Big History Blog Posts History History Adventures Learning Materials

Misfires in the Sky: WWII’s Worst Manufactured Planes

World War II was a time of great technological innovation, and the aircraft industry was no exception. New and improved planes were being developed all the time, but not all of them were successful. Some were plagued with problems that made them difficult to fly, unreliable, or simply not effective in combat.

In this article, we will take a look at some of the worst manufactured planes of World War II. These planes are a cautionary tale about the importance of careful design and testing. When rushed into production without being properly tested, even the most promising aircraft can turn out to be a disaster.

1. Messerschmitt Me 210

Image of the Me 210 aircraft in the sky.
Image by: Wikipedia

The Messerschmitt Me 210 was a twin-engined heavy fighter aircraft developed in Germany in the early 1940s. It was intended to replace the Messerschmitt Bf 110, but it was plagued with problems and was quickly replaced by the Me 410 in 1942.

The Me 210 had several design flaws, including poor handling, instability, and a tendency to stall. It was also difficult to control at high altitudes. The aircraft was too heavy, which made it difficult to control. 

The engines were unreliable and prone to failure. The wings were too thin and could not withstand the stresses of high-speed flight. Lastly, the cockpit was cramped and visibility was poor.

Only a small number of Me 210s were produced, and they saw only limited use in combat. The aircraft was a failure, and it is considered to be one of the worst manufactured planes of World War II.

2. Junkers Ju 87 Stuka

The Junkers JU 87 Stuka.
Image by: Sciencehow

“The Stuka was more than just a terror weapon – its ability to deliver bombs where needed with then unheard of precision made it a potent war machine.” – David C. Isby

The Junkers Ju 87 Stuka was a German dive bomber developed in the 1930s. It was known for its distinctive siren, which was used to terrorize enemy troops. 

The Stuka was very effective in the early stages of World War II, when it was used to support German ground forces in Poland, France, and the Low Countries. However, it became increasingly vulnerable to enemy fighters as the war progressed. The plane was also very difficult to control at low altitudes, making it a target for anti-aircraft fire. Hence, the Stuka was eventually phased out of service as more modern aircraft became available.

3. Fiat G.55 Centauro

The G55 Centauro aircraft on the runway.
Image by: Wikipedia

The Fiat G.55 Centauro was a single-engine, single-seat fighter aircraft developed in Italy during World War II. It was powered by a single Daimler-Benz DB 605A-1 engine, which gave it a top speed of 387 mph and a range of 1,160 km (721 mi). 

Despite its impressive performance, the G.55 had a number of issues. It had a high landing speed and was prone to spinning. The cockpit was cramped and visibility was poor. This made it a challenge for even experienced pilots to fly, and it earned the nickname “widowmaker” among Italian pilots.

The G.55 was a victim of its own ambition. It was designed to be the best fighter aircraft in the world, but it was too ambitious. The aircraft was simply too difficult to fly for most pilots, and it never lived up to its potential.

4. Aichi B7A Ryusei

Picture of the B7A Ryusei plane.
Image by: Wikipedia

The Aichi B7A Ryusei was a Japanese torpedo bomber developed in the early 1940s. It was designed to replace the Nakajima B5N Kate, and it was one of the most advanced torpedo bombers in the world at the time. However, it was also one of the most difficult to fly, and it had a high accident rate.

The B7A was powered by a single Nakajima Sakae 21 engine, which gave it a top speed of 500 km/h (311 mph) and a range of 2,700 km (1,680 mi). It was armed with one 7.7 mm Type 97 machine gun in the nose and two 20 mm Type 99 cannons in the wings. It could also carry a torpedo or a bomb load of up to 1,000 kg (2,204 lb).

The B7A entered service with the Imperial Japanese Navy in 1943, but it saw limited use in combat. It had a high accident rate. As a result, it was often replaced by the Mitsubishi G4M Betty.

5. Mitsubishi G4M Betty

The Mitsubishi G4M Betty aircraft flying in the sky.
Image by: Wikipedia

The Mitsubishi G4M Betty was a Japanese medium bomber developed in the early 1940s. It was one of the most important bombers in the Japanese arsenal, and it was used in a variety of roles, including torpedo bombing, dive bombing, and level bombing.

The G4M entered service with the Imperial Japanese Navy in 1941, and it saw extensive use in the Pacific War. It was a reliable and effective bomber, and it was responsible for sinking a number of Allied ships.

However, the G4M was also vulnerable to enemy fighters, and it suffered heavy losses in combat. As a result, it was gradually replaced by the Mitsubishi G6M.

Only a small number of G4Ms were produced, and they were withdrawn from service in 1945.

Final Word

In the heated furnace of World War II, while many aircraft soared to fame, others faltered due to design flaws and rushed production. From Germany’s problematic Me 210 to Japan’s accident-prone B7A Ryusei, the skies were not kind to every plane. These missteps in aviation remind us that in the race to dominate the skies, meticulous design and thorough testing are paramount. Even in the chaos of war, quality should never be compromised.

Big History Blog Posts Characters History History Adventures Learning Materials Uncategorized

Shoichi Yokoi: The Soldier Who Fought WWII for 28 Extra Years

Throughout history, stories of bravery and determination shine as examples of the human spirit. One such story is of Shoichi Yokoi, a Japanese sergeant in the Imperial Japanese Army. Yokoi refused to surrender for 28 years after the conclusion of World War II. His strong determination, fueled by belief, shows how resilient people can be.

