American Civil War

April is a significant month in American history: The American Civil War began on April 12, 1861, and ended when Confederate General Lee surrendered to Union General Grant on April 9, 1865 (although the last shot was fired on June 22, 1865). To aid in your study of this pivotal war that defined our country, [Read More…]

Today in History: Slavery Is Officially Abolished in the US

The 13th Amendment On this day (December 18) in 1865, the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution was officially adopted. This amendment states, “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude… shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” It was former Confederate States of America member Alabama that ratified the amendment [Read More…]

Today in History: Neil Armstrong Makes Giant Leap for Mankind

That’s one small step for a man — one giant leap for mankind. — Neil Armstrong, First Man to Set Foot on the Moon July 20, 1969: American Astronaut Neil Armstrong was the first person to set foot on the moon. Were you watching the event on television that day, as so many around the [Read More…]

The Declaration of Independence

July 4, 1776 In honor of our nation’s Independence Day (July 4th) celebrations, we’ve gathered up the titles that we currently have in our catalog that have been tagged with “Declaration of Independence.” We’ve also created a list of the men who are considered Founding Fathers who signed this historical document ( didn’t sign this [Read More…]

Today in History: The War of 1812 Begins

This day (June 18) in 1812 marks the beginning of the War of 1812 after the U.S., under the presidency of James Madison, declared war on Great Britain. There were three major reasons for this declaration: Britain’s economic blockade of France, the capturing of American seaman and forcing them to serve in the British Royal [Read More…]

Today in History: D-Day

Today (June 6) in 1944, General Dwight D. Eisenhower directed history’s largest invasion force to land on the beaches of Normandy in France. Although the invasion didn’t go exactly as planned, it was still a major victory in the effort to free Europe from the Nazis. Products in Our Catalog about World War II Below [Read More…]

Today in History: The United States Enters World War I

Today (April 6) in 1917, the United States entered World War I. The war itself had already begun in 1914, but President , along with the vast majority of Americans, wished to remain neutral. After a series of attacks and several American deaths at sea, however, the U.S. Senate voted 82 to 6 to declare [Read More…]

Today in History: Patrick Henry’s Famous “Liberty or Death” Speech

Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death! — Patrick Henry, Second Virginia Convention, March 23, 1775 These words were the [Read More…]

Today in History: ‘The Scarlet Letter’ Is Published

March 16, 1850, was the day that Nathaniel Hawthorne’s now-classic novel The Scarlet Letter, a story about adultery and betrayal in colonial America, was published. Born in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1804, Hawthorne was influenced by the town’s witchcraft past, which he included in a few of his other works: “Young Goodman Brown” (1835) and The [Read More…]

Today in History: President Kennedy Establishes the Peace Corps

Throughout the world the people of the newly developing nations are struggling for economic and social progress which reflects their deepest desires. Our own freedom, and the future of freedom around the world, depend, in a very real sense, on their ability to build growing and independent nations where men can live in dignity, liberated [Read More…]

Today in History: DNA’s Structure Revealed

On the morning of February 28, 1953, Cambridge University scientists James D. Watson and Frances H.C. Crick announced that they had determined the double-helix structure of DNA, the molecule containing human genes. The two shared a Nobel Prize with Maurice Wilkins in Physiology or Medicine in 1962. Also contributing to the discovery, but dying before [Read More…]

Today in History: Howard Carter Opens King Tut’s Burial Chamber

Today (February 16) in 1923, English archaeologist Howard Carter opened the burial chamber of Egypt’s now-famous King Tutankhamen, popularly known as King Tut, in Thebes, Egypt. Tut lived around 1400 BC and died while still a teenager. Even with such a short time as ruler, as a pharaoh — considered by his people to be [Read More…]