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Penicillin discovered by Sir Alexander Fleming

Sir Alexander Fleming was a young bacteriologist when an accidental discovery led to one of the great developments of modern medicine on September 3, 1928. Having left a plate of staphylococcus bacteria uncovered, Fleming noticed that a mold that had fallen on the culture had killed many of the bacteria. He identified the mold as penicillium notatum, similar to the kind found on bread. 

In 1929, Fleming introduced his mold by-product called penicillin to cure bacterial infections.

READ MORE: It Took Surprisingly Long for Doctors to Figure Out the Benefits of Hand Washing


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Sunset over Manhattan, high point of view. New York City, USA - stock photo

New York

The Dutch first settled along the Hudson River in 1624 and established the colony of New Amsterdam on Manhattan Island. In 1664, the English took control of the area and renamed it New York. One of the original 13 colonies, New York played a crucial political and strategic role more

First SMS text message is sent

On December 3, 1992, the first SMS text message in history is sent: Neil Papworth, a 22-year-old engineer, uses a personal computer to send the text message “Merry Christmas” via the Vodafone network to the phone of a colleague. Papworth, while working for the now-defunct more

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, USA — Autumn in Shenandoah National Park — Image by © Jay Dickman/CORBIS


One of the 13 original colonies, Virginia was the first part of the country permanently settled by the English, who established Jamestown on the banks of the James River in 1607. The home state of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and other founding fathers, Virginia played an more

Native Americans dance during the grand entry of the 30th annual Morongo Thunder & Lightning Pow Wow at the Morongo Band of Mission Indians reservation in Cabazon on Saturday, September 25, 2021.

9 Facts About Native American Tribes

Since time immemorial, Native Americans have lived on this continent, from the northern reaches of Alaska to the Gulf Coast of Florida. There are more than nine million Native Americans living in what is now the United States, representing hundreds of tribal nations with more

Michelle Cyca

Michelle Cyca is a writer and editor based in Vancouver, Canada. Her work has appeared in Maclean's, The Walrus, Chatelaine and The Tyee, among other publications. She can be found online at or on Twitter @michellecyca.

A drugstore clerk removes Tylenol capsules from the shelves of a pharmacy on September 30, 1982 in New York City after reports of tampering. Seven people died in Chicago after taking Tylenol.

How the 1982 Tylenol Poisonings Nearly Canceled Halloween

Wednesday, September 29, 1982 was a school day, but 12-year-old Mary Kellerman woke up with a runny nose and a headache. So her parents told her to stay home, take a couple of Tylenol and get some rest. “I heard her go into the bathroom. I heard the door close. Then I heard more

A close-up of the text of the Code of Hammurabi.

How the Code of Hammurabi Influenced Modern Legal Systems

It’s been nearly 3,800 years since Hammurabi extended his rule across ancient Mesopotamia, a region that between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers that includes what is now Iraq, as well as portions of Kuwait, Turkey and Syria. But the Babylonian king, whose likeness is among the more


How the Coercive Acts Helped Spark the American Revolution

In 1774, the British Parliament passed the Coercive Acts, a group of measures primarily intended to punish Boston for rebellion against the British government—namely, the Boston Tea Party. However, the impact of these acts stretched far beyond Massachusetts. The four acts, along more

President Gerald Ford wearing a WIN (Whip Inflation Now) button on his lapel during Republican campaigns in North & South Carolina.

How Gerald Ford Tried to Fight Inflation

Just two months after becoming president and one month after pardoning Richard Nixon in the wake of the Watergate scandal, President Gerald Ford turned to another challenge facing the country: high inflation. The Republican president’s solution, unveiled in an October 8, 1974 more

King Charles III inspects the Guard of Honour as he arrives for the Ceremony of the Keys at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, on September 12, 2022, in Edinburgh, Scotland.

King Charles III

King Charles III, the 62nd British monarch to serve over the past 1,200 years, ascended to the throne on September 8, 2022, following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. At age 73, British history’s longest-serving heir-apparent was officially proclaimed king two days more

Railroad strike destruction at the 26th Street Pennsylvania Railroad Round House, July 14-27 1877, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The 1877 Strike That Brought US Railroads to a Standstill

In the summer of 1877, the United States experienced its first multi-state railroad strike. Starting in West Virginia, the strike quickly spread to other parts of the country, and even turned into a general strike in some cities. The protest involved some 100,000 workers, making more

The Imperial State Crown arrives for the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament in London on May 11, 2021.

5 Objects Used in British Royal Ceremonies and Their Symbolism

When it comes to royal succession, ceremony is sacred. And for the British monarchy, a key element of ceremony are objects that have become imbued with symbolism over the centuries. During Queen Elizabeth II's funeral and King Charles III’s coronation at Westminster Abbey, more

West Point (No. 16 of The Hudson River Portfolio), 1825. Artist John Hill. (Photo by Heritage Art/Heritage Images via Getty Images)

West Point’s Critical Role in the American Revolution

Decades before the establishment of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the strategic plateau on the banks of New York’s Hudson River played a crucial part in the American victory in the Revolutionary War. Both British and Patriot forces understood the Hudson’s vital more

Illustrated bookplate of Hessian soldiers in their 1784 uniforms. Printed in the book, "Armée Hessoise" by JH Carl & JC Muller in 1805. Artist J.H. Carl, 1784.

Why Germans Fought in the Revolutionary War—for the British

Thomas Jefferson, writing the list of 27 grievances against King George III included in the Declaration of Independence, didn’t hold back when talking about Britain’s decision to dispatch foreign troops to fight in the American colonies. “He is at this time transporting large more

Willie Velasquez

How Willie Velásquez Organized for Latino Voting Rights

Few people have had as profound an impact on the political empowerment of America’s Latino electorate as Willie Velásquez. His grassroots work registering and mobilizing Latino voters, starting in his home state of Texas, parlayed the frustrations, hopes and pride of a diverse, more

Sheriff's deputies form a line across street at Garfield High School during a Chicano student demonstration on March 5, 1968. Similar confrontations occurred at other schools.

How 1968 East L.A. Student Walkouts Ignited the Chicano Movement

In the early days of March 1968, as many as 22,000 mostly Mexican American students walked out of their classrooms at seven Los Angeles schools, garnering national attention. The unprecedented event spotlighted educational inequality, galvanized the Chicano civil rights movement more