Historical Events

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

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The Anglo-Zanzibar War lasted less than an hour, involving two countries very unevenly matched. But what was the conflict about?

By Dave Roos

In 1983, the worst-ever diving accident occurred. Five people working on an oil rig experienced explosive decompression, which caused them to die in horrific ways.

By Dave Roos

The Battle of Stalingrad was one of the bloodiest in all of World War II. More Soviet troops died there than did American soldiers in the entire war. What made this battle so deadly?

By Dave Roos

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In a truly historic vote, the U.S. Senate has confirmed Ketanji Brown Jackson as the next U.S. Supreme Court justice — the first Black woman to sit on the highest court in the land.

By Matt Williams

In the early 1930s, Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin's brutal policies starved to death millions of people in Ukraine, helping to fuel Ukrainians' fierce resistance against Putin's Russian invaders today.

By Patrick J. Kiger

The meeting of a group of abolitionist activist women at Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848 became the starting point for the women's rights movement in the U.S., but what brought these women together in the first place?

By Patty Rasmussen

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy took the historic step of addressing the U.S. Congress in a bid to seek help and remind the world of the importance of democracy.

By Karrin Vasby Anderson

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More than 50 years after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated by a lone bullet while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, questions still remain. Was James Earl Ray the sole gunman, or was it a conspiracy?

By John Donovan

Conspiracy theories are part of a dangerous misinformation crisis that has been building for years in the U.S., warping the cultural and political landscape in ways we can't yet even imagine.

By Amanda J. Crawford

The French and Indian War, also called the Seven Years' War, was not the French against the 'Indians,' but a massive French and British land grab that indirectly led to the American Revolution.

By Patty Rasmussen

Transcendentalism was a 19th century philosophical movement with adherents like Thoreau, Emerson and Fuller, based on principles of freedom, feminism, abolition and the idea that people had divine truth within them.

By Patrick J. Kiger

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Thousands of Cubans protested in the streets in rare demonstrations against the government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic and limits on civil liberties. But what other events got the citizens to this breaking point?

By Catesby Holmes

These pioneering women bring new meaning to the phrase, "girl power!" Test your IQ of some of the baddest women in history with our quiz.

By Alia Hoyt

A little-known research facility in South Carolina housed thousands of monkeys and was key to developing the polio vaccine.

By Caroline Eubanks

Hispanics have contributed to American history since Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus stepped foot in the New World. These five events were turning points in Hispanic and American history.

By John Donovan

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Queen Elizabeth II has reigned over England for a record-breaking 69 years. But with Prince Harry and Meghan having a second child, how does the line of succession look now?

By Alia Hoyt

In 1978, hundreds of followers of Reverend Jim Jones of the Peoples Temple died in Guyana, after being either coerced into suicide by their charismatic leader or actually murdered.

By Patrick J. Kiger

What began in 1968 with a call for a "revolution of values" in America has continued as a modern-day movement taking on everything from systemic racism and poverty to ecological issues and the war economy.

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

Believed to have operated between 1821 and 1861, the Saltwater Underground Railroad refers to the coastal escape route followed by fugitive slaves into the British-controlled Bahamas.

By Carrie Tatro

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When British radio wouldn't play 1960s rock 'n' roll, a station on a ship moored off the coast of England would. For many years, pirate stations have dodged government regulators to bring outlaw radio to the world at large. 

By Patrick J. Kiger

The Mason-Dixon Line has ties to slavery, which often overshadows its otherwise fascinating story about one of the most significant surveying achievements in North America.

By Ray Glier

"Internet cult" Heaven's Gate is seared in the memory of the '90s public for the fact that 39 members committed suicide wearing matching tracksuits and sneakers, as the Hale-Bopp comet approached Earth. But what made them do it?

By Nathan Chandler

During one of the most political times in papal history, Pope Formosus' corpse was dug up and put on trial for crimes of the past. Who thought this was a good idea?

By Carrie Whitney, Ph.D.

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The nuclear disarmament movement in the 1950s needed a logo for a political march. What it got was one of the most ubiquitous and easily recognized symbols of all time.

By Jesslyn Shields

The world has come a long way since we were prepping for Y2K to potentially crash computers and the economy as we know it. We've witnessed some major moments since then. Here are 20 of the biggest.

By John Donovan