Early Life and War Days

Shoichi during the early days of World War II.
Source: Wikipedia

Born in Aichi  Prefecture, Japan, in 1915, Yokoi was the youngest of four siblings. His upbringing on the farm nurtured a strong work ethic, and his inclination toward academics and sports showcased his versatile talents. 

When war clouds gathered in 1941, Yokoi’s life took a fateful turn as he was drafted into the Japanese army. He was stationed in Guam by 1943, playing the role of an anti-aircraft unit.

Guam saw fierce battles between Japanese forces and US troops when World War II broke out. In 1945, when Japan’s defeat became inevitable, American troops invaded Guam. Faced with impending defeat, Yokoi and his two teammates made a choice that reshaped their fates: fleeing into the jungle to avoid capture.

A Life in Hiding: Shoichi Yokoi’s Story of Survival and Redemption Jungle)

Recreation of Yokoi's hiding place in the jungle.
Source: Wikipedia (Recreation of Yokoi’s Hiding Place in the Guam Jungle)

On August 15, 1945, Emperor Hirohito announced Japan’s unconditional surrender, marking the end of World War II. However, Yokoi and his companions were kept from reliable information sources, believing that surrender was a trap devised by the Americans to trick them into surrendering. 

For nearly three decades, Yokoi and his comrades lived in the wilderness of Guam. They skillfully build shelters, cultivate crops, and hunt wild animals for food. According to the Washington Post, Yokoi utilized his tailoring abilities to craft clothing from tree bark and tracked time by observing the moon’s phases. The radio they managed to build could not receive signals from Japan after 1945. 

Yokoi writes in his book:

“I lived in constant fear of being discovered by the enemy. I often heard noises in the jungle, and I had to fight the urge to run.”

As the years pass into decades, Yokoi’s two comrades leave the jungle to surrender. Yokoi was the last of the three to surrender. 

The Long Road Back: Shoichi Yokoi’s Return to Japan After 28 Years

Shoichi Yokoi on the day of his return to Japan.
Source: Smithsonianmag

January 24, 1972, marked a turning point in Yokoi’s life. Local fishermen Manuel De Gracia and Jesus Duenas stumbled across Yokoi’s camp in the thicket. At first, Yokoi’s distrust of these strangers was evident, but gradually trust was established. The fishermen, realizing the seriousness of the situation, took Yokoi to the authorities. 

The event was also reported in the local news media. The headline in the Guam Daily News on January 25, 1972, read “Japanese Soldier Found Alive in Jungle.” The article described how the fishermen discovered Yokoi and quoted him as saying he was “happy to be alive.”

Early and old age picture of Shoichi Yokoi.
Source: BBC New

When Yokoi returned, Japan was filled with emotion and celebration. According to the book The Last Japanese Holdouts: A Hidden History of World War II by Yuki Tanaka, Shoichi Yokoi’s first words after being discovered by the fishermen were:

“It is with much embarrassment that I have returned alive.”

Yokoi felt humiliated by his inability to submit to the enemy for 28 years. He thought he had failed his country and his family. He was relieved, though, to be alive and to be able to return home.

Shoichi with his psychologists being diagnosed with post-war symptoms.
Source: Guampedia

Yokoi’s first comments are a stark reminder of the psychological toll that conflict can take. He’d been struggling for so long that he’d lost touch with time and reality. He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and survivor’s guilt. 

Dr. Masaaki Kaku, a psychologist, saw Yokoi’s case as a prime example of war’s psychological effects. Kaku believed Yokoi was brainwashed by the military and lost his ability to think independently due to long jungle isolation.

Yokoi’s Legacy

Shoichi presenting his book which tells his story.
Source: Guampedia

Shoichi Yokoi’s return marked a new phase, trying to fit into a rapidly changing world. He felt nostalgic for the past and critiqued modern innovations. Despite the challenges, he entered an arranged marriage in 1972, ran for Parliament in 1974, and shared his story through a bestselling book and lectures. 

However, Yokoi never felt comfortable in modern society. He revisited Guam multiple times before passing away in 1997, highlighting his enduring connection with the place that defined his unique journey.

Blog Posts History History Adventures Learning Materials

The Depths of Despair: 5 Worst Prisons of the 20th Century

Prisons are meant to be correction institutions, but some have become synonymous with brutality, torture, and neglect. From ancient times to the present, there have been prisons that have inflicted unbearable suffering on inmates. Here are the 5 worst prisons in history that showcase the dark side of justice and unimaginable suffering. 

Tuol Sleng Prison, Cambodia 

A picture of the Tuol Sleng prison in Cambodia.
Image by: Open Democracy

Tuol Sleng, also known as S-21, was a secret prison operated by the Khmer Rouge regime during the 1960s. It had an estimated 20,000 prisoners held and tortured. The conditions were brutal, and the fate of most of the prisoners was execution. 

Voices from S-21: Terror and History in Pol Pot’s Secret Prison” by David Chandler has many exciting and chilling insights into the history and conditions of Tuol Sleng prison. According to the author, the prison was originally a high school.

The author also discussed that the prisoners were often subjected to brutal torture, including waterboarding, electric shocks, beatings, and psychological tactics.

Alcatraz Island, USA 

The Alcatraz Island prison in San Francisco, USA.
Image by: VOA News

Alcatraz Island is a former San Francisco federal prison from 1934 to 1963. During its time as a prison, it accommodated some of the most infamous criminals in American history, including George “Machine Gun” Kelly and Al Capone.

