World History

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


It's Not Polite To Ask Questions, But Who Says You Can't Think Them?


How the Great War on War Surplus Got Won or Lost

Getting rid of $34 billion worth of old ships, planes and guns, not to mention seven million tubes of toothpaste, was no picnic


Pliny's World: All the Facts and Then Some

In A.D. 77 a workaholic called Pliny the Elder published the first encyclopedia, Natural History. Headless people were among the many marvels


It Comes Out Only Once a Week, But the Sun Never Sets

Can a weekly paper in rural New Mexico raise enough hell to keep its readers hungry for more, issue after issue? Don't ask


'America Beats By Far Anything,' Said the Ex-POW

In WWII, thousands of captive Germans found our prison camps so hospitable that they later became U.S. citizens


Gifts of Remembrance at the Wall

Near the base of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, comrades and loved ones leave their poignant tokens of remembrance


The Floods That Carved the West

In a geological catastrophe, a lake exploded through an Ice Age dam, and its waters swept across the Pacific Northwest; signs of its passage visible

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