World’s Strangest

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Teddy Roosevelt’s Historic Losing Streak Is Over

Getty Images After more than 500 losses, Teddy Roosevelt has finally won his first Presidents Race. (Yes, the Rough Rider won the 1904 presidential election, but until today, he had never won the Washington Nationals’ mid-game Presidents Race.) On the final day of baseball’s regular season, Teddy came from behind to beat his fellow Rushmores – George [...]

Debate Prep: A Brief History of American Political Debates

by Maggie Koerth-Baker Getty Images From the Revolution up to the turn of the 20th century, America preferred that its presidential candidates be seen and not heard. The presidency was regarded as so solemn an office that it was considered indecent and prideful to aspire to. Instead, candidates were to approach nomination as if it were something [...]

19 Presidential Jokes for Presidential Joke Day

We often think of American presidents as butts of jokes, the muses for mockery, and the subjects of satire. But every once in awhile, our commanders-in-chief (or their speechwriters) come up with a few witty wisecracks of their own. Saturday is presidential joke day – a holiday to commemorate the fact that presidents sometimes have [...]

The Only Footage of Mark Twain in Existence

Thomas Edison once said, “An average American loves his family. If he has any love left over for some other person, he generally selects Mark Twain.” Edison and Twain were close friends. In 1909, Edison visited Twain’s estate in Redding, CT and filmed the famous author. The silent footage is the only known recording of Twain [...]

The Missing Links: Fantastic Non-Fiction Names

Taking Lincoln Liberties Let’s get a few things straight about our 16th president. Abe Lincoln was never abducted by two time-traveling California teenagers for a school report. He was never actually a vampire hunter. And he did not, as a new novel imagines, survive the assassination attempt on his life and get impeached. Here are some cool [...]

15 Offbeat Holidays You Can Celebrate in February

February may be the shortest month of the year, but there is certainly no shortage of unusual holidays to celebrate. February 4th: Ice Cream for Breakfast Day Ice cream waffle image via Shutterstock Created by a brother and sister in upstate New York, Ice Cream for Breakfast Day says its official founding was in 1997. The only rules [...]

Why Joe McCarthy Hated It’s a Wonderful Life

You probably know that the American classic It’s a Wonderful Life teaches us that no man is a failure if he has friends. But did you also know that the film irked Senator Joe McCarthy so much that he wanted it banned? It’s a Wonderful Life is about a guardian angel who helps a suicidal man [...]

The Secrets Behind Your Favorite Toys

You know the toys. You’ve seen the commercials. But you definitely haven’t heard these stories.* Listen up as game inventor Tim Moodie reveals the glorious, bizarre and scandalous back stories of 7 classic toys. 1. How the Slinky got stuck between a cult and a mid-life crisis In 1943, Richard James, a naval engineer, invented the Slinky. [...]