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Historical Discoveries


Gustave Whitehead and the First-Flight Controversy

Published: June 12, 2012 at 8:06 pm
Long-festering intrigues surface as a group challenges the first-flight claims of the Wright brothers, contending that Gustave Whitehead beat them to the punch.

Letter from American History - December 2009

American History editors | Published: September 24, 2009 at 2:47 pm
Journalist Heather Pringle discusses the discovery of America and casts a critical eye on the claims of a host of intrepid trailblazers who may have journeyed here long before Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

Green Ben - Benjamin Franklin and Ecosystems

Steven Johnson | Published: June 04, 2009 at 3:25 pm
Benjamin Franklin was the first to recognize that man and the environment depended on each other for survival.

Recently Discovered Memoir about Gen. T. J. 'Stonewall' Jackson

Mary Roy Dawson Edwards | Published: August 27, 2008 at 6:24 pm
An overlooked manuscript in Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, contains a memoir about Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson by a man who was with him from VMI to Manassas.

George Bush: World War II Navy Pilot

Walt Harrington | Published: June 26, 2007 at 1:55 pm
Former president George H. W. Bush recounts his time in World War II as a naval aviator. He served aboard the Finback and San Jacinto and flew Avengers over Chichi Jima, Saipan, Rota, Marcus Island, Guam, Manila Bay and Wake Island.

Richard E. Byrd and the 1925 MacMillan Arctic Expedition

Published: June 12, 2006 at 8:16 pm
The MacMillan Arctic Expedition marked the first productive use of aircraft in Arctic exploration by Americans and brought Richard Byrd into the national limelight.

Roger Bacon

Published: June 12, 2006 at 8:15 pm
A scholar-monk who envisioned an Academy of Science, Roger Bacon's ideas were far ahead of his time and ran counter to the Church's doctrine.By Dianna L. Dodson

A Lady's Life in the Gold Rush

Published: June 12, 2006 at 8:09 pm
From remote mining camps in northern California in the early 1850s, Louise ('Dame Shirley') Clapp wrote a series of vivid letters to her sister in New England.

James Marshall: California's Gold Discoverer

Published: June 12, 2006 at 8:08 pm
The tragedy and the irony of the man who discovered a nugget on the South Fork of the American River and set in motion the rush to a new El Dorado.

Long Binh Jail Riot During the Vietnam War

Published: June 12, 2006 at 8:07 pm
The notorious U.S. Army Vietnam Installation Stockade was known to GIs as the Long Binh Jail--or simply Camp LBJ.

Wright Brothers: A Promise of Flight Fulfilled

Published: June 12, 2006 at 8:06 pm
Far from being hailed as successful innovators for their aviation achievements at Kitty Hawk, Orville and Wilbur Wright initially faced the widespread disbelief of the public.

Samuel Langley: Aviation Pioneer

Published: June 12, 2006 at 8:06 pm
More than 100 years ago, Samuel Langley's team of specialists from the Smithsonian Institution proved to a small group of astonished observers that powered flight was possible. But they still had to prove that their Aerodrome could safely carry a man into the sky.

Roald Amundsen and the 1925 North Pole Expedition

Published: June 12, 2006 at 8:06 pm
Over the vast, frozen wastes of the Artic is the last place anyone would want his airplane to quit.

Climbing Mount Everest

Published: June 12, 2006 at 8:06 pm
Three generations of British mountaineers committed themselves to standing where no one ever had before.

Swedish-Led Artic Expedition in a Balloon Led to a Tragic End

Published: June 12, 2006 at 8:05 pm
It took 30 years to learn the fate of the first expedition to fly across the North Pole.

Richard E. Byrd and Floyd Bennett: First to Fly over the North Pole

Published: June 12, 2006 at 8:05 pm
The Fokker Trimotor Josephine Ford survived mishaps and beat fierce competition to be the first aircraft to fly over the top of the world, carrying Richard E. Byrd into history.
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