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Ancient Greek Theater
Greece was home to hundreds of open-air arenas where citizens came together to discuss the important issues of the day. Like Broadway today, they were a place for both entertainment and important social commentary.
Peter Harris: The Catawba Who Fought For Independence
The American Revolution was a war that involved many different people and forced Native Americans to choose sides, like Continental Army hero, Peter Harris.
The Horn Work
It struck fear into the hearts of the British – rising 30-feet high and stretching three blocks long. The most terrifying object in US history – the Horn Work!
Crispus Attucks: Symbol of Resistance
The first person to die in the American Revolution, Crispus Attucks became a symbol of resistance against British rule.
Race to The Moon
This is a timeline of the key events in the Space Race between the USA and the USSR during the Cold War. Beginning in 1947, the US and the Soviet Union began to develop technology in order to explore space, and in 1969, the US lands the first astronaut on the moon.
Reconstruction: Old Nation or New?
Reconstruction was one of the most tumultuous periods in US history. After four years of Civil War, not everyone agreed on the best way forward. The result was 12 years of violence and political strife.
The Cannon: How The Cannon Revolutionised The Way Battles Were Fought
Long range, high calibre weapons – the cannon helped propel the Union to victory. But how did the technological advances that took place during the Civil War change the game?
The Bloodiest Race Riot in US History
It began as a protest against the Conscription Act of 1863 – but quickly descended into the bloodiest race riot in US history. So why did New York’s White working class kill at least 120 people during the New York Draft Riots?
War on the Water: Civil War Navies
The American Civil War wasn’t just fought on land – it took place on rivers and seas too. But the contrast between Union and Confederate navies could not have been more stark.
The Donner Party’s Deadly Detour
Taking a shortcut in the unexplored American West was always a gamble – but for the Reed and Donner families it proved catastrophic.
Stephen H Long: The Man Who Mapped the West
Stephen H. Long mapped much of the unexplored American West – but he made one big mistake that set Western migration back decades.
The Story of American Barbecue
Today, barbecue is a big part of American culture. But did you know that this staple of the great American menu is actually older than the United States itself?
John Wesley Powell: Wild West Explorer
Despite losing an arm in the US Civil War, John Wesley Powell was one of the great explorers of the American West, and made history as the man who mapped the Grand Canyon.
Angel Island: America's Untold Immigration Story
When you think of America's immigration story, you think of Ellis Island New York... right? Think again, because over 2,500 miles away is Angel Island, where immigrants coming into the West Coast were processed for entry to the US, but it was an experience that was anything but welcoming.
John Adams: The President Who Defended the Redcoats
He was a fierce patriot and Founding Father – so why did John Adams defend British soldiers accused of murder following the Boston Massacre of 1770?
Sally Hemings: Surviving Slavery and Sexual Exploitation
Sally Hemings was an enslaved woman who had several children with Founding Father Thomas Jefferson. Her story of agency and eventual emancipation remains an inspiration.
Ellen Ochoa: The First Female Hispanic Astronaut
In 1993, Ellen Ochoa wrote her name in the stars – as the first Hispanic woman to enter orbit. She continues to inspire generations of aspiring astronauts today.
Teaching Ruby Bridges
In the 1960s, Black schoolgirl Ruby Bridges and White teacher Barbara Henry showed America the true power of racial integration in the classroom.
Dolley Madison: The First First Lady
As the host of unrivaled skill, First Lady Dolley Madison brought the US political elite together by throwing the best parties Washington, D.C., had ever seen.
Helen Keller's Watch
Deafblind pioneer Helen Keller campaigned for a better America – with the help of a remarkable watch that she didn’t have to see to read.
Judy Heumann: The Mother of ADA
Teacher Judy Heumann dedicated her life to fighting for disability rights and was one of the architects of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), changing U.S. society forever.
Tuskegee Airmen
The Tuskegee Airmen, otherwise known as the Red Tails, were the first all Black air squadron in U.S. history. Their bravery and skill during the Second World War is legendary.
What Makes The Importance of Being Earnest a Classic?
Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest was first performed in February 1895, just weeks before Wilde's career was destroyed by scandal. With themes of deception and double meaning, it lampoons Victorian ideas of class and morality.
What Makes The War of the Worlds a Classic?
In H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds, a brutal alien army descends on Earth, intent on colonising the planet for its own ends. First published as a novel in 1898, the story tapped into fears that advances in technology would herald a new age of warfare.
Katherine Johnson: Trailblazing NASA Mathematician
At a time when American space exploration was dominated by men, mathematician Katherine Johnson broke through gender and racial barriers to help change our understanding of the cosmos forever.
Mary McLeod Bethune: Fighting for Equality in the Classroom and Beyond
Mary McLeod Bethune, an influential educator activist, recognized that going to school could be a form of activism. Her groundbreaking work helped change America for the better.
Amending the Constitution
The U.S. Constitution has been amended 27 times in its history, but what did they change, and how?
The Age of Dinosaurs
Dinosaurs roamed on Earth for around 165 million years and existed for around three distinct periods. A catastrophic event 66 million years ago, which wiped out more than half of life on Earth, including the dinosaurs, is believed to be caused by meteorites crashing into Earth.
Empires of the Americas
This is a timeline of the history of the Empires of the Americas, from 3100 BCE to the fall of the last standing empires in the 16th century.
The Crusades
This is a timeline of the battles and events of The Crusades, from 1095 to 1291. A series of military expeditions in which European Christians sought to retake the Holy Land of Jerusalem from Muslim control.
Renaissance
This is a timeline of the history of the Renaissance, from 1305 to 1543. The Renaissance was a period of cultural, artistic and scientific "rebirth" in 14th century northern Italy, which saw the emergence of new and innovative art, literature, and scientific discoveries that laid the foundation for the modern world.
The Cold War
This is a timeline of events in the history of the Cold War, from 1945 to 1991. The Cold War was a period of tension between the United States and the Soviet Union after the end of World War II, as they tried to prevent each other from gaining too much power, with the threat of nuclear weapons looming.
The Cuban Missile Crisis
This is a timeline depicting the events of the Cuban Missile Crisis as they unfolded from 1952 to 1963. When the Soviets installed nuclear missiles on the Caribbean island of Cuba in 1692, a diplomatic standoff between the U.S. and the Soviet Union began. Tensions rose and the world watched as nuclear war loomed. A deal was finally struck on October 28th, 1962 to end the crisis.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
This is a timeline of the life of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart from 1756 to 1791. One of the most celebrated and influential composers in the history of music, Mozart began his musical journey as a young child. Despite his untimely death at the age of 35, he left behind a legacy of over 600 compositions, including some of the most renowned works in Classical music.
Stirling's 400: The Men Who Saved Washington's Army
In 1776, the British intended to end the Revolutionary War in North America swiftly and decisively. But their plans to crush the rebellion in New York were thwarted by a small group of soldiers: Stirling’s 400.
John Burgoyne: Gentleman General
When General John Burgoyne took command of the British Army in Canada in 1777, he was confident of success. He had the command experience and the plan to end the war. So how did his campaign unravel so spectacularly?
Banastre Tarleton: The Bloody Butcher of Waxhaws
Perhaps no fighter on Revolutionary War battlefields created such a name for themselves as Redcoat cavalry officer Banastre Tarleton. His aggressive tactics earned him the devotion of his men, and the burning hatred of the Patriots.
Colonel Tye: Scourge of Patriots
Escaping slavery at a young age, ‘Colonel Tye’ became an extremely effective guerilla commander, fighting for the British. Nobody could stop his Black Brigade - and they didn’t just raid Patriot targets, they also freed many slaves.
Lord North: Britain's Worst Prime Minister?
When Lord North became Prime Minister of Britain in 1770, the protests in the Thirteen Colonies were just a minor inconvenience. But his response to the Boston Tea Party started a war that would ultimately end his career.