The prison had a reputation for having strict regulations and difficult living situations. Prisoners had little access to the outside world and sunshine.

The prison also had a reputation for being inescapable because of its remote island location and strict security measures. Due to this, the majority of these attempts failed. 

However, the escape attempt made in 1962 by Frank Morris and the Anglin brothers has been the subject of much writing, filmmaking, and television programming.

Carandiru Penitentiary, Brazil 

The exterior of the Carandiru Penitentiary in Brazil.
Image by: Pinterest

The Carandiru Penitentiary, a prison in São Paulo, Brazil, is known for its overcrowded and violent conditions. The prison could house around 4000 inmates, but it was packed with 7000 plus inmates, making the situation worse for prisoners. 

On October 2, 1992, a riot broke out in prison, and the police were called to restore order. The police officers, however, used excessive force, and in the end, 111 inmates were killed. The incident became known as the “Carandiru Massacre” and was a turning point in Brazil’s penal system.

The Carandiru Penitentiary was eventually closed in 2002, and its remaining inmates were transferred to other prisons. The prison site has since been demolished, and a park has been built to commemorate the victims of the massacre. 

Hanoi Hilton, Vietnam 

Overview of the Hanoi Hilton prison in Vietnam.
Image by: Flickr

Located in the capital of Hanoi, the Hanoi Hilton was a prison used by the North Vietnamese army during the Vietnam War to detain American prisoners of war (POWs).

The prisoners were subjected to cruelty, including isolation, psychological torment, and physical abuse. One of the exciting insights about Hanoi Hilton is the system of communication the prisoners came up with.

According to the memoir “Faith of My Fathers” by John McCain, a prisoner of the Vietnam War, he and his fellow prisoners communicated by tapping on walls and other means, and this allowed them to maintain a sense of connection and camaraderie even in the face of isolation and torture.

Black Dolphin Prison, Russia Black

Black Dolphin Prison, also referred to as Penal Colony No. 6, is one of Russia’s most notorious prisons, renowned for its strict and oppressive rules. 

The prison was initially constructed in 1745 as a fortress to guard the southern borders of the Russian Empire. It was transformed into a prison in the 20th century and has housed some of Russia’s most dangerous criminals, including terrorists and serial killers. Famous Cannibal Vladimir Nikolayevich Nikolayev is also one of the inmates. 

Black Dolphin is renowned for its strict policies and use of isolation cells, where inmates can spend up to 22 hours per day in solitary confinement. They are only served four portions of soup daily, and they must respond ‘yes, sir’ every time an officer orders something.

To keep its inmates under control, the prison employs a variety of physical restraints and force.


In conclusion, these five jails stand for some of the worst inmate mistreatment in recorded history. Even though some of these prisons are no longer in operation, their cruelty and inhumanity legacy haunts us.

It is critical to remember the crimes against humanity committed in these facilities and to work toward a just and humane method of criminal justice. 

Big History Blog Posts History Learning Materials Old West

Historical Artifacts the British Empire Stole and Displayed in Its Museums

Have you ever wondered about the historical artifacts displayed in British museums? Well, there’s much more to their stories than meets the eye. 

The looting of historical artifacts by the British Empire is a controversial topic that has been discussed for years. The debate focuses on whether these artifacts should be kept in colonizers’ museums or returned to their original countries. This article will focus on the histories of these artifacts and the ethical problems surrounding their ownership.

Koh-i-Noor Diamond

The glorious Koh-i-Noor diamond.
Image by: Wikipedia

The Koh-i-Noor Diamond, one of the most oversized jewels in the world, measures 105 carats. It was extracted from an Indian quarry and added to the Mughal Empire’s coffers. The diamond was taken under the authority of the British East India Company in 1851 and gifted to Queen Victoria. It was later added to the Queen Mother’s crown, which is now displayed in the Tower of London.

The Queen of England's Crown which contains the Koh-i-Noor diamond.
Image by: BBC

India has frequently claimed the return of diamonds. Although according to the British government, the diamond was acquired lawfully and is now a significant piece of the British cultural legacy.

The Rosetta Stone

A picture of the Rosetta Stone in the British Museum.
Image by: History Hit

The Rosetta Stone is an ancient Egyptian stele that bears an inscription of law from King Ptolemy V’s rule in 196 BCE. It is regarded as the key to comprehending ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and is written in three scripts: Ancient Greek, Demotic script, and hieroglyphics. During Napoleon’s campaign in Egypt, French troops found the stone in 1799. It was later taken by the British in 1801.

The Rosetta Stone is now regarded as one of the British Museum’s most prized possessions and has been exhibited there since 1802. Egypt has repeatedly demanded the stone’s return, claiming it should be given to its legitimate owners since it was taken during colonial occupation.

The Maqdala Treasures

Photograph of some of the Maqdala Treasures that were given to Ethiopia.
Image by: The Art Newspaper

The Maqdala Treasures are a collection of Ethiopian religious and cultural artifacts that British soldiers looted during the 1868 Expedition to Abyssinia. The artifacts, which include gold and silver crowns, manuscripts, and religious icons, were taken to the UK and are now held by various institutions, including the Victoria and Albert and the British Museum.

Ethiopian administration has repeatedly demanded the return of the Maqdala Treasures. The Victoria and Albert Museum agreed to lend Ethiopia some of the artifacts in 2018, but the bulk of the collection is still in the museum’s custody.

