latino youth. [read more...]
Plessy vs Ferguson is one of the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic decisions on civil rights. Plessy vs Ferguson was the first major investigation into the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal-protection clause, which prohibits the states from denying “equal protection of the laws,” to their citizens. [read more...]
The oldest public library in Germany, built almost 2,000 years ago, was discovered in the middle of Cologne, Germany, a small 2,000-year-old city on the Rhine River. Cologne is one of Germany’s oldest cities was founded by the Romans in 50 AD under the name Colonia. [read more...]
The Avery Island salt dome in Louisiana is best known now as Tabasco Hot Sauce’s main manufacturing site. Avery Island actually isn't an island at all, it's more of a marshy grassland because it's close to the south coast. There are large quantities of untouched salt on Avery Island. But it’s historical value stems from the role and significance of the salt domes during the Civil War. Salt was an important element to conserve food without a refrigerator. [read more...]
To be a black woman in the United States has always been hard. Especially during the era of segregation. During this time African Americans did not have the same rights as white people, for example, they could not drink from the same water fountain, use the same bathroom, or sit in the front of the bus. For these reasons, the story of Patricia Bath is inspiring. [read more...]
Anne Frank had a heartbreaking story that was immortalized through a diary that she kept during her short life. [read more...]
The story of human evolution is a long and complicated one. The line towards modern humans did not simply develop in one direction, but has had many divergences. A recent discovery in the Philippines has managed to shed light on one such divergence, Homo luzonensis. [read more...]
Did you know that Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic and the Pacific ocean? [read more...]
America has had a long history of racial discrimination. Various unfair practices have been implemented into society, changing the course of success for hundreds of communities, and especially for people of color. [read more...]
Cleopatra VII ruled as co-regent of Egypt for almost three decades. She was the last in a dynasty of Macedonian rulers founded by Ptolemy, whose family ruled Egypt for 300 years. Cleopatra is best known for being the last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt. [read more...]
After the Mississippians settled in Wisconsin, other groups of Indians began living in Wisconsin. Between 1000 AD and 1630 AD, a group of Indians that the archaeologists called Oneota lived along the Waupaca River. They were the ancestors of the Ho-Chunk and other Indian nations. [read more...]
Imagine having to campaign to keep commercial businesses from building over the cemetery your grandmother is buried in. This is a struggle that many Native Americans face today. Every day, they see their culture and what their ancestors built being taken away and destroyed. [read more...]
The S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald was one of the largest ships ever to go across the Great Lakes. It is very famous because people still don’t know for sure how it disappeared. [read more...]
Have you ever asked yourself: why are barns in Wisconsin painted red? Contrary to the myth that farms were painted red so that cows could find their way home, it turns out that this strategy is non-factual because cattle are colorblind to the colors red and green. It'll surprise many to hear that barns weren't even originally red. [read more...]
As you probably know, the tyrannosaurus was a large carnivorous dinosaur that lived in the Cretaceous period. This period ended approximately 65 million years ago. The tyrannosaurus is what comes to mind for many when they think of dinosaurs. It is easily one of the most well known, and iconic dinosaurs. [read more...]
One of the many things Vikings loved to do in their free time was to tell stories about their Gods. Odin was said to be one of their most important Gods. However, he was not the most popular. Thor was the most popular God. [read more...]
William Yeingst, chairman of the National Museum of American History and Life in Washington D.C., refers to the protest against segregation at the Greensboro facilities as a “significant part of a larger collection [of artifacts] about participation in our political system.” The Civil Rights Movement was a struggle for social justice for African Americans that primarily took place in the 1950s and 1960s in the United States. [read more...]
When one thinks of segregation, the first thing that probably pops into the mind is the turbulent times of the 1950s. Buses, schools, theaters, and other spaces labeled “WHITES” and “COLOREDS,” are a common image of separation. But imagine spending your whole life with someone different, only to have memories of innocent, wild adolescence through a mono-toned lens, separate from your friends and partners. One daring journalist spent years in a small southern town documenting the evolution of the lives of teens. [read more...]
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on October 2nd, 1869, to Karamchand and Putlibai Gandhi. When Gandhi turned 18 he started studying in England to become a lawyer. After moving back to India in 1891, he was unable to find work, so in 1893, he moved to South Africa. During his time in South Africa, he began to develop the philosophy of non-violence. Gandhi used the act of Satyagraha or peaceful protest.It was there that Gandhi organized his first non-violent movement with the South African Indian community to oppose racist laws, putting his philosophy to use. [read more...]
The first ever image of a black hole, taken in an international effort, has been released by the National Science Foundation. The seemingly ominous mass is located in the Messier 87 (M87) galaxy, 55 million light years away from our planet. [read more...]
Around 800 years ago, Easter Island’s colossal human-like statues were sculpted by the island’s early inhabitants. These statues have fueled decades worth of research to solve their mysteries: why were they created and how did they end up in their locations? [read more...]
Do you know who the first Black pilot was? Well if you don’t, it was Eugene J. Bullard. Bullard’s life was filled with many unexpected events such as from running away at 11, stowing away on a boat at 16, and even enlisting in a French army at 19, not even knowing French. This is his story. [read more...]
The Edmund Fitzgerald was the largest ship that ever sank in the Great Lakes, and one of the most famous shipwrecks in the world. Many of the details about its sinking remain unknown. [read more...]
In 1975 Pol Pot became the most violent ruler of Cambodia. People started coming up with theories about the Khmer Rouge party that he wanted to make the whole nation become hierarchical state made up of peasants and their overlords. [read more...]
It is fairly common knowledge that a huge asteroid hit Earth over 65 million years ago, resulting in the extinction of all non-avian dinosaurs. The collision flung huge amounts of rock and dust into the atmosphere. This blocked out the sunlight from the Earth for years. The plants that used the Sun for energy died, causing the dinosaurs which depended on them as a food source to starve. Plus, the dust particles caused so much friction that they started fires. However, that's not the entire story: according to new research this asteroid also caused a huge tsunami which affected the entire globe. [read more...]
Eunice Kathleen Waymon’s first ambition was to become the first major Black concert pianist. Her career took a dip, a sharp turn, and a name change, but had an unexpected resurgence when she emerged as Nina Simone, a jazz, blues, and folk singer who was soon to become one of the most highly revered musicians in American history. [read more...]
Recently, a shipwreck was discovered in Lake Erie 184 years after it sank. This ship's name was the Lake Serpent. [read more...]
In 1978, over 900 cult members committed mass suicide because of their leader, James Warren Jones. [read more...]
In 1880, less than five percent of Africa was ruled by European nations. The majority of European nations were satisfied with the trading colonies they had around the coast of Africa, while the British and the Boers in South Africa were the only ones who moved inland to set up new settlements. [read more...]
The space capsule was once the safest form of transportation. This was because the amount of money and expertise put into the United States’ space research made sure that the program was, statistically, safer than driving on a freeway during rush hour. [read more...]
Scientists have recently discovered an animal fossil dating nearly 20 million years earlier than the Cambrian explosion of life. This first known fossil existed 558 million years ago, while the Cambrian explosion happened 540 million years ago. That’s when modern looking animals such as snails and arthropods emerged. [read more...]
Araminta Ross, also known as Harriet, was born into slavery on a Maryland plantation in 1820. She lived during a difficult time in which many people in the U.S. owned slaves. African slaves were brought over on ships and forced to work in plantations. Some slaves would escape to the northern U.S. states, where colored people could live in freedom. [read more...]
The Reformation challenged the very foundations of religion during the 1500s, opening up new religious opportunities for millions of people who didn’t agree with the reigning Catholic Churches’ views. The Counter-Reformation made by the Catholic Church blocked these ideal’s and tried to regain the followers it had before. [read more...]
In 1942, a rumor spread around England that Hitler was planning to initiate an airdrop of weapons into the prison camps to bring back Nazi prisoners of war (POWs). Hearing the rumors, England became worried and asked America to house their prisoners. America reluctantly agreed and the Germans, Japanese and Koreans POWs were sent to work in America on empty supply ships known as Liberty Ships. [read more...]
Going to the dentist has traditionally been a dreaded activity for adults and kids alike. But until recently, we weren’t aware of just how long people have been practicing dentistry, nor their strange methods of care. [read more...]
The S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald was one of the largest ships to ever roam North America's Great Lakes. It is also one of the most famous, and is widely known for its mysterious disappearance. The Fitzgerald is the largest ship to sink on Lake Superior. [read more...]
According to Dictionary.com, a boulder is “a detached and rounded or worn rock, especially a large one.” Back in the early 1600s, fur traders who were crossing Lake Superior heard stories of a large rock that was lying on the edge of the Ontonagon River. It was said that the boulder weighed five tons, was as big as a house, and was made of solid copper. [read more...]
Many people worked hard to create the Periodic Table of Elements, though only one person received most of the credit. Scientists continue to add to and alter the design today. [read more...]
Recently, a huge prehistoric Mayan city was uncovered using a revolutionary technology called LiDAR. This discovery may change the way that archeologists look at ancient Mayan civilization. LiDAR is a tool that can help archeologists map out areas and discover previously unnoticed ruins or structures; it helped a team of Mayan civilization experts uncover a huge Mayan city. [read more...]
