Historical Events

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


Prehistoric people cooked food in ceramic pots, and the oldest known evidence of cooked vegetables has now been found in the Sahara desert.

New discoveries at ruins near the central Greek town of Vlochós suggest the area was more important in ancient times than previously thought.

Pacifism is more than just opposition to war. There are many types of pacifism, and some peace movements have successfully changed laws. But is pacifism still a valid concept in today's world of terrorism?

From 1854 to 1941, the London Necropolis Railway carried the dead and the living who mourned them alike to the largest cemetery in the world.

Here are just 10 of the countless events in our history that have stoked fear among the masses — and rightfully so.

Where were you when Farrah Fawcett died? Chances are you don't remember. But if we threw out Michael Jackson's name that might ring a bell. Guess what? Both events were on the same day.

From more than 100 years ago and up until World War II, navies used wild "razzle dazzle camouflage" paint patterns and colors to thwart enemies.

After nearly half a century capturing the attention and imaginations of millions, the infamous D.B. Cooper plane-hijacking case has been closed. Will we ever know the true culprit?

Spite is not just for kids with broken toys. Many adults have gone to unbelievable lengths to pay back someone who did 'em wrong. Here are 10 classic examples.

The Gold Rush-era Egg War of 1863 saw business competitors in San Francisco engage in lethal violence... over eggs?

Linguistic and cultural clues have long suggested Madagascar's prehistoric human settlers came from Southeast Asia, but now scientists have found physical proof.

A new exhibition creates exact replicas of cave art, found in a remote region along the Silk Road and spanning centuries, cultures and styles.

The presidential digs have housed more than a few untraditional pets through the years. Rebecca the Raccoon and Josiah the Badger are but two.

Identity errors have led to a range of awfulness, from lengthy prison sentences to the wrong person being declared dead.

Controversies surround not just the possible existence of hidden chambers, but even the ability of Egyptologists to undertake the search for them.

Mastodon remains and stone knives discovered in Florida show human activity predating the Clovis people, long thought to be the region's first human settlers.

On the first Sunday in October, a fountain in the Italian town of Marino flows with wine. One year, however, things didn't go as planned.

With oil prices dropping, a report showed some cargo ships found it cheaper to sail around South Africa, rather than paying $465,000 to go through the Suez Canal.

In 1835, a newspaper ran a series of articles on lunar discoveries, leading papers to fly off the shelf. There was just one problem.

A phone call from an early-1900s rural homestead was at the forefront of communications technology, and farms were the most networked communities of the time.

Imagine a researcher eavesdropping on your conversation from underneath your bed and recording it for an experiment. That really happened.

How to go from a Bible verse to carving canals with nukes in just a few easy steps — almost. Learn how operation plowshare worked at HowStuffWorks.

Think systemic racism was only a problem in the Southern slave states? Think again. It was alive and well in the Northwest, too. Is it still?

Imagine 2.3 million gallons of molasses pouring down city streets in a massive, lethal wave. That was the scene in Boston on January 15, 1919.

Mass hysteria epidemics are not as rare as you might think. They often occur in small, insular worlds like schools and factories where people feel stressed. We've got examples from the 16th century to the 21st.