Historical Events

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

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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

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

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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

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

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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

Learning a thing or two from history is not only smart, but it could save lives, too.

By Clint Pumphrey

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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

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

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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

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

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

The word "massacre" conjures up images of the senseless slaughter of thousands. But some, while still tragic, claimed only a few lives. Here are five with huge historical impacts.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Accidents happen, they say, but some actually make the world a better place. Where would we be without the accidental discoveries of beer, penicillin or Popsicles?

By Dave Roos

What do Solomon Northup, George Washington's false teeth and the crew of Flight 19 have in common? They all vanished inexplicably.

By Patrick J. Kiger

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The 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom ensured the passage of the Civil Rights Act and made Martin Luther King Jr. an American hero. But its success was not assured at the beginning.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Everyone makes mistakes, but some lapses in judgment are spectacularly bad. What are some of history's most epic miscalculations?

By Maria Trimarchi