Where did Shakespeare get his ideas? This essay by Amanda Mabillard analyzes the sources and motivations underlying Shakespeare’s writing of The Tragedy of Macbeth.
Most people think of armies of men fighting each other during the Civil War, but women also served in various ways. Read about six female spies who worked for the Union or Confederacy.
Jefferson Davis never asked for a pardon for leading the government of the Confederacy in its rebellion against the United States. Statues of the Confederate president have become increasingly controversial in recent years, including one that was removed from the campus of the University of Texas in 2015.
James Madison played many important roles in the founding of the nation. Explore this site to learn more about his contributions.
This segment discusses the work Jacob Riis did, the tactics he used to communicate his message, and the books others have written about him. View the images Riis took and choose a book excerpt to read.
Edgar Allan Poe’s legacy continues to pervade American culture to this day. His work and ideas not only helped to create an entire genre of literature but also changed the way many Americans thought and spoke about the human psyche. Watch this short biography of one of America’s most influential Dark Romantics.
After over 300 copies of Anne Frank’s diary and related books were vandalized in Japan, Israel and the Japanese Jewish community reached out to replace the books.
“One sometimes finds what one is not looking for,” said Alexander Fleming, whose chance observation of a contaminated experiment led to the the world’s first antibiotic. This Smithsonian article discusses inventions and discoveries that centered on a flash of insight in a mind prepared to see what it wasn’t looking for.
Phillis Wheatley was the first African American to publish a book of poetry in the United States, and the third woman to do so, regardless of race. Learn more about the life of this native of Senegal who was captured and enslaved at the age of eight.
Read about, and watch a video of, Felix Baumgartner’s world record-breaking skydive in October 2012, when he broke the sound barrier by jumping to Earth from a helium balloon in the stratosphere.
Check out this list to learn some interesting facts about Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, J.P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller and Cornelius Vanderbilt.
Read about Ida B. Wells’ fight to end the lynching of black people, a cause that stood in contrast to other suffrage leaders’ beliefs.
This article appeared in January on Holocaust Memorial Day 2015, whose theme was “keep the memory alive.” Every time someone reads Anne Frank’s diary, that is what happens. What is your favorite quote from Anne Frank’s diary?
Firefighting may not exist as we know it without Benjamin Franklin. Watch the video to learn how we have some of our most famous founding fathers to thank for our fire safety standards.
Few maps detail the early interactions of the indigenous people of Mexico and early Spanish colonists as much as the Codex Quetzalecatzin. Made using traditional Aztec methods and showing Spanish influences, this map shows the effect of two cultures colliding.
The Holocaust Memorial Museum seeks to digitize over 200 diaries from victims of the Holocaust to help fight growing Holocaust denial and to shed light on firsthand accounts.
This article explains who Crispus Attucks was, what he did, and why he is still remembered today as a champion and a martyr for freedom.
Read this list to learn facts and quirks about our nation’s most famous document and the people who wrote it.
Matthew Henson, an African American polar explorer, is finally getting the recognition he deserves. Read about his voyages and achievements.
More than a “writer of dog books,” Jack London’s other interests and contributions to society are not typically recognized. A small museum is looking to change that.