Revolutionary Firepower: Muskets & Rifles
On the battlefields of the Revolutionary War, a new weapon conveyed deadly advantages - the rifle. So why did the musket remain the weapon of choice for infantry?
Thomas Hutchinson: Governor of a Rebellious Colony
Did you know that during the Revolutionary War, not all colonists wanted to become independent? Those who chose to remain loyal to the British crown included Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Thomas Hutchinson. But was he a traitor - or simply a public servant doing his job?
Executive Order
What actual powers does the President have? Well, as it turns out – a lot. Including the power to make new orders at the stroke of a pen.
Oath of Office
Promises might just seem like words, but in the legal system and government, they’re crucial. Oath of Office is part of a tradition that dates back hundreds of years.
Prohibition: Capitol Hill Secret
While Prohibition made it to illegal to sell, transport or make alcohol in the United States, the top brass in the US Congress were able to stay well-lubricated – thanks to the nefarious work of famed bootlegger, George Cassiday.
Ghost Army
The WWII 23rd Headquarters Special Troops – otherwise known as the Ghost Army – was a top secret tactical deception unit deployed by the US Army during the Second World War to fool the enemy by any means necessary.
Juneteenth Explained
Also known as Freedom Day and Emancipation Day, Juneteenth celebrates the resilience of Black Americans and the historic achievement of abolition itself. But how did it come about?
Molly Pitcher: The Heroine of Monmouth
The story of Molly Pitcher - cannon firing heroine of the Battle of Monmouth - is famous. But is it a myth? Or was there a real Molly Pitcher?
Western Department: Frontier of the Revolution
In the American Revolutionary War, the Western Department was tasked with trying to defend the huge Western frontier of the Colonies. Short of men and supplies, they faced a formidable enemy – the Native American nations of the Ohio territory and beyond.
Ninety-Six: A Town Divided by War
The small town of Ninety-Six, in South Carolina, was the site of the first battle of the Revolutionary War in the south. Later in the war the town's military fort came under siege from Nathanael Greene's Patriots. The site can still be visited today.
City Tavern: Bar-room Base for the Revolution
If there’s one building in the United States that could claim to be the birthplace of American democracy, it would have to be the City Tavern, Philadelphia. Built to be a grand meeting place for the movers and shakers of the time, it was the informal center of politics right through the years of the Revolutionary War.
Who was Benjamin Franklin?
Benjamin Franklin wasn't just a founder of the United States, he was also a writer, inventor, scientist, statesman, and a huge celebrity in the thirteen colonies.
What is Memorial Day?
Memorial Day takes place every year on the last Monday of May to honor and remember members of the armed forces who fought and died for the United States.
What is Veterans Day?
Veterans Day takes place every year on November 11 to honor the bravery and sacrifice of all those men and women who fought and died for their country, during war and peacetime.
Mottos and Symbols
A motto is a saying that stands for what a person, an organization or a country believes in. The United States of America has had two mottos. Let’s learn what they are and what they mean.
Who was Daniel Webster?
Lawyer, orator and politician, Daniel Webster was one of the United States’ most famous and accomplished people in the 19th century. But what made him so special and how did he help change America?
The Battle of Cowpens: Morgan Vs Tarleton
The Battle of Cowpens was a showdown between two talented field commanders - Continental General Daniel Morgan and British Colonel Banastre Tarleton. With armies of equal size, they both thought they could win. Only one of them was right.
Why did the Colonies Declare Independence?
In the late 1770s, U.S. patriots banded together to declare independence from Great Britain. But why did they want their independence and what kind of country did they want the United States to be?
Who Founded the Democratic Party?
It’s the oldest political party in the United States, but how was the Democratic Party formed and what contributions has it made to U.S. society since?
In re Gault: Juvenile Rights
In re Gault was a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that ensured juveniles accused of a crime would receive the same Fourteenth Amendment rights as adults. It all stemmed from a teenager making a prank call.
What was the Edenton tea party?
The Boston Tea Party is remembered as one of the key moments that sparked the American Revolution. But it was lesser known protests like the female-led Edenton tea party that kept the flames burning. David Rubenstein tells the story in a fact-filled history minute.
Why was one of the greatest athletes of all time stripped of his Olympic medals?
Jim Thorpe was a Native-American athlete who achieved Gold glory at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics. So why was he stripped of his medals? David Rubenstein answers that question in a fact-filled history minute.
What are the origins of the rainbow flag?
Today, the Rainbow Flag is synonymous with the LGBTQ+ community worldwide, representing acceptance, inclusivity and freedom for people of all sexual and gender identities. But what is its origin story? David Rubenstein answers that question in a fact-filled history minute.
Was the American Revolution a Civil War?
As anti-taxation protests turned to war in the Thirteen Colonies, even moderates ended up being forced to take sides. So was the American Revolution a civil war as well as an independence movement?
Back to Work: The Civilian Conservation Corps
In the 1930s, hundreds of thousands of Americans were recruited across the United States to protect and preserve the country's forests, parks, and fields. The Civilian Conservation Corps, a voluntary work relief program, was way ahead of its time.
Gladys Bentley: Breaking All the Rules
At a time when homosexuality was illegal in the United States, LGBTQ+ artist and pioneer Gladys Bentley broke all the rules to become one of the wealthiest Black performers of her time.
Somerset v. Stewart: Dawn of Abolitionism
James Somerset was an enslaved man who was taken taken to London in the eighteenth century. His friends decided to challenge whether slavery was legal through the English courts - the result changed perceptions of slavery forever.
National Archives and Records Administration
The National Archives and Records Administration is an independent federal agency dedicated to the preservation of historic government records. With storage facilities across the United States, NARA's contents give us an insight into our country's history.
Winston Churchill
One of the finest leaders of his generation, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s inspirational speeches – and steadfast self-confidence – helped rouse a nation to war and ultimately save the world from the destructive forces of Fascism.
Joseph Stalin
This is a timeline of the life of Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union. Shaped by revolutionary forces, he rose through the ranks of the Communist Party to become one of the world's most powerful leaders. He led USSR through the horrors of the Second World War, fighting on the side of the Allies in the defeat of Germany.
The Burning of Washington
During the War of 1812, British forces stormed into Washington, D.C. and set fire to the White House and other federal buildings. Rather than dent U.S. morale, the sacking of Washington served to galvanize the population against the British.
The Battle of Fort McHenry
The War of 1812 between the United States and Great Britain ultimately ended in stalemate, but in the aftermath of one U.S. victory, a poem was penned that would become the new nation’s national anthem.
War on the Lakes
If the U.S. Navy was to defeat the British during the War of 1812, it would not do so on the open seas. The battles that raged on the Great Lakes, however, would have a huge impact on the outcome of the war.
Angela Davis
Despite being on the FBI's Top Ten Most Wanted list, Angela Davis went on to become an international symbol of resistance against social injustice.
Propaganda
Propaganda is information designed to influence people’s opinions and actions, but how do governments use it as a covert action to elicit a response?
Social Security
When times get tough, Social Security provides a vital financial lifeline for U.S. citizens in need. But how did this revolutionary legislation come into being and what benefits does it provide?
Isaac Newton
This is a timeline of the life of English mathematician and scientist Isaac Newton, a key figure in the Scientific Revolution in the 16th and 17th centuries. Most famous for his theory of gravity, his work on the laws of motion changed our world forever.
Election of 1824: When the House Chose
In the Presidential Election of 1824, five men from one party were up for the job. It was left to the House of Representatives to figure out a winner – and the aftermath led to the modern two-party system.
Election of 1876: Testing the Constitution
The Presidential Election of 1876 was considered a foregone conclusion, with Democrat Samuel J. Tilden sure to defeat Republican Rutherford B. Hayes, but disputed Southern electoral votes led to an outcome that nobody predicted.