To many, ice skating is a fun and difficult sport, but did you know that there are different types of skating: figure skating, speed skating, and ice hockey. [read more...]
Pan-Africanism is an ideology that recognizes the struggles of all people of African descent as one. As a movement, it advocated for the unification of all Black people, and in its early beginnings, the independence of African countries and tackling inequality in the West. [read more...]
On August 6, 1945, during World War II, an American bomber dropped the world’s first atomic bomb over Hiroshima, a city in Japan. Three days later, another was dropped on the city of Nagasaki. The U.S. was the first, and remains the only, nation to use atomic bombs during wartime. [read more...]
In the sixteenth century, the worst epidemic in human history hit. It traveled to Mexico, possibly from Europe, and killed most of the native population. [read more...]
Archaeologists recently discovered a sarcophagus, which is much like a coffin, that was almost 2,000 years old in Germany. This sarcophagus contained the remains of an ancient woman. This discovery is particularly interesting because the woman went to her afterlife fully prepared with jewelry, makeup, and perfume. [read more...]
The United States Marine Corps is the most elite non-special forces branch of any military in the world. Renowned for being stoic and hardened, these combat-ready warriors are not who you would want as enemies. [read more...]
Throughout recent years, cougar sightings in Wisconsin have occurred in over 17 different locations, suggesting that the feline is returning to Wisconsin’s landscape after more than a century gone. [read more...]
In AD 500, Teotihuacán was the largest and most sophisticated city in Mesoamerica. Today, it is a famous visitation site and remains one of the greatest wonders of the world. [read more...]
On the morning of July 16, 1945, in the Jornada del Muerto desert in Socorro County, New Mexico, the first large-scale atomic weapons test took place. Conducted by the United States Army and code named “Trinity,” the detonation of the nuclear weapon created a fireball that could be seen 250 miles away. [read more...]
Krakatoa, also called Krakatau, is a volcanic island that made waves worldwide. It was one of the most powerful and devastating eruptions in modern history, killing 36,417 people. [read more...]
European settlers such as Frank Hudson gave the Yahara Lakes beautiful Native American names. Lake Monona, Lake Mendota, Lake Kegonsa among other lakes are well-known to Madison residents; but many do not know why the settlers chose such a specific style of names. [read more...]
Scientists have long pondered what disease could have been strong enough to cause the end of the Aztecs. A new study reveals that a lethal form of the bacteria salmonella could be the culprit of the Aztec’s demise. [read more...]
As the first African American female to exhibit her abstract art solo at the Whitney Museum in New York, Alma Thomas lived a life filled with meaningful and lasting achievements. [read more...]
Female scientists in the past, such as Rosalind Franklin, Mae C. Jemson, and Ada Lovelace, have worked to demolish the stereotype that science is a profession for a man. There are, however, even earlier females who jump-started pathways for women in science. [read more...]
Although the name of Death Valley makes the place sound like it has to do with death, it is just in relation to the scorching heat. Death Valley is located in California near the Pacific Ocean. It is very dry and hot, and the temperature can be anywhere from 120° F or higher on a normal day. [read more...]
The Black Death was one of the worst global pandemics in history. The Black Death, also known as the bubonic plague, was a calamitous epidemic that devastated Europe and Asia in the mid-1300’s. [read more...]
Kremlins are beautiful buildings in Russia. The most famous Kremlin is in Moscow. It has an interesting history and many mesmerizing rooms. [read more...]
En el siglo XIX, los Estados Unidos querían construir un canal interoceánico en Nicaragua que conectaría el océano Atlántico con el Pacífico. [read more...]
Ever since the redistricting maps of 2011, gerrymandering in Wisconsin has been in the political spotlight. Redistricting―redrawing voting district boundaries―is a regular occurrence in the United States. It’s intended to adjust political maps based on population and allow for fair elections. Unfortunately, it has been manipulated to further political agendas in an act called “gerrymandering.” Since the majority party draws the lines, redistricting is often used to suppress opposition and keep a certain party in power. However, an increasing number of voters and politicians are calling for reform of the redistricting process to create fairer voting districts. [read more...]
¿Alguna vez te has preguntado cómo fue inventada la primera videocasetera o el primer reproductor de DVD’s? [read more...]
In the spring of 1991, a graphic and inflammatory video surfaced. It had caught Rodney King, an African-American man, being beaten by four Los Angeles policemen, three of whom were White. Their acquittal of the brutality gave way to five days of riots in LA fueled by outrage and injustice. [read more...]
The Deepwater Horizon spill is known as the worst oil spill in U.S. history. To fully understand this event, it is important to know the science behind it. [read more...]
In Windsor, Ontario in Canada, a humming sound has been occurring for years, and its source has yet to be identified. [read more...]
The role of journalism in society has changed drastically throughout the last couple decades. One event that contributed to this change is the Watergate scandal. The film All the President's Men
focuses on the Watergate scandal, which brought down the presidency of Richard M. Nixon. [read more...]
Helen Keller was unique and will always be a role model for the many things she accomplished.
Helen was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama in 1880, on June 27. Her dad, Arthur Keller, was a captain in the confederate army. After her mom died, she was raised by Kate Adams, a young woman who was soon married to Mr. Keller. Helen had four sisters and brothers. [read more...]
Malcolm X was an American Muslim leader, born on May 19, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska. He was a well-known figure in the Nation of Islam, who came up with concepts of race pride and Black nationalism in the early 1960s. His autobiography was widely read after he was assassinated, which made him a hero among Black youth and the Black community. [read more...]
The heartbreaking story of Anne Frank lives through the diary she kept for two years while hiding from the Nazis. [read more...]
Vincent Van Gogh was a very misunderstood Dutch artist who created many priceless works. Though he could do anything from sketch to paint, he mostly painted. One of his most famous paintings is Starry Night, which he created in 1889. [read more...]
Sexism and even theft sometimes played roles in the crediting of various scientific discoveries throughout history. Rosalind Franklin, a brilliant woman who lived during the 1900’s, and her work with DNA is a perfect example of this. [read more...]
Who were the Mayans? The Mayan empire is one of the most well-known civilizations in history. Located in the highlands and lowlands of Mesoamerica, Mayan civilizations had unique plazas, temples, and pyramids. The Mayan empire lasted from 300 BC- 1519 AD. The Mayans made an important impact on history. [read more...]
Catalonia, located in Northeast Spain, was an independent region from Spain and Portugal back in 1150 with separate laws and a separate language. It strived for political independence from Spain. [read more...]
The word "Holocaust" comes from a Greek word and can be divided in "holos" (wholes) and "kaustos" (burned). It was historically used to describe a sacrificial offering burned on an altar. Since 1945, this word has taken a whole new and terrible meaning - the mass murder of over 6 million European Jews and many other members of persecuted groups. Those groups included homosexuals, gypsies, Jehovah's Witnesses, and other religious groups. This was caused by the German Nazis, who ruled during World War II. [read more...]
Do you know who Betty Shabazz was? She was the wife of Malcolm X. She was an educated woman who lived a hard life. [read more...]
Perhaps one of the best known heroines of history is Joan of Arc. Her bravery, conviction, and ultimate canonization has been an inspiration for men and women alike for centuries. One 1928 silent film captures the drama of her famous story as none other could. [read more...]
The Freedom Riders movement began May 12, 1961. The Freedom Riders were a group of activists, originally seven black, six white, who protested segregation in the South for seven months. Their goal was to integrate transportation and facilities in the southern states. Their courageous actions during this time sparked massive controversy. They were brutally beaten, arrested, and faced racial oppression. The Freedom Riders are a symbol of justice, civil rights, and activism. [read more...]
The “Father of Modern Gynecology,” James Marion Sims, is celebrated all over the United States for his pioneering work in women’s reproductive health. What many overlook is his reputation for intrusive experimentation on Black slave women without their consent, or in his words, the most “memorable time” of his life. Sims’ controversial means of discovery is one in a long history of the ‘Black lab rat’ narrative. [read more...]
Qin Shihuangdi started building the Great Wall between 220 – 210 BC. Its primary purpose was to protect the country by keeping the northern Mongolian horsemen away, using a structure of bricks and stones. The wall also served as a way to send information. Messages were sent from the watchtowers using smoke signals during the day and bonfires at night. According to an official measurement, the wall is 3,946 miles long. But in 1990, a Chinese walker measured 4,163 miles on his pedometer when he walked along the wall. [read more...]
Scientists have always believed that there was one mass migration of people across the land bridge between Asia and the Americas. This group of people then split in two, forming the northern and southern groups, which are the ancestors of modern day Native Americans. This belief was mostly based on DNA from bodies and remains found in settlements. However, a new discovery might completely change the theories about these people and their paths. [read more...]
British writer and feminist Virginia Woolf is one of the most influential writers of the early 20th century. Her writing challenged the values recognized during the Victorian era and made progress for women. Although her writing was unpopular during her lifetime, she was an inspiration for women in questioning social normalities for future authors. [read more...]