Benin Bronzes 

The Benin Bronze sculptures.
Image by: History

The Benin Bronzes are a fascinating collection of brass sculptures and plaques the British troops stole from the Kingdom of Benin in 1897. These beautiful artworks depict various aspects of the Benin people’s daily lives, religion, and royalty and are a valuable part of African cultural heritage.

Today, there is a movement to return the Benin Bronzes to Nigeria and restore them to their rightful owners. The British Museum has discussed the possibility of loaning the Benin Bronzes to Nigeria.

Elgin Marbles

A picture of the Elgin Marbles that depict scenes from life in Athens.
Image by: History Extra

The British diplomat Lord Elgin took several antique Greek marble sculptures, inscriptions, and architectural elements from the Parthenon in Athens at the beginning of the 19th century. The statues date back to the 5th century BC and depict various scenes from Greek mythology and everyday life in ancient Athens.

The taking of the Elgin Marbles has been controversial and debated for many years. Greece has long called for their repatriation, arguing that they are vital to the country’s cultural heritage.

The Sultanganj Buddha 

The Sultanganj Buddha kept in the British Museum.
Image by: BBC UK

This Buddha bronze statue dates back to the 6th or 7th century CE. It was discovered in the Sultanganj region of Bihar, India, in the 1860s. The statue was taken by British archaeologist Alexander Cunningham and sent to the British Museum in London. The statue, which is over two meters tall and weighs about a ton, is one of the earliest representations of the Buddha in human form.

India has repeatedly requested the return of the Sultanganj Buddha. Still, the British Museum has refused to repatriate it, citing the statue’s cultural significance to British history. 

Final Word

The looting of historical artifacts by the British Empire has had a lasting impact on the cultural heritage of colonized countries. The ongoing movement towards repatriation is an essential step towards addressing this legacy and restoring colonized peoples’ dignity and cultural heritage. It is our collective responsibility to acknowledge the past wrongs of colonialism and take action toward repairing the damage that has been done.

Blog Posts History History Adventures Learning Materials

The Islamic Golden Age: An Inspiring Tale of Science, Art, and Philosophy

From the 8th to the 14th century, the Islamic Golden Age of Science was a time of outstanding academic, cultural, and scientific advancements. Islamic scholars made significant contributions to many areas of knowledge during this time. It covered astronomy, chemistry, physics, philosophy, medicine, and arithmetic. 

In the period of scientific advancement, the House of Wisdom, also known as Bayt-al-Hikmah, was extremely important. In this article, we’ll examine some surprising things you did not know about the Islamic Golden Age of Science. 

So, let’s get going! 

Islam Had One of The First Libraries in the World

Image showing teachings in the House of Wisdom.
Image by: Wikipedia

In the ninth century, Harun al-Rashid, the ruler of the Abbasid Empire, established the House of Wisdom in Baghdad. It was a gathering place for academics from various backgrounds and religions to exchange ideas and information. The vast library of the House of Wisdom was filled with books and manuscripts from all over the globe, including works by Greek, Roman, Persian, and Indian authors.

The House of Wisdom was not just a library, but a center of innovation and creativity that produced significant advancements in various fields of knowledge.” – Thomas F. Glick.

The House of Wisdom made one of the most significant achievements by translating Greek philosophical and scientific writings into Arabic. This translation movement assisted in preserving and disseminating ancient knowledge that had been neglected or lost in Europe.

Muslims Invented Algebra and Trigonometry

The works of Abu-al Wafa in trigonometry.
Image by: Muslim Heritage

During the Golden Age, Islamic scholars made significant contributions to mathematics. Algebra is said to have been created by Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi, one of the most well-known mathematicians of this time. In his ground-breaking book, he pioneered using letters to symbolize unknown quantities, “Al-Kitab al-mukhtasar fi hisab al-jabr wa’l-muqabala” (The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing).

The creation of trigonometry was another essential addition to mathematics. The first table of sines was created by the mathematician Abu al-Wafa’ al-Buzjani, who is attributed to helping solve issues in astronomy and navigation.

Alhazen, Pioneer of Optics in the Islam World

Picture of Alhazen who contributed to study of optics.
Image by: Islam Online

Ibn al-Haytham, also known as Alhazen, was a pioneering Arab mathematician and physicist who significantly contributed to the study of optics. His Book of Optics, written in the 11th century, was a landmark work that influenced the development of optics in Europe for centuries. He also discovered the principles of reflection and refraction, which explain how light behaves when it passes through different materials. 

His work laid the foundation for the development of lenses and other optical devices, ultimately inspiring other scholars to make significant advances in the field of ophthalmology, including the development of surgical techniques for cataracts and other eye conditions.

The Measurement of the Position of the Planets and Stars

Image showing the work of Muslim scientists in the field of Astronomy.
Image by: Astronomy Trek

Another area where Islamic scholars made essential contributions was astronomy. One of the most significant astronomers of the Islamic Golden Age was al-Battani, also known as Albategnius. He created new techniques for computing astronomical data and made exact measurements of the positions of the planets and stars.

Al-Farghani was another famous astronomer. He produced a book titled “Elements of Astronomy” that was used as a European textbook for many years. He also made significant advances in geography and was the first to determine the Earth’s circumference.

Contribution to the Field of Medicine

The practice of medicine in the Muslim world.
Image by: KAWA News

The discipline of medicine has significantly benefited from the contributions of Islamic scholars. One of the most well-known doctors of the Islamic Golden Age was Al-Razi, also known as Rhazes. He contributed significantly to pediatrics, obstetrics, and ophthalmology and authored several books on medicine.

