Behind the poems and the pictures, Theodor Geisel, the real Dr. Seuss, was an adult man, with adult thoughts and adult experiences. He created subversive things, was sure he would be remembered as a risque comedian, and lived a life that could never be published between the pages of a children’s book.
The first English colony in America was abandoned without a word or a trace. When a ship arrived with supplies, they found it deserted with no signs of a struggle. Only one clue was left behind—the word “Croatoan” etched in a tree.
The story of the lost Roanoke Colony has lived on as one of the greatest American mysteries, but the disappearance is far from where the story begins. That story is full of some absolutely horrible atrocities; it’s also one that just might hold some strong clues about the colonists’ fate.
The Cold War brought terror into people’s lives, but it also brought hope. The intense rivalry between the US and the USSR sparked an incredible ambition for exploration and innovation the world hasn’t seen since.
From 1957 to 1991, we saw the first rocket blast into space, the first man escape the atmosphere, and the first steps on the Moon. Humanity accomplished things we’d never dreamed possible, fueled by the competition between two superpowers.
Rodrigo Duterte is full of quotable lines that delight the pages of newspapers around the world. But Duterte is more than a few quips—he’s a historical atrocity in the making. Behind every joke that makes a headline, there’s a dark reality in the Philippines, and it’s much more terrifying than you might imagine.
The legend of Pocahontas and explorer John Smith is cherished as one of the most touching love stories in American history. The problem is that none of it is true. The real story of Pocahontas is a story of massacres, rapes, and genocides, full of some of the darkest moments in American history.
We write history as a battle between heroes and monsters. But even the darkest shade of black retains a glimmer of light. Although the people on this list deserve their labels as history’s worst monsters, every one of them has done some good—and many in ways that still affect our lives today.
In 1804, Lewis and Clark began a historic journey across the United States in search of the western passage. Their expedition would become the stuff of legends, and history would record their bold journey into native lands, mapping out the nation and setting the path for the future of America.
What history usually doesn’t mention, though, is that it was also one hell of a good time.