Four Little-Known Antebellum Slave Uprisings That Helped Bring About The Civil War

From razing New York City to torching Louisiana plantations, these slave revolts paved the way for the Civil War, and the eventual abolition of slavery.

Failed Slave Revolts

Scenes from Nat Turner’s 1831 Rebellion — this rebellion is well known, but many preceded it. Image Source: Library of Congress

Over 300 years ago, a group of black slaves staged an uprising in New York City. The amount of insurrectionists is unclear, but on April 6, 1712, they set fire to a building on Maiden Lane, near Broadway. When the white colonists came to put out the fire, the insurrectionists attacked them, killing nine and injuring eight.

The rebellion resulted in the arrest of 70 blacks, and the trial of 43. 14 were (surprisingly, for the time) acquitted, whereas 20 were hanged, and three were burned at the stake.

The results of the rebellion point to failure, but that didn’t stop other groups of black slaves from attempting insurrections of their own. Here are four memorable examples.

33 Stunning Frida Kahlo Photos And Facts

To know Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is to understand the physical suffering she endured. First, she contracted polio at a young age, which withered one of her legs. And that wasn’t even the worst of it.

At age 18, Kahlo endured a bus accident that propelled a metal handrail through her hip, tearing through her pelvis, and exiting through her vagina. The collision also crushed her foot, fractured her leg in 11 places, and severely damaged her spinal cord, among other injuries.

But it was during the initial year spent recovering from this accident that she first put brush to canvas, and let people witness her excruciating pain through art.

And it is both this tumultuous life and the brilliant art it inspired that are illuminated in the fascinating Frida Kahlo photos, paintings, and facts below:

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Frida Kahlo Photos Childhood

Kahlo realized that after she was diagnosed with Polio, her parents gave her more attention than they had previously. “My papa and mama began to spoil me a lot and love me more,” she told psychology student Olga Campos, who interviewed Frida for a book she intended to publish.

Kahlo had a loving relationship with her father, but showed no warm feelings toward her mother.

Image Source: Rubi Joselin Ibarra and Arturo Alfaro Galán

Frida Kahlo Photos Seated

Kahlo was enrolled in the National Preparatory School at age 13, where she was one of only 35 girls in a student body of 2,000.

Left, Kahlo in 1926, by Guillermo Kahlo.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Frida Kahlo Life Holding Statue

Kahlo's parents sent her to the school after they found some letters exchanged between Kahlo and her former teacher, Sara Zenil, who had instigated an inappropriate relationship with the young girl.

Image Source: Casamérica

Frida Kahlo Life Diego Portrait Pose

It was at the National Preparatory School where Kahlo met her future husband, Diego Rivera.

Kahlo was 15, Rivera, 36. He was a famous artist in his own right, and Kahlo fell for him instantly. She reportedly told her school friends that someday she would have his babies. Pictured: Kahlo and Rivera in 1930.

Image Source: La Veu del País Valencià

Frida Kahlo Life Androgynous Suit

In this family portrait, an 18 or 19 year old Kahlo is dressed in a suit with slicked back hair, circa 1926. This was Kahlo’s way of expressing her somewhat androgynous identity while also covering her polio-withered leg.

Image Source: Libby Rosof, Vicente Wolf Photography

Frida Kahlo Life Apron

Kahlo’s boyfriend at the time of the bus accident, Alejandro Gómez Arias, was with her when the accident occurred.

In true Kahlo style, even this tragedy seemed surreal. Of the accident, Arias has said: “Someone in the bus, probably a housepainter, had been carrying a packet of powdered gold. This package broke, and the gold fell all over the bleeding body of Frida.”

Image Source: Universidad Carlos III de Madrid © Archive Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, Banco de Mexico

Frida Kahlo Life Easel Painting

Starting to paint during her recovery, most of Kahlo’s works were self-portraits. "I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best," Kahlo said.

Image Source: Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Frida Kahlo Life Self Portraits

Kahlo's obsession with self-portraits may have begun with her father, Guillermo's tendency to photograph her often. Today, one of her most famous paintings is a double self-portrait named The Two Fridas.

Image Source: Rubi Joselin Ibarra

Frida Kahlo Life Diego Malu

Kahlo and Diego Rivera reconnected in 1928. She showed him her paintings and he was impressed – and assured her that she was very talented.

Pictured: Kahlo with Diego Rivera and Malu Block, daughter of the politician Luis Cabrera.

Image Source: Carl Van Vechten

Frida Kahlo Life Odd Couple

Wikimedia CommonsThey married the next year, beginning what would be a highly tumultuous relationship.

