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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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.

By John Donovan

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

By John Donovan

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.

By Mark Mancini

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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.

By Dave Roos

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

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

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

By Patrick J. Kiger

The saying is really true. Texas is big. And so is everything in it.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

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Frederick Douglass' pivotal 19th century abolitionist newspaper has been relaunched for a 21st century audience.

By Carrie Tatro

Before the 1964 Civil Rights Act and even after it, the tradition of the "great American road trip" was very different for families of color.

By Dave Roos

Yep – there is a hidden space behind those famous presidential faces.

By Patrick J. Kiger

The last vestiges of America's early transcontinental airmail beacon system still exist as giant arrows across the landscape.

By Carrie Tatro

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The roughly 2,000-mile boundary between the countries has been around only since the mid-1800s. But today it's a political line in the sand — literally and figuratively.

By John Donovan

Penn Center, located on sleepy St. Helena Island in South Carolina, may be the most important African-American historical landmark you probably don't know about.

By Carrie Tatro

Does February have special historical significance in African-American history?

By Carrie Tatro

William McKinley was popular, successful, re-elected and assassinated. He shaped money's influence in politics, and transformed the United States into an international power. Why isn't the 25th president better known?

By Patrick J. Kiger

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Was our current era defined by the introduction of the iPhone, the hashtag, and a professional wrestling appearance by a future U.S. president?

By Patrick J. Kiger

It made geographical sense for Russia to sell its territory of Alaska to Canada, but it opted to sell it to the U.S. instead. But why?

By Mark Mancini

During America's War for Independence, the British promised enslaved Africans their freedom if they'd join their side. Thousands signed up.

By Dave Roos

Has a nuclear bomb ever been dropped on the United States? Well, it happened back in the 1950s. But... it was an accident.

By Laurie L. Dove

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The tension between the U.S. and USSR was palpable — and nearly devastating, thanks to some nuclear-tipped torpedoes and itchy trigger fingers.

By Kate Kershner

Treasure hunter Tommy Thompson claims he can't remember where he put 3 tons of gold from the shipwreck of the S.S. Central America. The courts don't believe him.

By Jesslyn Shields

A Wild West governor once wore a pair of shoes made of the skin of an executed felon named Big Nose George. The gruesome but true story is predictably involved.

By Jesslyn Shields

Ethnic brand identities and mascots affect people with different political leanings in surprising ways, at times increasing associations with Native American stereotypes.

By Christopher Hassiotis

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In 1985, the Hanshin Tigers won the Japanese World Series. In the ensuing celebration, though, a statue of Colonel Sanders was drowned, and the team hasn't won since.

By Bryan Young

Rainbow parties in the 1960s may sound like good fun, but the frivolity actually centered around an H-bomb radiating the Earth's atmosphere.

By Laurie L. Dove