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World History

Does history really repeat itself, or can we learn from the mistakes of those who came before us? History provides a chronological, statistical, and cultural record of the events, people, and movements that have made an impact on humankind and the world at large throughout the ages. Investigating the causes and results of past events is critically important in gaining a full understanding and perspective of present-day issues.
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Featured content, June 21, 2020

How Many People Have Been to the Moon?
You may recall the Apollo program of the 1960s and ’70s, but you may find it challenging to keep track of how many missions...
Demystified / World History
Apollo 12 astronaut Charles "Pete" Conrad stands beside the U.S. flag after is was unfurled on the lunar surface during the first extravehicular activity (EVA-1) Nov. 19, 1969. Footprints made by the crew can be seen in the photograph.
25th Anniversary of Operation Desert Storm
On the morning of January 17, 1991, an international coalition led by the United States launched the first military strikes...
Spotlight / World History
USAF aircraft of the 4th Fighter Wing (F-16, F-15C and F-15E) fly over Kuwaiti oil fires, set by the retreating Iraqi army as part of a scorched earth policy during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. Gulf War, Operation Desert Storm, Desert Shield.
How did Patrice Lumumba die?
Companion / World History
This is a July 3, 1960 file photo of Patrice Lumumba, the first prime minister of the Republic of Congo.
The Perils of Industry: 10 Notable Accidents and Catastrophes
Innovation has its price.
List / World History
Clouds of smoke billow up from controlled burns taking place in the Gulf of Mexico May 19, 2010. The controlled burns were set to reduce the amount of oil in the water following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. BP spill
Nikola Tesla's Weird Obsession with Pigeons
Scientist Nikola Tesla is known for many things, but not many people know that he was kind of obsessed with pigeons.
#WTFact / World History
bird. mourning dove. pigeon and dove. Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) family Columbidae.
American Revolution
American Revolution, (1775–83), insurrection by which 13 of Great Britain’s North American colonies won political independence...
Encyclopedia / World History
The Surrender of Lord Cornwallis
World War II
World War II, conflict that involved virtually every part of the world during the years 1939–45. The principal belligerents...
Encyclopedia / World History
World War II
South African War
South African War, war fought from October 11, 1899, to May 31, 1902, between Great Britain and the two Boer (Afrikaner)...
Encyclopedia / World History
Boer troops lining up in battle against the British during the South African War (1899–1902).

World History Quizzes

Adolf Hitler, giving Nazi salute. To Hitler's right is Rudolph Hess. 1939.
Adolf Hitler
How much do you know about Adolf Hitler? Test your knowledge with this quiz.
Prime Minister Winston Churchill, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Premier Joseph Stalin pose with leading Allied officers at the Yalta Conference, 1945. The Big Three leaders met in In February 1945. World War II, WWII.
WWII: Allies, Axis, or Associates?
Test your knowledge about which countries fought on which side during World War II.
Amelia Earhart seated on top of an autogiro in Los Angeles, after completing a transcontinental flight. She had hoped to become the first person to fly an autogiro across the United States, but another pilot accomplished the feat days before her.
Women’s History: Famous Firsts
Women have accomplished some fantastic feats in the course of history. Test your knowledge of some famous firsts for women.
Portrait of Anne Boleyn (Queen of England), oil on panel by an unknown English artist, late 16th century, based on a work c. 1533-36; in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London. (54.30 x 41.60 cm. )
Not-So-Common Knowledge
It is well known that Mount Everest at about 8,850 meters is the world’s highest mountain, but did you know that K2 at about...
Election - Voters in polling station voting in 2012 Presidential Election, Ventura County, California, November 6, 2012.
Voting for the U.S. President
Test your knowledge of how voters voted in U.S. presidential elections across history. Quiz content provided...
Grover Cleveland, 22nd and 24th president of the United States.
Birthplaces of the U.S. Presidents
The U.S. Constitution requires the president to be a natural-born citizen of the United States. Can you identify where each...
Mount Rainier highest mountain in the state of Washington, United States, and in the Cascade Range.
U.S. States Dates of Admission to the Union Quiz
Do you know when California became a state? How about New York? Test your knowledge of when each of the 50 states became...
Saint Gregory I or Gregory the Great (c. 540-604), pope from 590 to 604. Undated copperplate engraving by Adrian Collaert (c.1520-67).
Popes and Antipopes
The papacy has existed for more than two millennia. Can you identify the years that every pope—and every antipope—held his...
Taj Mahal (Tadj Mahall), Agra, western Uttar Pradesh, India. (mausoleum, UNESCO World Heritage site)
Prime Ministers of India Quiz
Test your knowledge of when each of India’s prime ministers served in that office.
Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias on his voyage to the Cape of Good Hope; engraving, 1878. (exploration, Bartholomew Dias, Bartholomew Diaz)
Explorers and Explorations (Part One) Quiz
Who colonized New York? Where did James Cook first land in Australia? Take a voyage of discovery through this quiz to find...

