World’s Strangest

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The Grand Wizards of Elementary School

How the KKK helped get children out of the factories and into the classroom. Members of the Ku Klux Klan liked to think of themselves as white knights. And when it came to compulsory education for schoolchildren, believeĀ  it or not, they actually were. To understand how this bizarre heroism came to pass, you have to [...]

Beulah Land

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Curiously Compelling Bathroom Reader. Here’s a little-known slice of Americana: the story of how freed slaves changed the face of the American West. LAND OF OPPORTUNITY In 1865 the American Civil War came to an end and four million black slaves were free. But to what future? The South [...]

The Most Egregious Election in American History

Editor’s Note: Yesterday, we put up a story from our archives about hero-worship of Rutherford B. Hayes in Paraguay. “Repost old articles about Rutherford B. Hayes” week continues with Jenny Drapkin’s look back at the election of 1876. No matter what you think of the current political process, no election in American history is more shameful [...]