Ibn Sina, also known as Avicenna, was another famous physician. He wrote the “Canon of Medicine,” used as a standard medical text in Europe for many years. He was the first to describe meningitis and majorly contributed to pharmacology and anatomy.


In conclusion, the Islamic Golden Age of Science was a remarkable period in human history that saw an explosion of scientific, philosophical, and artistic creativity. Despite being primarily overshadowed by the Renaissance in Europe, the Islamic Golden Age produced many important innovations and discoveries that continue to shape our world today. 

Perhaps most importantly, the Islamic Golden Age of Science was marked by a spirit of intellectual curiosity and openness to new ideas, allowing scholars of different cultures and faiths to collaborate and exchange ideas.

Big History Blog Posts History Learning Materials

Fascinating Facts about Indus Valley Civilization

From roughly 3300 BCE to 1300 BCE, the Indus Valley Civilization was one of the earliest and most developed ancient societies. It was mostly in what is now Pakistan and India, northwest of the Indian peninsula. Many interesting facts about the Indus valley civilization, including a rich cultural legacy, are still being studied today.

So, what is unique about the Indus Valley Civilization? The following information sheds light on this intriguing old civilization.

Advanced Urban Planning and Architecture

A picture of the ruins of the Indus Valley civillisation.
Image by: Cultural India

Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro were two of the Indus Valley Civilization’s largest and most important cities. They were distinguished by their cutting-edge urban design and construction. The buildings were made of baked brick with flat roofs, and the streets were grid-like.  

One of the interesting facts about Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro was that they had sophisticated drainage systems, proving the civilization’s superior engineering abilities. Additionally, there were public restrooms and wells with pure water for drinking and bathing.

Sophisticated Writing System

The writing system used by the Indus Valley Civilization has yet to be understood entirely. The characters are thought to symbolize words or ideas, but their exact meaning is still unknown. “The Indus Script: Texts, Concordance, and Tables” by Asko Parpola and Iravatham Mahadevan provides a comprehensive analysis of the Indus script and includes a catalog of all known inscriptions, as well as tables and concordances for studying the writing.

Thanks to recent technological developments, the script can now be examined more closely. 

Advanced Agriculture

A stone carving showing agriculture in the Indus Valley Civilization.
Image by: Research Gate

One of the first societies in history to engage in extensive agricultural production was the Indus Valley Civilization. The area was perfect for farming due to its rich soil and regular monsoon rainfall. The inhabitants of the Indus Valley Civilization were expert cultivators and possessed an advanced irrigation system. 

Based on archeological evidence, it is believed that the Indus valley civilization used the crop rotation method. This preserved soil fertility and stopped the spread of pests and illnesses.

Trade and Commerce

A painting depicting the town plan in Indus Valley Civilization.
Image by: Financial Express

Trade in commodities like cotton, gold, and precious stones took place all over the Indus Valley Civilization, which had an intricate system of commerce and business. Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro were significant commercial hubs, and it has been discovered that they traded with Mesopotamia and other cultures. This demonstrates the highly developed economic capabilities of this civilization’s inhabitants.

Artistic Achievements

A stamp made during the Indus Valley Civilization.
Image by: ClearIAS

The Indus Valley Civilization was renowned for its intricate and beautiful pottery, often featuring geometric patterns and animal motifs. This civilization’s inhabitants also produced a wide range of other works of art, such as sculptures, jewelry, and stamps. 

The Indus Valley Civilization is best known for its seals, made of steatite, a soft stone that was easy to carve. These seals were used for various purposes, including marking property and goods, and were often decorated with intricate designs and inscriptions. This civilization’s artistic accomplishments are proof of its people’s talent and ingenuity.

Peaceful Society

A picture showing the Indus Valley Civilization as seen today.
Image by: Ancient Origins

Archeologists believe the Indus Valley Civilization was peaceful, with few signs of warfare or strife. In comparison, other prehistoric societies, including the Egyptians and the Mesopotamians, were renowned for their military prowess. 

According to archeological evidence, the Indus Valley Civilization constituted a highly organized government with a central authority that supervised the management of cities and towns. This might have lessened conflicts between various communities and organizations.

Decline and Disappearance

The present-day state of the Indus Valley Civilization.
Image by: NewsClick

Around 1900 BCE, the Indus Valley Civilization declined and eventually vanished. According to some hypotheses, ecological factors or climate change may have had an impact. Some believe the Indus Valley Civilization may have been invaded or conquered by outside forces, such as the Aryans, who are believed to have migrated into the region around 1500 BCE. 

Some scholars have suggested that the decline of the Indus Valley Civilization may have resulted from internal factors, such as political instability or economic decline, rather than external factors. 


To sum up, the Indus Valley culture was a remarkable development in human culture. Its sophisticated writing system, advanced agriculture, and artistic accomplishments are examples of its advanced municipal planning, creativity, and skill. The Indus Valley Civilization’s influence is still seen in contemporary Indian society, despite its decline and disappearance. Learning about this prehistoric society and the mysteries that persist about this civilization is incredibly intriguing.

Big History Blog Posts Characters History History Adventures Learning Materials

The Story of Tsutomu Yamaguchi, Who Survived Multiple Nuclear Attacks

One of the most unique and sad tales of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings is of Tsutomu Yamaguchi, who experienced both bombings and lived to tell the story. His terrifying encounters provide a window into the atrocities of nuclear conflict and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of unfathomable suffering.

