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Decoration Day parade held in Nome, Alaska, sometime between 1900 and 1910

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday for the purpose of honoring and remembering those who have died while serving in the armed forces. It is celebrated annually on the last Monday in May.  Early Observances The first concept of Memorial Day began in the years following the American Civil War. Where it began …Read More

V-E Day newspaper front page (Boston Daily Globe, via Newspapers.com)

Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day)

Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day, May 8 or May 9, 1945) marked Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender during World War II and the end of the war in Europe.  War in Europe Ends News of the end of the war in Europe had been expected for some time, and after Hitler’s suicide at the end …Read More

Destruction in Johnstown after the flood

Johnstown Flood

On May 31, 1889, South Fork Dam near Johnstown, Pennsylvania, collapsed, releasing the entire volume of Lake Conemaugh into the valley below. The ensuing disaster, known as the Johnstown Flood, resulted in the deaths of over 2,200 people. Johnstown In 1889, around 30,000 people lived in the booming steel mill city of Johnstown, located in …Read More

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Photo of Beatrix Potter in 1912, taken by her father

Beatrix Potter

Helen Beatrix Potter (July 28, 1866 – December 22, 1943) was a naturalist, conservationist, illustrator, and author known primarily for her children’s books such as The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Early Life Beatrix Potter was the only daughter of Rupert Potter and Helen Leech. She and her brother, Walter Bertram, were taught by governesses at …Read More

Frederick Douglass, circa 1879

Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass (c. 1818 – February 20, 1895) was an American activist, speaker, and author who advocated for the abolition of slavery, for women’s rights, and for other causes. Early Life, Enslavement & Escape Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey was born into slavery on Maryland’s Eastern Shore around 1818 and was raised primarily by his maternal …Read More

Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth (c. 1797 – November 26, 1883) was an American activist for abolitionism, women’s rights, universal suffrage, and other causes.  Early Life Sojourner Truth was born Isabella Baumfree (or Bomefree) around 1797 in Dutch-speaking New York to enslaved parents. Sold away from her family in childhood, Isabella was owned by several abusive enslavers. In …Read More

Lake Nyos, 1986

Lake Nyos Disaster

On August 21, 1986, a rare natural disaster occurred in the West African country of Cameroon when a large cloud of carbon dioxide gas erupted from Lake Nyos (Nios), a deep volcanic crater lake.  Background The event, known as a limnic eruption, occurs when carbon dioxide (CO2) builds in colder, deep lake water, creating a …Read More

A street view following the Halifax Explosion in 1917

Halifax Explosion

On the morning of December 6, 1917, two ships collided in Halifax Harbor, Nova Scotia, resulting in a massive blast that ultimately killed 2,000 people in the largest man-made explosion prior to the atomic age. Background Halifax was a wartime boomtown during World War I, and ships loaded with troops, munitions, and supplies sailed in …Read More

Opening of the League of Nations, 1920

League of Nations

The League of Nations (1920-1946) was an international organization headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, created after World War I to establish world peace and prevent another global war. Creation of the League The onset and escalation of World War I built support in many countries for the creation of a multinational body to ensure world peace. One …Read More

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