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Here are the best articles on history we published this year

Over Christmas, we’re rounding up the best of our work from 2015 so that you have something to read when you get sick of the Brussels sprouts. Today, it’s our best articles on the past.

  • When New York created central park it bulldozed a whole village of African American landowners.
  • A million New Yorkers used to move house on the same day every year. It was bloody chaos.
  • And in 1922, the city had a three day riot – about straw hats.

A 1919 newspaper ad for the offending items. Image: Steve Strummer/Wikimedia Commons.

  • On the other side of the world, ISIS has been bulldozing some of the world’s first cities. Here’s what we’re losing.
  • Staying with the Middle East, most of its cities don’t have nearly enough water. Is that the biggest threat to the region?
  • Oh, and down in Yemen, there’s a city of 500 year old skyscrapers made of mud.

And then there was this:

Image: Devilm25 / VulcanTrekkie45CC BY.


  • In the 1920s, a German architect planned to dam the Mediterranean and merge Europe with Africa.
  • In February, we looked at why blimps and airships died out – and how they might make a comeback.
  • Ever wondered why so many of England’s northern cities merge into each other? It’s all a matter of economic history.
  • Lastly, here are six terrible construction projects we’re kind of glad were never built.

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