The Pentagon Papers: Explained
The Pentagon Papers revealed how the U.S. government had lied to the public about its involvement in the Vietnam War. Leaked by the New York Times, this opened the door for future whistleblowers to expose the truth.
Susan La Flesche Picotte: The First Female Native American Doctor
At a time when many Native Americans were refused healthcare by racist White doctors, Susan La Flesche Picotte overcame gender discrimination to become the first Indigenous woman in U.S. history to earn a medical degree.
Election of 1912: Third Party
In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt's bold creation of a new political party, the Bull Moose Party, challenged rivals Taft and Wilson, forever altering the political landscape of the United States.
The Microprocessor
From the ingenious invention of integrated circuits to the revolutionary Intel 4004 microprocessor, this remarkable technological wonder, which serves as the brains behind our computers and devices, revolutionised the way we live and interact with technology.
The Computer
From enormous engines – to tiny devices that fit inside phones, the invention of the computers revolutionised almost every part of modern life in some way - our workplaces, our homes and even our social lives.
Afong Moy
Afong Moy is believed to be the first Chinese woman to step foot on U.S. soil and her presence sparked an American fascination with Chinese culture, but her experience in the United States was far from welcoming.
Hubris: Aaron Burr
Aaron Burr's ambition led him from political prominence to infamy. Fueled by hubris, he dueled Hamilton and plotted treason, showcasing the perils of unchecked pride.
Gwendolyn Brooks
The first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, Gwendolyn Brooks wrote about the hardship and struggles of ordinary people.
World War II
Those who take the U.S. Citizenship Test must understand the reasons behind the United States’ involvement in World War II, why the U.S. was initially neutral, and what happened as a result of Imperial Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
Susan Clark Holley: Breaking Barriers in Education
Facing racial barriers in 19th-century Iowa, Susan Clark Holley’s legal battle pioneered school desegregation, laying early groundwork for the monumental Brown v. Board of Education case.
The Seventh Amendment
The Seventh Amendment guarantees the right to a trial by jury. But why is that crucial for civil cases?
The Brontë Sisters
In the 19th century, amidst societal expectations for women to stay home, the Brontë Sisters defied norms, pursuing their literary dreams. Their novels unveiled the genuine aspirations of women at the time.
Jacqueline Woodson
Jacqueline Woodson's journey, from her upbringing during the Civil Rights movement to becoming a celebrated children's author, showcases her dedication to creating stories that resonate with diverse experiences, especially for young Black readers.
The Lost Generation
The devastation and disillusionment that resonated through society in the aftermath of World War I had a profound impact on the literary landscape, notably a group of U.S. writers living in Europe, including Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. These writers are known as the Lost Generation.
Epistolary
Discover the captivating world of epistolary literature, where stories unfold through letters and documents. Explore its rich history, unique storytelling elements, and how it connects readers to characters' inner thoughts and feelings.
The People of Afghanistan
Learn about the Afghan Refugee Crisis and its roots in natural disasters, poverty, and political turmoil. Discover how millions of Afghans have been displaced, many of whom are women and children.
Malitzen: Enslaved Interpreter for Hernan Cortés
The enslaved Native woman who acted as the primary interpreter for Hernan Cortés during his conquest of the Aztec Empire.
Ida B. Wells: Journalist and Anti-Lynching Activist
Investigative journalist Ida B. Wells made it her mission to exposing the horrors of racism in the American South, but it wasn't easy.
Mediterranean World: Inspiring America's Democracy
Discover how 3,000 years ago the Ancient Mediterranean World improved the life of the people through trade and the sharing of customs, knowledge and ideas.
1619: The Legacy of Slavery in America
1619 was a significant year in the history of America for better and for worse. In Jamestown, Virginia the first slaves were imported and sold. Meet Nikole Hannah-Jones; author of New York Times' "1619 Project" who will examine the impact of that year on American History, culture and development.
Madam Queenie: New York's Notorious Crime Boss
America has always been captivated by crime and the sharp-dressed, trigger happy men who dominate the underworld. But one story remains criminally neglected, that of gambling kingpin Stephanie St. Clair, aka Madame Queenie - the Robin Hood of Harlem.
The Windshield Wiper: A Female Innovation
The first mass-produced car in America was basically a lawnmower with leather trim, but it was a start, right? This is the story of Mary Anderson and the Windshield Wiper - an invention that happened by a stroke of fate!
America: Nation of Immigrants
"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses..." It's true that the United States has always been a nation of immigrants, but as the debate around border control becomes louder and more polarised, will we be in the future?
GI Jane: What I Loved About Serving in the Army
Selective Service may only apply to young men but more women than ever are entering the US military. Meet Lesley-Ann Crumpton, a former Captain in the US Military Police who will explain more about her life and what inspired her to do her part.
Is Now The Time to Talk About Guns?
Gun control in the United States has been a loaded term for decades. So who is favour of the Second Amendment – and who is fighting back against it?
Chapstick Spy Devices and the Role they Played in Watergate
21st century spies have some serious tech at their disposal but back in the 1970s, things were a little more DIY. This is the story of a spy device disguised as chapstick tubes that played a key part in America’s most infamous burglary, Watergate.
Barbara Jordan: The Black Texan Politician who Broke the Glass Ceiling
At a time when women and people of colour were all but excluded from the US government, one woman stormed the corridors of power and made them her own. This is the story of Barbara Jordan, the African American from the South who defied expectations by being selected to serve in Congress and who became one of the finest legislators in US history.
Claudette Colvin: The Original Rosa Parks
You know the story of David and Goliath, right? Well, America has its own version. Only our hero is 15-year-old African-American, school girl Claudette Colvin and in 1955, she took on the State of Alabama for real. The original Rosa Parks!
Get Schooled! How the Electoral College Works
It's a system that's unique to the United States of American – but exactly is the electoral college, how does it work and what part does it play in our democracy? Discover more about the group of "electors" who have the final say.
The History of Birth Control
The invention of the Pill in 1967 revolutionised birth control everywhere. But US scientists Gregory Pincus and John Rock weren't the first people to experiment with contraception – civilisations around the world have been doing it for centuries.
Can America's War on Drugs Ever Be Won?
As our understanding of the consequences of drug abuse has improved, so America’s relationship with drugs has changed. From Nixon to Trump, the so-called 'War on Drugs' has cost the US government billions – but will there ever be an end in sight?
Abraham Lincoln's Top Hat
The 16th President of the United States of America is recognisable for many things – his distinctive beard, his height, his black bow tie – but it's the impressive stove hat that he bought in Washington, DC that became his enduring trademark.
Jim Thorpe: Native American Olympic Hero
Football, baseball, basketball player – he was one of America's most talented sportsmen and the first Native American to achieve Olympic Gold glory! So why don't we see Jim Thorpe's name up in lights?
Fighting for LGBTQ Rights: Is the United States Really United?
The 10th Amendment to the Constitution allows each state to set its own laws. That's meant that in Colorado, LGBTQIA+ rights have often been repressed. Meet the students at William J. Palmer High School who took their school district to court - and won!
The Turtle Submersible: The First Military Submarine
Designed in 1775, the Turtle Submersible was a military submarine that pushed the limits of engineering, in an attempt to defeat the formidable British Navy.
AIDS Memorial Quilt: Raising Awareness a Stitch at a Time
The AIDS Memorial quilt is a community art project that changed the world’s perception of HIV and AIDs.
The Swivel Chair: How Thomas Jefferson Innovated the Office Chair
Thomas Jefferson’s words helped found a nation. But did you know that he also invented the modern day swivel chair?
The Cold War: Keeping Friends Close, but Enemies Closer
Using animals to spy on enemies was an espionage tactic employed by the US during the Cold War - and beyond.
The Equal Rights Amendment: A Woman's Prerogative
The Equal Rights Amendment proposes to protect women and other marginalized genders under the U.S. Constitution - so why hasn't it been ratified?