Early Life and Career

A picture of Tsutomu in his youth.
Image by: India Times

Tsutomu Yamaguchi was born in Nagasaki, Japan, on March 16, 1916. He belonged to a simple, rural Japanese family. Yamaguchi was a gifted student who thrived in the classroom. Later, he pursued his engineering degree at Tokyo’s Waseda University.

One of the pictures of the legendary Tsutomu Yamaguchi.
Image by: Wikipedia

Yamaguchi returned to Nagasaki after receiving his degree and started working for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, one of the country’s most prominent businesses. He was responsible for working at the company’s shipyard in Hiroshima, where he witnessed the detonation of the first atomic weapon.

Hiroshima Bombing

The devastating after-effects in Hiroshima after the nuclear bombing.
Image by: The National WWII Museum

Yamaguchi visited Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, as part of a tour for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. He had just completed a meeting when he noticed a bright flash in the sky while returning to his hotel. In an interview with The Guardian, he subsequently described the incident as follows:

“I saw a light, a bright light, and I heard a noise, a really loud noise, like the sound of a big explosion. I was thrown into the air, and everything went dark.”

Yamaguchi was only three kilometers from the explosion’s core when it occurred. He had extensive burns all over his body, debris in his head, and other serious wounds. Despite his injuries, he returned to his hotel and spent the night in agony.

Yamaguchi found a train the following day and returned to Nagasaki, where he got medical attention for his wounds. 

Nagasaki Bombing

Aftermath of the Nagasaki bombing which left the area in ruins.
Image by: GBH

Despite his injuries, Yamaguchi returned to work at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries just days after the Hiroshima bombing. He was determined to help his country get back on its feet. However, fate had other plans for him.

On August 9, 1945, just three days after the Hiroshima incident, Yamaguchi was at work in Nagasaki when he heard the whistling sound of an incoming bomb. He immediately recognized the sound and realized that a second atomic attack was about to happen.

Yamaguchi narrated the bombardment of Nagasaki in his own words:

“Suddenly, the sky went black, and there was a tremendous noise. I felt myself being thrown into the air again, and when I looked up, I saw a mushroom cloud forming over the city.”

This time, Yamaguchi was just two kilometers from the explosion’s core. Once more, he was severely hurt, his body covered in burns and scars. He spent hours under the debris before being freed and brought to the hospital.

The Aftermath of the Bombing

The destruction caused by the bombing attacks.
Image by: All that’s Interesting

Yamaguchi resisted telling others his story in the years directly following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He battled to cope with the trauma of his experiences and was plagued by survivor’s guilt, like many other bomb survivors.

In Japan, there was a widespread belief that survivors of the bombings carried a greater risk of health problems and genetic defects. Many survivors faced discrimination in employment, housing, and other areas of life as a result.

Anti-Nuclear War Activism

A news article related to Tsutomu Yamaguchi.
Image by: Facebook

Yamaguchi started talking about his encounters publicly decades later, in the 1950s. In 2005, Yamaguchi discussed his initial reluctance to share his tale in an interview with The Guardian. He said:

“At first, I did not want to talk about it, even to my family. I did not want to relive the memories of that terrible day. But as I grew older, I realized that it was my duty to tell my story, to bear witness to what happened.”

To raise awareness of the horrors of nuclear war and the necessity of striving for a peaceful world, he shared his story in several interviews, including those with the New York Times and the BBC. 

In 2006, he gave a speech and spread his message of peace in the United Nations. The Japanese government honored Yamaguchi with the Order of the Rising Sun in 2009 for his anti-nuclear activism. 

Death and Legacy

Old age picture of Yamaguchi.
Image by: Cultural News

Tsutomu Yamaguchi lived a long life after surviving the two atomic bomb attacks, and he passed away on January 4, 2010, at 93 from stomach cancer.

In the years following his death, numerous people and groups have continued Tsutomu Yamaguchi’s legacy. The “Tsutomu Yamaguchi Legacy of Hope Foundation,” founded in 2015 to foster peace, education, and cultural exchange, is among the most well-known.

In addition to the foundation, many other people and organizations worldwide have continued Yamaguchi’s legacy. His life has been the topic of books, documentaries, and other media. His support for disarmament and peace motivates people to work toward a more fair and peaceful world.


Tsutomu Yamaguchi’s survival of both atomic bombings is a powerful reminder of the human cost of nuclear war and the importance of peace. His life serves as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. He said, “I don’t want anyone else ever to experience what I experienced. I don’t want anyone to suffer the way I suffered.”

American History Blog Posts History Learning Materials

How Did Ancient Rome Influence the Foundations of America?

Ancient Rome was one of the most significant civilizations in human history, and its impact on the modern world is undeniable. The United States of America, in particular, has a rich history closely intertwined with that of ancient Rome. This article will explore how ancient Rome influenced the foundations of America.

Republicanism and Democracy

An address given in an Ancient Rome cabinet.
Image by: Students of History

The Roman concept of republicanism has highly influenced the American systems of government — a government in which citizens have a voice in the decision-making process. Famous historian Gordon S. Wood writes, “The Roman Republic was the model of a virtuous republic in which citizens acted for the common good, and it was the model that American patriots looked to as they established their republic.”  

The Roman’s emphasis on civic duty was incorporated into American political thought. Figures such as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin emphasized that the citizens participating in the political process are a fundamental tenet of both republicanism and democracy.

