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RMS Titanic

RMS Titanic

Titanic Facts and History Overview RMS Titanic was a British luxury passenger ship that sank on April 14-15, 1912, during its maiden voyage. Around 1,500 of the estimated 2,240 passengers and crew perished in the sinking, and the now-famous disaster has become the legendary subject of numerous books and movies. Building of the Titanic The …Read More

Battle of Gettysburg

Battle of Gettysburg

The Battle of Gettysburg (July 1-3, 1863) was the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. It took place around Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and is often considered the turning point of the war. Following a series of military successes in Virginia, Confederate general Robert E. Lee took his troops up into south-central Pennsylvania in June 1863 in an invasion of …Read More

Signing of the armistice with Germany

End of World War I

On November 11, 1918, German representatives met with Ferdinand Foch, the commander in chief of the Allied armies, in a railroad car northeast of Paris, France, to sign an armistice to end the fighting of World War I. Countries allied with Germany—Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire, and Austria—had already signed armistices with the Allied Powers between the end of …Read More

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"American Progress," by John Gast, 1872, depicting the idea of Manifest Destiny

Manifest Destiny

What Is Manifest Destiny? Coined in the 1840s, the term “Manifest Destiny” is used to describe the mid-19th-century American belief that it was the country’s divine destiny to expand westward to fill the American continent. During the era of Manifest Destiny, America acquired Texas in 1845, part of the Pacific Northwest (called the Oregon Country) …Read More

Norwegian immigrants in 1898 on their land claimed under the Homestead Act

Homestead Act of 1862

What Was the Homestead Act of 1862? The Homestead Act of 1862 was federal legislation that allowed settlers to claim up to 160 acres of land in the public domain at little cost and with few requirements. It went into effect in the United States on January 1, 1863. The Homestead Act was a significant …Read More

Headlines from the Ed Gein murders (Stevens Point Daily Journal, via Newspapers.com)

Ed Gein Murders

Edward “Ed” Gein (1906-1984), also known as the “Butcher of Plainfield,” murdered two women in the 1950s and stole bodies from the local graveyard in Plainfield, Wisconsin. His victims were Mary Hogan (killed in 1954) and Bernice Worden (1957). Gein, a middle-aged farmer and handyman, claimed to have been in a “dazed” state when he …Read More

Dust storm in Texas during Dust Bowl, 1935

Dust Bowl

What is the Dust Bowl? The Dust Bowl was a period when severe drought and dust storms struck parts of the American Great Plains. Because it spanned the 1930s, the Dust Bowl is sometimes called the “Dirty Thirties.” The term “Dust Bowl” may also be used to collectively refer to the states hit hardest by …Read More

The Battle of Lexington, by Amos Doolittle (engraver) and Ralph Earl (artist), 1775

Battles of Lexington and Concord

The Battles of Lexington and Concord were the first military engagements of the American Revolutionary War. The battles were fought on April 19, 1775 in Middlesex County, Province of Massachusetts Bay, within the towns of Lexington, Concord, Lincoln, Menotomy (present-day Arlington), and Cambridge. They marked the outbreak of armed conflict between the Kingdom of Great …Read More

California Gold Rush

The California Gold Rush (1848–1855) began on January 24, 1848, when gold was found by James W. Marshall at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California. The news of gold brought approximately 300,000 people to California from the rest of the United States and abroad. The sudden influx of gold into the money supply reinvigorated the American …Read More

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