Women of the American Revolution: The Real Unsung Heroes
During the American Revolutionary War some American women disguised themselves as men in order to join the fight, and played a critical role both on the home front and on the battlefield.
Ulysess S Grant: Profile of a Leader
In 2020, a statue of former US President Ulysses S Grant was toppled by Black Lives Matter protesters. A Civil War hero who helped bring about an end to slavery, he was a controversial figure too.
George W. Bush: After September 11
In the wake of the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil in history, President George W. Bush delivers a much anticipated speech to a Joint Session of Congress, outlining America’s reaction to the unprecedented atrocity.
The Golden Age of Illustration
The Golden Age of Illustration flourished at the turn of the 20th Century, when artistic flair collided with new technology.
A Tale of Two Leaders
Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis led Americans in the American Civil War. Both men were born in Kentucky and led opposing sides. But what happened to them both once the war ended?
Mary Carson Breckinbridge
Mary Carson, born into the wealthy Breckinridge family in 1881, changed the face of US midwifery. This is her story.
Tobacco Press
Today we know the risks of smoking tobacco, but over 100 years ago the dangers were less well known, and tobacco became a booming business in Kentucky. It’s success can impart be credited to the Burley tobacco press
How America Prepared for Nuclear War
This is the untold story of how the US prepped citizens for a potential atom-bomb Armageddon.
The Golden Age of Sci-Fi Literature
Coinciding with the Machine Age, the Golden Age of Sci-Fi Literature saw American authors combine factual science with fantastical fiction to take readers into the farthest reaches of the imagination.
Negotiating the Surrender of New Netherland
How two wives saved New Amsterdam from total destruction by English invaders through the power of negotiation.
The United Colonies of America: More Diverse Than You'd Think
Despite their many differences, the North American colonies eventually came together as one country – the United States of America. It’s that acceptance of other cultures, other ideas, other people, that makes us truly American.
The Gilded Age: When America Became a Superpower
Learn about the Gilded Age, a period of immense social and industrial change in US history.
The Anti-Masonic Party
Learn about the Anti-Masonic Party and how it challenged elitism at the highest echelons of US government.
Coast to Coast: America's First Transcontinental Railroad
Before there were viral videos and trending hashtags, the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in 1869 was one of the first mass media events in US history. Behind the glitzy headlines of that historic day - there’s a darker story to be told.
Mad Ann Bailey: Heroine of the Kanawha Valley
Historic accounts describe her “wild” appearance. So why did English settler Mad Ann Bailey don men’s clothes to take up the fight against Native American tribes?
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC, is rightly recognised as one of the most touching and solemn war memorials in the world. But when plans for the memorial were first unveiled, many Vietnam veterans and US political leaders were outraged.
9/11: Art From Ashes
September 11, 2001 is a day etched into the memories of millions. Art around the world is being used to explore and understand.
Industrial Espionage
Industrial espionage, or the theft of trade secrets, costs the US economy between $188 and $540 billion dollars every year. But Americans have been committing economic crimes for centuries!
What is Fairtrade?
What is fairtrade? And how does it benefit our society? Let's find out.
Our Solar System
Blast off into space and learn more about our solar system.
Earthquakes or Hurricanes
The Earth has a lot of activity: both under the ground and in its atmosphere. This activity can lead to extreme weather conditions. Let's find out more.
Ancient Egypt
Find out what made the Ancient Egyptian civilisation one of the most interesting and vibrant civilisations in human history.
History Before Humans
History is the story of everything that has happened in the past. Let's journey back in time and take a look at what life was like before humans.
World Climate
Different parts of the world have different climates. Let’s look at what causes them.
Water
Water is essential for life on Earth. Why is it so important and where does it come from? Let's find out.
The American Revolution
The American Revolution was a war between American Patriots and their British rulers. Find out how it began and how it resulted in the foundation of the United States of America.
Inspirational Women of the 20th Century
Let’s meet some of the many women who have left a lasting impression on the past century.
Planet Earth
Planet earth is where we live, the surface is covered in land and sea.
What Is Global Warming?
The temperature on earth is increasing due to human activity.
The Dawn Chorus
Birds sing as the day breaks for all sorts of different reasons, their songs together are called The Dawn Chorus
Weather in Other Countries
The weather in other countries and during other seasons can be very different but people in those places make the most of it.
Let's Go Fly a Kite
Making and flying your own kite can be lots of fun on a windy day, remember to ask an adult for help if you need it
Climate Change: Melting Ice and Rising Seas
Climate change is causing the ice at the North and South Poles to melt and sea levels to rise.
The Tulsa Race Massacre Explained
It was one of the deadliest terror attacks in US history. So why wasn’t the Tulsa Race Massacre properly taught in US schools until 2019?
The European Union
How was the European Union formed and how does it benefit its members?
Ice
Everything you ever wanted to know about ice!
Invasive Species and Unwelcome Guests
Over millions of years, plants and animals have evolved to suit the environment or habitat in which they live.
Stuxnet
Stuxnet, a powerful cyber weapon used to disrupt Iran's nuclear advancements at the Natanz facility in 2010, marked a pivotal moment in the history of cyber warfare.
Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore, carved into South Dakota's Black Hills, features Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt. It symbolizes pivotal moments in American history and leadership.
Native Americans
Tracing the journey of Native Americans, this overview delves into their cultures, encounters with European settlers, enduring struggles, and ongoing efforts for rights and recognition.
Federal and State Powers
The U.S. Constitution divides power between the federal government and states, granting specific national powers and reserving others to states via the 10th Amendment, with federal laws generally overriding state laws.
Angie Thomas
Angie Thomas transformed her challenging experiences into groundbreaking novels, inspiring young African Americans to raise their voices.
Oleg Penkovsky
Oleg Penkovsky, a Soviet spy who switched allegiances to the West during the Cold War, helped to avert nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Daily Life in the Colonies
From bustling cities to quiet farms, colonial life was filled with the diverse experiences of European settlers, Indigenous communities, and the enslaved.
Exploring the World
This is a timeline of the events in the history of the Age of Exploration from the early 1400s to 1521. During the 15th and 16th centuries, European explorers set sail to discover new lands, great riches and exotic goods, leading to the discovery of trade routes across the world and the first circumnavigation of the globe.
How did a statue help win the fight for independence?
It was erected in New York as a symbol of English King George III’s grip on the North American colonies. So how did a metal statue help American Patriots win the Revolutionary War? David Rubenstein answers that question in a fact-filled history minute.
How did a tennis match change the world?
In the 1970s, tennis player Billie Jean King threw down the gauntlet for gender equality in an epic tennis match against self-proclaimed chauvinist Bobby Riggs, hailed as the Battle of the Sexes. So how did one tennis match change the world? David Rubenstein answers that question in a fact-filled history minute.
How did the United States buy Alaska?
Now a picture perfect US state, Alaska was once owned by Russia. So how did the United States buy this huge tract of land in the 1800s? David Rubenstein answers that question in a fact-filled history minute.
What did kitchens have to do with the Cold War?
In the midst of the Cold War, things got heated, when, in 1959, US Vice President Richard Nixon engaged in a very public spat with Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev. So how did a kitchen bring two world leaders to loggerheads? David Rubenstein answers that question in a fact-filled history minute.
First Pets of the White House
A succession of presidents and their families have kept animals at the White House, some more unusual than others, including sheep, a raccoon, a snake, and of course, cats and dogs.
Princeton: Washington's Key Victory
After winning the Battle of Trenton, George Washington was determined to keep the initiative. He marched his troops through the night towards Princeton, where he faced the British army once again, and won one of the key victories of the Revolutionary War.
Puppy Diplomacy and the Cold War
In 1961, a gift from Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev to President John F. Kennedy, the adorable pooch Pushinka, brought the men closer together. Did puppy diplomacy prevent an all out nuclear war?
The Burning of the White House
When British troops set the White House alight during the War of 1812, White House staff rallied to save its contents, including a priceless work of art that survives to this day.
