At one point in American history, there was nothing quite as entertaining as a lynching. During the late 19th and early 20th century, lynchings were common practice. The “Lynching Era” is one of the darkest chapters in American history. Disturbingly, it was big business to create postcards of these so-called events.
In 1965, Viola Liuzzo – a mother of five – paid the ultimate price to march in support of civil rights: her life. She was the only white woman to be murdered during the civil rights movement.
Rena Kanokogi posted as a man to enter the New York State YMCA judo championships. She won a medal but had to return it upon discovery that she was a woman. She inspired the sports world to think differently about the notion of women in competitive sports.
Ironically, the duo known as the foremost of the 19th century’s Scottish grave-robbers were neither. William Burke and William Hare were natives of Ireland, and there is no evidence that any of the bodies they sold to an Edinburgh medical school were taken from cemeteries – but both eventually confessed to obtaining bodies by a more direct method: murder.
Eyam is a small village in England which lies within the Peak District National Park. It is well known as ‘the plague village’ due to the collective act of self-sacrifice the villagers made during an outbreak of the bubonic plague in 1665/1666, when they chose to isolate themselves to prevent the infection spreading to neighbouring villages and the wider community..
In 1965, 16-year-old Robin Lee Graham set out to sail from California. At the time, he said he just wanted “to be on my own and explore.” But he returned five years and 30,000 miles later, as the youngest person to ever sail around the world solo. His only companion was an ever-changing crew of cats.
Between 1644 and 1647, Matthew Hopkins traveled throughout England, examining suspected witches and various witnesses. He was successful in his own mind, finding more than 300 women guilty of associating with the devil and seeing them hanged because of it.
Washoe was a common chimpanzee and the first ever non-human to learn how to communicate with sign language, proving that chimps and humans could communicate in a common language. When her carer suffered a miscarriage, Washoe – who had lost her own babies -signed the word “cry” and asked for a hug.
June 17, 1939 wasn’t an ordinary summer’s day for Parisians, nor for 17-year-old Englishman Chrisopher Lee. Decades before portraying French executioner Charles-Henri Sanson in 1989’s ‘La Revolution Francaise,’ Lee had his own close encounter with what the French called their ‘National Razor.’
Jonathan Reed and his wife, Mary, were so passionately in love that when Mary died, Jonathan laid her to rest in a mausoleum in the Evergreens Cemetery, Brooklyn, and spent every last waking moment with her until his own death.