Law and Justice

Image showing the law of the twelve tables.
Image by: Britannica

Many aspects of Roman law, such as the right to a fair trial and the presumption of innocence, are deeply ingrained in American legal culture. As historian David Brion Davis writes, “The Roman conception of the rule of law, in which even the most powerful individuals were subject to the law, was a key influence on the American legal system.” 

The use of Latin legal terms, such as habeas corpus and pro bono, is also a testament to the influence of Roman law on the American legal system.

Symbols and Institutions

A typical bald eagle in US.
Image by: National Park Service

The United States Supreme Court was modeled after the Roman Republic’s system of magistrates. Justices of the Supreme Court are appointed for life, similar to Roman magistrates’ appointments.

Literature and Language

Art depicting Virgil reading the Aeneid.
Image by: Wikipedia

Latin, the official language of the Roman Empire, has significantly influenced the English language. Many Latin words and expressions are frequently used, especially in law, science, and health. For example, the term “quid pro quo” is commonly used in legal contexts to represent an exchange of goods or services for something else, and the phrase “et cetera” is frequently used in everyday speech to denote “and so on.”

American writers have long studied and admired the writings of Roman authors like Virgil, Ovid, Horace, and Cicero. Walt Whiteman and Herman Melville’s poetic themes of national identity and sacrifice resonate with Virgil’s Aeneid.

Architecture and Design

Image of the Colosseum in Rome.
Image by: Wikipedia

Ancient Rome had a significant impact on the architecture and design of America, particularly during the Neoclassical period of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. This style of architecture was characterized by its use of classical motifs and proportions, drawing heavily on the architectural styles of ancient Greece and Rome.

Image by: Wikipedia

The United States Capitol building, completed in 1800, was designed to resemble a Roman temple. Its dome, the most iconic feature of the building, is modeled after the Pantheon in Rome. 

The Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.
Image by: PBS

The Lincoln Memorial, built in 1922, is also based on the architecture of ancient Rome. It features 36 Doric columns commonly used in ancient Greek and Roman architecture. 

Other than that, the White House, Central Park, Boston Public Garden, Supreme Court Building, and Jefferson Memorial also reflect Roman architecture.


Stone carving of education in Ancient Rome.
Image by: History Learning

Roman education inspired American educational reformer Horace Mann, who advocated for establishing a public education system that would offer a fundamental education to all kids, regardless of their social status or upbringing.

During the colonial era, the United States adopted the Roman classical educational system, which remained a pillar of American education until the early 20th century.

A building of the Harvard University.
Image by: Harvard Official

Harvard University, founded in 1636, was deeply influenced by the classical education system of the Romans. Princeton, Columbia, and the University of Virginia were also modeled after the ancient Roman education system. 


Despite the many differences between the cultures of ancient Rome and contemporary America, it is evident that Rome’s influence is still felt in modern-day America. By studying the past and comprehending its impact on the current society, we can better appreciate the rich history and culture that have shaped the modern world.

Blog Posts History History Adventures Learning Materials

What People in 1923 Predicted About 2023

In 1923, people envisioned what the world might look like 100 years later. From science fiction authors to newspapers, people made many predictions about the technological and societal advancements that might be possible by 2023. Some predictions were far-fetched and unbelievable, while others were surprisingly accurate. In this article, we’ll look at some of the most exciting predictions made about 2023 back in 1923.

Scholars Predicted Advancements in Weather Forecasting

The 1923 magazine Science and Invention published an article predicting that humans would be able to control the weather. The author speculated about several possible methods for controlling the weather, which included using giant fans to move clouds and create rain. 

One article in the 1923 newspaper series by the University of Calgary stated that scholars “accurately predicted advances in meteorology and the ability to forecast weather more accurately.”

Image by: Twitter

Satirical Prediction of Women Shaving Their Heads

A passage in the novel “Crome Yellow” by Aldous Huxley, published in 1921, reads:

“I prophesy that before the end of this century, all the women will wear trousers, and they will find them more comfortable and convenient than skirts. They will also have their hair cut short, and blacken their teeth. Women will become taller, more muscular, and more flat-chested.”

Image by: Twitter

It’s worth noting that this passage is a satirical comment on the cultural changes that were taking place in the early 20th century. Although predictions of women wearing trousers and cutting their hair short became true, others, such as blackening their teeth, did not. 

Cities in the Sky

Image by: Gizmodo

In a 1923 issue of Science and Invention, an article titled “The Science of Tomorrow” predicted that by 2023, people would live in “a new world of sky-scraping aero-cities.” According to the prediction, enormous dirigibles or airships would transport people and products between floating towns in the clouds. 

Air travel is already a standard means of transportation. However, the concept of aero-cities and airship travel is still firmly rooted in science fiction.

No More Hard Work by 2023

Another optimist electrical engineer Dr. Charles P. Steinmetz made a prediction about the future of work. He believed that by 2023, advancements in technology would increase efficiency to the point where people would no longer need to work long hours. Instead, people would be able to get more done in less time, which would lead to shorter work days and more free time for leisure. 

Image by: BoredPanda

Teleportation Would Be Possible

In 1923, the French artist and writer possibility of the teleportation of humans by 2023. Robida described a device that could scan a person’s body, disintegrate it, and recreate it in a new location. Despite ongoing scientific advancements, teleportation remains impossible. However, quantum teleportation has made progress, which involves transferring quantum information from one place to another.

Image by: BBC Sky at Night Magazine

Optimistic Views on Life Expectancy

In 1923, some experts predicted that life expectancy would continue to rise, predicting a lifespan of 100 or 300 years, with some people potentially living much longer.