The Haymarket Affair
One of the worst miscarriages of justice in U.S. history, the Haymarket Affair, a labor action in support of an eight-hour working day, led to the unlawful executions of four Chicago residents.
The Battle of the Chesapeake
The Battle of the Chesapeake was a fiercely fought sea battle between the British and French Navies. At stake wasn’t just control of the Chesapeake Bay, but the fate of the British Southern Campaign and the entire Revolutionary War.
Department of the Interior
Many government departments have a focused mission, but the Department of the Interior is known as the "Department of Everything Else." So what are its responsibilities and how does it keep our country in check?
White Propaganda
Often deployed by governments during times of crisis, white propaganda has a known source and simple slogans, and uses strong visuals to rally public opinion.
Propaganda Today
In the digital age, it’s never been easier for governments to influence our opinions and actions using propaganda. So what does propaganda actually look like in the 21st century – and how effective is it?
American Privateers: Pirates or Protectors?
At the time of the Revolutionary War, naval warfare wasn’t just the preserve of governments. Private businesses could also send armed vessels out to sea. It was a risky business, but American privateers inflicted millions of dollars of loss on British supply lines – making some very rich in the process.
The 1920s
This is a timeline of the Roaring Twenties - a decade of unrivaled optimism and plenty, as many Americans – flush with cash – luxuriated in new sights, sounds and ways of life. But all came to an end as the economic boom turned to bust.
The 1930s
This is a timeline of the 1930s, a decade marked by immense challenges and hardships, from the Great Depression to World War II. The 1930s had a huge impact on nations and families as millions struggled to adapt to changing circumstances. It ended with the world to the brink of destruction.
World War I: Part Two
This is a timeline of events during the second half of World War I, from 1916 to 1919. From the devastating Battle of the Somme to the introduction of U-boats and the eventual signing of the Treaty of Versailles, this period witnesses significant battles, shifting alliances, and the profound impact of the war on nations and their people.
Department of Commerce
The Department of Commerce is one of the largest, most powerful of U.S. government agencies. Its mission? To “create the conditions for economic growth and opportunities for all communities.”
The Department of the Treasury
The Department of the Treasury, inspired by its first secretary, Alexander Hamilton, is responsible for managing the production of money and maintaining the crucial systems underpinning the financial infrastructure of the United States.
Rebecca Lee Crumpler
This is a timeline of the life of the first African American woman to qualify as a doctor, Rebecca Lee Crumpler. Crumpler dedicated her life to treating women and children who lived in poverty, and her book, Medical Discourses, helped others to care for themselves.
John Logie Baird
This is a timeline of Scottish engineer and inventor John Logie Baird’s life, from 1888 to 1946. From his early experiments in transmitting moving images to the development of color and three-dimensional television, Baird's groundbreaking innovations revolutionized the entertainment and technology landscape, shaping our world today.
The Soviet Union
This is a timeline of the rise and fall of the Soviet Union, from 1905 to 1991. From the revolution in 1917 to the dissolution in 1991, the Soviet Union emerged as the world's first communist state under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin and later Joseph Stalin, but internal struggles, economic challenges, and demands for independence led to its eventual disbandment.
Election of 1948: The Underdog
The suspenseful 1948 presidential election exposed the consequences of flawed polls, as Truman's astonishing victory upended expectations and forever changed how pollsters make predictions.
The Airplane
From the invention of the airplane by the Wright brothers to the advancements in jet engines and space exploration, aviation reshaped the world, revolutionising global connectivity and bringing people closer together.
The Elevator
From steam-powered lifts to Elisha Graves Otis' groundbreaking safety hoist in the 1850s, the invention of electric elevators revolutionized vertical mobility, giving rise to soaring skyscrapers and reshaping city skylines.
Navigational Novelties
From ancient cave carvings to modern satellite technology, the remarkable progression of navigation tools revolutionised exploration, enabling sailors to navigate uncharted waters and unlock the secrets of the world.
The Telephone
From Alexander Graham Bell's invention to the evolution of mobile phones and smartphones, invention of the telephone had a revolutionary impact on communication worldwide, connecting people across long distances and becoming the most widely used communication device on Earth.
The Television
It’s the marvellous machine that brings the world into your living room. From fuzzy pictures to high-definition images, watching television has kept us informed and entertained for decades.
The Camera
Today, taking photographs has never been easier. But it took a lot of hardwork and experimentation to get to where we are today. Let’s explore how the camera has evolved through time.
Injustice: Roger Taney
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Roger Taney's unjust majority opinion in Dred Scott v. Sandford shockingly declared Black individuals weren't citizens, solidifying slavery's grip and pushing the nation closer to Civil War.
Prudence: Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson's prudence in orchestrating the Louisiana Purchase, despite constitutional concerns, doubled the size of the U.S., securing its position on the global stage.
Octavia Butler
First popularized as a genre of literature in the 1920s, for decades science fiction was dominated by white male authors. That is until Octavia Butler, an African American woman, rewrote the script.
Letitia Carson: Defiant Pioneer
In the mid-19th century, only around 3% of those who traveled West on the Oregon Trail were Black. Among them was Letitia Carson, the only Black woman in Oregon to successfully receive land through the Homestead Act.
Tituba: The First Accused Witch
The Salem Witch Trials are one of the most infamous tragedies in American history, yet most people do not know the story of the enslaved woman at the heart of the hysteria, the first accused witch, Tituba.
Harriet R. Gold Boudinot: Interracial Marriage in Early America
The interracial marriage of Harriet R. Gold and Elias Boudinot transcended racial taboos of the 1800s, leaving a lasting impact on both the Cherokee and Cornwall communities.
Ona Judge: Self-Emancipated from the Presidential Mansion
Born into slavery on George Washington's plantation, Ona Judge's daring escape highlights the ideological contradictions of personal liberty in early America.
Texas v. Johnson
What happens when the right to free speech, clashes with symbols of freedom? This is the story of Texas v. Johnson, when the Supreme Court ruled on whether burning the US flag was constitutional.
Griswold v. Connecticut
When gynaecologist Estelle Griswold opened a birth control clinic in Connecticut, she was convicted of a crime. Convinced the law banning birth control was unconstitutional, she took the case to the Supreme Court.
Walter Dean Myers
Author of more than 100 books for young readers, Walter Dean Myers overcame many struggles in his personal life to write stories that represented the Black experience and the struggles of young Americans.
W.W.Jacobs
Author W.W. Jacobs crafted a unique blend of Gothic horror and dark comedy in his writings, most notably in 'The Monkey’s Paw', to inspire horror icons like Stephen King and Alfred Hitchcock.
The People of Ukraine
Amidst a brutal invasion by Russia, over 10 million displaced Ukrainians persevere in their quest for safety, rebuilding lives through education and community support.
Elections in the United States
How do elections actually work?
Peggy Shippen: The It Girl Spy
Peggy Shippen, the Philadelphia It Girl who spied for the British during the American Revolution.
The Gettysburg Address: The Two-Minute Speech That Saved America
It’s got fewer words than the average rap song, and takes less time to read than it does to boil an egg. So how did the Gettysburg Address inspire a global movement for democratic change that’s still shaping our lives today?
Robert E. Lee: The Man Behind the Myth
He’s revered as the greatest Confederate general of them all, the personification of Southern loyalty, tradition and military strength. But there’s a lot more to the so-called ‘Marble Man’ than meets the eye. So, who was the real Robert E Lee?
The Battle of Athens and Gun Control
The story of how the Second Amendment was used in a fight against democracy, during the Battle of Athens, Tennessee.
Civil War Tactics: Shooting as Many as Possible
The Greeks fought in phalanx formation. In medieval times, they preferred the wedge. So what made Civil War armies fight in long, straight lines that left them wide open to attack?
