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Natural History

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Aviators: Angel Flight

    Jimmie Angel searched Venezuela’s “Lost World” for a fabled river of gold, but all he found was a waterfall—the world’s tallest, as it turned out. Pilot and adventurer James Crawford Angel lived a life of contradictions in which...

  • Wild West Magazine

    The Colorado Huntress and Her Wildlife

    While her husband struggled to find gold, Martha Maxwell discovered riches in Rocky Mountain fauna and fame as a skilled naturalist and taxidermist. In the winter of 1860, James A. Maxwell of Baraboo, Wisconsin, sought to cure his...

  • American History Magazine

    Snowflake Savant

    An obsessive Vermont naturalist armed with a camera and microscope revealed that every feathery crystal of snow is a unique world of wonder. When subfreezing temperatures and a snowstorm descended on the Bentley family’s small Vermont...

  • American History Magazine

    Kudzu- Japan’s Wonder Vine

    How a wonder vine unveiled by Japan at the 1876 Centennial began eating America. The amazing wonders on display at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia—the first world’s fair held in the United States—included Alexander...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Wild West Reviews: Grizzly Bears

    Lewis and Clark Among the Grizzlies: Legend and Legacy in the American West (2002,by Paul Schullery) On their famous exploratory expedition, which began in 1804, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark encountered many Indians, most friendly...

  • Wild West Magazine

    California Grizzly Tales

    Hunters killed off the last grizzly bears in the state in the 1920s, but for centuries these ferocious predators had terrorized Indians, vaqueros, Forty-Niners and ranchers. “There are abundance of elk, deer, and antelope,” California...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Good to the Old Bones: Dreaming Of Dinosaurs, Digging for Dollars

    Paleontologists waged the 19th-century ‘Bone Wars’ with hired hands. Charles Hazelius Sternberg and Benjamin Franklin Mudge roamed the West making their livings with picks and shovels —but not prospecting for gold or silver. They...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Missions, Sea Otters and California Indians

    The Spanish wanted to convert the local Indians, while the Russians chose to exploit the coastal marine life. Guess which Europeans the Indians preferred? In October 1771, within a month of the founding of Mission San Gabriel Arcángel (in...

  • American History Magazine

    History of Ivory

    In a simpler time, Americans couldn’t imagine the consequences of using elephant tusks from Africa to equip every parlor with a piano. Last summer on the island of Zanzibar, off the East Coast of Africa, authorities seized a stash of...

  • American History Magazine

    Eureka! Displays at the Academy of Natural Sciences

    The Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia uncorked a sometimes maddeningly democratic process of discovery in the young republic. In November 1868, without fanfare or even much thought to how the public might respond, the Academy of...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Coyote: An American Original

    This ‘Western’ animal confused Lewis and Clark when they ‘discovered’ it in 1804 and called it the prairie wolf—but the coyote has been around for ages and roams nationwide. Autumn 1804 looms large in the natural history of the...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Faces of the Bigbend: Texas’ Last Frontier

    W.D. Smithers, a tireless photojournalist and amateur anthropologist, documented life along the Rio Grande in Texas’ remote Big Bend country. “Settlement came late to the Big Bend,” historian Kenneth Ragsdale once wrote about...

  • American History Magazine

    Interview with Charles Elachi, planetary scientist

    Charles Elachi directs the Pasadena-based Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA’s center for unmanned space exploration. JPL pioneered rocket propulsion during World War II but is best known for its space telescopes and Mars rovers. Last...

  • American History Magazine

    The Pawpaw Paradox

    A forgotten American treasure makes a comeback. The small maroon bloom is morbidly elegant, not much bigger than a thimble, with an aroma said to faintly resemble rotting flesh. Just about everyone has heard of the pawpaw— towns named...

  • Vietnam Magazine

    Intel: Vietnam Magazine October 2014

    Fight Over Vietnam at Nixon Library The selection of a new director for the Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, California, has been snarled in a controversy over the library’s treatment of the Vietnam War, according to the...

  • Audio

    Audio: Turns Out The Explorers Club Didn’t Actually Eat Mammoth At Their...

    The Explorer's Club, known for its many famous members, famously claimed to have eaten mammoth meat at a party in 1951. Years later, scientific testing reveals this may not have been true. ...