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Photo from the Golden Spike Ceremony at Promontory Summit, May 10, 1869

Golden Spike Ceremony

On May 10, 1869, the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads were connected at Promontory Summit in Utah Territory, completing the first transcontinental railroad in the United States. Background The Central Pacific Railroad had started building east from Sacramento, California, in 1863, while the Union Pacific Railroad had started building west from Omaha, Nebraska Territory, …Read More

Lusitania

Sinking of the RMS Lusitania

Background When the British passenger liner RMS Lusitania set out on its final voyage on May 1, 1915, World War I had been raging for almost a year (though America was still neutral), and Germany had begun unrestricted submarine warfare around the British Isles. Still, despite a warning placed in newspapers by the German embassy …Read More

Bonnie and Clyde, circa 1932-1934

Bonnie and Clyde

Background Both Clyde Barrow (March 24, 1909 – May 23, 1934) and Bonnie Parker (October 1, 1910 – May 23, 1934) grew up in the slums of Dallas, Texas, but while Clyde ended up on the wrong side of the law by his teen years, Bonnie seemed to stay out of trouble. The two met …Read More

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A ship sails through the Panama Canal in 1915

Panama Canal

The Panama Canal is a 48-mile-long man-made waterway located in Central America. It connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through a series of locks, channels, and artificial lakes. The canal was begun by the French in the late 1800s, but that project ended in failure. It became the pet project of President Theodore Roosevelt, and …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

Prohibition agents destroying barrels of alcohol

Prohibition

The Prohibition Era was a period between 1920 and 1933 when the 18th Amendment to the Constitution was in effect. This amendment prohibited the manufacture, sale, and transport of alcohol in the United States. For decades leading up to the passage of the 18th Amendment, reform groups within the temperance movement had worked to eliminate …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

Ted Kennedy in 1962

Chappaquiddick Incident

On July 18, 1969, Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy accidentally drove a car off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts; he survived, but his passenger, 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne, died in the accident. On the night of the incident, Kennedy and Kopechne left a party on Chappaquiddick Island together after 11 p.m. in a car driven …Read More

Pearl Harbor Bombing

Attack on Pearl Harbor

The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Territory, on the morning of December 7, 1941. Wikipedia Learn more about the through historical newspapers from our archives. Explore newspaper articles, headlines, images, and other primary sources …Read More

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