Frida Kahlo Life Shawl Jewelry

Very involved in Mexican politics and the Communist party, Kahlo admired these same interests in her husband, who was part of a post-revolutionary movement known as Mexicanidad – the rejection of Western influence.

Image Source: Guillermo Kahlo.

Frida Kahlo Life Chair Pose

FlickrKahlo was proud of her prominent eyebrows and trademark lip hair, even grooming them with special combs and including them in her self-portraits.

Frida Kahlo Life Henry Ford Hospital

Over the years, Kahlo became more seasoned in painting, using her three miscarriages or abortions as fodder for some of her most emotional work, as in the 1932 painting "Henry Ford Hospital," above.

Image Source: Enrique Arias.

Frida Kahlo Life Wild Hair

FlickrThe bus accident led to Kahlo having difficulty conceiving or bearing a child, but some say that even if she would have been physically able to bear children, she was not psychologically stable enough to do so.

Pictured: Kahlo in New York, 1938.

Frida Kahlo Life Red Shawl Diego

In her diaries, she admits to being obsessed with Rivera. “Diego in my urine— / Diego in my mouth / —in my heart, in my madness, in my sleep . . .” she wrote.

She even filled Rivera’s bath with toys and bathed him like the child she never had.

Image Source: left, Beate Knappe and Koiart66

Frida Kahlo Life Smoking Portrait

FlickrKahlo and Rivera both had many extramarital affairs, once even with the same woman. Rivera often bragged of Kahlo’s relationships with women, but was jealous of the ones with men.

It was Rivera’s affair with Kahlo’s sister that sent Kahlo into a depression, during which she cut off most of her hair.

Pictured: with self-portrait of Diego Rivera, circa 1945.

Frida Kahlo Life Vogue

Wikimedia CommonsAfter Rivera’s affair with Kahlo’s sister, they divorced, only to get remarried again about a year later.

They often lived separately after that, but most of the time still adjacent to each other.

Pictured: Kahlo on a 1937 "Señoras of Mexico" photo shoot for Vogue magazine.

Frida Kahlo Life Laughing Red Shawl

Kahlo is rumored to have had affairs with some very high-profile people — among them artist Georgia O’Keeffe, entertainer Josephine Baker, singer Chavela Vargas, and photographer Nickolas Muray (credited with this photo) just to name a few.

Pictured: left, Kahlo with Chavela Vargas.

Image Source: Nickolas Muray and Rael Garcia Arnes.

Frida Kahlo Life Gazing Ball

In 1937, Kahlo and Rivera helped exiled Soviet communist Leon Trotsky and his wife by providing them asylum in Mexico. Kahlo and Trotsky had a brief affair, which upset Rivera immensely.

Pictured: in Coyoacan, circa 1938.

Image Source: Libby Rosof, Vicente Wolf Photography Collection

Frida Kahlo Life Flowers

Kahlo’s health continued to deteriorate due to complications from her accident and childhood polio. She had already had several toes amputated due to gangrene, and suffered from ongoing fungus infections in her right hand.

Pictured: Kahlo on a boat ride in the canal gardens of Xochimilco.

Image Source: Libby Rosof, Vicente Wolf Photography Collection.

Frida Kahlo Life Studio

With Kahlo’s health on the decline, she had several more surgeries, furthering the attention she got when going under the knife. In her dramatic variation of Munchausen disorder, she turned her hospital stays into virtual parties.

According to Amy Fine Collins, "Frida exhorted her guests to look at her oozing sore, and when doctors drained it, Hayden Herrera wrote, she would 'exclaim over the beautiful shade of green.'”

Image Source: Libby Rosof, Vicente Wolf Photography Collection

Frida Kahlo Life Balcony Still

According to Collins, by 1939, Kahlo was drinking a bottle of brandy a day.

Image Source: Daniel Wold.

Frida Kahlo Life Parrots Portrait

Kahlo once said in a letter to a friend, “I drank because I wanted to drown my sorrows, but now the damn things have learned to swim.”

Image Source: Flickr

Frida Kahlo Life Diego Bed

Here, Kahlo can be seen reclining in bed with Rivera, sometime between 1942 and 1945. Kahlo is often regarded as a feminist icon, but it seems that she was dependent on her husband in a way that would make some feminists uneasy.

Image Source: Chester Dale

Frida Kahlo Life Poor Little Deer

FlickrShe also tended to paint herself as a quiet, suffering individual. Such a sentiment can be seen in this 1946 painting, "The Wounded Deer."

Frida Kahlo Life Water

FlickrIn 1946, Kahlo endured a painful surgery to fuse vertebrae in her spine.

