American History

Explore the development of the United States with this collection of articles about American history. Topics in this section include the American Revolution, the gold rush and the expansion of the West.

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Perhaps best known as the last home of Elisa Lam before her mysterious death, the Cecil Hotel has a sordid past full of murders and mayhem. Care to step inside?

By Nathan Chandler

Surfboards, huarache sandals and endless sunshine? Yes. But throw in some Conquistadors, a trashy Spanish novel, Black Amazons, mythological creatures and, of course, Charlemagne and — voilà — the name "California" is born.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

An alliance between well-meaning social reformers and land-hungry farmers resulted in a federal act that caused Native Americans to lose millions of acres of land they had once owned. Here's what happened.

By Dave Roos

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Nathaniel Bacon led an armed rebellion in 17th century Colonial America against Gov. William Berkeley. The rebellion was brief but its ramifications changed the course of American history.

By Carrie Whitney, Ph.D.

The British imposition of the Stamp Act in 1765 drew street demonstrations against the new law in the American colonies, resulting in its eventual repeal.

By Wendy Bowman

This war fought between the U.S. and its neighbor to the south is one of the bloodiest in America's history. So why is it so often forgotten?

By John Donovan

Some consider Shawnee leader Tecumseh to be one of the most remarkable Native Americans in history. He stood not just for the Shawnee. He stood for all Native Americans.

By John Donovan

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President Abraham Lincoln signed into law that any person in the U.S. could have free land — 160 acres in fact. But there was a catch.

By John Donovan

These towns, with all-white populations, may not be as blatant about their racism as they once were. But they're still here and being forced to face their ugly truth.

By John Donovan

Every state has a capital city, which houses the government where all the legislative action happens. How much do you know about these capitals? Take our quiz to find out!

By Alia Hoyt

The Truman Doctrine was an American foreign policy created to counter Soviet geopolitical expansion. But some consider it as the official beginning of the Cold War.

By John Donovan

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Despite having a designated month for Black history, most students in the U.S. aren't taught about some of the most important people and events in Black history. Here are five that you probably never learned in school.

By Sarah Braud

Many might think of cowboys as quintessentially part of the American fabric. And they are. But cowboys aren't an American phenomenon and they certainly didn't get their start in the U.S.

By John Donovan

The Battle of Little Bighorn, where Gen. George Custer took his 'last stand' was no tale of bravery or military strategy. But beer ads and wild west shows transformed it into a mythical story of 'good' versus 'evil.'

By Dave Roos

The White House Rose Garden has been the scene of many history-making events, but the story of its creation is a fascinating tale in itself.

By Wendy Bowman

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Harpers Ferry is known as the spot where John Brown launched his disastrous slave rebellion. But why was this town also a transportation and ammunitions powerhouse?

By John Donovan

The Hatfield and McCoy family names are recognized for one thing: fighting for decades between them. But what were they so angry about and why so many years of feuding?

By John Donovan

Annie Oakley got her gun and used it to become the leading lady of the American West. She could outshoot and outride most male cowboys of her time. And she did it all while in a Victorian dress.

By John Donovan

In 1920, a group of women established an all-female government in the town of Jackson, Wyoming. And it ran like a top.

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

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While it often evokes the image of a gray-haired, old gentleman let off the hook because of his age, the intention behind the term "grandfathered" came from origins far more sinister.

By Katie Carman

In the early 18th century, Black cowboys were the only cowboys in the West. That's because white men didn't want to do the work. So why hasn't their story been told?

By John Donovan

Older than the founding of the United States, the Liberty Bell has endured as a symbol of freedom for many Americans, even though that was not its original role. It wasn't even called the Liberty Bell for some 80 years after its creation.

By Nathan Chandler

More than 70 years ago, Oglala Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear dedicated Thunderhead Mountain as the site of the Crazy Horse Memorial. The monument to honor North American Indians is still under construction.

By John Donovan

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William "Buffalo Bill" Cody was an American soldier, bison hunter and frontiersman. But he's perhaps best-known for being a showman and running Buffalo Bill's Wild West show.

By John Donovan

The residents of the U.S. capital pay taxes, serve in the armed forces and contribute to America's economic strength but have no voting representation in Congress. Many Democrats want to change that.

By Patrick J. Kiger