Lives of the Enslaved During the Civil War
How did life change for enslaved people as the American Civil War raged around them?
The New South: After Reconstruction
After the American Civil War, the American South attempted a rebrand. But would it accept the progressive social and political changes of the Reconstruction Era?
Rubber Gloves: The Simple Invention That Revolutionised Medicine
This is a love story behind one of the most important medical inventions ever made - the rubber gloves.
The Surfboard: The Evolution of the Surfboard
This totally rad piece of water sports equipment empowered millions of Americans to ride the waves – but how did the humble surfboard evolve through the years?
What Makes Little Women a Classic?
When Little Women was first released in 1868, it sold 2,000 copies in just two days. A coming-of-age story that defied convention, it has gripped and inspired readers for generations.
Jailhouse Fight for Prisoners' Rights
What rights, if any, do prisoners have under US law? It’s a question that came to a head during the Attica Prison Riots of 1971.
The First Allies of the Revolution
The United States’ first true allies, the Oneida Tribe helped the Patriots to win the American Revolutionary War – but at what cost?
The Secret Balloons that Bombed America
In 1944, Imperial Japan attacked the West Coast of America with hundreds of balloon bombs flown 6,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean. They took the lives of five Oregon school children and their teacher – and remain a threat to this day.
Josefa Segovia: The Only Mexican-American Woman Hanged in California
Was Josefa Segovia – the first and only woman hanged in the state of California – killed for her actions or her race? And what can we learn from her tragic story?
Birth of the Lone Star State
Today, Texas is famous around the world as being the most American state of them all – but it once belonged to Mexico. For almost a decade, it was an independent republic.
The Civil War Battle for Bread
When the women of Richmond, Virginia couldn’t afford to buy bread during the American Civil War, they incited the largest civil disturbance the Confederacy had ever seen.
Horse-Riding Librarians
The Pack Horse Library Initiative saw hundreds of female librarians cross the Appalachian Mountains to deliver books to those in need.
The 442nd: The Most Decorated Regiment of the Second World War
Despite the racism they faced, the bravery and heroism of the Japanese American 442nd Regiment Combat Team made them one of the most decorated units in United States history.
The Explosive Story of Dynamite Hill
When Black residents moved into one neighborhood in Birmingham, Alabama, White supremacists unleashed a wave of terror against the community.
Pandemic Lockdown of 1918
The Spanish Flu was one of the deadliest pandemics the world has ever seen – so how was one sleepy Colorado town able to escape unscathed?
Changunak Antisarlook: The Reindeer Queen
She was known as the Reindeer Queen – and one of the richest women in Alaska. So how did Changunak Antisarlook use her remarkable wealth to benefit the Inupiat community?
Polly Bemis: Chinese Immigrant Pioneer
Sold into slavery by her parents, Polly Bemis faced discrimination as a Chinese immigant in America – but became something of a pioneer of the West.
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper's Pursuit of Absolute Equality
This film is about the most important events of Watkins Harper’s early life, highlighting her early achievements as a writer.
Joseph Henry Douglass: Changing America With Music
Classical violinist Joseph Henry Douglass helped empower the Black community through music and education at a time when Southern lawmakers were pushing back against the progress of Reconstruction.
George III: The King Who Lost the Colonies
Before the Revolutionary War took hold, there was hope amongst several American colonists that the British King, George III, would ultimately intervene to stop his government imposing their will on the North American continent. But those American revolutionaries had overestimated both the monarch’s power over parliament and his desire to avoid conflict.
The Secrets of the Zimmermann Telegram
The Zimmermann Telegram, a secret message from Germany to Mexico during the First World War, ended the United States’ neutrality and sealed the fate of the Central Powers.
The Harlem Cultural Festival: Soul Time
The 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, also known as Black Woodstock, was a watershed moment for Black culture in America - that history almost forgot.
What Makes The Invisible Man a Classic?
First published as a novel in 1897, HG Wells' The Invisible Man is the story of a scientist corrupted by his own ambition. A gripping story of madness and immorality, its brutal conclusion still has the power to shock today.
What Makes Dracula a Classic?
First published in 1897, Bram Stoker's Dracula is the chilling tale of a bloodthirsty narcissist. Drawing on European folktales and gory accounts of a 15th century ruler, the novel reimagined the age-old vampire myth for a new generation.
What Makes A Doll's House a Classic?
Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House is a feminist drama that challenged social convention - and scandalised 19th century audiences. First performed in Denmark in 1879, its subversive themes still resonate today.
What Makes The Odyssey a Classic?
Homer's The Odyssey is the ancient Greek tale of one man's epic journey home from war. Full of vengeful gods and deadly sea monsters, its influence can be seen in countless books, comics and movies today.
Patsy Mink: Groundbreaking Congresswoman
What do you think of when you picture Title IX? Inequality has plagued America’s youth for generations. Patsy Mink, a then young Japanese-American, vowed to change the system forever.
What Makes The Scarlet Letter a Classic?
First published in 1850, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter is a novel that explores judgement, shame and redemption in 17th century Massachusetts.
The Scientific Revolution
This is a timeline of the Scientific Revolution, a period of great scientific advancement in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. Marked by a rejection of traditional ideas and a questioning of religious beliefs, it led to a new approach to experimentation and significant breakthroughs in fields like biology, astronomy, and physics.
Charles Darwin
This is a timeline of the events in the life and work of English naturalist Charles Darwin, from 1831 to 1882. Darwin's study of the natural world showed how life developed through evolution. His book 'On the Origin of Species' would prove to be one of the most influential scientific works in history.
Sitting Bull
This is a timeline of events in the life of Sitting Bull, from 1831 to 1890. A Sioux warrior chief and holy man, Sitting Bull fought to protect his tribe's land from being taken by the U.S. government and is remembered as one of the greatest Native American warriors in history.
Vincent van Gogh
This is a timeline of events in the life of Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh, from 1853 - 1890. Known for his vivid and unique oil paintings, Vincent van Gogh found it hard to make a living from his art and struggled with his mental health during his lifetime.
Martin Luther King Jr
Martin Luther King Jr, an influential activist and Christian minister, led the Civil Rights Movement to fight for the rights of African Americans through the 1950s and 60s. He believed in non-violent protest and his work helped to tear down racial segregation and inspire generations of activists seeking Civil Rights and a more equal society.
John Montresor: Mapping the American Revolution
Eighteenth century military commanders did not have the benefits of technology to learn the position of their enemies in the field. They relied on the skill and hard work of cartographers: map makers like John Montresor.
New Jersey: The Birthplace of Women's Suffrage?
When women finally won the right to vote in 1920, it wasn’t the first time in the nation’s history that they’d been able to cast ballots - for a period after the revolution, women in New Jersey could, and did, vote.
The Hessians: George III's German Mercenaries
The Hessians were one of the most feared armies in 18th Century Europe. This elite group of soldiers from modern-day Germany traveled to America to fight for the British in the Revolutionary War. But more than 3,000 of their number never returned home, ending a century-long Hessian history as troops for hire.
Shays' Rebellion: Revolt Against the Revolution
After the Revolutionary War was won, Daniel Shays led a thousand-strong rebellion of disgruntled farmers who almost plunged the new nation of the United States into civil war in Massachusetts. Their actions, although defeated, led to a reassessment of values that informed the creation of the US Constitution. They called themselves ‘Regulators’ - and, by that moniker, they succeeded.
Lord George Germain: Long Distance Government
Have you ever tried to video call a friend on bad wi-fi? What if you had to direct a war from 3500 miles away - and the communication lag was two months?! That's what Lord George Germain, the British Secretary of State for America had to deal with during the Revolutionary War.
Joseph Plumb Martin: Private Yankee Doodle
What were the day to day struggles faced by the common soldiers of the Continental Army? How did they stay alive? The memoir of Joseph Plumb Martin - or ‘Private Yankee Doodle’, veteran of battles and harsh winters - paints a vivid picture.