Audrey Hepburn was born on May 4th, 1929 in Brussels, Belgium. She lived across Europe in places like London, Kent, Linkebeek, Tolochenaz and Arnhem. She was the child of Ella van Heemstra and Joseph Ruston. She died on January 29, 1993 of Appendix cancer. [read more...]
Henrietta Lacks was an African American woman who died in 1951 from cervical cancer. Her cells, on the other hand, are still alive and continue to grow. Scientists are using her cells made huge medical discoveries decades after her death and their existence has made modern medicine as we know it today. [read more...]
Imagine a shining utopian city with flying cars, robots, and towering glass buildings filled with elaborate technology. Who do you see inhabiting this city? One concept might change your view: Afrofuturism. [read more...]
During the wild – 1900’s, black homes and churches were bombed so often that Birmingham, Alabama that the city got the nickname "Bombingham". [read more...]
World War Two lasted from September 3, 1939, to August 14, 1945. Researchers estimate that over 60 million people died in this war, which damaged Europe’s political and economic standing in the world. [read more...]
The Midwest harbors many fascinating many mounds, burial sites, and historical landmarks - some are even located in Wisconsin. [read more...]
Billie Jean King is amazing. A role model to everyone from gay rights activists to female equality supporters, this tennis player is well-known all over the world.
Born Billie Jean Moffitt, Billie Jean was born on November 22, 1947, and grew up in Long Beach, California. As a child, Billie Jean was surrounded by athletes. Her father, Bill Moffitt, was a firefighter and a sportsman, and her brother, Randy Moffitt, became a pitcher for the San Francisco Giants baseball team. [read more...]
The McCarthy Youth & Conservation County Park is a spacious park in Cottage Grove that offers many activities for families and friends to enjoy. The park’s 285 acres of land features equestrian trails, hiking trails, camping sites, sledding hills, snowshoe trails, cross-country ski trails, picnic areas, and archery areas. [read more...]
Today, many recently established news companies use social media outlets like Facebook or Snapchat. Even though these companies may be under fire from more traditional publishers of news, such as the New York Times
, the style of journalism being used is very similar to that of early American newspapers. [read more...]
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre is an historically-important building located in London, of course, named after William Shakespeare. Both the backstory and construction of the Globe are as interesting as the playwright himself. [read more...]
On April 20th, 1999, two American teenagers named Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, were responsible for 13 deaths and many more injuries among teachers and students at Columbine High School in Colorado. This shooting was the biggest at the time in the United States. [read more...]
The Middle Ages were quite different from today’s world, from country life to city living. [read more...]
December 16, 1960, at 10:45 am, an airliner came blazing through Brooklyn, New York, crashing into another plane. [read more...]
In March 12, 1928, at 11:57 p.m. the St. Francis Dam broke, freeing 12.6 billion gallons of water into the San Francisquito Canyon, destroying lots of homes, and claiming innocent lives. [read more...]
The Capital Times, founded by William T. Evjue, turns 100 years old this year. Current editor emeritus, Dave Zweifel, is proud of the newspaper’s long and rich history. In fact, Mr. Zweifel refers to The Capital Times as Madison's proudly radical newspaper. [read more...]
Ancient Egyptians were skilled mathematicians and architects who built huge stone monuments in honor of their rulers. One type of monument they built for their pharaohs was the pyramid. The most impressive of the ancient monuments were the Egyptian pyramids which were built in Giza. [read more...]
Rose Marie “Rosemary” Kennedy, the third child born to the prominent political Kennedy family, spent many years in the background of various family members’ success. A tragic incident at birth left Rosemary intellectually disabled. The remainder of her life was filled with rejection and sadness amidst her struggle to survive. [read more...]
Historians call the process of African colonization “The Scramble for Africa.” It began with an agreement at the Berlin conference, which lasted from 1884 to 1885. There, representatives from 15 European countries met to decide on the process to colonize the continent. [read more...]
America's youngest military branch has become arguably the world leader in aeronautical engineering and technology. Its mark in recent history is deep, from becoming one of the first military branches of its kind in the world, to playing a major role in recent wars. As wars and turmoil continue, the Air Force will continue to flourish, grow, and progress as America's protectors of the skies. They will continue to pursue their motto: "Fly. Fight. Win." [read more...]
From 1789 to 1799, the people of France led their country in a revolution that marked a huge turning point in European history and led to the end of the French Monarchy. The period included the Reign of Terror
which lasted for from 1793 to 1794. [read more...]
In the cold, far east of Europe, there is a country that borders Poland and Russia. Its history of Varangian tribes, Viking rule, and Russian occupation has made for a unique country. This nation, Ukraine, is also home to many revolutionaries. [read more...]
Born in the late 1750’s, Alexander Hamilton was an American Founding Father and is now portrayed on the 10 dollar bill. He grew up on the Caribbean island of St. Croix. His father left when he was only 10-years old and two years later, his mother died of an illness. [read more...]
When did the New World and the Old World really meet? Pre-Columbian theories claim that interaction between the indigenous Americans and people from Africa, Asia, Europe, or Oceania occurred before Columbus. With a large diversity of scientific, linguistic, physical, and folklore evidence of contact from four different continents, it seems plausible that this was the case. [read more...]
Now famous recording and performing artist and actor Will Smith succeeded at an early age. In fact, he became a millionaire before the age of 18. Amazingly, he has been just as successful throughout his career. [read more...]
Everyone knows that the Earth revolves around the Sun, right? It seems like it should be obvious. But Nicolas Copernicus lived in a time when this very thought was ridiculed by the majority of people. [read more...]
On May 12, 1820, a girl was born to affluent British parents in Florence, Italy. Growing up as a member of “respectable society”, she was expected to follow the conventional route for someone with her status at the time, which included marrying well. To her parents’ chagrin, however, she was more interested in healing the sick than courting eligible young men, and she even rejected the “respectable” boy who proposed to her. Worse than that, she loved math, which displeased her parents the most. She was Florence Nightingale: the “Lady with the Lamp,” a famous nurse in the Crimean War, and—perhaps most notably— a mathematician. [read more...]
Mandrake the Magician, a man capable of hypnotism and illusion, debuted as the first super hero in 1934. Four years later, Superman came flying into the comic book world and immediately became an idol to children and adults across the nation. [read more...]
The flu pandemic of 1918 was one of the largest and deadliest in history. The influenza, or flu, pandemic infected about 500 million people—about one third of the planet’s population at that time. The flu infected more than 25 percent of the U.S. population, and more than 675,000 Americans died. The disease was first seen in Europe, the U.S., and parts of Asia. Then it spread around the world. The first flu vaccine was decades away; there was no effective treatment available in 1918. [read more...]
Years before Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. fought for civil rights, Jackie Robinson became the first black man to break the color barrier in Major League Baseball. [read more...]
Martin Luther King Jr. was an incredibly influential civil rights activist not only to the African-American community but also worldwide. He fought for equal rights for African-Americans and other groups of people until he was assassinated in 1968. [read more...]
The term “metropolis” is typically used to refer to a large, bustling city with tall buildings and constant movement. A 1927 silent movie by the same name made cinematographic history, and despite its subtle-but-strong influence on popular culture, you’ve likely never even heard of it. [read more...]
Although Leonardo da Vinci is well known for his art, he was also a remarkable scientist. In fact, his 13,000 page notebook was full of inventions ranging from clocks to battle tanks that are still used today. [read more...]
About 250 people died in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The famous, or infamous, Chicago Fire remains a sad and well-known chapter in American history. What many people don’t know is that up to 2,400 people died in a much larger but relatively unknown fire in northeast Wisconsin. The Peshtigo Fire was the deadliest fire in United States history. Both of these fires occurred on the tragic evening of October 8, 1871. [read more...]
In the 1940’s, most scientists were men. This was the case until the admiral Dr. Grace Hopper came along and flipped the script. [read more...]
If you've ever studied poetry, you've likely read “Phenomenal Woman” or “Still I Rise.” These are only two of the classics written by the talented, inspiring poet Maya Angelou. [read more...]
Thousands of years ago, when farming began, it changed the world.
Centuries ago, meat made up about a third of prehistoric peoples' diet. Since they had to follow the herds of animals they hunted, these early people never stayed put in one place, they lived as nomads
. [read more...]
Many students know about the European front during World War II, but fewer may have learned in-depth about the just-as-relevant Pacific/Asian front. [read more...]
Many figures have changed the literary world throughout history, Chilean author Roberto Bolaño is one such figure. [read more...]
What would you do for a million dollars? Would you lie about who you are? Make up talents? Threaten blackmail? Infamous conwoman Cassie Chadwick did all of the above in pursuit of money. [read more...]
Many years ago, horses here considered wild animals roamed and lived free. For centuries, they ran in large herds around the world among humans and other species. [read more...]
Earlier this year, scientists stumbled upon a specimen they claim to be the oldest fossil ever discovered – dating back at least 3.77 billion years. In a recent study, researchers Mattew S. Dodd, Dr. Dominic Papineau, and their colleagues at the University College London examined rocks from a formation in Canada called Nuvvuagittuq. [read more...]
