A documentary web series highlighting the “darkest” moments in American history. Each episode takes a deep dive into the most tragic, bloody, and/or mysterious subject matter out there — and one thing is certain: this isn’t stuff you learned in your high school history class. Dark History is heavily motion-designed and uses historical photographs, footage, and documentation — as well as interviews from seasoned experts and witnesses — to tell each story.
Credits* // Maple Shipp Executive Producer, Creative Director, Writer, Editor, Sound Designer, Animator Melissa Smith Producer Jordan Bergren Lead Designer, Animator Fernando Perezvila Designer Analia Perezvila Animator Virginia Gilles Designer, Animator Carrie Epperly Designer, Animator Liam Clisham Designer, Animator Rachael Park Designer, Animator
*DP credits available upon request
Dark History: U.S.S. Indianapolis
It was a feeding frenzy after a Japanese submarine torpedoed the USS Indianapolis on July 30, 1945 during World War II. Some 900 American sailors were stranded in shark-infested waters, where an estimated 50 men a day were ripped apart by the sharks. It was the largest shark attack in US history.
Dark History: The Harding Scandal
In this episode of Dark History, Warren G. Harding is arguably America's least-known, least respected president. But the scandal of his legacy would reach beyond politics — into the bedroom. His erotic letters and a best-selling book would later reveal Harding had steamy extramarital affairs with at least two women during his political career: one a suspected German spy during World War I, the other a woman half his age who would bear his secret child.
Dark History: The Elaine Massacre
American streets ran with blood in 1919 during what would become known as "Red Summer". In the small town of Elaine, Arkansas, racial tensions turned to riots after African-American sharecroppers tried to unionize. A staggering 237 people were estimated to be hunted down and killed in what is now known as the Elaine Massacre. The bloodbath made its way all the way up to the United States Supreme Court.