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.

Learn More / Page 2

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

Advertisement

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

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

Conservators from the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources opened the 126-year-old time capsule July 2, 2020 and are preserving what they can.

By Patty Rasmussen

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

Advertisement

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

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

Advertisement

The Wild West is the stuff of legends, lore and awesome John Wayne movies. How much do you know about the days of saloons and standoffs?

By Alia Hoyt

The Emancipation Proclamation may have signified the formal end of slavery. But almost immediately afterward, Southern states enacted Black Codes that effectively re-enslaved thousands of newly freed Black people.

By Dave Roos

The Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma, aka "Black Wall Street" was one of the wealthiest African American neighborhoods in the U.S. But in 1921 it was the site of the worst race massacre in U.S. history.

By John Donovan

Daniel Shays was the reluctant leader of the Massachusetts insurrection that pit farmers against tax collectors just after the Revolutionary War. Its results led to the writing of the U.S. Constitution.

By John Donovan

Advertisement

Though it's been around for more than 150 years, Juneteenth was still a mystery to many. But now, it's become the newest federal holiday in the U.S.A.

By John Donovan

The historic period of the Harlem Renaissance hit its height a century ago, but its influence has continuously impacted American culture through the decades.

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

When you think of the California Gold Rush, you probably think a lot of people made millions off that gold, right? Some did, but it wasn't from panning for it.

By Oisin Curran

The U.S. Capitol is one of the most architecturally impressive buildings in the world. And how its design was chosen is quite a story.

By John Donovan

Advertisement

Why not the Big Kumquat or the Big Banana? New York's fruity moniker actually had its beginnings in the sports pages and jazz clubs of the 1920s.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

Most Americans can at least recite the phrase about "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." But what else is inside this document? And what was left out?

By Dave Roos

It's been 101 years since the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified. Why did it take so long for women to get the right to vote in the United States?

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

The Boston Massacre didn't start the American Revolution. But the events that unfolded on March 5, 1770, helped cement the idea that the relationship between England and its colonies was permanently broken.

By John Donovan

Advertisement

Lots of U.S. states have nicknames, but Missouri's flinty moniker arguably is one of the best.

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

What makes the American Revolution stand out in world history? Was it the introduction of guerrilla warfare or its stage outside the borders of its parent nation? All those were noteworthy, but the real revolution was what the Revolution created.

By Josh Clark & Dave Roos