Tag Archives: History

World War I trench warfare

Christmas Truce of 1914

World War I is remembered as the first modern war, a devastating conflict that forced people to abandon sentimentality. But early in that conflict, an amazing thing happened: soldiers on opposing sides of battlefields across Europe spontaneously set down their weapons to celebrate Christmas together.

Scientist experimenting with a water sample

Eureka!

“One sometimes finds what one is not looking for,” said Alexander Fleming, whose chance observation of a contaminated experiment led to the the world’s first antibiotic. This Smithsonian article discusses inventions and discoveries that centered on a flash of insight in a mind prepared to see what it wasn’t looking for.