Simpson Street, the road on which Simpson Street Free Press was established, was once a corn field and the Royal Airport. The area around Antler’s Tavern—a beloved institution—has been through many challenges, but it’s always had a strong sense of community. [read more...]
You’ve probably heard of DNA—the genetic information contained in each human cell— but perhaps you haven’t heard of the person who helped discover its unique structure: Rosalind Franklin. Though her discoveries about DNA structure led to a paper that won the Nobel Prize. Franklin's accomplishments were not initially credited to her. Luckily, records of Franklin's work ultimately came to light, and her true contributions to science are now understood by the general public. [read more...]
Did you know that 90 percent of the people who live in Thailand are Buddhist and about three million people there are Muslims? The lifestyle in Thailand is probably very different than yours. [read more...]
Over 430,001 years ago, a murder occurred in Northern Spain. Well, at least a suspected one. In the cave system Sima de los Huesos, translated in English to Pit of Bones, scientists found a skull with many injuries. [read more...]
A recent finding published in the journal Nature Genetics
suggests that a gene associated with short stature, reduced mobility, and sore joints might have played a key role in the survival of humans during the Ice Age. [read more...]
You probably know the legend of the majestic, antlered deer that live in the North Pole. You may even know that reindeer exist outside of Christmas stories. But did you know that there are actually people who live among reindeer? [read more...]
Ancient people described the Milky Way galaxy as 'a river, milk, and a path', according to legend. The Milky Way galaxy in which we live is just like billions of other galaxies. Most of the stars in the Milky Way are older than the 4.5 billion-year-old sun. [read more...]
Thousands of years ago, a pharaoh named Tutankhamun— commonly known as “Tut”—lie on his deathbed. He was one of the youngest pharaohs ever to rule Egypt. Ever since King Tut’s mummified body was discovered in 1922, archaeologists have worked to uncover the mystery of his life and early death. [read more...]
Rulers of Japan for almost 700 years, the Samurai warriors established an impressive legacy, one that continues to astound many to this day. Recently, SSFP staff and students had the opportunity to delve into the fascinating history of Samurai warriors at the Chazen Museum of Art’s stunning “Samurai: The Way of the Warrior” exhibit. [read more...]
While white male land-owners have enjoyed the right to vote since the formation of the United States, American women protested and campaigned for the right to vote—a movement called suffrage
. [read more...]
In the 21st century, the world is at our fingertips. Smartphones provide the answers to any question imaginable in just a few seconds. These pocket-sized devices also allow users to connect with others almost anytime, anywhere. Yet while we may take them for granted, smartphones didn’t always exist: inventors worked through decades of design to bring us the modern phone we have today. [read more...]
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is a great word—phrase even—simply because of how fun it is to say. [read more...]
Recently, a team from Madison’s James C. Wright Middle School took home the championship in a national African American History Challenge Bowl competition in New Orleans. [read more...]
In Ancient Greece, the world was different than it is in many places now.
There, people regularly killed domestic animals such as oxen, sheep, and goats and offered them as sacrifices to their gods. In fact, sacrifice was part of the Ancient Greeks' religion. [read more...]
Since the 1970’s, an ongoing debate concerning the blood of dinosaurs has engaged scientists and civilians alike. Although there is no direct evidence that indicates if dinosaurs were cold-blooded or warm-blooded, scientists do have some guesses. [read more...]
In 1967, Thurgood Marshall became the first African American appointed to the United States Supreme Court. Thirteen years earlier, he changed the course of civil rights when he successfully defended Brown vs. Board of Education
before the Supreme Court and struck down the doctrine of “separate but equal” in public education. [read more...]
Mildred Dresselhaus, “Queen of Carbon” and famous physicist, died at the age of 86 on February 20, 2017. She was beloved by professors and students at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology and remembered as the school's groundbreaking first fully-tenured female professor. Dresselhaus mentored many and achieved a number of great feats before her death. [read more...]
In the late 1970s, German citizens Gunter Wentzel and Peter Strelzyk made a historic flight in a homemade hot air balloon to escape East Germany. Even though their story is not the most popular or well-known, it is remarkable indeed. [read more...]
California’s Yosemite National Park is a very large and beautiful place. Home to thousands of animal and plant species, the park boasts awesome mountains, scenic valleys, and clear rivers. [read more...]
It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's a comet! Comets are small lumps of ice that move on the outskirts of the solar system in the direction of the sun. When a comet gets hot, a beam of light shoots out from its front and forms two shining “tails” on its back. Comets are parts of matter left over from the creation of the Solar System. [read more...]
Everything in the world is made up of one or more elements. The Periodic Table of Elements charts all the different elements and their characteristics. It is organized by each element's mass. [read more...]
Two years ago I visited the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan, Mexico with my parents. This was an incredible experience, and I learned so much about the Pyramid. [read more...]
Saturn, “the gas planet,” is composed of 96 percent hydrogen and four percent helium. But it's 100 percent my favorite planet!
Galileo Galilei first discovered Saturn in 1610. He described its rings as “handles.” Conveniently, Dutch mathematician Christiaan Huygens also reported seeing Saturn, which he once described as having “a thin flat ring which nowhere touches the body.” [read more...]
These days, you may see people wearing safety pins and wonder, “what’s up with that?” Before answering this question, it's necessary to consider the history of the safety pin. [read more...]
Before Bob Dylan was the music legend he ultimately became, he wrote a love song to the dairy state, Wisconsin. The lyric sheet for this unreleased piece will today cost $30,000 minimum. [read more...]
The Golden Gate Bridge is a stunning entry-way to the city of San Francisco. But it never would have become one of the 100 Wonders of the World without the determination of architect Joseph B. Strauss. [read more...]
In the 16th century, over 400 people in Strasbourg, France ‘danced themselves to death.’ Yes, that’s right: these Frenchmen literally killed themselves by dancing. [read more...]
Famous former president and icon Abraham Lincoln changed the world with one document: the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. Throughout his life and presidency, however, Lincoln also accomplished much more. [read more...]
The pyramids of Giza are wonderful, historical monuments and the oldest of the Seven Great Wonders of the World. They leave all other pyramids behind in terms of size, architecture, and legacy. [read more...]
People all over the world took notice when Neil Armstrong became the first man to step on the moon in 1969. However, a far smaller population knows of Margaret Hamilton’s contribution to the Apollo 11 mission and moon landing. Recent national interest in understanding the historic role of women in science has generated new enthusiasm for Hamilton’s work. [read more...]
The Black Death, also known as the “bubonic plague,” was a horrible illness that affected Europe and Asia from the 14th through the 15th century. During this period, known today as the Middle Ages, 25 million people died from the Black Death. [read more...]
Albert Einstein was a renowned physicist and remains one of the most famous scientists to this day. His findings, especially his General Theory of Relativity, completely re-shaped the way the world views the universe. [read more...]
China, Greece, Rome, and Central American countries all claim they started the beloved sport of soccer nearly 2,000 years ago. It might surprise you to learn, however, that soccer actually became the sport we know today in England. [read more...]
Have you ever seen a 20,000-pound crocodile or piano-sized fish at the zoo? Probably not. These prehistoric beasts, including the “ShieldCroc” and “Old Four Legs,” lived one hundred million years ago. [read more...]
African American leader Huey P. Newton lived a complicated life full of ups and downs. He is most famous for co-founding the Black Panther Party. The organization’s main goal was to defend Black Americans and promote their advancement through housing, education, and job opportunities. [read more...]
The Eye of Providence symbolizes the all-seeing eye of God. It shows an eye often surrounded by rays of light. This symbol is found on a lot of coats of arms, seals, and logos of states and countries. [read more...]
No one has visited the Moon since 1972 when the last of the Apollo missions left. [read more...]
“Bootleggers and Baptists.” When I first heard this phrase, I thought that it must be some expression that refers to a dull topic that only middle-aged adults would understand. But as I conducted more research, I soon discovered that the phrase is actually a storied saying with a fascinating origin! [read more...]
One of the most fearsome leaders of the early 5th century was not a war general or a dictator. No, he was the short, illegitimate son of an Irish king. His story is often overlooked in history books and little is known about his personal life, but his legacy lives on along with his name: he is Niall of the Nine Hostages. [read more...]
The Salem Witch Trials began and ended in Massachusetts in the early 1690s. Accused of practicing witchcraft, 200 people were prosecuted and put in prison during this time; 20 of whom were eventually hanged. [read more...]
The question “is music poetry?” crossed my mind on a Tuesday afternoon at the Simpson Street Free Press newsroom, when I stumbled across a news release my editor Aarushi Agni had placed inside my folder. The release, a recent article from The New York Times
, explained the reactions of the literature community after the iconic Folk singer/songwriter Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his songwriting work. [read more...]
Back in the 1800s, many Irish people emigrated to Wisconsin. To this day, their descendants continue to live throughout the state and influence its culture. [read more...]
A famous symbol of freedom, the Statue of Liberty was originally a gift to the United States from France in admiration of our nation's democracy. [read more...]