However, the reality today is that the average life expectancy varies depending on the country. In 2016, the average life expectancy of a baby born in the United States was 76.4 years, while in Australia, it was over 82 years, a decade more than the world average of 72.75 years.

While we may not have reached the wildly optimistic predictions of 100 or 300-year lifespans, there have been significant improvements in public health and medical science over the past century. These improvements have led to longer and healthier lives, and it is likely that life expectancy will continue to rise in the future.

Image by: Twitter

Cities Would Be Covered by Giant Glass Dome

During the 1920s, it was believed that air pollution and extreme weather conditions would make it impossible for people to live in cities. As a solution, some predicted that giant glass domes would cover cities. In 1923, an article in the Chicago Tribune suggested that “in the year 2023, the problem of keeping the rain, the cold, and the wind out of our great cities will have been solved by using mammoth glass domes.” 

While the prediction about giant glass domes did not come true, some attempts have been made to build enclosed cities or biodomes for scientific research and ecological purposes.

Image by: Wikipedia

Final Word

Many of the forecasts made by people in the 1920s were influenced by their hopes and anxieties for the future. Some people were enthusiastic about technology’s ability to fix the world’s problems, while others were concerned that technological advancement would lead to social and environmental degradation. With that said, looking back at these predictions can provide insights into the ambitions and anxieties of the previous era. 

Books Historical Fiction History History Adventures Learning Materials

Discover the 7 Best Graphic Novels About Modern History

The world of comics isn’t limited to superhero battles or Archie and Jughead stories. They can be the gateway to learning about historical events that took place decades ago.

Graphic illustrations in comics about history can capture the essence of historical events, addressing prevalent issues by looking into the past visually.

If you want to dive into a history lesson without the boredom, take a look at the following best graphic novels about modern history, detailing historical events from a unique perspective.


Image by Amazon

MAUS, by Art Spiegelman, depicts the events of the Holocaust from a survivor’s perspective. The author, however, takes a completely postmodern approach while trying to narrate his father’s story as a Polish Jew survivor of World War II.

Spiegelman uses animals such as Mice, Cats, Pigs, Dogs, etc., to depict different identities, such as Jews, Germans, Poles, and Americans, and recounts events of the War and Nazi concentration sites from 1933-1938. This makes the illustrations more captivating and unique.

2. Persepolis

Image by Readings

An autobiographical take visualizing the Islamic Revolution of 1978-79, Persepolis is written by Marjane Satrapi, who draws upon her life’s years in Iran and Austria. The title refers to the Persian Empire’s historical capital.

Through a series of black-and-white images, Satrapi lets readers picture her rebellious, alter-ego personality in Islamized and war-torn Iran. The series of comics follow her life’s journey to Europe, where she navigates Western life and then makes her way back to a Post-Islamic Revolution Iran.

3. They Called Us Enemy

mage by Amazon

This autobiographical memoir illustrates George Takei’s Japanese American identity subjected to legalized racism as his family gets imprisoned in American Concentration Camps during World War II in mid 1940s.

Takei retells his childhood and events in the camp surrounded by barbed wires, where he witnesses fights, arrests, and states of emergency. As Takei’s mother denounces her citizenship, the end of the war brings concerns of heightened racism.

Readers can get enthralled by visual depictions of conversations that stem from fear of persecution in this historically packed graphic novel.

4. Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts

Image by Amazon

In this graphic memoir, Rebecca Hall tells the story of Black women and their significant role in leading slave revolts. She employs research in archives to create a story that describes the lives of Adono and Alele, two black slave women who rebelled for freedom.

The comics utilize a superhero style of illustrations to depict stories of other enslaved women who were part of the rebellion of 1712 and led slave movements for freedom in New York. Hall uses her historical imagination to draw attention to their narratives.

5. Palestine

Image by Goodreads

This graphic novel by Joe Sacco sketches the events taking place on the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the early 90s, marked by the failure of the peace process initiated by the Clinton government before the end of the first Uprising.

The somewhat cartoonish illustrations deviate from mainstream perceptions of the conflict between Israel and Palestine and explain the stories of many Palestinians who have suffered tremendously due to it. Sacco’s storytelling is exceptionally comical but, at the same time, genuine and hard-hitting.

6. Mark: Trilogy

Image by Vox

John Lewis, a U.S. congressman and a prominent leader in the Civil Rights Movement, gives an account of his life’s story through this autobiographical comic trilogy. The black and white illustrations provide an insider view of protests raged by Civil Rights Activists in America as they confronted state troopers in the 1960s.

The illustrations in this trilogy sequentially follow Lewis’ life as a young boy in the fields of Alabama. It goes up to his role as an activist and finally as a U.S. congressman preparing for the inauguration of America’s first Black President.

7. Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: Treaties, Trenches, Mud, and Blood

Image by Amazon

This graphic novel by Nathan Hale engages readers in its true stories of World War I. Similar to ‘MAUS’, Hale uses animals for people to describe famous battles, world leaders, and various technological developments on the cusp of WWI from 1914-1918.

Focusing on the Western Front, the author portrays himself as a war spy about to be hanged and retells the war’s incidents to the provost and executioner. The comics use intelligent humor while adding complexity to unknown aspects of the past.

Final Word

These best historical comics that explore historical events from thought-provoking angles are perfect for people who want to add to their knowledge. Choose the ones you’re the most excited about, and let the fun begin.