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American history

  • 9/11

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    On the morning of 11 September 2001, terrorists hijacked four passenger flights and crashed the planes into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania (the plane was heading for Washington, but the passengers fought to wrest control from the terrorists), killing almost 3000 people and wounding thousands more. This terrorist attack sent shockwaves around the world...
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  • Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States and remains one of the most important figures in American history. Known in particular for leading the Union to victory in the American Civil War and ending slavery through the Emancipation Proclamation, this iconic leader oversaw a period of profound social change, economic modernization and territorial expansion, and paved the...
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  • In 1492, three ships captained by the Genoese explorer Christopher Columbus arrived in the New World. Although the Viking explorer Leif Eriksson had first discovered the Americas almost 500 years earlier, Columbus and his men were the first to establish sustained contact with the continent's indigenous populations. While his expedition brought immense wealth to the Spanish Crown and made it...
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  • Dwight David Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States and a member of the Republican Party. He was a hero of the Second World War and a very important figure in the liberation of Europe. He was also regarded as a great diplomat and, when he was elected, he became the first Republican president in 20 years.  In...
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  • George Washington was the 1st President of the United States and one of the Founding Fathers, making him undoubtedly one of the greatest figures in American history. He took part in the drafting of the Declaration of Independence on 4 July 1776 and was appointed Commander in Chief of the Continental Army, which he organized and led to victory against the...
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  • On 6 August 1945, the world's first atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The second bomb followed days later, hitting Nagasaki on 9 August 1945. The attacks caused the complete destruction of two major Japanese cities, brought about the immediate surrender of Japan and the end of the Second World War, and led to the beginning of the...
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  • James Monroe was the 5th President of the United States of America. Known in particular as a great diplomat – he was ambassador, Senator and Secretary of State before being elected – Monroe led America during a time known as the “Era of Good Feelings”. In spite of the relative prosperity of these years, Monroe had to deal with tensions...
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  • John F. Kennedy was the 35th President of the United States. Although he actively fought against Communism and established the Peace Corps, Kennedy is probably known most of all for his unexpected assassination in 1963, during his visit to Texas, when he was shot in the head by Lee Harvey Oswald. His murder sent shockwaves around the world. In just 50 minutes, you will...
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  • Leif Eriksson is a crucial figure in maritime exploration: this Viking navigator is believed to have discovered the Americas at the turn of the first millennium AD, over 500 years before Christopher Columbus. Indeed, at this point in history the Vikings were far better explorers than other Europeans due to their more technologically advanced ships and excellent navigation skills, which allowed...
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  • Martin Luther King was an American pastor who played a major role in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Known in particular for his role in raising awareness of the racial problems in the United States and in the emancipation of African-Americans, King was a supporter of non-violence and made considerable progress towards a more equal America....
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  • On 21 July 1969, the American astronaut Neil Armstrong, the commander of the Apollo 11 spaceship, became the first person in history to set foot on the Moon. This crucial event marked the peak of the Space Race, which pitted the Cold War rivals the USA and the USSR against one another as they sent artificial satellites, probes and eventually humans...
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  • Nixon

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    Richard Nixon was the 37th President of the United States and one of the most controversial politicians of the 20th century. Known in particular for the Watergate scandal, the affair that ended his political career, Nixon was a fierce anti-communist and was responsible for the end of America's involvement in the Vietnam War. In just 50 minutes, you will find out about...
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