When Canada Starved Indigenous Children Just To See What Would Happen

Beginning in 1942, the Canadian government conducted a series of experiments on the native population of Manitoba. At its height, six different schools were a part of the study that impacted more than 1,000 school-age children. It looked at what happened when they were denied things like vitamins, supplements, and other nutritional aid. While no official results were ever published and no breakthroughs or advancements were ever made, the study did confirm what they already knew would happen: Improperly nourished children get sick and sometimes die.


The Groundbreaking Female Director Hollywood Forgot

She invented the boom mic when she directed one of Hollywood’s first talkies, cast Katharine Hepburn in her first movie, portrayed a host of strong female characters who were more than their relationships, and worked alongside some of the greatest names in early movie history. At the helm of some of Paramount’s most successful early films was director Dorothy Arzner, a visionary editor and director who openly lived in a long-term lesbian relationship with choreographer Marion Morgan at a time when women’s gender roles were still clearly defined.


The Secret Mating Songs Sung By Mice

A mysterious singing mouse discovered in Detroit in 1925 was all but forgotten until researchers decided to record field mice and play those recordings back. Sure enough, just out of the range of our hearing was an incredibly complex, bird-like series of chirps and whistles, a mouse song that’s been found to attract mates. There’s a fair amount of variation between mouse songs, and it all seems to depend on their social situation.


The Mysterious Women Buried Alongside King Richard III

Buried alongside Richard III were some unlikely remains. All were women, and they were of varied social standing. One lived to the ripe old age of 60, and her strange double coffin suggests to historians that she might have been brought a considerable distance before being laid to rest. Other women buried alongside the king of the working class, suggesting that the medieval Grey Friars Church (and others of the day) might have relied more on their working-class patrons than we thought.


The Rescued Submarine Crew That Inadvertently Killed Its Rescuers

The Sargo-class submarine USS Squalus (SS-192) was in the midst of a test dive on May 23, 1939, when she sank in 70 meters (240 ft) of water off the New Hampshire coast. Her sister ship, the USS Sculpin (SS-191), located the Squalus, contacted her, and found 33 men trapped in the downed sub. Forty hours after she sank, the survivors were ferried to the surface in a rescue chamber. The Squalus itself was also rescued from the sea bottom, repaired, and renamed the Sailfish. The Sailfish and the Sculpin sailed together to the Pacific.

On the night of November 18, 1943, the Sculpin was damaged by depth charges and 42 of its crew were captured. Half of the prisoners were put aboard the Japanese carrier Chuyo and sent to Japan. On December 4, the Chuyo was torpedoed near the island of Hachijojima and sank, taking with her 20 of the Sculpin crew. And the sub that sank her? It was the Sailfish.


When Soviets Claimed A Little Piece Of France After World War I

After World War I, the territory of Alsace-Lorraine was given to the French. At the time, all of Germany was in turmoil following a sailor’s revolt. Communist revolutionaries in France followed the lead of the Russian Revolution and declared Alsace a separate country for two weeks before the French took over.


The Ballerina Who Tried To Overthrow Panama’s Government

When world-renowned ballerina Dame Margot Fonteyn married the son of a Panamanian president, she soon found herself wrapped up in a comedy of errors backed by Fidel Castro. The goal was to overthrow the pro-US government, but when authorities in Panama got wind of the coup, it all went downhill, in spite of all the steps they’d taken, like having a New York–based model source green shirts and white armbands for the rebel forces.


Adolf Hitler And The Very Deadly Chocolate

Peters chocolate bars showed up in England in the years during World War II. Dark chocolate bars wrapped in elegant gold-and-black paper, they contained much more than chocolate: They contained enough explosives to kill a room full of people. Secret agents were tasked with getting them into Britain and, most importantly, into the War Cabinet in a plot that was uncovered by MI5. Intelligence then turned to an incredibly talented draftsman named Laurence Fish to create a series of sketches that would be handed out to help people identify the deadly chocolate.


When Asbestos Was Used As Fake Snow

Throughout the 1930s, film companies were taking the advice of a well-meaning firefighter who had been concerned about the safety hazard presented by using flammable cotton for snow. Why not get rid of the fire hazard and use asbestos? Movies like The Wizard of Oz did just that, covering their stars in pure asbestos that was marketed with names like “Pure White.” The popularity of asbestos as snow spread to home use, and it could still be found in heirloom Christmas decorations.


The Short-Lived Independent Republics In California And The Gulf Coast

The most well-known break off from the United States of America is the Confederate States of America. However, Americans have a long and checkered history of trying to leave the United States. In the early and mid-1800s, parts of California and the land along the Gulf Coast tried to form their own nations. They only lasted a few weeks.