Historical Figures

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

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No, Not Only U.S. Presidents Are on American Money

Harriet Tubman won't be the first non-president whose face appears on the front of U.S. paper currency, but in 2020 hers will be the first black woman's to do so.

Ridiculous History: When Benjamin Franklin Remade the Alphabet

Ben Franklin was the kind of guy who couldn't help tinkering with everything he touched, whether it was eyeglasses, catheters or ... the alphabet.

How Alexander Hamilton Worked

Star of a musical, cover boy for the $10 bill, shaper of the American economy — what can't Founding Father Alexander Hamilton do?

Ridiculous History: Meet Simeon Ellerton, Noted Pedestrian & Rock Hound

Simeon Ellerton walked the U.K. in search of the right materials to build his home. Was the centenarian merely eccentric? Or completely brilliant?

Alexander Hamilton? Yeah, He Wasn't a U.S. President

But what about Hubert Humphrey? Or Millard Fillmore?

Ridiculous History: The Woman Who Once Was a Cabdriver's Worst Nightmare

Cabbies in 19th-century London would flee when they'd hear someone shout the warning "Mother Prodgers!"

Ridiculous History: An Ambitious Chemist and a Poison Squad

They gobbled up things like copper sulfate muffins and formaldehyde meatloaf. Meet the 12 hungry men and the chemist behind the 20th-century Poison Squad.

Wanted: Your Help Finding the Declaration of Sentiments

Get sleuthing! An important piece of U.S. history is missing, and you could help find it.

Adolf Hitler Was a Painter, and People Pay Big Money for His Work

Though not technically remarkable, Adolf Hitler's watercolor paintings still fetch a tidy sum at auction. Who would actually pay that much?

Ridiculous History: Guy Fawkes and One Killer Marketing Campaign

Imagine the cast of the "Ocean’s Eleven" trilogy in breeches and broad collars, and you have an inkling of this famous plot and why Fawkes' likeness lives on.

10 Mad Royals in History

Insanity on the throne was more common than you might think. Navigating both royal whim and a complete lack of treatment for mental illnesses was also no easy task. See what happened to these 10 mad royals.

10 of History's Most Notorious Traitors

Judas. Brutus. Benedict Arnold. If someone calls you one of those names, that's not a good thing because they've all become synonymous with traitors. But is that deserved? Who else was considered a traitor?

10 Scapegoats Still in the Crosshairs

Yoko Ono broke up the Beatles. Bill Buckner lost the 1986 Series for the Red Sox. We humans are pretty good at pointing the finger, and these 10 scapegoats have shouldered more than their fair share of blame.

Joseph McCarthy Pictures

American politician and inquisitor Joseph McCarthy (1908 - 1957) became famous for his 1950s investigations into supposed communist subversion. What brought about his downfall?

How Musketeers Worked

The "All for one, one for all" motto of Alexandre Dumas' musketeers may be one of the most famous phrases in fiction. But the story of musketeers -- real musketeers -- began long before they made their literary debut. What were these 17th century soldiers fighting for?

Famous Historical Couples

When these men and women shared their lives with their equally famous other halves. They may be revered (or reviled) for the deeds that secured their presence in history books and pop culture, but they were also loved.

American Flag Pictures

It's a grand old flag! The stars and stripes of the American flag symbolize a nation of united states that are devoted to the ideals of freedom and democracy. From its earliest incarnations to some far-off places it's been flown, we'll explore the genesis and the whereabouts of the American flag.

Who is the most famous person of all time?

Many people enjoy their cliched 15 minutes these days, but their notoriety quickly fizzles out. The most famous among us remain iconic across generations. But how can you measure John Lennon's fame against Muhammad's?

Men of War Image Gallery

Becoming famous through war is nothing new -- many military men have been lauded and feared throughout history. Many have had long political careers as well. We’ve collected photos of leaders -- from Caesar to MacArthur -- who have been characterized as both heroes and villains.

Who was the Swamp Fox?

He was called the "Washington of the South," but Francis Marion's guerilla war tactics were less distinguished than Gen. George Washington's.

Who was Typhoid Mary?

She was a humble Irish immigrant working as a cook in New York's prestigious Oyster Bay community. Sure, Mary Mallon was a carrier of typhoid fever, but was she really a ruthless murderer? Some say her trademark dessert was to die for -- literally.

Harriet Tubman Pictures

These Harriet Tubman pictures will show photographs and illustrations of the leader of the Underground Railroad. Get to know this influential woman in this gallery.

Abraham Lincoln Pictures

Take a look at our collection of photographs and illustrations of the Civil War president, Abraham Lincoln.

Royalty Pictures

Our royalty image gallery will show you pictures of famous kings and queens, both ancient and modern.

King Arthur Pictures

King Arthur pictures at HowStuffWorks show illustrations and historical depictions of King Arthur and Camelot. Take a look at pictures of King Arthur.


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