World’s Strangest

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Was the US Declaration of Independence Legal?

When the Second Continental Congress declared American independence in 1776, it committed an act of rebellion against the established government over the area. It can, however, be argued, that the 1783 Treaty of Paris, which recognized this independence, made the act retroactively legal. What is less clear is whether the Declaration of Independence was lawful [...]

Glory Day: Lancaster’s Brief Stint as Our Nation’s Capital

© Richard T. Nowitz/CORBIS If you’ve visited Lancaster, Penn., you probably remember it as a nice mid-sized city right in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Amish country. What you might not know is that 234 years ago today, it became our young country’s third capital city, a position it held only briefly. Very, very briefly. Let’s take [...]

9 Fourth of July Myths Debunked

When we Americans are young children, we are taught the basics of our nation’s founding. But often those stories get shortened into easy-to-recall sound bites that don’t tell the whole story. Most of the historical “facts” you remember are oversimplifications of a more nuanced story. For example, I bet you thought the Declaration of Independence [...]