Ella Fitzgerald, also known as “The First Lady of Song,” was an astonishing singer. Born to William Fitzgerald and Temperance “Tempie” Williams Fitzgerald, in Newport News, Virginia on April 25, 1917, Fitzgerald lived solely with her mother. [read more...]
For thousands of years, humans have been watching the sky. They’ve mastered the patterns of the stars and can easily find constellations like the zodiacs, Pleiades, the Big Dipper, Orion, and many other star clusters. Ancient people knew their way around the night sky; if you want to learn to be as skilled in astronomy and stargazing as they were, follow these tips below. [read more...]
Journalist and Civil Rights activist Ida B. Wells fought against prejudice with her powerful words. She paved the way for other women of color to speak out against injustice. [read more...]
When one thinks about Egypt, gold-hued visions of pyramids, mummies, and ancient structures might come to mind. But what people do these treasures honor and why? [read more...]
In a year that claimed many lives, famous and otherwise, the world has lost a great scientific mind.
While she has never been a household name, Vera Rubin was a groundbreaking scientist. [read more...]
A big-time star with an attitude, Selena Quintanilla Perez was born in Lake Jackson, Texas, on April 16, 1971. She began performing as a child and, by age of 10, became the lead singer in her family band, "Selena y Los Dinos". [read more...]
Genghis Khan, infamous warrior of central Asia, was born in 1167. Originally born “Temujin,” he was the son of a tribal chief. [read more...]
On December 8, 2016, America bade farewell to an American legend. John Glenn, senator, lifelong pilot, decorated war veteran, and one of NASA’s first astronauts passed away in his home state of Ohio. [read more...]
Did you know that Louis Pasteur helped get germs out of milk?
Louis Pasteur, French chemist and microbiologist, was born on December 27, 1822, in Dole, France. He lived with his father in Arbois, France. Not a very good student but an excellent artist, Pasteur earned a bachelor’s degree in arts in 1840, and another one in science in 1842. He received his doctorate from the École Normale in Paris. Pasteur spent years researching and teaching at Dijon Lycée before he became a professor of chemistry at the University of Strasbourg. [read more...]
Thousands of black youth marched out of their homes and schools in Birmingham, Alabama, and out onto the streets to protest for their rights, on the morning of May 2, 1963.
People may not know, but black youth, aged six-17, were just as involved in the Civil Rights Movement as their parents. Youth often went to mass meetings and protests with their parents. Despite their young age, they also noticed segregation, such as separate water fountains, bathrooms, schools, and seats on buses. They even had separate spelling bees and art festivals. Overall, whites had better options. Many children also witnessed bombings and had other traumatic experiences. They called their town “Bombingham.” These kids soon had their own protest. [read more...]
What sport helps participants stay strong, win battles, and teaches valuable self- defense? Karate, of course!
A long time ago in Japan, karate was brought to the Okinawan Islands by a Chinese family. In Japanese, karate literally means “empty hands.” Karate originated here because weapons were banned in Japan at the time, so hands became the weapons of choice for many warriors. [read more...]
Before about 1770, most things were made by hand instead of by powered machinery. An early example of powered machines arose in Britain. [read more...]
In 1901, astronomer A. E. Douglas had an idea about how to study the effect of sunspot cycles on the Earth. Little did he know that this very idea would ultimately lead to some important discoveries. [read more...]
Katrin Brendemuehl, age 13 and Callan Bird Bear, age 12
The gorgeous artwork crafted by Native American tribes known as beadwork can be as intricate as the wings of a dragonfly. The allure of colorful glass beads against a dark, rich fabric is enough to catch nearly anyone’s eye. This fall, the James Watrous Gallery, a gallery at the Overture Center with a focus on contemporary Wisconsin artists, features these culturally significant, powerful works. [read more...]
In 1631, while giving birth to her 14th child, the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan’s wife passed away. When the Emperor lost his beloved wife, his hair grew white from grief and he vowed to build a tomb worthy of his wife’s memory. The Emperor wanted something unique, something unequaled anywhere else in the world. [read more...]
Beloved political reporter and groundbreaking journalist Gwen Ifill passed away early last week at the age of 61 following a private battle with uterine cancer. Ms. Ifill was well-known and respected for her coverage of the White House and national campaigns and for her work with The Washington Post
, The New York Times
, NBC, and PBS. [read more...]
What is colorism? Colorism is prejudice or discrimination toward people of color that specifically focuses on the relative darkness of an individual’s complexion. I wasn’t quite sure what it really was until I watched a documentary called Dark Girls. Even though I have experienced colorism first hand, Dark Girls reveals experiences of colorism in the U.S. and around the world. [read more...]
For years, African American history and culture has been downplayed in literature, films, and the media. However, with the opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, the African-American narrative will finally become accessible to everyone, creating a richer story of America. [read more...]
In the early 1960s, President John F. Kennedy told Americans that it was time to go to the moon. Nine years later, Neil Armstrong was the first human to ever walk on the moon. [read more...]
If you've ever been to a powwow, you might have heard the tinkling sound of the Jingle Dress Dane. Historically used for healing, the Jingle Dress is now part of a dance that honors and celebrates Ojibwe culture and tradition. [read more...]
Humans have inhabited the Earth for millions of years, but how did we gain the ability to stand on two feet? Many would think the answer to “human bipedalism” – our ability to walk and stand on two feet – lies in the study of feet. Shockingly, however, recent research actually suggests that the trait may connect back to a tiny fish known as the threespine stickleback. [read more...]
The bald eagle has been the national bird of the United States of America since 1782. The bird symbolizes freedom and America’s rich wild life. [read more...]
En 1942, durante la segunda guerra mundial, muchos de los trabajadores estadounidenses se fueron a la guerra. Los Estados Unidos tuvo que buscar cómo llenar el hueco que dejaron los soldados. Así es como muchos “braceros”, el nombre que se les daba a los trabajadores en la agricultura, llegaron a los Estados Unidos de México. [read more...]
We've all heard of Galileo Galilei, but how did he become a famous inventor in the first place?
Galileo was born in Pisa, Italy on February 15, 1564. At the age of 10, he was sent to school at the Monastery of Vallombrosa. His father, Vincenzo, took him out of school at the age of 14, because he worried that his son would become a poor man. Vincenzo then sent Galileo to Florence to spend a few years with tutors. [read more...]
César Chávez fue un gran líder para los trabajadores agrícolas en los Estados Unidos. El es una persona importante por haber empezado el sindicato llamado Trabajadores Agrícolas Undidos, para buscar que se trate con justicia y se les pague un buen sueldo a los trabajadores. La infancia de César Chávez influyo su motivación para defender los derechos de los trabajadores agrícolas. El nacióó el 31 de marzo de 1927 en Arizona, a propietarios de una granja. [read more...]
George Washington Carver was born into slavery in 1864. He and his mother, Mary, were owned by Moses and Susan Carver.
Carver was orphaned as a child when his mother was captured by slave raiders. After slavery was abolished, Moses and Susan Carver took in Carver, and regarded him as their own son. The Carvers taught him how to read and write. A good student, Carver especially enjoyed learning about plants and animals. [read more...]
A long time ago, before even newspapers existed, there lived a group of people called the Ancient Greeks. They shared news in the form of myths; which were often passed on through word-of-mouth. These myths represented a set of beliefs and are now collectively called Greek Mythology. One of my personal favorite Greet myths is “Lost At Sea”. [read more...]
Ever since World War II, all U.S. citizens have been required to pay income taxes. The income tax affects many states including Wisconsin and targets many top-earning businesses. This has led to an expansion of the national tax system over time. [read more...]
Have you ever dreamed about soaring through the sky? Using the flying rocket belt, better known as the jet pack, these dreams can become a reality. [read more...]
The Blue Mosque is located in Istanbul, Turkey, but it wasn’t always a mosque. Before becoming a mosque, it was the mother church of the Byzantine Empire. In 1453, the church fell under the Turkish and at that point it became a mosque. It attracts large numbers of visitors each year. The temple houses various exhibits and museums. [read more...]
Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, better known to the world as Cristiano Ronaldo, was born on February 5, 1985 in Funchal, Madeira, Portugal. He is a professional soccer player and has set many records while playing for Manchester United and Real Madrid. [read more...]
The Great Wall of China is one of the most spectacular architectural structures of all time.
With a length of about 3,946 miles, the Great Wall was originally built in the 1600s to keep Mongolian horsemen from invading China. The wall was also constructed to showcase the Emperor's power and glory. [read more...]
¿Sabías que la población de la ciudad de México es más grande que las de Nueva York, Madrid o París? La ciudad de México, también conocida como el D.F. o Distrito Federal fue establecida en 1525. La ciudad atrae a muchos turistas. La economía de México está impactada por el número de turistas que visitan cada año el D.F. los cuales son uno de los recursos mayores del país. [read more...]
By land area, the Mongolian empire was the largest-ever empire. Its first ruler was Temujin, who later became infamous under the name, Genghis Khan. The Mongolian Empire lasted through the early 13th and early 15th century. [read more...]
