Historical Figures

From Musketeers to Nazis, Archimedes to Harriet Tubman, these famous historical figures changed the course of history -- for better or worse.


Anna Coleman Ladd's Studio for Portrait Masks created new faces for at least 185 disfigured soldiers and paved the way for modern facial prosthetic techniques.

Germany's Adolph and Rudolph Dassler fell out so badly, they had to start two separate shoe companies.

Scotsman Gregor MacGregor was a world-class con man who convinced hundreds of people to invest in the mythical country of Poyais.

Lying in state beneath the U.S. Capitol Rotunda is an honor that has been bestowed on only 31 people in history, but who decides which Americans are so honored?

When police in Victorian England arrested two popular male cross-dressers, it resulted in one of the more scandalous trials of the era.

Ada Lovelace was the daughter of famed poet Lord Byron. But she moved out of her father's shadow to make a name in numbers, not words.

Mongol ruler Genghis Khan built the largest empire in human history, reshaping national boundaries and forging new diplomatic and economic relationships that still exist today.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and his wife, Meghan, just announced that they are expecting their first child. Royal watchers, test your knowledge of the bejeweled babies of the British royal family with this quiz.

Did famed photographer Ernest Withers betray the civil rights movement he so lovingly documented?

Elizabeth Keckly, a former slave turned dress designer, was once the premiere dressmaker in Washington, D.C. She was also a close confidante of first lady Mary Todd Lincoln.

Today, Martin Luther King is revered for his nonviolent struggle for civil rights in the United States. But most Americans didn't approve of him before his death, or many years after.

The latest research points to Amelia Earhart crash-landing and surviving on the island of Nikumaroro.

Haute couture, or personalized clothing created by fashion houses, began in the mid-1800s by an Englishman named Charles Frederick Worth.

A pioneer in the environmental movement, Marjory Stoneman Douglas was a journalist and activist who fought to save these important Florida wetlands from development.

Teenagers may be young, but they are also determined. And when they come together, they can spark change — as they did in these five instances.

History has taught us that Harriet Tubman was a conductor for slaves on the Underground Railroad to freedom. But she had a second career as a Union spy and was also a champion for the elderly.

Strange theories have sprung to life around the enigmatic cult leader. Is there truth behind any of them?

History tells us that Betsy Ross designed and sewed America's first flag. But is that really the truth or is it just legend?

Who was Charles Manson, and why was the public so fixated on this cult leader?

Although there's been a lot of talk about Meghan Markle being the first mixed race person to marry into the British royal family, historians say that's not really true.

Violet Jessop survived not one, not two, but three disasters at sea.

One theory about the fate of everybody's favorite female aviator is that her remains ended up as food for coconut crabs on a remote island in the South Pacific. But why?

Unusual street art in Rapid City, the "City of Presidents," aims to personalize the presidency.

Women have long been instrumental in America's labor rights movement. One early leader was Lucy Parsons, a woman of color who agitated for the eight-hour workday.

Katharine McCormick's name may not be as famous as Margaret Sanger's, but McCormick played a major role in the development of "the pill" and the progression of the reproductive rights movement.