Historical Events

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

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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.

By John Donovan

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

By Bryan Young

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.

By Laurie L. Dove

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

By Bryan Young

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.

By Oisin Curran

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?

By Bryan Young

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

By Bryan Young

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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.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Under repressive regimes, teens still need their rock 'n' roll. What drastic measures did Soviets go to to create an underground vinyl record market?

By Laurie L. Dove

A placid lake above a hydroelectric dam on the border of Brazil and Paraguay was once site of Guairá, among the world's most awe-inspiring. Why'd we get rid of it?

By Laurie L. Dove

It's December 1915. San Diego is booming but its main reservoir is low when along comes a rainmaker by the name of Charles Mallory Hatfield.

By Candace Gibson

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A spying dolphin or a subversive squirrel may seem like far-fetched fiction, but animals have been employed by military forces for years.

By Laurie L. Dove

Windows shattered, furniture broken and dozens of cadets including Jefferson Davis nog-wild on smuggled booze. A "party" in 1826 nearly altered the course of history.

By Laurie L. Dove

They may not seem stealthy to us, but back in World War I, zeppelins were airborne war machines. And some of them were made from cow intestines.

By Candace Gibson

In a battle of the valiant versus the vermin, Australian veterans rose up against a few thousand flightless birds. Care to guess which side won?

By Candace Gibson

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As they say, if we don't learn from history, we're doomed to repeat it. And as these 10 historical events prove, humans seem to be more prone to repeating than learning.

By Clint Pumphrey & Melanie Radzicki McManus

UCLA's Urban Simulation Team is freeing the 1893 World's Fair from the musty pages of history books and turning it into something you can experience virtually.

By Jonathan Strickland

Yes, at one point in American history, a company tried to market its doughnuts as a healthy, vitamin-packed snack. Did it work?

By Sarah Gleim

During the sweltering summer of 1858, a foul smell inundated London. No one's nose was safe. This is how Londoners responded.

By Candace Gibson

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No need to buy a movie ticket for thrills and chills. The real world is full of creepy happenings to keep you awake at night.

By Nathan Chandler

Poison pros turned to arsenic throughout the ages, until one man totally killed the all the fun.

By Laurie L. Dove

Join Holly Frey of Stuff You Missed in History Class as she explores the impact of presidential assassinations with Bryan Young, author of “A Children's Illustrated History of Presidential Assassination."

In 2008, a team of researchers combed through old books, papyruses and stone tablets to find the oldest joke in the world. Does it stand the test of time?

By Debra Ronca

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The '80s were a strange decade. Despite the lingering threat of nuclear annihilation, Americans still found time to fear nonexistent cult movements intent on sacrificing children. Venture into the world of satanic panic.

By Robert Lamb

Health panics are often caused by misinformation in the media. Learn more about 5 health panics caused by misinformation in this video from HowStuffWorks.