Capitalism is an economic system wherein private owners control industry, and trade goods and services to make a profit. Capitalism originated in Western Europe and spread for years until it engulfed the whole continent. In the early modern world (1500-1800), Europe dominated the globe economically due to colonialist exploration of western lands and eastern trade routes. Those European traders were merchant capitalists. [read more...]
While many remember Leonardo Da Vinci as a great artist, he was also a great scientist.
He was born in the little Tuscan town of Vinci on April 15, 1452. His parents quickly separated after his birth, his father re-marrying a local heiress, and his mother, a local cow-herder. Leonardo was left in the custody of his father and his stepmother. The two didn’t have much time for Leonardo; his grandfather looked after him. [read more...]
As a kid, have you ever heard an older sibling or friend say “I call shotgun” before a car ride and wondered what that really meant? The answer may lie in old western legend. [read more...]
Chad is a land in Africa of the unknown and forgotten. Life in Chad is unlike any other, with an amazing spectrum of wildlife and numerous ethnic groups. [read more...]
The Printing Press, a very important invention, initiated an “information revolution” on par with the Internet today. In fact, the Printing Press changed the world. [read more...]
The Arctic is not a place many humans would call home, however, but it's just that for some birds. Though most birds live in warm climates and migrate elsewhere when it gets cold, Arctic birds stick it out through each freezing winter.
Arctic birds live in the treeless tundra. [read more...]
Human beings have been using energy from fire for thousands of years. There is evidence that late age stone cave dwellers kept their caves warm with fires which were kept alight for months or even years. These early people relied on fire, even though they did not know where it came from. In fact, they thought it was magic. [read more...]
Lenses are used to see and visually document the world around us.
The two main types of lenses are convex and concave. They are used in many different tools, reflecting and bending light to produce an image. Lenses work by moving light in different directions using refraction, forming a smaller or larger image. A beam of light may diverge or converge depending on the shape of the lens. [read more...]
Egyptian mummies are the stuff of legends, cryptic video games and adventure films. But why did the Egyptians make mummies in first place? [read more...]
Machu Picchu, a historic world site, was discovered in the 20th century in the Peruvian Andes by Connecticut Senator Hiram Bingham. [read more...]
Marianne Winkler was walking on a German beach with her husband when she saw an object that had washed up on the shore. She investigated further to find the object was a message in a bottle.
The bottle was sealed shut, so Winkler and her husband decided to break it to get the message [read more...]
America owes its riches to African slaves. The institution of slavery started during the 17th and 18th centuries in the United States. The country had plenty of natural resources, but it did not have enough labor to farm the land. To the rich white plantation owners, African slaves seemed to be a perfect solution. [read more...]
The Himalayas form the largest mountain range in the world. They also host the tallest mountain on the planet: Mt. Everest. In Nepal, the Himalayan mountain range is called “Chomolungma,” meaning Goddess of Mother Snows. [read more...]
Most of us have probably heard about the Loch Ness Monster. Most of us also probably believe that the legend of this sea monster isn't true. But, did you know that there have been some sightings of a Loch Ness Monster right here in Wisconsin?
Rock Lake is only 20 miles from Madison and 87 feet at its deepest. [read more...]
Albert Einstein was a great example of a scientist who helped us understand that matter can be turned into energy, proving it with his famous formula E=mc2. [read more...]
Ellis Island. Ellis Island opened in 1892 and at least 12 million people were let in the country that year. But only 90 percent of all the newcomers every day passed though Ellis Island. [read more...]
Traveling to space is an incredible feat. To leave the bounds of Earth requires great ambition, endurance, nerves of steel, and even a dash of luck. [read more...]
Sixty years ago on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks changed the course of history by refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger. Today, she is remembered as an iconic figure in the Civil Rights movement.
Some people believe Parks stayed in her seat because she was physically tired. Parks herself would later explain, “The only tired I was, was tired of giving in.” [read more...]
In the year 1900, pieces of an ancient device that would come to be known as the Antikythera mechanism were discovered under the sea by sponge divers and taken to the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, Greece. [read more...]
Did you know that gymnastics originated in Ancient Greece? The word gymnastics comes from the Greek word for disciplinary exercises that combine physical skill with grace and artistic acrobatics. Gymnastics can be performed by both men and women at many levels from personal classes to competitions. [read more...]
The history of ancient Greece is very interesting. Ancient Greek people told stories to help each other learn about the world around them. They had ideas about their food that seem weird to us today they also invented theatre as we know it and the Olympic games. [read more...]
Marie Louise Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun, a famous painter during the 1780s and 1790s, was the kind of person every painter dreams of becoming–even today. She was not only one of the most famous, highly-paid painters but also one of the first women accepted into one of the most prestigious art academies in the world. [read more...]
The New Kingdom of ancient Egypt started in 1550 B.C.E when the nation’s capital moved to Thebes. During this time, the Egyptians also created the famous underground burial site called the Valley of the Kings. In this valley, tombs surrounded by pyramids held many kinds of treasures. Some tombs even contained food, royal clothing, gilded furniture, jewelery, weapons and chariots, which were all buried with the kings, or pharaohs, to be used during their afterlife. [read more...]
Geronimo was a great Native American leader. He was born in the Apache tribe in 1829 near Clifton, Arizona. Throughout his life, Geronimo gained a reputation as a leader who challenged anyone who threatened his tribe’s way of life. [read more...]
The “Great Migration” was a significant time in America. During this time, which spanned the late 1800's through the early 1900's, many African American people moved from the South to the North hoping to make better lives for themselves. [read more...]
Being a paleontologist is like being a detective; you have to search for all the puzzle pieces in order to solve the mystery. You also have to take chances, and sometimes you will discover something new and surprising. It can also be painstaking and difficult. However, one man, Nizar Ibrahim, did not give up until his paleontological mystery was solved. [read more...]
A small, once dirt-poor Mexican village now hosts one of the largest concentrations of modern artists in the world. In fact, for the 1,200 residents of Mata Ortiz, high-quality ceramics have become more than an expression of culture—they have become a way of life. [read more...]
Though there are many women in the field of journalism today, this was not always the case. Nancy Dickerson, however, earned her status as a pioneer in radio and television news reporting in the 1950s and 1960s. In fact, she even worked as the first female reporter at CBS. [read more...]
Being a paleontologist is like being a detective; you have to search for all the puzzle pieces in order to solve the mystery. You also have to take chances, and sometimes you will discover something new and surprising. It can also be painstaking and difficult. However, one man, Nizar Ibrahim, did not give up until his paleontological mystery was solved. [read more...]
Cleopatra VII was the last pharaoh of the Macedonian dynasty in Egypt. She is probably most known from the 1963 film, “Cleopatra,” Shakespeare's “Antony and Cleopatra,” and museum exhibits about her family's rich history. [read more...]
Many visitors to Louisiana might not know the difference between Creole and Cajun food. Creole and Cajun are two cultures that originated in the French Catholic Colonies in New Orleans, Louisiana in the early 1700's. Since both cultures are French and share influences, one might wonder what the difference is between them and their cuisines. [read more...]
Have you ever heard the phrase “strike while the iron is hot”? Around the Simpson Street Free Press newsroom, we hear the phrase often. [read more...]
Wilma Rudolph was a famous runner. She was the first woman ever to win three gold medals in the same Olympics as a track and field athlete. [read more...]
Recently, paleoanthropologists discovered evidence that suggests Homo erectus
used fire one million years ago. Prior to this important discovery, scientists theorized fire had been used back then but had no direct evidence. [read more...]
About 3,000 years ago, ancient Greeks roamed the shores of the Eastern Mediterranean. Many independent states, each with their own identities, comprised the greater ancient Greek civilization. [read more...]
William Shakespeare, one of the most famous writers of all time, is known worldwide for his plays, sonnets and poems. Also called the ‘bard,’ or the ‘upstart crow,’ Shakespeare is best-known for his works "Romeo and Juliet," "Hamlet," and "A Midsummer Nights Dream." In fact, these works are still performed today all over the world. [read more...]
Roberto Clemente is one of the greatest players in the history of baseball. [read more...]
Written by Arthur Flowers and illustrated by Manu Chitrakar, I See the Promised Land
is a graphic novel that explores the Civil Rights Movement and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s involvement in it. [read more...]
The tale of Amelia Earhart’s mysterious disappearance on July 2, 1937 during her attempt to circumnavigate the globe is a familiar one. For years, many believed that Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan crashed into the Pacific Ocean after running out of fuel near Howland Island, their intended destination. However, a recently identified piece of aluminum, named Artifact 2-2-V-1, disproves this theory and offers insight into what really happened. [read more...]
It’s no wonder The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks—Rebecca Skloot's non-fiction account of theft, disease, exploitation, and science—became a bestseller. This shocking text tells the story of Henrietta Lacks, a woman incapable of telling it herself. [read more...]
The Titanic, completed in 1912, was an engineering accomplishment never before seen. But it pales in comparison to an even greater achievement completed in the same century on the other side of the planet: the Trans-Siberian railway. [read more...]
Scientists have found new evidence that indicates settlers in Jamestown, Virginia resorted to cannibalism to survive harsh droughts and severe famine in the early 1600s. [read more...]
