The Watermelon War

In 1856, a street fight over a piece of watermelon began a process that would lead to the construction of the Panama Canal and the American domination of Central America for over a century.


Panama Railroad    photo from WikiCommons

Continue reading The Watermelon War

The Toronto Circus Riot

“A clown and a fireman walk into a whorehouse…”

It sounds like the opening of an off-color joke. But in 1855, it was the beginning of an incident that changed the political structure of Toronto, Canada.


King Street in Toronto                                       photo from WikiCommons

Continue reading The Toronto Circus Riot

The Peshtigo Fire of 1871

The deadliest fire in American history killed over a thousand people in the town of Peshtigo, Wisconsin. But the Peshtigo Fire is today largely unknown and forgotten–mostly because it happened on October 8, 1871–the same day as the much more famous Great Chicago Fire.


The Peshtigo Fire, a contemporary engraving                              photo from WikiCommons

Continue reading The Peshtigo Fire of 1871