Missing Mayans

The Maya civilization at the height of its power was perhaps the most technologically advanced civilization America had ever seen. They built large cities, studied astronomy, dominated southern Mexico and Central America politically, culturally, and militarily, and created complex calendars that still amaze people to this day. However, about 100 years after their peak (600-800…

What’s In a Name?

Over half of the states (26) of the United States of America are named for a Native group or are derived from a Native word. Although some of the sources are disputed, the following is the generally recognized list: Alabama – Alibamu tribe who were members of the Creek Confederacy Alaska – Alakshak – “peninsula”…

A Constitution, Inquistion Cell, and Chewing Gum

In 1833 (primarily) white colonists of Mexican-controlled Texas sent a new constitution to Mexico City under the care of Stephen F. Austin. The colonists wanted to create a new state that would be separate from the Coahuila region of which they were currently attached, but would still be part of Mexico. At first Austin was…

Bye Bye Buffalo

An estimated 50 million wild bison roamed the plains of North America prior to the arrival of European settlers. By 1884, only 325 survived. They were hunted to near extinction for their hides, as prizes, and to clear railroad tracks. Sometimes they were killed for sport and the entire carcass was left to rot in…

Prohibition Poisoning

During prohibition alcohol was illegal to buy and consume, but some industrial alcohol had to be made to be used in compounds like paint thinner and embalming fluid. To keep people from drinking industrial alcohol, the government poisoned some batches with mercury, gasoline, and other dangerous and deadly chemicals. The resulting “denatured” alcohol led to…