Frida Kahlo Life Broken Column Wheelchair

Here, we can see Kahlo after the operation. Of the doctor who performed her surgery, she wrote, “He is so marvelous this doctor, and my body is so full of vitality.”

Image Source: Flickr

Frida Kahlo Life With Dog

When her diet of cigarettes and sweets caught up with her and her teeth started to rot, Kahlo had two sets of custom dentures made; one with diamonds and one with gold.

Image Source: Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Frida Kahlo Life With Fawn

FlickrIn 1950, Kahlo had more surgery on her spinal column, as it was determined that the doctor she’d liked so much fused the wrong vertebrae.

The incision sites became abscessed, and the procedure had to be done a third time. Kahlo was in a hospital bed for more than a year.

Frida Kahlo Life Black And White Stamp

Wikimedia CommonsThe last of her 30-plus surgeries was the amputation of her right leg in 1953.

Frida Kahlo Sitting Braid Painting Monkeys

Frida Kahlo died on July 13th, 1954, not long after the amputation. Records show that cause of death was a pulmonary embolism, but many insist that it was suicide by overdose of painkillers.

Image Source: Sandra Gonzalez and Edward Weston

Frida Kahlo life diary pages

As further proof that Kahlo committed suicide, this quote was found in the pages of her diary, "I hope the exit is joyful — and I hope never to return — Frida".

Image Source: Sonja Alves

Frida Kahlo Life Street Art Leaves Portrait

Her legacy lives on: On an individual level, people connect with Kahlo’s portrayals of feeling damaged and alone.

At a broader level, Californian Chicano artists have been incorporating her image into murals since the 1970s as a way to celebrate her work as well as their own heritage.

Image Source: Flickr

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These 39 Surprising Eiffel Tower Facts And Photos Tell The Story You’ve Never Heard

When you hear the word “Paris,” the first thing that comes to mind is almost certainly the Eiffel Tower. But did you know many Parisians never wanted it built, and protested its construction vehemently? Or that even the French government wanted it torn down just 20 years after its 1889 inauguration?

Yet still it stands today, as perhaps the best-known manmade structure in the world. But the journey that’s kept the tower standing has been far from easy — or expected. Let these surprising Eiffel Tower facts and photos reveal everything you never knew about this supremely iconic landmark.

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Clouds Tower

PixabayToday, the Eiffel Tower attracts a staggering 7 million visitors and brings in an equally staggering $495 million each year...

Looking Up Middle

FlickrBut its standing wasn't always so secure. Its troubled, surprising history is filled with countless close calls and near misses...

Night Lights Red Clouds

FlickrIn fact, on several different occasions, it came very close to never being built in the first place...

First Drawing

Wikimedia CommonsThe world of course associates the creation of the Eiffel Tower with Gustave Eiffel. However, it was actually designed by two of his employees, Émile Nouguier and Maurice Koechlin, whose original drawing for the tower appears above.


In fact, Eiffel showed little interest in the two men's design. So, Koechlin (top left) and Nouguier (top right) asked another Eiffel employee, Stephen Sauvestre (bottom), for help. After the three created a new design, Eiffel signed off on it.

Image Sources (clockwise from top left): Wikimedia Commons, Wikimedia Commons,

Gustave Eiffel

Wikimedia CommonsAfter Eiffel (above) bought the design, he signed a government contract that allowed him to receive any and all commercial revenue the tower would generate.

Charles Garnier

Wikimedia CommonsBut even though the contract was signed and the deal was done, a large and vocal community of Parisians strongly opposed the tower's construction.

Led by architect Charles Garnier (above), this "Committee of Three Hundred" believed the tower was an aesthetic abomination.

They published a petition in Le Temps newspaper, writing that "this useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower" would dominate Paris "like a gigantic black smokestack" and that the city's other monuments would "disappear in this ghastly dream. And for twenty years [...] we shall see stretching like a blot of ink the hateful shadow of the hateful column of bolted sheet metal."

Foundation Pit

Wikimedia CommonsThat petition stated that the tower would blight the city for 20 years because it was originally only to stay up for that long, at which point it would be disassembled.

But first, of course, it had to be built. Construction on the foundations (above) began on January 28, 1887.

Because of the tower's immense size, the foundation began 50 feet below ground and used concrete slabs as much as 20 feet thick.

Base Initial Construction

Wikimedia CommonsThe rest of the numbers behind the tower's construction are equally astounding. For example, the tower is made up of 8,038 pieces joined together by 2.5 million rivets.

Legs Construction

Wikimedia CommonsAll these parts add up to a total weight of 10,100 tons...

