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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Henry VIII was responsible for tens of thousands of executions in his 36-year reign. Only the most prestigious of his subjects met their ends on the block. Which queens, cardinals and top political minds made this list?

By Julia Layton

The Vikings were bloodthirsty raiders outfitted with armor and dragon boats, pillaging the coasts. Or was there more to the Age of Vikings?

By Ed Grabianowski

King Arthur means knights, swords in stones, ladies in lakes -- and Monty Python. Who was the real King Arthur? Did Camelot exist?

By Shanna Freeman

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Lewis and Clark's expedition changed the course of American history. Through their explorations, a new nation found its identity.

By Tim Faulkner

Sen. Hillary Clinton came closer than any other woman to securing the nomination for president. How did she arrive at that point, and what did she want to accomplish if she had been elected?

By Josh Clark

Sen. John McCain was a retired Navy veteran, a supporter of the war in Iraq and the Republican Party's 2008 nominee for president. How did he earn a reputation for being a maverick?

By Josh Clark & Kathryn Whitbourne

If there's one message President Barack Obama wanted to get across during his campaign, it was that he represents change. Does his background match his message?

By Josh Clark

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Did anyone expect the Spanish Inquisition? It began with religious intolerance and ended with torture, with false accusations and unfair trials in between. How did this period of cruelty come to be?

By Shanna Freeman

What were knights really like? Did they slay dragons, sleep in their armor and rescue damsels in distress?

By Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D.

Royalty calls to mind impossible wealth, power and privilege -- and maybe a breath of scandal. Do kings and queens simply sit on their thrones with ermine robes and scepters?

By Ed Grabianowski

Senator Joseph McCarthy whipped up anti-Communist hysteria in the early 1950s -- using controversial tactics and ruining hundreds of careers, including his own.

By Alia Hoyt

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America's history begins with the Native Americans and the English settlers they encountered. Read our list of Native American leaders and heroes, including Sequoyah, Geronimo, and Crazy Horse.

By the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

A number of women made names for themselves during the Wild West. Read our list of 12 of the most famous heroines from this time period, including Annie Oakley, Belle Starr, and Calamity Jane.

By the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

Charles Lindbergh made the first transatlantic flight, from New York to Paris. Learn more about Charles Lindbergh's flight and his plane, the Spirit of St. Louis.

By Marshall Brain