North American History

From the southern tip of Florida to the Alaskan wilderness, explore North American history in-depth in the North American history section.


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What Was the Tulsa Race Massacre and Why Does it Still Haunt the City?

The Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma, aka "Black Wall Street" was one of the wealthiest African American neighborhoods in the U.S. But in 1921 it was the site of the worst race massacre in U.S. history.

Shays' Rebellion: The Unsung Uprising That Helped Spark a New America

Daniel Shays was the reluctant leader of the Massachusetts insurrection that pit farmers against tax collectors just after the Revolutionary War. Its results led to the writing of the U.S. Constitution.

How Juneteenth Became Black Independence Day

Every year millions of Americans celebrate the emancipation of slavery on June 19. Why then? And why is it considered Black Independence Day?

How the Harlem Renaissance Sparked a New African American Identity

The historic period of the Harlem Renaissance hit its height a century ago, but its influence has continuously impacted American culture through the decades.

Who Really Struck It Rich During the California Gold Rush?

When you think of the California Gold Rush, you probably think a lot of people made millions off that gold, right? Some did, but it wasn't from panning for it.

How the U.S. Capitol's Design Was Chosen By Public Competition

The U.S. Capitol is one of the most architecturally impressive buildings in the world. And how its design was chosen is quite a story.

Why Is New York City Called the 'Big Apple'?

Why not the Big Kumquat or the Big Banana? New York's fruity moniker actually had its beginnings in the sports pages and jazz clubs of the 1920s.

How the Declaration of Independence Birthed the American Nation

Most Americans can at least recite the phrase about "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." But what else is inside this document? And what was left out?

The Long, Hard Battle for the 19th Amendment and Women's Right to Vote

It's been 100 years since the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified. Why did it take so long for women to get the right to vote in the United States?

How the Boston Massacre Fanned the Flames of a Revolution

The Boston Massacre didn't start the American Revolution. But the events that unfolded on March 5, 1770, helped cement the idea that the relationship between England and its colonies was permanently broken.

Why Is Missouri Called the Show-me State?

Lots of U.S. states have nicknames, but Missouri's flinty moniker arguably is one of the best.

Why Was the American Revolution So Revolutionary?

What makes the American Revolution stand out in world history? Was it the introduction of guerrilla warfare or its stage outside the borders of its parent nation? All those were noteworthy, but the real revolution was what the Revolution created.

How Atlanta's Cyclorama Was Used to 'Spin' the Civil War

After the Civil War, the United States was still a country divided. And the history of a monumental piece of artwork that resides in Atlanta shows how even art was used to rewrite the narrative of the war.

How Manifest Destiny Stretched the U.S. From Sea to Shining Sea

The early American philosophy known as Manifest Destiny was a doctrine that espoused that God wanted Americans to take over the continent.

POW/MIA Bracelets Helped U.S. Remember Missing Soldiers

Back in the early 1970s, two college coeds had the idea to create bracelets for sale to the public as a means of keeping imprisoned U.S. soldiers alive in the hearts and minds of the public. This is the story.

What We Learned From the Deadliest Nightclub Fire in U.S. History

Hundreds were killed in the infamous 1942 Cocoanut Grove fire in Boston. But from the tragedy came advancements in everything from building codes and medical treatments that are still in place today worldwide.

How the Articles of Confederation Paved the Way for the U.S. Constitution

The first framework for the government of the United States was the Articles of Confederation, written in 1777 and ratified in 1781, which set up a relatively weak central government without federal courts or even the power to levy taxes.

How Jim Crow Shaped America

Jim Crow was about much more than laws enacted to suppress blacks. It was about a system involving politics, economics, social and cultural practices. And while the laws may be dead, Jim Crow is not.

What's in a Nickname? The State Nickname Quiz

It's hard to sum up something as big as a state in just a few words, but that doesn't stop them from trying! What does it mean to be from the 'Show-Me' state or to be a Sooner? Find out how vast your state nickname knowledge is with our quiz!

The O.K. Corral: The Gunfight of All Gunfights

This infamous gun battle in Tombstone, Arizona lasted just 30 seconds. But its legend, and America's obsession, has endured for more than a decade.

Who Were the Mighty Fighting Buffalo Soldiers?

The African American servicemen known as "Buffalo Soldiers" are the subjects of both history and legend, but what is truth and what is lore?

The Rise and Fall of the Oregon Trail

Hundreds of thousands of emigrants traveled the 2,170-mile Oregon Trail in search of a better life. And thousands of them were injured — and even died — on the journey along the way.

The Ghosts of Gettysburg's Devil's Den

Devil's Den was the site of the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War. Not surprisingly, it's rumored to be haunted with the ghosts of many dead soldiers.

The Missing States of the United States

There are 50 states in the U.S., but there have been many proposals over the years to add more.

5 Causes of the Great Depression: Could It Happen Again?

The Great Depression may seem like ancient history, but many of the factors that contributed to it still pose economic risks today.