17 Things You Didn’t Know About Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman Facts

Today marks 196 years since Walt Whitman was born in West Hills, New York. While the American poet, essayist and journalist was considered radical for his opinions on many topics—labor issues, immigration, sexuality and capital punishment, among others—during his life, he’s now revered as one of the country’s most influential poets. Whitman’s life’s work, Leaves of Grass, broke away from the poetic conventions of his day, moving poetry forward in a surprising number of ways.

As an ode to the “father of free verse,” here are 17 facts about Walt Whitman that might surprise you.

Can’t get enough of Whitman? Check out this short video biography, or check out more surprising facts about Nikola Tesla, Isaac Newton, and Albert Einstein.

Post-War Angst: The Sordid History Of MCs In America

History of MCs in the USA

Source: Fox News

The recent MC brawl in North Texas was a large-scale eruption of violence by most standards: nine people died, and another 18 were hospitalized. A whopping 170 individuals were arrested. One Twin Peaks restaurant closed, and police confiscated hundreds of guns, knives and other weapons.

Somehow this degree of destruction was possible even though police were outside of the restaurant before the fighting started. But when you look back at the history of MCs in the United States, it’s pretty obvious that this behavior isn’t anything new.

Twin Peaks Motorcycle Brawl

Source: Aljazeera

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The Silent Millions: American Citizens Who Aren’t Allowed To Vote

Voting Rights Lead

Source: Vice

Imagine you were born in the United States of America, of parents who were also native-born citizens of the United States. You work, pay taxes, serve on juries, and remember the six years you spent in the US Navy as a terrible mistake, but at least you stuck it out and earned an honorable discharge.

Now, imagine that every four years, as the only country you’ve ever known goes into its regular paroxysm of national political coverage, conventions, and elections, you stay at home and watch The Price is Right, because you’re one of the almost five million citizens who isn’t allowed to vote in federal elections due to where you live.

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St. Augustine’s Architecture Tells The Story Of Its Rich Multicultural History

St. Augustine Lions Bridge

St. Augustine’s lions guard the entrance to the Bridge of Lions. Source: Susan Sims

The Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock in 1620, but by this time the Spaniards already had a colonial experiment in action—and it wasn’t in frozen Massachusetts. St. Augustine, Florida is the oldest continuously occupied European-founded city in the United States. Existing long before the American Revolutionary War, affirmative action, and women’s suffrage, this multicultural city’s impressive history can be seen in its architecture.

Lions Bridge in Florida

Known as “the most beautiful bridge in Dixie,” the Bridge of Lions was designed not only for transport but to be a work of art. The lions at the head of the bridge are copies of the Medici lions found at the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence, Italy. Source: Susan Sims

Cannons St. Augustine

Cannons guard the gates of the Fountain of Youth, an area originally explored by Pedro Menéndez. Source: Susan Sims


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