Mary Sawyer And The True Story Of ‘Mary Had A Little Lamb’

Mary Sawyer claimed that a boy named John Roulstone wrote the classic nursery rhyme for her in 1816, but the real origin of “Mary Had A Little Lamb” is subject to intense debate — and has never been setted. Transcendental Graphics/Getty ImagesA lithographic cigar box label from 1870 featuring Hale’s “Mary’s Lamb” nursery rhyme. “Mary … Read more

Hypatia Of Alexandria, The Intellectual Stoned To Death By A Christian Mob

One of the few women in Ancient Greek academe, Hypatia of Alexandria was a true sight to behold. And she was killed because of it. People primarily remember Hypatia of Alexandria, martyr of female intellectuals and tragic heroine, for two things: her philosophical, mathematical, and astronomical teachings and the fact that she was brutally murdered … Read more

How Dolores Huerta Became A Latina Civil Rights Icon

Ever since the 1950s, Dolores Huerta has fought tirelessly to improve the lives of immigrants, women, and the working poor — despite nearly being killed in the process. Dolores Huerta Foundation/George Ballis/Take Stock/The Image Works Dolores Huerta rallies farmworkers during a strike in 1969. Faced with laws that made words like “strike” and “boycott” illegal, … Read more

Princess Ka’iulani, The Last Heir To The Hawaiian Throne

Before dying at just 23, Princess Victoria Ka’iulani was the last heir to the Hawaiian crown — and one of its last hopes in keeping the monarchy alive in the face of American imperialism. Wikimedia CommonsPrincess Ka’iulani was the final heir to the throne of Hawaii before American sugar barons toppled the monarchy and annexed … Read more

How Ellen Ochoa Became The First Hispanic Woman In Space

Ellen Ochoa became the first Latina to venture into space in 1993 — then became director of NASA mission control in 2012. NASAOchoa in her space suit, ready for her last mission in 2002. In 1961, Soviet astronaut Yuri Gagarin made history as the first person to travel into space and complete one full orbit … Read more

From Homecoming Queen To Manson Family Murderess

Leslie Van Houten joined the Manson Family in 1968. The next summer, she stabbed Rosemary LaBianca to death. Before Leslie Van Houten stabbed Rosemary LaBianca in the back 16 times, she was a normal, middle-class girl who was homecoming queen at her high school. She was the second eldest child of an all-American family and … Read more

Locusta Of Gaul, The Lethal Poison Maker Of Ancient Rome

When she wasn’t testing her lethal concoctions on hundreds of slaves and children, she was dispatching Nero’s enemies — until she met a brutal end herself. Evelyn De Morgan/Wikimedia CommonsRoman poisoners turned to arsenic, belladonna, and other deadly substances to kill. Nearly 2,000 years ago, Rome’s emperors and empresses waged war against each other. Their … Read more

Meet Dorothy Height, The ‘Godmother’ Of The Civil Rights Movement

For nearly a century, Dorothy Height fought tirelessly for the rights of Black Americans and women of all races — even though she rarely received credit. Before she became a historical icon, Dr. Dorothy Height faced discrimination, racism, and sexism in her journey to becoming an advocate for the health and wellness of Black women … Read more

Vera Atkins, The Spymaster Who Inspired James Bond’s Moneypenny

Throughout World War II, Vera Atkins recruited and trained hundreds of secret agents to fight the Nazis for Britain’s covert Special Operations Executive. A Romanian-born British intelligence officer during World War II, Vera Atkins usually showed little emotion and was known for being tough, as well as caring, about her recruits. She took on many … Read more

X-Ray Analysis Reveals Text In Marie Antoinette’s Censored Love Letters

The analysis of Marie Antoinette’s letters to a Swedish count revealed words like “beloved” and “tender friend,” suggesting their relationship was more than a close friendship. French National Museum of Natural HistoryThe swirly black ink atop the text in Marie Antoinette’s letters had made them impossible to read until now. For two centuries, a censor’s … Read more