Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Historical Events

From the Age of Enlightenment to the Christmas Truce, learn about some of history's most pivotal events.

Featured
10 History-making Moments of 2008

If you haven't been keeping news clippings for your 2008 scrapbook, you might've forgotten what happened earlier this year. That's where HowStuffWorks comes in. Here are 10 headlines from 2008 that'll go down in history.


Why Is a Town in Brazil Celebrating the U.S. Confederacy?

One of the most American spots outside of the U.S. is, surprisingly, in Brazil. How did these descendants of the Confederacy end up there?

In 1492, Spain Forced Jews to Flee the Country or Convert to Christianity

An edict King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella issued forced Jews to emigrate, convert to Christianity or die. Unsurprisingly, it caused a wave of terrible effects.

How the Dead Sea Scrolls Work

The origins of the Dead Sea Scrolls have baffled scholars since their discovery in 1947. Who wrote these ancient texts and what do they mean about the history of Judaism?

Brown v. Board Wasn't the First Case to Challenge Jim Crow in Schools

Brown v. Board of Education was a landmark case that advanced the fight against segregation laws, but it was a long road to get there.

How the Stonewall Riots Worked

The Stonewall Riots weren't the first time the LGBTQ community fought back against law enforcement, but they are a pivotal moment in the gay rights movement.

When Irish Immigrants Weren't Considered 'White'

In the mid-1800s, the white American establishment feared Irish immigrants would alter the country's makeup with foreign religion and customs.

Ridiculous History: When U.S. Farmers Went Mad for Bird Poop

And people were sailing to remote islands to get it.

Ridiculous History: Ancient Armies Waged War With Hallucinogenic Honey

Sweet, delicious honey may seem like a strange ingredient for toxic warfare, but "mad honey" was, and still is, a potent poison.

New Cave Discovered at Dead Sea Scrolls Site

Archaeologists say that what's missing in Cave 12, the first new cave found at Qumran in 60 years, might be more important than what's inside.

What Was the Very First Toothbrush?

You could probably give up a lot of things in this world, but could you give up your toothbrush?