A History Lesson With Booze


Texas Energy Museum/Newsmakers

An Oil Gusher Bursts Texas Into History

Texas was known mainly for cattle and cotton until Pattillo Higgins came along. His hunch that there might be oil in them thar' hills lead to the discovery of a massive gusher, which would fuel the 20th century.


circa 1950: A Major Maestro radio. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

FM Radio Hits the Airwaves

If you listen to this show on the radio, you have Edwin Armstrong to thank for it. He was commissioned by RCA to combat radio static on the AM band, but his solution — FM transmitting — wasn't quite what the corporation had in mind.


PIERRE ANDRIEU / Getty

The Short History of the First SMS

How post-cards, holiday greetings, and a whole bunch of random sentences created the text messaging protocol that defined a decade.


Childrenofparadise

‘Children of Paradise’ Was a Minor Miracle

One of the most acclaimed movies ever, was made under some of the worst conditions ever. Produced in France amid WWII, "Children of Paradise" made it to American cinemas in November 1945.


blood

The Sistine Chapel’s Unwilling Artist

The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel might be Michelangelo's most iconic masterpiece, but when he was first offered the commission, he absolutely did not want the job. Learn all about it, and a fortifying drink to serve with it.


Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The Eerie End of Edgar Allan Poe’s Own Story

This week back in 1849, the great gothic horror writer Edgar Allan Poe headed off on his last business trip. What happened after that remains a mystery... except for the fact that he died. Concoct your own theories after sipping an appropriately dark cocktail from Baltimore's Poe-themed bar.


Photo: Elana Lepkowski, stirandstrain.com

Inventing the Typewriter (and Beginning the ‘Hunt-and-Peck’)

Christopher Latham Sholes’ “literary piano” led to the 1868 invention of the typewriter - and, along with it, the QWERTY keyboard layout. Learn about some of the quirks of Sholes’ device, and then try to type the alphabet while drinking this cocktail.


Photo: Elana Lepkowski, stirandstrain.com

Cold War Corn and Roswell’s Weapon

Back in 1959, Iowa farmer Roswell Garst and Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev struck up a most unusual friendship. Learn how corn helped thaw the cold war (for a time), then shuck this drink.