Michelangelo’s Poem on Painting the Sistine Chapel


Michelangelo on painting his masterpiece, the Sistine Chapel.  A gifted poet as well as a sculptor and painter, he wrote energetically about despair, detailing with relish the unpleasant side of his work on the famous ceiling. The poem, in Italian, is an extended sonnet. The translation below is by the American … Continue reading

Theodore Roosevelt
Teddy Roosevelt Speech after Being Shot


On October 14, 1912, an unemployed saloonkeeper shot former president and Progressive Party candidate Theodore Roosevelt outside a Milwaukee hotel. Rather than being rushed to the hospital, Roosevelt insisted on delivering his scheduled 90-minute speech. By slowing the bullet, those lengthy prepared remarks may actually have saved his life. Theodore … Continue reading

Bob Dylan
The Blurry Cover Photo of Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde


Hear why the cover photo of Bob Dylan’s timeless double album Blonde on Blonde was so blurry. Turns out it was February and cold out. The photographer had trouble finding the exact location, but was pleased to learn the building was probably still there. See Dylan sing Visions of Johanna … Continue reading

Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln Establishes Thanksgiving Day


Proclamation of Thanksgiving This is the proclamation which set the precedent for America’s national day of Thanksgiving. During his administration, President Lincoln issued many orders similar to this. For example, on November 28, 1861, he ordered government departments closed for a local day of thanksgiving. Sarah Josepha Hale, a 74-year-old … Continue reading

World War II
British POWs Recall Building the Burma Railway


During World War II, British Prisoners of War were used by the Japanese to build a railway linking Bangkok, Thailand to Rangoon, Burma. Over 12,000 POWs were killed building the railway. In this video, British POWs recall building the railway. Remembering the harsh working conditions, one POW says: “If you … Continue reading

Mr. Rogers Defends PBS


In 1969, beloved children’s television personality Mr. Rogers testified before the United States Senate Subcommittee on Communications. At the time, President Nixon had proposed funding cuts to the Public Broadcasting Service, which had originally been given a $20 million grant by President Lyndon Johnson. In his testimony, Rogers says: “I … Continue reading

American Civil Rights Movement
James Meredith Admitted to Ole Miss


“I’ve always been at war with a system, not people”. On October 1, 1962, James Meredith became the first African-American student admitted to the University of Mississippi. Meredith’s enrollment sparked protests and riots at the University’s campus, causing President Kennedy to call in troops from the U.S. Marshals, U.S. Army … Continue reading

2010 Copiapó Mining Accident
Chilean Miner Gives Interview After Being Rescued


A miner, who was trapped underground for two months in the Sane José Copper-Gold Mine in Copiapó, Chile in 2010, gives his first interview after being rescued. Nicknamed “Super Mario” after coming out of the mine very energized and presenting gifts of rocks to his rescuers, Mario Sepulveda talks about … Continue reading