The horror story of Centralia, Pennsylvania

Centralia (taken from: https://www.history.com/news/mine-fire-burning-more-50-years-ghost-town)

In the middle of Pennsylvania, there is a small and unusual town named Centralia. Founded in the mid-18th century through a purchase from a Native American tribe, Centralia remained a small town of farmers. Centralia had a large deposit of anthracite, also known as hard coal but there was no technology available to ignite hard coal at the time. However, when the technology to utilize hard coal through ignition was invented in 1828, Centralia quickly transformed into a booming city.

The first mine opened in 1856, bringing in a huge source of revenue for the town. Amenities like rails, churches…


How Benito Mussolini Transitioned from a Socialist to a Fascist

Benito Mussolini (Right) and Adolf Hitler (Left) (taken from: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/benito-mussolinis-family-blocks-italian-centre-for-study-of-fascism-fzq279qrp)

Benito Mussolini was a man remembered for coining the term “fascism” and establishing the first fascist political party in history. His influence, although largely negative, was profound on the modern history of Europe, inspiring figures like Adolf Hitler and Francisco Franco. While he is known for his far-right ideology, Mussolini had a past as a hardcore socialist that many don’t know about. What caused Mussolini to switch his ideology from one end to another?

Mussolini’s Upbringing

Benito Mussolini was born in 1883 in a small village in Northern Italy called Predappio to a father who owned and operated a small coffee shop…


The Ming-Dynasty author Guanzhong Luo tells a tragic historical tale of dreams, ambitions, unity, division, and love

The Protagonists: Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Zhiang Fei (taken from: https://chilhakgrun.tistory.com/7706)

The classic novel by Guanzhong Luo deals with the period from the Later Han Dynasty of China, through the Three-Kingdoms Period, to the early days of the Jin Dynasty. In the first line of the long novel, the author makes the overarching historical theme clear by writing: “Domains under heaven, after a long period of division, tends to unite; after a long period of union, tends to divide”. This illustrates the reoccurring pattern of Ancient China, where cycles of constant divisions arise, followed by a powerful empire that unites all, followed by another division, as illustrated by the novel.

This…


China’s first emperor was a maniac for immortality

Qin Shihuangdi (Allthatsinteresting.com)

Qin Shihuangdi, or Qin’s First Emperor was the first person to ever call himself an Emperor in China’s history. He united China, which was divided between many kingdoms, under the name Qin, which became the root word for the name “China.” Iconic architectural legacies like the Great Wall of China and the Terracotta Warriors were constructed under his rule between 247 to 210 BC. This phenomenal figure in Chinese history had a desire that he was greatly obsessed with: to become an immortal.

When Shihuangdi united China for the first time in history, he was a 38-year-old with a healthy…


Controversies that surround the life of Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa (Biography.com)

Mother Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu, commonly known as Mother Teresa, was an Albanian-Indian nun who was globally praised for her humanitarian acts and was revered as one of the great humanitarian activists of the 20th century. She received a Nobel Peace Prize and became the symbol of global volunteerism during and after her life. She is now recognized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church. However, later in her life and after her death, certain facts were revealed that got many to question whether she was truly someone that is deserving of the praise. …


A 16-month-Saga of the Internet vs. WallStreet

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

In September of 2019, a whopping 16 months prior to the GameStop situation, a user on Reddit named u/deepfuckingvalue posted a screenshot of his stock brokerage account containing long term calls for GameStop on a subreddit called r/WallStreetBets. WallStreetBets is a subreddit where users share their risky plays and make hilarious memes about their gains or losses. He had been investing much earlier in GameStop and posted his position when Michael Burry (from the movie “The Big Short”) purchased stocks in the same company. However, many in the subreddit ridiculed him for buying…


The story of Puyi: China’s last emperor

Puyi, the Last Emperor of Qing (Thoughtco.com)

It was December of 1908 when Puyi was crowned as the eleventh emperor of China at two years old. When his inauguration was held at the Forbidden City in Beijing, the new baby emperor burst into tears at the sight of thousands standing before him. Rumors went around the city that the baby emperor’s tears meant something ominous for the empire.

Puyi’s Early Life

Born on February 7, 1906, to the younger brother of the emperor, Aisin-Gioro Puyi was selected as the rightful heir to the throne, as the emperor left no child. When the reigning emperor died, Empress Cixi, who was the…


Murad IV and his phobia for smokers

A Depiction of an Ottoman Coffee Shop (AncientOrigins.net)

Tobacco is a plant indigenous to the Americas and was introduced to Europe in the 16th century. The first person to introduce tobacco to Europe on a significant scale was Sir Walter Raleigh of England. He was responsible for founding the settlements in current day Virginia and North Carolina, where the environment was suitable for tobacco growing. He saw tobacco as a business opportunity to benefit England through their North American colony.

Since Walter Raleigh and others brought tobacco to Europe, the practice of smoking spread like wildfire. …


The history behind the unique Chonmage hairstyle

Chonmage (Mangadejapan.com)

Have you ever wondered what was going on with the hair that samurai wore? Chonmage (丁髷 in Japanese) is a traditional Japanese haircut popularly worn during the Edo Era (1603–1868) by samurais. This haircut shaves the hair on the front and top of one’s head and only leaves the hair in the rear part of their head, tying it in a knot. How did this bizarre haircut become a staple for samurais and what is its history?

Naming

Chonmage is 丁髷 in Japanese because the haircut looks like the character 丁 (Chon) from above. …


Stalin was hesitant to let Kim invade South Korea

Young Kim Il-Sung delivering a speech (Wall Street Journal)

When North Korea split from its southern counterpart in 1948 through an election Kim Il-Sung felt that he lacked the legitimacy that other communist leaders like Mao and Stalin had. Stalin played a crucial role in the Russian Revolution and was a national hero after winning the Second World War. Mao was leading the communist party of China to a crucial victory against the nationalists that eventually solidified him as the legitimate leader of the nation.

Compared to the two prominent communist figures, Kim lacked both the experience and legitimacy. He had not played a big role in Korea’s independence…

Daniel Choi

Korean-Canadian. History, Culture, Economics, and More.

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