Lying along the border between New York and Vermont (and extending a few miles into Canada) is Lake Champlain, one of the largest and deepest freshwater lakes in the northeast. It was the site of several naval and land battles in both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, and is celebrated now as a vacation spot, with pleasure boating and nature-viewing along its shores and the surrounding mountains. But Lake Champlain is perhaps most famous for its lake monster, known affectionately as “Champ”—America’s own homegrown version of Scotland’s Loch Ness Monster.
Continue reading Champ: America’s Loch Ness Monster
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 was a severe blow to the US Navy, resulting in heavy damage to the fleet and the end of the battleship as the queen of the seas. But the attack was not actually as devastating as most people think: of the eight American battleships in the harbor that day, only two were permanently lost. The rest were eventually repaired, rejoined the fleet, and helped defeat the Japanese and Germans during the war. But today, of the one hundred US Navy ships that were at Oahu during the attack, only one still survives afloat.
The US Coast Guard ship Taney
Continue reading To Fight Another Day: The Ships From Pearl Harbor
In 1919, a gang of crooked players and underworld gamblers managed to fix the World Series, setting off a national scandal.
Continue reading Black Sox: How the 1919 World Series Was Rigged
In 1986, history’s worst nuclear accident occurred at the Chernobyl power plant in the Soviet Union. The whole incident symbolized both the arrogance and the incompetence of the Soviet government. In Russia today, Chernobyl is seen as one of the most important factors leading to the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Continue reading The Nuclear Disaster at Chernobyl
The Tatra V855 Aeroluge was one of the oddest cars ever designed. Intended to carry Nazi troops over the ice-covered Russian plains, only one was ever built.
Continue reading The Aeroluge Snow Car
Although Ethan Allen and his “Green Mountain Boys” won one of the American colonists’ first victories against the British in the Revolutionary War when the US declared its independence in 1776, Vermont actually declared independence of their own—from both England and the United States—in 1777.
Continue reading The Vermont Republic
The oddest naval battle of the First World War took place deep in the jungles of tropical Africa, 700 miles from the nearest ocean, led by an eccentric British officer.
Continue reading Tanganyika: The Naval Battle in the Jungle