Vice President
POTUS gets the big house, the fancy cars, and all the attention. But there’s someone in the background who deserves respect. Let’s give it up for the VP!
Congressional Whip
A Congressional Whip works with the party’s leadership in Congress to make sure everyone follows the agenda and votes together. They’re the muscle – the enforcer in a smart suit.
History of the Hashtag
Everyday, millions of people around the world use hashtags to sift through the Internet’s endless content – but where did this ubiquitous symbol actually come from?
Robber Barons or Captains of Industry?
The Gilded Age was a period of unprecedented industrial and economic growth in the United States – but were the men at the helm captains of industry or robber barons out for their own?
The History of the Rainbow Flag
The rainbow flag is one of the most recognisable symbols in the world, synonymous with tolerance and LGBTQ+ rights. But how was it created?
Robert Morris: Financier of the Revolution
Robert Morris was a shipping tycoon, financier and Founding Father who was crucial to the Continental war effort. But was he genuinely committed to the cause – or just trying to make a quick buck?
Francis Marion: The Swamp Fox
In 1780, when the British took Charleston, it looked as if the rest of South Carolina might end up in Loyalist hands. But a band of Patriot partisans, operating out of the Pee Dee River swamp areas, kept humiliating the British with repeated surprise attacks. Their leader? Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox.
The Battle of Red Bank: Von Donop's Downfall
In October 1777, two small undermanned forts on the Delaware River were all that were stopping the British from gaining complete control of the area around Philadelphia. But while the British attack had strength in numbers and a Royal Navy backup, it was led by the impulsive Colonel von Donop, a man determined to regain his honor at all costs…
What is Medal of Honor Day?
Medal of Honor Day takes place every year on the 25th of March. It celebrates brave U.S. military service people who went above and beyond to protect our way of life.
Regimental Flags: Symbols of Pride
For soldiers on the battlefields of the Revolutionary War, the regimental flag was essential, both as a way of keeping their bearings in the chaos of the fight and a way of projecting their identity.
Oriskany: End of the Iroquois Confederacy
The Battle of Oriskany was one of the most bloody of the entire Revolutionary War. It was fought between Patriot militia and members of the Iroquois Confederacy who had been forced to take sides. It was a bitter encounter, from which there were no winners.
What is Common Sense?
It’s one of the most important documents in US history, but how did Thomas Paine’s 47-page pamphlet, Common Sense, turn the tide of the American Revolutionary War?
What are the Different Forms of Government?
Every country on Earth is run by some form of government – but there are many different kinds, from autocracies and oligarchies to direct and representative democracies.
Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier: Free Speech in School
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the right to free speech. But when student journalists in Missouri wrote a series of articles on teen sex and divorce in 1983, their school appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court for the right to censor the content – and won.
Art as Activism: Statements of Democracy
Art is a powerful democratic tool because it can inspire emotion and empower people to take direct action to achieve a social or political goal.
Age of Revolution: When Enough is Enough
In the late 1700s, three major revolutions changed the course of history in the name of freedom and equality. The Age of Revolutions bore witness to this change.
Stonewall Uprising: The Fight Against Oppression
The LGBTQ+ community took a stand in 1960s America. Discriminated against because of their sexuality and gender identity, they campaigned for a fairer, freer society in a time of social and political upheaval in America.
What is the Significance of 1619?
The year 2026 marks the bicentennial of a landmark year in US history – when the first European women and enslaved people arrived on North American soil, and US democracy was born.
Marie van Brittan Brown: Creating CCTV in Queens
How did a hardworking nurse from New York City invent the world's first home security system? When a burglar tried to break into her apartment in the 1960s, this kickass crimefighter went where no-one had gone before.
Frances Oldham Kelsey: Standing Up to Big Pharma
Meet Frances Oldham Kelsey - a true American hero! Frances was a pharmacologist working for the FDA who stood up to the big drug companies and ultimately saved thousands of American lives in the process.
Could Veganism Save The World?
Veganism is sweeping the global. So why are more and more people deciding to cut all animal products from their diets – and why could doing so help to save the Earth?
William Jennings Bryan: Flag of an Empire Speech
Former U.S. Secretary of State, William Jennings Bryan spoke in Indianapolis back in 1900 on the opposition of Imperialism within America. The speech has since been entitled Flag of an Empire.
We Call BS! Why Guns Are Big News
Millions of Americans value their Second Amendment right to own and carry arms. However, after 17 students and staff were shot dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School back in Florida in 2018 - students became the voice in the fight for gun law change. Meet Harvard University lecturer and author Caroline Light who explains why the gun control debate in America is louder than ever before.
The Ruby Laser: A World First
Lasers aren't just for sci-fi fans. We use them to scan barcodes in shopping malls, conduct surgeries, even remove tattoos! All thanks to the very first, the Ruby Laser.
The Founding Fathers: Who Were They Really?
The Founding Fathers were American patriots who helped create a nation, but there are some things you might not know about them...
The War of Independence: The Minorities who Fought for Freedom
The American Revolutionary War defined our Country, with Black and Native American soldiers playing a key role.
Ronald Reagan: Tear Down This Wall
On June 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan delivers a speech to the people of West Berlin, calling upon the Soviet Union to tear down the wall that divides the city.
Protest Music of the Vietnam War
In protest against the Vietnam War - one of the most divisive conflicts in US history - American musicians wrote and performed hundreds of songs calling for peace and criticising the US government’s handling of the war.
Musical Theatre: From Athens to Broadway
Musical Theater originated in Ancient Greece, but in the late 19th century the artform took America by storm.
Ball Culture of New York City
Ball Culture can be traced as far back as the 1860s in New York City, where LGBTQ+ people began to create safe spaces where they could express and celebrate their identities freely.
Graffiti: Street Art or Vandalism?
Do you see Graffiti or Street Art? Explore the "pioneering era" of graffiti that took place during the years 1969 through 1974, as well as its enduring appeal today.
The NAACP Legal Defense Fund
Thurgood Marshall represented the country's first civil and human rights law firm. Known as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, they raised money, amassed lawyers, and launched lawsuits throughout the country to fight segregation.
The Rosenbergs: First Civilians Executed for Espionage
Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were the first US citizens to be convicted and executed for sharing government secrets during peacetime. Were they innocent?
Mary Church Terrell: Championing Suffrage and Civil Rights
Mary Church Terrell was a lifelong activist who advocated for suffrage and equal rights.
The Shelleys and the Right to Fair Housing
JD and Ethel Shelley fought against restrictive covenants for the basic right to choose their own home. These agreements prevent homes being sold to people of certain races.
Language of the Revolution
Did you know that hipsters were a thing back in the 18th century and were known as Macaroni? Our ancestors liked to get creative with language: especially in the world of politics.
America's First President: Setting Precedents
Did you know that George Washington didn’t want to become the first US President? Despite his reluctance, he set many precedents which remain pillars of the office today.
Wartime Elections
What is the effect of war on elections? Benjamin Franklin famously wrote: “Nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”, but he forgot one thing – Presidential elections!
The Supreme Court: Gatekeeper of the Constitution
Ever wonder why a new appointment to the Supreme Court is such big news? Of the three branches that make up the Federal Government, it’s arguably the judiciary – the courts system – that has the greatest impact upon our lives.
All Men are Created Equal? The Founding Fathers' Views on Slavery
What did the Founding Fathers really think of slavery? And how did that impact the laws they created?
When Russia Sold Alaska
In 1959, the United States officially welcomed Alaska into the family as the 49th state. But did you know that 100 years earlier, Alaska was actually part of Russian America?
Stetson Kennedy: Unmasking The Ku Klux Klan
Folklorist and social crusader, Stetson Kennedy, helped unmask the KKK, one of the deadliest hate groups in US history.
Invoking The 25th Amendment
What happens when the President is no longer able to perform their duties? That’s when the 25th Amendment to the US Constitution comes into play.
