When everyone believed that there’s life on Mars

In 1877, Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli observed the night sky. Mars was especially interesting to him and when he checked it out a little more closely he made out a large system of canals. The illustration above was made by him.

The man who built Switzerland

Nowadays the tiny country of Switzerland is one of the wealthiest and most famous nations on Earth. This was not always the case. For many hundreds of years, it struggled economically and was not well known.  Switzerland is now well known for its banking system, its leading educational institutions, its excellent insurance companies and its extensive and highly precise train system. …

Napoleon’s brother in New Jersey

Napoleon’s older brother Joseph Bonaparte (1768-1844) spent a good amount of his life in the United States. Through the influence of his brother he became King of Naples and then King of Spain.

Dover Castle’s secret tunnels

Dover Castle is a medieval castle in Southeastern England. The site has been fortified since Roman times, but the most interesting renovation took place during the Napoleonic wars around 1800.