Base Constructed

Wikimedia Commons...which is actually extremely light, given the tower's height of 984 feet. This is of course due to the tower's remarkably efficient design, which used as few parts as necessary to keep the tower erect.

Base Full

Wikimedia CommonsIn fact, there is so much empty space in the tower's design that if you melted down all of its metal and poured it into the tower's case, it would rise just 2.46 inches high.

Arch Base

Wikimedia CommonsIt was built this way because the designers knew that something so tall would have to be able to stand up to the elements, namely wind, heat, and cold.

Thus, the tower's design allows it to be extremely adaptable. The tower sways by as much as three inches in the wind and expands and shrinks by as much as seven inches in the heat and cold, respectively.

Arch Tower

Wikimedia CommonsDespite braving the elements themselves (not to mention unprecedented heights), the tower's 300 construction workers only saw one of their colleagues die due to an onsite accident -- a very low rate, given the circumstances.

Full Tower

Wikimedia CommonsWith so many men on the job, construction moved at a brisk pace, and the tower was completed in late March, 1889.

Upon completion, it became the tallest tower in the world by an unprecedented margin, at just under twice the size of its closest competitor. That magnitude of difference between the world's tallest and second tallest structures has never even been approached at any point in history before or since.

Eiffel Tower Chrysler Building

The Eiffel Tower held its title until 1930, when New York's Chrysler Building (right) bested it by 60 feet.

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons (left), Wikimedia Commons (right).

Engraved Names

Wikimedia CommonsBut even after the tower finally reached its record height in March 1889, there were still a few intriguing embellishments left to be made.

For example, Eiffel had the names of 72 inspirational and influential French scientists, engineers, and mathematicians engraved on the tower just underneath the first balcony (above).

The names were painted over in the early 20th century but finally restored in 1986. Read the full list of names here.

Top Apartment

House BeautifulEven more so than the engraved names, perhaps the tower's most interesting embellishment was the secret personal apartment that Eiffel had built at the top of the tower (above).

Eiffel used the apartment to conduct experiments and entertain guests, including famous ones like Thomas Edison. The apartment is now open to the public.

Eiffel Tower Facts Exposition

Wikimedia CommonsWhile secrets like the apartment remained hidden for many, many years, the tower as a whole immediately fulfilled its purpose of creating a very public spectacle.

This began with the very reason the tower was constructed in the first place: to be the centerpiece of the 1889 Exposition Universelle, a world's fair commemorating the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution.

Exposition 1889 Crowd

Wikimedia CommonsThe tower served as the entrance point for the exposition (above), with workers laboring through the night before the opening to complete the stairs that would allow the public to walk up the tower.

Other attractions at the exposition included Buffalo Bill's "Wild West Show" and a "Negro village," a human zoo filled with Africans.

Lumiere Film

YouTubeAfter the 1889 Exposition Universelle, the tower remained its hold on the public imagination, attracting all manner of people interested to explore its possibilities.

In 1898, the Lumiere brothers, often credited as the inventors of the motion picture, rode up the Eiffel Tower's elevator, filming all the way (see a still from that clip above and watch the full clip here.

Santos Dumont Number Five

Wikimedia CommonsIn 1901, pioneering aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont made a daring flight from the Paris suburb of Saint-Cloud into the city and around the Eiffel Tower. Many credit this flight with kickstarting the early 20th century's airship craze.

Moriarty Fly Under

YouTubeSince Santos-dumont, many brave pilots have performed stunts involving the Eiffel Tower, including Robert Moriarty, who flew a Beechcraft Bonanza single-engine plane underneath the tower at high speeds in 1984 with a camera rolling from the cockpit the whole time (still above, full video here).

Reichelt Before Jump

YouTubeWhile stunts like Moriarty's were certainly daring, they were pulled off successfully and safely. However, one of the very first airborne stunts involving the tower did not end so well.

In 1912, Franz Reichelt (above), an Austrian tailor who'd claimed to invent his own kind of parachute, organized a public test of his invention in which he'd jump from the Eiffel Tower.

Reichelt During Jump

YouTubeHis parachute didn't fully open and he fell 187 feet to his death in front of a crowd of onlookers and a cameraman (still above and full video here).

Pierre Labric

PinterestDespite Reichelt's death, the tower did not scare daredevils away. In 1926, a journalist named Pierre Labric rode from the first floor (where Reichelt jumped from, 187 feet above the ground) down to the base on his bicycle (above).

Coutard Descuns

PinterestAs the years went on, the bike stunts naturally became more and more daring. In 1983, Charles Coutard and Joël Descuns (above) rode up and down the tower on their motocross bikes.

