History In The Headlines

Author: Sarah Pruitt

A pocket-sized edition of "Doctor Zhivago" printed by the CIA, but attributed to a fictitious French publisher.

CIA Used “Dr. Zhivago” as Cold War Weapon

Recently declassified Cold War-era documents reveal how the Central Intelligence Agency used the epic novel “Dr. Zhivago” as a tool to undermine the Soviet Union.

dinosaur chase

Scientists Reconstruct Dinosaur Chase in 3-D

Using old photographs and cutting-edge technology, scientists have digitally reconstructed a prehistoric dinosaur chase through an ancient riverbed in Texas.

charterhouse square skeletons

Medieval “Black Death” Was Airborne, Scientists Say

Skeletons buried deep beneath a square in London yield new information about how one of history’s deadliest plagues spread through 14th-century Britain.

terracotta

5 Things You May Not Know About the Terra Cotta Army

On March 29, 1974, Chinese farmers digging a well near Xi’an made one of the most spectacular archaeological discoveries of the 20th century.

Getty Images

The Struggle to Bring WWII Veterans Home

Recent cases have highlighted the difficulties facing families of U.S. servicemen killed in World War II and buried as “unknowns” thousands of miles from home.

Photo depicting sternum of Amara West skeleton with cancerous bone lesions. (Credit: British Museum)

3,200-Year-Old Skeleton is Oldest Known Case of Human Cancer

British researchers have found the earliest known case of human metastatic cancer in the skeleton of a young man who died around 1200 B.C. in ancient Egypt.

The BICEP2, or Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization, telescope. (Credit: Steffan Richter/Harvard University)

Scientists May Have Found Key to Unlock Big Bang Mystery

New findings announced this week support the theory that the universe underwent a fast and furious expansion just a fraction of a second after the Big Bang.

Illustration by Karen Carr

T. Rex’s Little Cousin: New Pygmy Tyrannosaur Discovered in Alaska

A newly discovered species of tyrannosaur roamed the ancient Arctic 70 million years ago and was about half the size of its close cousin, Tyrannosaurus rex.

mardigras

From King Cake to Zulu Coconuts: The History of 6 Mardi Gras Traditions

Explore the history behind six of the most famous Mardi Gras traditions, New Orleans-style.

Smithsonian researchers document one of the fossil whales from the Cerro Ballena site. (Credit Smithsonian Institution)

Scientists Probe Mystery Behind Chile’s Ancient Whale Graveyard

A new report provides insight into the amazing graveyard of fossilized whale skeletons unearthed during the construction of a Chilean highway.

Zircon crystal found in Jack Hills region of Australia (Credit: Jack Valley)

Scientists Confirm Crystal as Oldest Piece of Earth’s Crust

Researchers have confirmed that a tiny gem found in western Australia is the oldest known piece of Earth, dating back some 4.4 billion years.

hith-chesternimitz

Legendary Admiral’s WWII Diary To Be Released Online

The newly digitized 4,000-page diary chronicles the daily operations of Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific during World War II.

Recreation of the Permian period (Credit: Getty Images)

Mass Extinction Occurred Much Faster Than Previously Thought

Some 252 million years ago, the planet’s largest mass extinction took place in only around 60,000 years — almost instantaneously, relative to geologic time.