When James Dean entered the spotlight in the 1950’s, he was not a run-of the-mill actor. His cool personality complemented his rebel ways that made him a very attractive and influential star. James Dean was an icon of his time. [read more...]
Evolution is the way an organism changes over time. This change ultimately produces a species that is distinct from an organism’s early ancestors. Many experts think that the species on Earth today have arose and formed from simple organisms that first appeared three billion years ago. [read more...]
Many people are aware of the recent wars in Afghanistan, but some might not know about this country's wildlife, people, and history. [read more...]
Have you ever heard of Malcolm X and wanted to learn more about him? A great African American leader, Malcolm Little was born into a hard life on May 19, 1925, in Omaha, Nebraska. Son of a Baptist minister, Malcolm and his family moved to Lansing, Michigan, in 1929 after racists burned down their home. Soon after this fire, Malcolm's father was murdered. After Malcolm's mother had a nervous breakdown, he and his seven siblings were split up and sent to different foster homes. [read more...]
Those who frequent Vilas Park have likely noticed the Old-Woman-in-a-Shoe slide. For decades it has entertained young children, yet its history has mystfied the public. [read more...]
Many call Margaret Thatcher, the first female British Prime Minister, the “Iron Woman.” While some say she destroyed Great Britain, others insist she worked hard to help her country’s people succeed. [read more...]
The phrase “Houston, we have a problem” has been adopted into everyday life. It is a clever way of saying: “Uh-oh.” This phrase originated nearly 25 years ago on April 13th, 1970, when the Apollo 13 spacecraft experienced an accident. [read more...]
The East African Rift Valley is a beautiful but perilous place. Partially surrounding Lake Victoria, the Rift Valley extends from Tanzania to Ethiopia. The western arm of the rift is 1,900 miles long, while the eastern arm is about 1,600 miles long. This area, marked by constant earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, is also known as the Afar Triangle. [read more...]
Around 35 B.C.E., Roman soldiers used deadly weapons and armor to attack their enemies and to protect themselves. Examining their weapons and tactics can provide an insight into warfare at the time. [read more...]
Born on June 27, 1880, Helen Keller has touched the hearts of millions with her resilience and strength in confronting her disabilities. [read more...]
During the 1800's, women were typically confined to the roles of housekeeper, cook, cleaner, and child-care provider. Women's suffrage campaigner and political advocate Susan B. Anthony, however, challenged these gender norms. [read more...]
The Olympics have changed in many ways over its 200 year history. Today, it is no longer a religious event. For example, women can now compete. In ancient times, women used to be killed just for watching. [read more...]
We recently made a trip to downtown Madison. Simpson Street Free Press writers, Lucy Ji, Alex Lee, and Helen Zhang, visited the City-Council Building looking for another piece of local history. What we found was a little-known treasure that is both history and art. [read more...]
“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening,” said Coco Chanel. [read more...]
According to the Sanskrit Rigveda, a series of ancient Hindu texts, Aryan invaders led by the god Indra, marched into India around 1500 BCE. Indra was known as the “fort destroyer.” The 90 forts and 100 ancient castles worked by Indra’s army were stuff of myth until archaeological excavations in the 1920’s and 1930’s proved otherwise. [read more...]
In the Black Hills of South Dakota, there is a curious looking mountain. [read more...]
Near the Black Sea, in the small town of Sozopol, Bulgaria, residents once practiced a method of vampire extermination, which involves skewering bodies of the deceased with sharp objects. [read more...]
The genetic samples of the human race's most recent common ancestors are biblically nicknamed. For years, scientists thought "Y chromosome Adam" and "Mitochondrial Eve" never lived in the same time or place. Now, recent evidence suggests these ancient ancestors may have in fact resided close to each other in the same era. [read more...]
In ancient Greece, the human lifespan was about half of what ours is today. People in ancient Greece believed spirits went to the underworld after death. During this time period, death was an everyday occurrence; men were killed in battle, women died during childbirth, and children would often die in infancy. The dead were cremated or buried. Greeks believed that after a body or its ashes were covered with earth, spirits could leave to the underworld. [read more...]
There are different types of money all over the world, each with its own distinct design and value. With so many types of currency today, it’s hard to believe that there was a time before paper bills or coins. Agricultural products; strings and beads; animals; other goods; and services were traded among people before the advent of money. [read more...]
The plateau of Giza near Cairo, features the famous pyramids of Egypt. They are considered the most extraordinary architecural structures in history. They also depict the story of Egypt 5,000 years ago. These mysterious pyramids and their sheer size draw visitors from around the world. [read more...]
The period of European history leading up to the Renaissance is known as the Middle Ages. Scholars generally agree that it began around A.D. 750 and ended in the 1400’s, lasting over 650 years. [read more...]
In 1974, outside the city of Xi’an, China, a group of well diggers came across one of the most remarkable archaeological discoveries of all time: a life-size clay soldier. Chinese authorities were later notified and dispatched to the site, where they uncovered thousands of these clay soldiers. [read more...]
Back in the 12th century, the Cambodian godking Suyarvarman II constructed an enormous temple he named as Angkor Wat. Today, the temple is still one of the world’s most stunning specimens of Hindu architecture. [read more...]
Mycenae was the most powerful kingdom developed in Greece between 1600 and 1200 B.C. This kingdom had a very advanced culture. Although the Mycenaeans did not keep records, they left an archaeological trail. Archaeologists know from discovered artifacts that Mycenaeans communicated in a written language and developed technology. [read more...]
The first public library in the state of Wisconsin, called the Free City Library, was opened in Madison on the date of June 1, 1875. Madison Mayor, Silas Pinney, who came up with the idea, is still honored through the amazing network of public libraries we have today, including the Pinney Branch Library. [read more...]
When myths and legends are passed verbally from generation to generation, we call that an oral tradition. [read more...]
The original model of the typewriter was finished in 1867. Christopher Latham Sholes and other inventors developed the typewriter in a small machine shop in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After a few years of improvements, the world’s first practical typewriter was introduced in 1874. [read more...]
The Egyptians were among the first to make paper. The word paper comes from papyrus, a reed that grows on the banks of the Nile River. [read more...]
Josephine Baker was the first physician to use preventive medicine, and revolutionized the field of midwifery. Her 1939 autobiography, “Fighting for Life,” was recently reissued. Dr. Abigail Zuger, a contribution to the New York Times said Bakers insights are “intensely relevant” today. [read more...]
Between 1929 and the late 1930’s, the Great Depression pulled America into one of its darkest ages. [read more...]
During the Middle Ages (400-1400 A.D.), art influenced the lives of the European people. Romanesque and Gothic art dominated Europe. Mainly displayed in the church, both styles significantly impacted European culture, in ways that are still evident today. [read more...]
Shows like So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing with The Stars, America’s Best Dance Crew and America’s Got Talent dominate our TV screens and feature talented dancers. Throughout history, dancing has been a way to express feelings and even a way to tell a story. For some people, it is a way to show off their strength. [read more...]
The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation , or WARF, is UW-Madison’s nonprofit technology transfer office. WARF helps UW-Madison researchers by patenting their discoveries, then licensing the scientists’ findings to primary companies to make them more accessible to the market place. WARF was founded in 1925 during the Progressive Era by Harry Steenbock, a professor of Biochemistry at UW-Madison. [read more...]
Tucked on the west side of the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus is the Babcock Hall Dairy Store. While Babcock Hall is most famous for its ice cream, it also sells an assortment of dairy products, including a variety of award-winning cheeses and locally produced milk. Without the contribution of UW-Madison researcher Stephen Babcock, these products would not be as delicious as they are today. [read more...]
In 1631, Arjuman Banu Began died giving birth to her fourteenth child. Her husband, Shah Jehan, the Moghul Emperor in India, was devastated. He sought to build a tomb in her memory that was like nothing else in the world. “The Taj Mahal” would symbolize his great love for her. And after 22 years, with the help of 20,000 workers, his desire was realized. [read more...]
Scientists have confirmed the discovery of the oldest rock art in North America. Etched as long as 14,800 years ago, these carvings, or petroglyphs, were found at Winnemucca Lake in Nevada. [read more...]
Pickling is an interesting and ancient process. Pickles come in many different types, shapes and sizes. [read more...]
First oxen were wild beasts, but now they are tamed cattle. This phenomenon didn’t happen overnight. New research pinpoints when in history cows were domesticated. [read more...]
Six people died trying to cross the Atlantic Ocean before Charles Lindbergh made his solo, nonstop flight in 1927. Lindbergh, a former UW-Madison attendee survived his flight and made history. He also gained instant fame, and became an overnight legend. [read more...]
B.B. King, also known as the King of the Blues, started his career as a young boy in the 1940’s. He is still going strong to this day. [read more...]
Roberto Clemente Walker was a famous Major League baseball player. He was an all-star on the baseball field, and a hero off the field. For 18 seasons spanning from 1955 to 1972, Clemente contributed greatly to the Pittsburgh Pirates as a right fielder. He won the "Most Valuable Player" award in 1966. When Clemente wasn’t playing baseball, he was involved in public service. [read more...]