Roberto Clemente: True Baseball Hero
Puerto Rican All-Star Roberto Clemente hit 240 home runs and was W a two-time World Series champion. He won the coveted Golden Glove twelve years in a row, but life in America was anything but easy.
Modern Medicine
Learn about the bizarre and often dangerous medical treatments used in America up until the 20th century.
Mount Rushmore
It’s one of the most recognisable landmarks in the United States – but what’s the untold story behind Mount Rushmore National Monument?
Opening the Oval with David Rubenstein: Presidential Power in Wartime
In this episode, David Rubenstein explores Presidential Power in Wartime with historian Michael Beschloss and documentary filmmaker Ken Burns.
Epidemics
They’re diseases that affect people living in a single country or region – but what impact have historic epidemics had on US society?
Abstract Expressionism
By showing people that art can be used to express what we feel, rather than what we see, Abstract Expressionism changed how we define what art is.
Indigenous North American Tattoos
To Indigenous Americans, tattoos aren’t just decorative, they’re also sacred, rich in artistry and meaning, and of huge social, cultural and religious significance.
Carving a Pumpkin
Carving a pumpkin for Haloween takes, planning, skill and the right tools for the job
Filtering Water
Drinking clean water is important for health and wellbeing, it's sometimes necessary to use a filtration system to filter dirty water into clean
Manhattan Project Human Experiments
When scientists at the top secret 'Manhattan project' wanted to discover how radioactive bomb materials could affect the human body – they secretly injected terminally ill patients with uranium to find out.
From Farm to Fork
We enjoy thousands of foods and flavours every day and almost all of them come from a farm. Learn more about the journey from farm to fork.
Norway
Journey with us to Norway, where we learn all about this amazing country.
Minding Our Planet
If no one bothered to care for our environment, our world would be a very different place. Let's look at some small changes that can make a big difference to our world.
Space Race
Who will be the first to send a human into space? Who will be the first to walk in space? And, most importantly, who will be the first to walk on the moon?
Landmarks and Places that Stand Out
Here are a selection of world-famous landmarks, natural and some man made.
Extreme Weather and Climate Change
Is the world slowly getting warmer and warmer? Climates are changing – and extreme weather is more common than you think!
North America
It is the third largest continent, after Asia and Africa. But how much do you know about North America?
Wired to Wireless – Morse Code
Today, the telephone has become central to our lives. It has changed the way we communicate. But where did it all begin?
Martin Luther King Junior
Let's take a look at Martin Luther King Junior’s tireless work in the peaceful fight for justice.
Musical Instruments
There are many different and amazing types of musical instruments which are suited to different types of music from classical to digital
Irish Charities
Irish charities do a lot of good work in the community with the homeless, elderly, animals, children and other people in need
The Human Lifecycle
The human lifecycle is from birth to death and covers everything in-between
Day and Night in Antarctica
Antarctica is a fascinating cold continent inhabited by seals, penguins and other wild life at the South Pole
The Emergency Services
The Emergency services are the Coast Guard, the Fire Brigade, The RNLI Lifeboat Service and The Ambulance Service.
All About Bees
Bees are yellow and black insects which have two wings and six legs who fly from flower to flower collecting pollen to make honey
Farming: Past and Present
People have been farming for thousands of years, the process has changed a lot over the years
Working at Dublin Airport
Dublin Airport is a busy place where lots of people work at different important jobs.
Making Land out of Water
How is land formed on water? Let's find out.
French Revolution
Let's take a trip back in time and learn all about the French revolution.
The Maori
The Māori are the indigenous people of New Zealand.
Vasco Da Gama
Vasco da Gama was born in the 1460s in Sines on the south-west of Portugal. Find out all about his life and achievements.
Zoot Suit Riots
Did you know that in LA, it’s illegal to wear Zoot suits? A fashion crime that dates back to the Zoot Suit Riots of 1943.
Jovita Idar: Voice of the People
Imagine throwing shade at a politician online and police showed up to arrest you! It would be un-American, right? In this video, we'll explain the story of Jovita Idar, a Mexican-American journalist who refused to be silenced!
What is a Refugee?
Learn about the challenges that refugees face when leaving their home countries, the international laws that protect them, and the resilience that enables them to contribute to society.
Elizebeth Friedman
Elizebeth Friedman revolutionized American cryptology and played a crucial role in bringing down mobsters and spy rings in the 20th century.
Operation Popeye
In 1967, during the Vietnam War, the U.S. launched a covert mission aimed to extend the monsoon season in Vietnam. Operation Popeye was the first military attempt to manipulate the weather.
What is the Statue of Liberty?
The Statue of Liberty is more than just a statue – it’s a collection of powerful symbols that represent the United States, its history and the ideals that it holds dear.
What is Presidents' Day?
Every year, on the third Monday of February, Americans celebrate Presidents’ Day. A federal holiday that originally began as a birthday celebration for George Washington, the first President of the United States.
What is The Liberty Bell?
From its creation in 1701 to its role in American independence and beyond, the Liberty Bell embodies the United States’ enduring values of liberty, equality, democracy, and freedom for all.
The White House
The White House is more than just a residence for the President. Explore the building’s remarkable history and learn how it became a symbol of the United States.
Supreme Court
Sitting at the pinnacle of the judicial branch of government, the U.S. Supreme Court is the highest court in the land. Its landmark rulings have had an enduring impact on American life and law.
Barbara McClintock: Scientific Persistence Pays Off
Barbara McClintock used corn to make pioneering discoveries in genetics, despite facing gender bias and initial skepticism from the scientific community.
Madeleine L'Engle
For Madeleine L’Engle, the starry night sky sparked profound questions about life, the universe, and her place in it. Inspired by science and spirituality, her extraordinary works of fiction have captured the hearts and minds of millions.
Agent Garbo
Juan Pujol García, a pacifist who became a crucial double agent during WWII, deceived Nazi Germany and aided the D-Day invasion.
Life in the Colonies: African Enslavement
Africans brought to the Thirteen Colonies faced hardships and resisted slavery in their quest for freedom.
Life in the Colonies: Women
In the Thirteen Colonies, women had limited rights and freedoms. Their lives, influenced by marriage, status, and coverture laws varied greatly, reflecting the evolving society of the time.
Protests at the White House
There is a rich history of protests and demonstrations at the White House and Lafayette Park, from the suffragists' silent pickets to a peace vigil that has spanned across decades.
Clara Brown: Pioneering Philanthropist
Clara Brown made history as a founding settler of Central City Colorado. After gaining her freedom from slavery, she became a philanthropic force for good.
Boudicca
This Rebel Girl was a fearless warrior; Queen of an ancient British tribe called the Iceni, who spearheaded a rebellion against the Romans to protect her Kingdom. We explore who Boudicca was. Based on the best-selling book series 'Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls'.
Lilian Bland
For this Rebel Girl, the sky was the limit.An aviator who was determined to fly into the history books as the first woman to design, build and pilot her own plane. We explore who Lilian Bland was. Based on the best-selling book series 'Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls'.
Democratic Symbols
In ancient Athens, symbols were used to promote religious and democratic ideals and beliefs. Thousands of years later these symbols helped to define the United States.
The Road to Athenian Democracy
What forms of government preceded democracy and how did this pave the way for the ancient Athenians to invent democracy?
What is The Constitution?
How has the U.S. Constitution endured when it was created over 200 years ago? Why is it still the supreme law of the land today?
Nat Turner's Slave Rebellion
Nat Turner - known as the prophet in his enslaved community, led a violent uprising that changed everything.
The Camera: How The Camera Exposed The Reality of The Civil War
The camera changed how many Americans saw the Civil War – and exposed millions to the horrors of conflict for the very first time.
Black Cowboys of the West
The stereotypical image of a White cowboy dominates popular culture – but in the 19th century, a quarter of ranch hands were Black!