Victor Lustig Eiffel Tower

And while the tower has always attracted the daring, it's also attracted the downright audacious. For one, in 1925, infamous conman Victor Lustig "sold" the tower for scrap metal -- twice.

Pretending to be a government official and taking advantage of the tower's very public state of disrepair at the time, Lustig convinced two different sets of wealthy scrap metal dealers, one month apart, that he'd been authorized to sell the tower for parts. Both times, he evaded capture.

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons (left), Wikimedia Commons (right).

Citroen Ad

Wikimedia CommonsOf course, while Lustig fraudulently "sold" the tower twice, it didn't take long before the tower was actually sold, in a manner of speaking.

From 1925 to 1934, three of the tower's sides were illuminated with enormous advertisements for French auto manufacturer Citroën.


Wikimedia CommonsIn recent decades, the illumination of the tower has reached its zenith, with astounding fireworks displays not even remotely possible back when Citroën lit up three of the tower's sides.

Eiffel Tower Facts France

Wikimedia CommonsMore so than any other stunts (be it with planes, bikes, or parachutes), these dazzling fireworks and light displays have become the tower's great source of spectacle nowadays, at least since the tower was taken over by a management company in 1986. From that point until the present, the tower has enjoyed a long period of good health and popularity.

World War I Guard

Wikimedia CommonsBut before that management company took over -- and especially during France's tumultuous first half of the 20th century -- the tower had many close calls.

For starters, while the areas in and around Paris saw plenty of action during World War I (see the wartime guard at the tower above), the tower made it through unscathed. It even housed a radio transmitter that jammed German communications, helping the Allies achieve victory at the First Battle of the Marne.

Nazis Hitler Eiffel Tower

Wikimedia CommonsHowever, the tower's fate was far more uncertain during World War II. When Hitler and the Nazis (above) stormed Paris, they took control of the tower, closing it to the public, cutting the elevator cables, and raising a swastika flag.

Hitler Eiffel Tower

Wikimedia CommonsHowever, the first flag was so large that it blew away and was replaced by a smaller one a few hours later.

Von Choltitz Tower

By 1944, however, the tide of the war had turned against the Nazis and they were losing their grip on Paris. Desperate to see it destroyed if he couldn't control it himself, Hitler ordered Paris' German commander, Dietrich von Choltitz (above), to demolish the tower (along with many of the rest of the city's major landmarks).

Von Choltitz refused, thus saving the tower and Paris. He would later claim that he loved the city too much and that he knew Hitler was, by that point, insane.

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons (left), Wikimedia Commons (right).

French Flag World War Ii

Wikimedia CommonsAfter von Choltitz and the Germans were ousted, several groups raced to be the first to restore the French flag atop the tower (above). The first man to the top was a fire marshal who quickly made a flag by gathering three white bed sheets, dying one red, another blue, and then stitching the three together.

De Gaulle Tower

Even after World War II and the tower's closest brush with death, there were a few close calls.

In 1967, French President Charles de Gaulle (above) negotiated a deal with the mayor of Montreal to dismantle the tower and move it there temporarily. The plan was ultimately abandoned out of fear that the French government (who, remember, originally wanted it dismantled after just 20 years) wouldn't allow the tower to be rebuilt after returning from Montreal.

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons (left), Wikimedia Commons (right).

Eiffel Tower Facts Line

Wikimedia CommonsSince then -- and especially since new management took over in the 1980s -- the tower's future has been secure and its popularity booming (see the visitor's line above). Since the late 1960s, the tower's annual number of visitors has more than tripled.

Men Repainting Tower

Wikimedia CommonsNowadays, perhaps the biggest maintenance concern is merely the repainting that needs to be done every seven years -- in which it takes 60 tons of paint (which is the weight of about seven elephants).

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The Four Strangest Presidential Assassination Attempts

From an attack motivated by an Internet flame war to a bizarre failed plane hijacking, these presidential assassination attempts will make you glad most people are wildly incompetent.

Reagan Assassination Attempt

The aftermath of an assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan, outside the Hilton hotel in Washington DC. Image Source: Twitter

March 30 marks the anniversary of John Hinckley’s failed 1981 attempt to assassinate Ronald Reagan. The incident left the president and press secretary wounded and was a huge embarrassment to actress Jodie Foster, who was the object of Hinckley’s obsession and his declared reason for shooting the president.

Predictably, the attempt sparked a national debate over mental health issues, and Hinckley’s successful insanity defense prompted Congress to tighten up laws regarding its use in court. In a way, it’s funny that Hinckley’s attempt sparked these changes, when there have been so many mentally distressed individuals, before and after him, who thought that killing the president would solve their problems…

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