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V-E Day newspaper front page (Boston Daily Globe, via Newspapers.com)

Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day)

Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day, May 8 or May 9, 1945) marked Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender during World War II and the end of the war in Europe.  War in Europe Ends News of the end of the war in Europe had been expected for some time, and after Hitler’s suicide at the end …Read More

Madam C.J. Walker

Madam C.J. Walker

Madam C.J. Walker (December 23, 1867 – May 25, 1919) was a businesswoman and philanthropist who was also the first African American female self-made millionaire. Early Life Born Sarah Breedlove in 1867 on a cotton plantation near Delta, Louisiana, Walker was the daughter of formerly enslaved parents. Orphaned at just 7 years old, she married …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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"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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