Before the Civil Rights movement, segregated American cities helped give birth to the Chitlin' Circuit, a touring revue that provided employment for hundreds of black musicians. Rock historian Ed Ward profiles two recent books which illuminate the conditions these musicians endured.
A new exhibit at the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., features photos of Cixi, a teenage concubine turned empress who ruled China for 43 years. The portraits were taken as a diplomatic effort — an attempt to revive the reputation of a dying dynasty.
You might remember Ben Jones as Cooter the mechanic on The Dukes of Hazzard, but Jones also spent two terms in Congress. In 1994, he faced off against a very interesting opponent: current Republican presidential frontrunner Newt Gingrich.
Vaclav Havel, the Czech playwright who led a revolution to bring down the country's communist regime, has died. During the communist era, Havel was one of Eastern Europe's foremost dissident writers and champion of human rights. He was 75.
Objects excavated from the Machu Picchu ruins in the early 1900s have finally come home. The artifacts were taken by Yale explorer Hiram Bingham III. After 100 years, an international custody battle and an angry letter from Yale alumni, they're are back on display in their country of origin.
In 1887, Julius Petri invented a simple pair of nesting glass dishes, ideal for keeping specimens of growing bacteria sterile--the 'Petri dish.' Science historian Howard Markel recounts the history of this ubiquitous lab supply, and the serendipitous discovery of the stuff in it, agar.
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