World History

A Gem of an Exhibition


Shadows on the Rock

Spain wants Gibraltar; the people of the Rock hate the very idea; England is caught in the middle

Simon Winchester

An Englishman Looks at India Fifty Years After British Rule


Near and Far, We're Waving the Banner for Flags

Across time and distance, these colorful emblems fluttering in the breeze are symbols steeped in our history and our cultures

Franklin Roosevelt Memorial

Even Our Most Loved Monuments Had a Trial by Fire

Controversies like those swirling around the FDR Memorial are the rule when Americans try to agree on anything to be cast in bronze


Declaring an Open Season on the Wisdom of the Ages

Under the stewardship of scholars Diderot and d'Alembert, the 18th-century's Encyclopédie championed fact and freedom of the intellect


The Object at Hand

A bejeweled box from a sorely beset emperor leads to a Yankee dentist, and how he rescued the beautiful empress Eugénie from a Paris mob

American Colony in Jerusalem

A Family, a Colony, a Life of Good Works in the Holy City

Founded more than a century ago, the American Colony in Jerusalem has endured hardships, wars, upheaval, and the ebb and flow of empires

The Jeannette in Le Havre, France, 1878

A Stout Ship's Heartbreaking Ordeal by Ice

Heading north for the pole, the Jeannette was frozen fast for 21 months, then sank; for captain and crew, that was the easy part


The Grave at Vukovar

A war crimes tribunal sent forensic scientists to investigate mass graves in the former Yugoslavia. What happened there?


Cleopatra: What Kind of a Woman Was She, Anyway?

Serpent of the Nile? Learned ruler? Sex Kitten? Ambitious mom? African queen? History is still toying with the poor lady's reputation

Cleopatra’s Needle

A Nova Crew Strains, and Chants, to Solve the Obelisk Mystery

The public television team put theories to the test to uncover the secrets of how the ancient Egyptians moved and raised the giant blocks


Sir Francis Drake is Still Capable of Kicking Up a Fuss

Westward the corsair of England's empire made his way, plundering Spain for Queen and country; now modern moralists are nibbling at his fame

George Sand

A Woman Writ Large in Our History and Hearts

The free-spirited author George Sand scandalized 19th-century Paris when she defied convention and pioneered an independent path for women


Close Encounters With An Ancient World

Defendants in the dock at the Nuremberg trials

Fifty Years Ago, the Trial of Nazi War Criminals Ended: The World Had Witnessed the Rule of Law Invoked to Punish Unspeakable Atrocities

In the war-shattered city of Nuremberg, in November 1945, an Allied tribunal convened to seek justice in the face of the Third Reich's monstrous war crimes


Where You Went if You Really Had to Get Unhitched

In the days when divorce was still a sin and a shame, the city of Reno grew rich and infamous, catering to domestic disharmony

Jas de Bouffan, 1876

Cézanne's Endless Quest to Parallel Nature's Harmony

After all the analysis of his apples, his bathers, that mountain, his paintings still electrify at a major show in Philadelphia


The Way We Were—and the Way We Went—in 1846

What with the Mexican War, and a million square miles of new real estate, our westward destiny became highly manifest

A Freedom Summer Activist Becomes a Math Revolutionary

In the Algebra Project Robert Moses uses subway rides, gumdrops and everyday experiences to help kids cope with exponents and negative numbers

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