World History Videos

Germany: 1950s culture
Eastland disaster
Viking theory
Germany, Federal Republic of
American Revolution: Paul Revere
East Germany: escape attempts
Cuban missile crisis
Image Gallery
World History
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World History Subcategories

Challenger explosion, 1986 Accidents & Disasters
Technology and its related processes have been the site of great innovation and advancement over the course of time, but sometimes such improvements came at a high price, after serious accidents, disasters, or tragedies belatedly prompted closer scrutiny of existing procedures. Advances in science have also improved the accuracy of human predictions on some of nature's most forceful manifestations, but earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and other natural phenomena still yield devastating consequences worldwide.
Louis XVI: execution by guillotine Age of Revolutions
This general category includes a selection of more specific topics.
China: Han dynasty The Ancient World
The modern world has inherited many cultural elements from ancient civilizations, from communications systems to ways of improving technology. Their stories, battles, and views on life are still relevant today for a full understanding of our world and our cultural legacy.
Ibn Khaldūn Historians
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Leopold de Rothschild, 1917. Historic Dynasties & Families
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Diana, princess of Wales Historic Nobility
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Daniel Boone, lithograph after a painting by J.W. Berry Global Exploration
This general category includes a selection of more specific topics.
The Virgin Mary holding the Christ Child (centre), Justinian (left) holding a model of the Hagia Sophia, and Constantine (right) holding a model of the city of Constantinople; mosaic from the Hagia Sophia, 9th century. The Middle Ages
The Middle Ages comprise the period in European history that began with the collapse of Roman civilization in the 5th century CE and lasted until the dawn of the Renaissance in the 13th, 14th, or 15th century. This interval of time saw the development of the Gothic style of art and architecture, flying buttresses and all. It was also the era of the Crusades and of papal monarchy, and it was during this period that the idea of Europe as a distinct cultural unit emerged.
Frederick II Military Leaders
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League of Nations The Modern World
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Desert Archaic culture split-twig figurines Prehistoric Age
The prehistoric age covers the millions of years that transpired before human beings began to create written records of their life and of the world in which they lived. Archaeology and similar fields of study allow us to fill in the gaps and piece together an image of what life was like for our ancestors, including what kinds of flora and fauna they might have encountered.
Black Hills expedition, 1874 United States History
As with most nations, the history of the United States contains a number of twists and turns throughout the centuries, from the time of English colonization of North America up to the modern-day America that we're familiar with. Learn more about the people, events, and movements that left an indelible mark in history and shaped the development of the United States as a nation.
The western Mediterranean during the Punic Wars. Wars, Battles & Armed Conflicts
Wars, battles, and other domestic or international conflicts, whether armed or diplomatic, are often the outcome of a dispute over natural resources or a struggle for power, influence, and wealth. Major conflicts between nations, peoples, and political groups can end up shifting the cultural and political geography of the world and can also effect change, whether intentional or not, in societal values and the balance of power.
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