The Tale Of When A Marine Mechanic Stole An A-4 Skyhawk For A Joyride Over California

In the early morning hours on July 4th, 1986, 21-year-old Lance Corporal Howard A. Foote Jr. climbed a ladder leading into the cockpit of an A-4M Skyhawk. He started the jet up, taxied to one of Marine Corps Air Station El Toro’s runways—which was unlit at the time—and pushed the throttles forward. Moments later, the… »Today 10:30am11/29/15 10:30am


The US Government is Being Sued for Losing a Critical JFK Assassination Film

The Zapruder film may be the most famous footage taken of the Kennedy assassination, but it’s not the only one. The “Nix Film” may be lesser known, but it’s no less important. It has been missing for decades, so the granddaughter of the photographer who captured the film is now suing the US government. She wants it… »11/23/15 8:00pm11/23/15 8:00pm

The Gruesome History of the Galapagos Islands' Nietzsche-Fueled Homesteader Death Showdown

The Galapagos Islands are best known for their giant tortoises, but they’re also the site of one of the most bizarre homesteading misadventures ever, complete with proto-hippies, a polyamorous baroness, potentially poisoned boiled chicken, births in pirate caves, and unsolved deaths that look a lot like murder. »11/20/15 10:20am11/20/15 10:20am

There Were American Nazi Summer Camps Across the US in the 1930s

During the latter half of the 1930s, a surprising number of Nazi-themed summer camps sprouted across the United States. Organized locally and without the support of Germany, these summer outings bore a startling resemblance to the Hitler Youth. Here’s what these camps were like—and how, for a short time, the Third… »11/19/15 4:40pm11/19/15 4:40pm

The First Time NASA Docked with a Soviet Spacecraft in Orbit

Two spacecraft drifted closer to one another far above planet Earth, as they prepared to dock. It was July 17th, 1975, and they were about to make history. For the first time, a United States Apollo and Soviet Union Soyuz spacecraft would dock with one another, an enormously symbolic mission that served as a small… »11/18/15 2:00pm11/18/15 2:00pm

Crypto is For Everyone—and American History Proves It


Over the last year, law enforcement officials around the world have been pressing hard on the notion that without a magical “backdoor” to access the content of any and all encrypted communications by ordinary people, they’ll be totally incapable of fulfilling their duties to investigate crime and protect the public.… »11/01/15 2:30pm11/01/15 2:30pm

Manhattan's Reluctant Spy Just Revealed His Atomic End Game

The first two episodes of Manhattan season two brought explosive plot twists and intense set pieces. This week’s offering, “The Threshold,” is all about strategy, carefully moving the various chess pieces into place for the eventual endgame. And we also learned a lot more about the motives of our unlikely spy, the… »10/28/15 9:30am10/28/15 9:30am

The Plague Has Been Around For a Lot Longer Than We Thought

The Black Death wiped out nearly half the population of Europe during the 14th Century, a blight that swept through the continent in the gut of fleas. But a new analysis of ancient human DNA shows that the dreaded bacteria emerged at least 3,000 years before the first plague pandemic—a time before it mutated into its… »10/23/15 11:31am10/23/15 11:31am

This Is Why The Space Shuttle's External Fuel Tank Stopped Being Painted White

Maybe you’ve noticed that in older pictures of the once-budding Space Shuttle Program, the Shuttle’s giant external tank appears brilliant white instead of the rusty orange color we have become so accustomed to over the years. So what caused the tank’s change in color palette? »10/16/15 12:55pm10/16/15 12:55pm

Yale Showcases 170,000 Incredible Photos of Depression-Era America

The photos taken by Farm Security Administration photographers in the 1930s are some of the most iconic images in American history. We’re all familiar with some of the snapshots of craggy-faced farmers, but unseen photos in government archives tell a more complex story of a struggling country. Yale just released a… »10/05/15 4:32pm10/05/15 4:32pm