Historical Events

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

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How the Berlin Wall Worked

The Berlin Wall splintered a city and divided a country, but it may also have prevented nuclear war. Why block off a city with concrete, barbed wire and land mines?

How Naming the Continents Works

Continents aren't the unchanging, universally recognized land masses of our school studies. But they do help us make sense of our world. How did they get their names?

How the Civil Rights Movement Worked

How does change happen? For the civil rights movement, it began with a group of people who decided that separate but equal wasn't good enough.

How the Great Train Robbery Worked

In 1963, criminals pulled off the largest train robbery in Britain's history. How did 15 men stop a train, and why did it take a Monopoly board to catch them?

Black Death

Black Death, an epidemic of bubonic plague that appeared in Europe in the 1300's.

Why did brothers fight on opposite sides of the Civil War?

The Civil War divided the country, and in the case of the Crittendens, it divided a family. Was the family a microcosm of the troubles raging across the states?

VIA Rail Canada

VIA Rail Canada is a train service that was built to mirror Amtrak's system. Like the United States, the Canadian railroad was faced with many of the same problems that began to plague the Learn more about the VIA Rail Canada railroad system.

How did the East India Company change the world?

The East India Company didn't just cause the Boston Tea Party -- it forged new nations and established drug trade. So why is it the basis for modern corporations?

Crusades

Crusades, a series of military campaigns that the Christian countries of Europe waged to conquer the Holy Land from the Muslims.

How the Emancipation Proclamation Worked

Here's a question for your next trivia game: How many slaves did the Emancipation Proclamation free? Answer: Zero.

How the Underground Railroad Worked

Harriet Tubman was known as "the Moses of her people" for her work on the Underground Railroad. How much do we really know about this secret system?

Castle History

Castle History is fascinating and reflects many of the social changes that took place during the Middle Ages. Learn about castle history at HowStuffWorks.

Lincoln's Gettysburg Address

Gettysburg Address, a speech delivered by Abraham Lincoln on November 19, 1863, at the dedication of Gettysburg National Cemetery near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Underground Railroad Information

Underground Railroad, a name applied to an informal network that aided runaway slaves from the South before the Civil War.

The Gettysburg Address

The Gettysburg Address was a speech delivered by Abraham Lincoln on November 19, 1863. Learn more about the Gettysburg Address.

Thebes

Thebes, a leading city of ancient Egypt from the 21st to the 11th century B.C. The Egyptians called this city Waset; the name “Thebes” was given it by the Greeks.

How the French Revolution Worked

A screaming mob pressed in closer to watch as the guillotine dropped on King Louis' neck. With one swift slice, France's monarchy came to an end. But was a police state ruled by a madman a better alternative to a fat and lazy king?

How the Enlightenment Worked

The Age of Enlightenment was based on reason and science and featured some very heavy hitters: Voltaire, Descartes and Kant among them. But it took two Revolutions to truly test its principles.

How the Black Death Worked

Twenty-five million people died in the Black Death. How did this horrific disease spread and how did people react to a killer they could not possibly comprehend?

How the Gettysburg Address Worked

The Gettysburg Address was only about 300 words long -- Lincoln delivered it in about two minutes. But somehow, it changed the way we view our government, our country and our society.

How the Battle of Gettysburg Worked

The Battle of Gettysburg is probably the most famous battle ever fought on American soil -- it's considered the turning point of the Civil War. Did it really start because of shoes?

What Was the Christmas Truce?

World War I lasted more than four horrific years and took the lives of 8.5 million people. So why did soldiers spontaneously put down their guns and shake hands? And why did they start fighting again?

How Prohibition Worked

It's hard to believe that less than a century ago, the United States tried its best to legally ban alcohol. Prohibition spawned illegal speakeasies, organized crime and economic turmoil. Learn about it in this article.

Europe After World War I: November 1918-August 1931

World War I, also known as the Great War, left Germany and other countries humiliated and angry. This view was ignored. Learn about events that led to World War II.

World War II Timeline

World War II was a horrific period in history during which 50 million people perished from death camps, atomic bombs, and years of battle. Often called the Janus event of the 20th century, WWII is truly unforgettable. Learn how the Allies defeated Nazi Germany.


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