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The Currier & Ives lithograph showing people fleeing the Great Chicago Fire of 1871

Great Chicago Fire

The Great Chicago Fire burned October 8 to 10, 1871, in Chicago, Illinois. Chicago, with its frequent high winds and countless wooden structures, was prone to fires even before the “Great Fire” tore through the city. However, none was so destructive as this one. It ultimately killed 300 people and destroyed more than 17,000 buildings. …Read More

Battles of Saratoga: "Surrender of General Burgoyne," by John Trumbull

Battles of Saratoga

The Battles of Saratoga were two Revolutionary War battles, fought on September 19 and October 7, 1777, near Saratoga, New York. Following the battles, British and German troops under British general John Burgoyne surrendered to American general Horatio Gates on October 17, turning the tide of the Revolutionary War in the Americans’ favor. Background In …Read More

Rosa Parks, circa 1955

Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks (February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005) was an African American civil rights activist best known for her role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Born Rosa Louise McCauley in Tuskegee, Alabama, Rosa Parks grew up living with her mother and grandparents in Pine Level, Alabama. She was forced to quit school at age …Read More

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Australian troops charging near a Turkish trench during the Gallipoli Campaign, circa 1915

Gallipoli Campaign

The Gallipoli Campaign (also called the Dardanelles Campaign) was a World War I Allied offensive on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey. It lasted February 17, 1915, through January 9, 1916, and was ultimately unsuccessful, ending in high casualties and evacuation. Background With trench warfare causing stagnation on the Western Front, the British and French decided …Read More

Clara Barton

Clara Barton (December 25, 1821 – April 12, 1912) was an American nurse and Civil War hero known for founding the American Red Cross. Early Life Clarissa Harlowe Barton was born in Oxford, Massachusetts, on Christmas Day, 1821, the youngest of five children. Her interest in medical care is often attributed to an early experience …Read More

Philippine-American War: Filipino soldiers outside Manila, 1899

Philippine-American War

The Philippine-American War (sometimes called the Philippine Insurrection) was an armed conflict that took place between February 4, 1899, and July 2, 1902. The war would last three years and end with the Philippines under American control for decades. Background During the Spanish-American War (April–August 1898), Filipino fighters helped the Americans defeat the Spanish in …Read More

Parade passes through the Arc de Triomphe on August 26, 1944, following the liberation of Paris

Liberation of Paris

On August 25, 1944, German forces surrendered Paris to Allied troops, ending four years of occupation. This day and the battles that led up to it are known as the Liberation of Paris. Background As Operation Overlord drew to an end, reclaiming Paris was not considered a main Allied objective. Hitler had threatened complete destruction …Read More

"Battle of Chancellorsville," by Kurz and Allison

Battle of Chancellorsville

The Battle of Chancellorsville (April 30–May 6, 1863) was a Civil War battle fought in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. It ended in a Confederate victory and is often considered General Robert E. Lee’s “perfect battle,” as he successfully defeated an army more than twice the size of his own. Background & Union Strategy In April 1863, …Read More

Paratroops landing in the Netherlands during Operation Market Garden in September 1944

Operation Market Garden

Operation Market Garden was an unsuccessful British-American airborne invasion of the Netherlands (Holland) during World War II that lasted September 17-25, 1944. It was the largest airborne operation of the war, involving more than 34,000 airborne troops. Background Operation Market Garden was intended to advance the Allies across the Rhine River into Germany’s industrial heartland. …Read More

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