Can you believe HistoryBuff’s only been around for less than three months? We’ve had such a great time sharing our love of history with you all. As we close out 2015, we wanted to highlight some of our favorite pieces from the year—with a special focus on those you might have missed the first time around.

They Live Like Victorians, and You Hate Them for It. Maybe You Shouldn’t.

Photo courtesy Estar Hyo Gyung Choi berry picking (1)

courtesy Estar Hyo Gyung Choi

In our very first feature, we reconsider the merits of mocking a couple who gained notoriety for their 19th-century lifestyle.

The Long, Strange Evolution of Cleopatra’s Looks

Cleopatra Jordaens
Cleopatra didn’t always look like Angelina Jolie in the Western imagination.

Why Did it Take the New York Times 40 Years to Discover Pizza? 


via Flickr

We track down NYC’s foremost pizza historian to discover why the Grey Lady was so late to the pizza party.

Meet Russia’s All-Women Battalion of Death

They spat, they smoked—this WWI battalion of women was tough as nails.

A Millennial Takes on Thoreau

Maybe Thoreau fandom is just a phase, but it’s an important one.

Nikola Tesla Was a Virgin with OCD who Fell in Love with a Pigeon 

Tesla photo
Widely known as a certifiable genius and one of the visionaries behind modern electricity, here are a few things you just might not know about famed Serbian scientist Nikola Tesla.

Ever Wonder What Women Did Before Menstrual Pads? No? Well Here’s the Answer Anyway

Woman In White In Repose
A brief history of menstruation.

Julia and Caroline’s Excellent Adventure at Shanghai Mermaid’s Victorian Seance

bootleg spirit photo 1
Two of our staffers get spooky at New York City’s most historic Halloween party.

The Celebs Who Attended the #BronxIsBurning Party Need a History Lesson

A true story of urban planning gone horrifically wrong.

12 Insane Gifts LBJ Gave His Biographer Doris Kearns Goodwin

Underwhelmed by your Christmas haul this year? At least you’re not Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Boys of Summer: Chill Times With America’s Presidents 


via Huffington Post

Who has the best dad bod? You be the judge.

5 Reasons Bram Stoker Believed Elizabeth I Was a Man in Drag

The “Dracula” author was also a conspiracy theorist, and one of his oddest obsessions was focused on Elizabeth I’s gender.

We Need to Talk About These 7 Actual Colonial American Names

With baby names ranging from Fear Brewster to Turbutt Francis, 18th-century parents in the New World sure were creative. Or sadistic. One or the other.

Side Chicks of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries

Madame de Maintenon. Image via Wikimedia Commons.
In the early modern era, les rois carved out a formal position in their courts for the most important minister of all – the official mistress, or maîtresse-en-titre.

The Coolest Pet in White House History Was a Snake Named Emily Spinach


via stories, etc + Wikimedia

Alice Roosevelt’s constant companion slithered her way into our hearts.

I Accidentally Uncovered a 19th Century Con Woman and Probable Murderer

Eleanor's glamour shot with her prematurely autopsied son.
If you think archive work is dull, you’re not paying enough attention.

Straw Hats Turned New York City into a War Zone in 1922


via Fashion Through Time

This stranger-than-fiction sartorial dispute started a bloody, three-day riot.
Featured image via NYPL