Historical Events

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

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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


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


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


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.

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 George Washington's false teeth, a 42-ton steel sculpture and the crew of Flight 19 have in common? They all mysteriously vanished.

By Patrick J. Kiger

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

On May 6, 1937, the Hindenburg, the largest airship ever built, crashed and burned in Lakehurst, N.J. Thirty-six people were killed, including one person on the ground.

By Tracy V. Wilson


What do civil rights mean to you? Ultimately they represent freedom -- the freedom to live your life without being repressed or discriminated against by either the government or private institutions. See a visual chronicle of the Civil Rights movement.

The concept of revenge predates legal history; you could even say that it's part of who we are as humans. But sometimes the need for vengeance can kick into overdrive – as in these 12 infamous acts of revenge.

By Josh Clark & Patrick J. Kiger

The ideas of the Age of Enlightenment turned to action when the U.S. broke from King George III and British rule. How did 18th century intellectual ideals incite revolution?

By Jessika Toothman

Whether it's the topic of a holiday greeting card or a beauty pageant question, peace on Earth is on almost everybody's wish list. But has the world ever been truly peaceful?

By Meghan E. Smith


The United States economy crumbles and rebuilds itself with astonishing regularity, falling from periods of economic success into panic. What are five of the worst financial panics in history, and what can they teach us about our current recession?

By Jessika Toothman

The Revolutionary War involved bloody battles and courageous heroes, and led to the foundation of the U.S. Explore the historical moments of this nation-building rebellion.