In the mid-19th century, paleontologists scrambling for fossils focused more on the prehistoric ancestors of contemporary creatures than on dinosaurs. But after Charles Darwin published his On the Origin of Species in 1859, the theory of evolution became one of the most controversial topics of the time.
When American paleontologist O.C. Marsh identified the Equus parvulus (now Protohippus), many biologists considered the skeleton to be validation of Darwin's theory. In this brief letter from Charles Darwin to O.C. Marsh, Darwin expresses his thanks for Cope's work in the field.
Aug 31 1880
My dear Prof. Marsh
I received some time ago your very kind note of July 28th, and yesterday the magnificent volume. I have looked with renewed admiration at the plates, and will soon read the text. Your work on these old birds on the many fossil animals of N. America has afforded the best support to the theory of evolution, which has appeared within the last 20 years. The general appearance of the copy which you have sent me is worthy of its contents, and I can say nothing stronger than this.
With cordial thanks, believe me yours very sincerely
The life of the legendary photographer, known best for his black and white images of the wilderness of the American West.
President Theodore Roosevelt was caught in the middle of the first major battle for wilderness preservation in Yosemite National Park.
The contradictory history of a dam that became a statement of American power and prestige.
The Klondike Gold Rush in Canada's Yukon Territory saw 100,000 people make the treacherous journey in search of riches.
The New Deal program CCC put three million young men to work in camps across America.
From Joseph Smith's discovery of gold tablets to persecution, migration, and settlement in Utah, the film explores the history of the most American of religions.
The ultimate frontiersman, Carson inspired popular novels before being associated with the "Long Walk" of the Navajo people.
Three years before the Gold Rush, 87 pioneers took a shortcut westward to California, only to get caught in the snows of the Sierra Nevada.