February 2, 2023

Valentine’s Day: The Unromantic Origins of This Romantic Holiday

Valentine’s Day conjures up thoughts of chocolates, roses, and romantic dinners, but have you ever wondered where Valentine’s Day comes from? You might be surprised to learn that this holiday’s history isn't as romantic as you might expect. Though Valentine’s Day, also known as St. Valentine’s Day, is now synonymous with love, its history is quite different.

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January 9, 2023

Download Nearly 70,000 Color Photos Showing Life Around the World in the Early 20th Century

One museum in France is changing the way we view the past thanks to its vast archive of color photographs from the early 20th century. The Albert Kahn Museum has made nearly 70,000 photographs available to the public at high resolution as part of its quest to digitize The Archives of the Planet project. French banker Albert Kahn started the project in 1908 with the goal to photograph humanity around the world.

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November 29, 2022

Message in a Bottle From 1887 Discovered Under Floorboards in Scotland

Old houses hold many secrets which only emerge with chance and time. A Scottish plumber named Peter Allan was working on the heating pipes of just such a house when he encountered something strange: an antique bottle secreted beneath the floorboards. Opened by Eilidh Stimpson—the resident of the house—and her two children, the bottle was revealed to contain a fascinating note written in 1887.

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October 31, 2022

Día de los Muertos: How Mexico Celebrates Its Annual “Day of the Dead”

Throughout history, cultures across the globe have adopted creative ways to deal with death. In ancient China, they crafted funerary sculptures to fill complex mausoleums. During the Dutch Golden Age, artists touched on mortality in their memento mori still life paintings. And, in modern Mexico, people celebrate Día de los Muertos, a colorful holiday dedicated to the dearly departed. Though this festival has evolved over centuries, it remains one of Mexico's most historically and culturally important events.

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