In the 1950s, two medical researchers in the US produced workable vaccines for polio, using different methods and approaches. It was one of the most significant medical breakthroughs of the 20th century–but it also provoked a spectacular lifelong feud between the two.
Continue reading Salk, Sabin and the Polio Vaccine
In August 1911, the last surviving member of the Yahi tribe of Native Americans was found cowering by a fence in a cattle ranch at Oroville CA. He had been hiding from the white man for the past four decades. His real name was never known, but he became known as “Ishi”.
Continue reading Ishi: The Last of the Yahi Nation
When most people think of medieval armor, they picture a knight on a horse clad head to toe in plate armor. The reality though is that what we think of as the classic “knight in shining armor” only came at the very end of the period, and only lasted for a short time.
One of King Henry VIII’s jousting armors, on display at the Royal Armouries Museum. The exaggerated codpiece is completely deliberate and intentional.
Continue reading A History of European Armor
Everyone of course knows about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. But not many people have ever heard of the second Japanese air raid on Pearl Harbor, which took place just a few months later.
Continue reading Operation K: The Second Raid on Pearl Harbor
The Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter is one of the most famous aircraft of the Second World War. For several years, it dominated the skies over the Pacific. But, like the island nation that built it, the Zero was unable to keep up with the industrial power and technological advances of its opponents.
A6M5 Zero on display at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum
Continue reading Icons of Aviation History: The Mitsubishi A6M Zero
The double-decker bus is an iconic symbol of London, just as recognizable as Big Ben or the Tower Bridge.
Continue reading London’s Double-Decker Buses
In the years after World War Two, the Boeing Aircraft Company placed its future on the line when it invested nearly every dime it had into just one airplane—which it hoped would bring the future of commercial airliners.
The Dash 80, at the Smithsonian Udvar Hazy Center Continue reading The Dash 80: When Boeing Bet the Entire Company, and Won
After the Soviet Union was invaded by Nazi Germany in 1941, the Russian Red Army was in desperate need of weapons to stave off the attack. The solution they adopted was the PPSh-41 submachine gun, which was crude and cheaply-made, but it was effective, and became an icon for the battles of the Eastern Front.
Continue reading PPSh: The Russian Tommy Gun
In 1958, a US Air Force bomber on a training mission collided with an American fighter plane over Savannah GA. Before the crippled bomber could make an emergency landing, it had to jettison the thermonuclear weapon it was carrying–so it dropped the H-bomb somewhere near Tybee Island. And there the bomb remains today, almost 60 years later.
Continue reading The Tybee Bomb: When the USAF Dropped a Nuclear Weapon on Savannah GA