It was 1972 and President Richard Nixon was running for reelection. Late one evening an obscure, seemingly minor break in took place at Democratic party headquarters. Nobody at the time could have predicted that this incident would shake the foundations of the federal government. [read more...]
Blackbeard was the most fearsome pirate that ever to sail the seas, notorious for his daredevil tactics in battle. Blackbeard was known for his success in piracy and for his murderous ways. [read more...]
Ships are super-sized boats that weigh more than 1,000 tons. There are many different kinds of ships. The first were large wooden ships, powered by sails or oars. They were used as early as 300BC. [read more...]
At 9 AM sharp on a sunny August morning, staff writers Selin, Rosalinda, Nancy, Patricia and I met with our editors Adaeze and Aarushi at the Free Press office. We were ready to hit the road to tour historic southwestern Wisconsin. [read more...]
Recently, Simpson Street Free Press writers took a trip to southwestern Wisconsin to visit historic sights. We wanted to see Stonefield Village in Cassville. Once there, we met Dale Moore who has worked there for 12 years. Mr. Moore was the perfect tour guide. [read more...]
On a hot August day, a team of Free Press reporters and I decided to visit the Platteville Mining Museum. When we entered the museum, a very friendly staff person greeted us and gave us a brief introduction to the museum and its history. [read more...]
Recently, a group of Free Press reporters explored some of the historical sights in Southwestern Wisconsin. One notable historic site is Pleasant Ridge. Once an African-American settlement nestled in Grant County, it is now commemorated by a historical marker. Pleasant Ridge was not just any settlement; it was essential to the development of our state. [read more...]
Julius Caesar founded the leap day in 46 B.C., effective in 45 B.C. His leap day added ten days to the Roman calendar. Centuries later, when Pope Gregory XIII was elected in 1572, he felt that all the Christian holidays were being celebrated on the wrong dates due to Caesar’s leap day. To fix this, the Pope asked astronomers to produce a different calendar, known as the Gregorian calendar. The Gregorian calendar has 12 months and about 365 days, with a leap day once in a while. This is the calendar that the majority of the world uses today. [read more...]
On a clear fall day almost 80 years ago, an amateur fossil hunter was exploring the remote hills of eastern New Mexico. Near the small town of Clovis he found something very exciting. By the 1930s researchers from around the world were investigating human artifacts found at the site. [read more...]
A new discovery suggests that about 1.8 million years ago there were several pre-human species living in Africa. The species Homo Erectus is believed to be our direct ancestor. But now it seems possible humans had two additional relatives. [read more...]
The breakthrough hit, “That’ll Be the Day,” was recorded by the American singer and songwriter who produced some of the most influential work in rock music, Buddy Holly. [read more...]
The roots of blues music run deep. This rich history can be traced along major highways running south to north through the American heartland. US. Route 61 is one these roads. It is known as the “Blues Highway.” [read more...]
I recently read a biography of Muhammad Ali written by Randy Gordon. Ali is one of the most famous American boxers in history. [read more...]
A Mustang is a free roaming horse that lives in North America. The Spaniards originally brought these animals to North America when they conquered Mexico. [read more...]
A biopic based on the memoir of rock and roller Cherie Currie; The Runaways is a thrilling film directed by Floria Sigismondi about the rise and fall of Joan Jett’s teenage band. The Runaways stars Kristen Stewart as the legendary Joan Jett and Dakota Fanning as the seductive Cherie Currie. The storyline takes place in California during the mid 1970s, when Joan was just 17. [read more...]
Despite tough obstacles throughout life, Billie Holiday managed to become one of the greatest jazz singers of all time. That’s quite the accomplishment, even if her career didn’t last long. [read more...]
Early on a Saturday Morning, fellow Free Press teen editor Annie Shao and I set out for the Milwaukee Public Museum. It was a nice day and this was a trip we were looking forward to very much. The exhibit we wanted to see is called, “Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt.” We loved it. The exhibit transported us back to Cleopatra’s world to fully understand her life and death. [read more...]
Cleopatra VII, the last pharaoh of Egypt, ruled a land that was powerful, glamorous, and full of life. It’s no wonder that Roman emperor Octavian wanted to steal Egypt for himself. [read more...]
You know those simple, basic words that we use all the time but don’t think much about? Well, some of them have been around for over 10,000 years. [read more...]
The date was February 1, 1960. The place was Woolworth’s restaurant in Greensboro, North Carolina. It all started when four college freshmen, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair Jr, Joseph McNeil and David Richmond, entered the “whites only” Greensboro Woolworth’s and sat down at the lunch counter. They had no idea what they were getting themselves into. [read more...]
A recent study conducted by Dr. Erik Trinkaus, an anthropologist at Washington University in St. Louis, gives scientists new reasons to question which factors are most responsible for the population growth of early modern humans. Scientists previously believed that a long lifespan helped early modern humans thrive, and that Neanderthals went extinct due to a shorter life span. However, this study’s findings suggest that both groups had relatively similar life spans, which means other factors will need to be examined. [read more...]
Until recently most researchers believed that prehistoric humans ate a meat-centered diet. Now a new study published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal shows this view of the so-called Paleolithic diet might be false. [read more...]
In 1922, just as the archaeologist Howard Carter was about to give up his search, an undisturbed tomb of an Egyptian pharaoh was discovered. It was the tomb of King Tutankhamun, or King Tut for short, a young ruler from Egypt’s 18th dynasty. [read more...]
The dodo bird went extinct about 350 years ago. And for many years after that, people knew very little about this strange looking bird. By the 19th century, the descriptions of this bird were so unbelievable that its very existence was considered a myth. [read more...]
Imagine a species where individuals change their appearance so dramatically by adulthood that they appear to be an entirely different individual. The skull transformations of the great three-horned triceratops and the dome-headed pachycephalosaurs seem to have been just this dramatic. [read more...]
Some believe that the fabled dinosaurs dominated Earth until their untimely demise 65 million years ago. But many people do not know that other species may have been more prominent and had a huge evolutionary significance: the marine reptiles. [read more...]
Discovered in 1909, the Burgess Shale Outcrops in the Canadian Rockies display a menagerie of prehistoric marine fossils. These rock formations offer scientists a glimpse at the incredible expansion of complex multi-cellular life that occurred 550 million years ago, during what is known as the Cambrian Era. [read more...]
Satchel Paige was one of the greatest pitchers of the Negro Leagues. His impressive career spanned five decades. [read more...]
If you travel north of Madison on Highway 12 for about 25 minutes you will cross the Wisconsin River at Sauk City. Soon after crossing the Wisconsin River Bridge, Highway 12 begins its climb through an ancient mountain chain. This is Wisconsin’s famous Baraboo Range. [read more...]
My family and I moved to Madison from Nepal over five years ago. It took time to feel settled here, but we have finally become more accustomed to the life and culture of the United States. [read more...]
It is the staple food for half the world’s population, going almost unnoticed as a side to countless dishes. It’s a food that is incorporated into thousands of recipes, from simple dishes to culinary masterpieces. It is also the second most cultivated grain in the world, harvested on every continent, save for Antarctica. [read more...]
Rarely do scientists discover two unique dinosaur species on the same continent within the same month. But they accomplished just that in December of 2003—on Antarctica. [read more...]
The rise and fall of cities, cultures and civilizations are often surrounded by mystery. History is like a giant puzzle, with gaps we don’t completely understand. [read more...]
In the last issue of the Simpson Street Free Press, Helen Zhang wrote an article about new research suggesting Neanderthals were capable of symbolic thinking. Now, Spanish researchers have discovered that Neanderthals may have also been very aggressive hunters. [read more...]
There is an ethnic group that has successfully faced down the most powerful empires of modern times. For thousands of years the Pashtun people of Afghanistan and Pakistan have battled powerful foreign adversaries. Through it all they have maintained their independence and sovereignty. They have seen plenty of conflict, both foreign and domestic. [read more...]
Josh Gibson is said to be one of the greatest baseball players ever. He was known as the “Black Babe Ruth,” and played in the Negro Leagues. His impressive statistics’ his reputation, and his nickname all stand testament to his incredible skill. Some experts at the time even considered him to be better than Babe Ruth. [read more...]
Just Like Josh Gibson, is a wonderful little book by Angela Johnson, and is perfect for young girls aspiring to become baseball players, or just about any other career traditionally thought of as “man’s work.” In this book, a little girl tells the story of her grandmother’s love for baseball as a child growing up in the 1940s. [read more...]
John “Buck” O’Neil was a player and a coach that changed baseball forever. [read more...]
On June 5, 1989, a single man stood defiantly in front of several tanks that had been ordered to gun down protestors in Tiananmen Square. The unidentified protestor was pulled away by bystanders moments before death. [read more...]
John Muir is most famous for drawing up the plans that set boundaries for Yosemite National Park. He advocated the creation of the park, writing articles and co-founding the Sierra Club to protect its beauty. [read more...]
Louis Pasteur was the founder of stereochemistry, the savior of the silk industry of south France, and the developer of pasteurization. He was a man whose scientific genius led to many discoveries in science. [read more...]