An Ox Died. The Making of The Oregon Trail

Few video games have made such an impression on generations of school children as The Oregon Trail. As an elementary student in the ’90’s I vividly recall looking forward to “computer lab,” which was basically Oregon Trail Quiet Hour with a few desperate minutes of Mavis Beacon typing lessons thrown in to justify all the wasted educational time. The…

BE MINE. Love, Esther Howland

Believe it or not, Valentine’s Day existed long before Hallmark and holiday-themed jewelry ads. Valentine greetings were popular even before roses became the “flower of love” or kindergarteners crafted valentine boxes (arguably the best activity in all of K-12). Valentine’s Day goes back to ancient Rome and early Christianity but nobody seems to know exactly…

Typhoid Mary

Mary Mallon was born in Ireland in 1869 and moved to the United States in probably 1884, if what she told her friends was true. Like many other Irish immigrants, she paid the bills as a domestic servant to wealthy families in New York. Eventually she discovered that cooking was her thing and settled into a…