The F-82 Twin Mustang is certainly one of the oddest aircraft ever produced–it looks like something that a ten-year-old would make out of spare model kit parts. But the F-82 still holds some flight records for a piston-engined fighter, and it was an F-82 that scored the first American air victory in Korea.
F-82 Twin Mustang “Betty Jo” on display at the USAF Museum in Dayton OH
Continue reading Icons of Aviation History: The F-82 Twin Mustang
Billy the Kid is one of the most famous outlaws of the Old West. But his story has mostly been exaggerated. For at least part of the time he was actually a deputized lawman. And he may have been granted a pardon by the Governor of New Mexico in exchange for cooperating with law enforcement.
William McCarty, aka Henry McCarty, aka Henry Antrim, aka William H Bonney, aka Billy the Kid
Continue reading Was Billy the Kid Granted a Pardon?
In 1919, the US Navy seaplane NC-4 became the first aircraft to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, in a multi-plane mission that very nearly became a disaster.
The NC-4 on display at the Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola
Continue reading Icons of Aviation History: The NC-4
It may be the most famous battle of the Revolutionary War. But the Battle of Bunker Hill did not happen the way most Americans today think it did. It didn’t even happen on Bunker Hill. And it was the British who won the fight.
The Hollywood Walk of Fame is one of the best-known landmarks in California. Each day, thousands of tourists can be seen searching the sidewalks of Hollywood Boulevard for the star honoring their favorite actor or singer and posing for a souvenir photo.
Today, the oil industry is one of the largest and richest in the world. Vast fortunes are made by oil, countries are governed by it, ecosystems are destroyed by it. And it all began in a little town in northwestern Pennsylvania.
Section of drill pipe from the first oil well, on display at the Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh
Continue reading Titusville PA: The First Oil Well
While the forests of Central and South America are home to dozens of parrot species, only one, the Carolina Parakeet (Conuropsis carolinensis) ever made it to the United States. Once found in the eastern US from Florida all the way to New York and Wisconsin, and as far west as Colorado, the Carolina Parakeet was completely extinct by the 1920’s. Today, it exists only in museums.
The Florida Red Belly Turtle is a large basking river turtle that is found throughout the state. It is a Florida specialty, found almost entirely within our borders, and in most areas it is our most common turtle.
When the Civil War began in 1861, both sides thought it would be over quickly. Instead, it dragged on for four long and bloody years. And one of the difficulties faced by both armies was what to do with the tens of thousands of prisoners that would be captured by each side in the course of the war.
In 1940, things were looking bleak for England. France had fallen to the Nazis, the Luftwaffe was bombing London nightly, and the United States public was isolationist and keeping out of the war. But with great secrecy, the US government was already helping the British war effort, and one secret American action would later pay off spectacularly during the pursuit of a dangerous threat to Britain’s survival, the German battleship Bismarck.
Forgotten mysteries, oddities and unknown stories from history, nature and science.