Archive for December, 2008

Republican Leader Dick Armey Was Caught Referring to a Congressman as a “Fag”

The Republican Party has never had a rosy relationship with gays and lesbians, and this incident probably didn’t help much. It was January 1995, and Republicans had swept into power a few months beforehand. The new House Majority Leader was Dick Armey, a conservative Republican. Armey, who had been elected from Texas (where a string […]

Nixon was caught on tape saying of his dying troops in Vietnam: “Screw em”

Richard Nixon, the thirty-seventh president of the United States (and only ever to resign), famously came into office promising to end the unpopular war in Vietnam he had inherited from President Johnson. But instead Nixon cranked up the heat in Vietnam, intensifying the conflict and secretly expanding it into Laos and Cambodia. While Nixon publicly […]

Christopher Columbus Was a Slave Trader

Although he’s most remembered for “discovering” the Americas, land on which native peoples had been living for thousands of years, Christopher Columbus was also a slave trader. After Columbus found what he thought was the eastern edge of India on his first voyage, he found the natives he encountered “ought to make good and skilled […]

Disobeying Direct Orders, British & German Soldiers Forged Their Own Christmas Truce

Although they were officially still at war, many British and German soldiers disobeyed orders and had their own impromptu truce on Christmas 1914. The two groups of soldiers, who had for months been cooped up in their respective trenches in the freezing cold, climbed up on the battlefield without their weapons, and met each other. […]

Before Becoming President, Ronald Reagan Was a Paid Cigarette Model

Long before Ronald Reagan was the governor of California or the 40th president of the United States, he made money posing in cigarette advertisements. Although his modeling relationship with the tobacco industry dates to at least the 1930s when he was a radio sportscaster, business picked up after he became a well known Hollywood actor, […]

President Harry S Truman Didn’t Actually Have a Middle Name

For whatever reason, presidents are often known by their middle initial. John F. Kennedy, George W. Bush, Harry S. Truman. Although Truman is commonly referred to with his middle initial (“S”), the 34th president actually didn’t have a middle name– just an initial. All his life, people were confused about the mysterious “S” that Truman […]

White Supremacists Once Overthrew a US City Government

Although it’s hard to believe now, in 1898 a group of white supremacists seized power of the municipal government in Wilmington, North Carolina following a bloody coup d’etat. The incident, which followed reconstruction in the South after the Civil War, is the only time in American history that any form of US government has been […]

The White House Sported Solar Panels Until Reagan Removed Them in 1986

Believe it or not, there was a time when the White House was partially-powered by solar panels! But that didn’t last, as they were taken down only a few years after they were installed (despite being in perfect working order). During the energy crisis of the late 1970s, then-president Jimmy Carter called on Americans to […]