Home » History » Historic events

Historic events

  • 9/11

    $4.99
    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...
    Read more
  • Apartheid was a system of racial segregation which was maintained in South Africa between 1948 and 1991. It aimed to regulate relationships between whites and non-whites and ensure the domination of the country's white minority. Particularly infamous for the extreme cruelty that black South Africans were made to suffer, the apartheid regime was probably one of the most significant events of the...
    Read more
  • Bloody Sunday, also known as the Bogside Massacre, was a key event in Irish-British relations and marked the start of what would later be known as the Troubles. During a supposedly peaceful demonstration in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, 13 civilians, the majority of whom were younger than 20 years old, were shot and killed by the British Parachute Regiment. This bloody attack set...
    Read more
  • 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...
    Read more
  • The invasion of Kuwait, home to one of the largest oilfields in the world, by Saddam Hussein's Iraq in 1990 was the catalyst for the Second Gulf War, which pitted Iraq against an international coalition. In Operation Desert Storm in early 1991, this coalition quickly drove the Iraqi army from Kuwait in the largest Allied mobilization since the Second World...
    Read more
  • The 1948 Palestine War, known in Hebrew as the War of Independence, is essential for understanding the Arab-Israeli conflict and the political situation in the modern Middle East. It was the first in a long series of conflicts between Jews and Arabs in the region, and tensions between the two groups persist today. Indeed, civil war broke out after the...
    Read more
  • The Attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 is one of the most famous events of the Second World War. Led by the Japanese admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the offensive caused the USA to join the Allies in their fight against the Germans, the Italians and the Japanese. In just 50 minutes, you will find out how this brutal attack played...
    Read more
  • On 26 April 1986, the No. 4 reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear plant exploded, becoming the epicenter of a vast radioactive cloud which affected large swathes of Europe. The Chernobyl disaster remains the worst nuclear disaster in history: in the immediate aftermath of the explosion, hundreds of people suffered from acute radiation sickness, and in the decades that followed many...
    Read more
  • It is impossible to understand modern European history without first understanding the Cold War. Indeed, the tensions between the USA and the USSR, the two great powers to emerge from the Second World War, dominated the second half of the 20th century, resulted in a series of brutal proxy wars and brought the planet to the brink of nuclear war. The clash...
    Read more
  • The Crusades were a religious, political and miltary conflict between the three great powers of the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries: Catholic Europe, the Muslim world and the Orthodox Byzantine Empire. The birth of Islam had a profound effect on the beginning of the Crusades, as the Muslim faith began to spread to the West and Muslim troops began to invade...
    Read more
  • In 79 AD, the Italian city of Pompeii was destroyed by the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius. This remains one of the largest volcanic eruptions in European history, and claimed between 10 000 and 20 000 victims. However, this tragedy has also provided archaeologists and researchers with an incredibly valuable historical source: the ash which covered Pompeii preserved organic matter that...
    Read more
  • The Fall of Constantinople in 1453 was a major turning point in European history: a fierce battle in this crucial trading city ended with the demise of the Byzantine Empire and the ascendency of the Ottoman Empire, which dominated the region in the following centuries. This transfer of power is essential for understanding the modern era in Western Europe, and is seen by...
    Read more
  • The fall of the Berlin Wall put an end to almost 30 years of physical and ideological separation between the two halves of the German capital. Constructed at the height of the Cold War, the Berlin Wall symbolized the hostility between the capitalist powers in the West and the Communist powers in the East. Its fall saw people flood across...
    Read more
  • The Hundred Years’ War was one of the most significant conflicts of the Middle Ages and spanned several generations. Known in particular for its scale (it involved many different factions and five generations of kings), the war marked the height and the decline of chivalry. It had a considerable impact on Europe, bringing European monarchies into the age of modernity...
    Read more
  • The Industrial Revolution was a period of modernization which began in Great Britain before spreading to the rest of Europe. It was during this period that many countries in the Western world changed from being primarily agricultural to being more mechanized, thereby accelerating demographic growth and leading to unprecedented economic change. In just 50 minutes, you will find out how...
    Read more
  • The Iran-Iraq War, which took place between 1980 and 1988, was one of the deadliest conflicts since the Second World War. It involved two ambitious and headstrong leaders: Saddam Hussein, who wanted to make his Republic of Iraq a powerful force in the region, and Ayatollah Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini, who planned to export his Islamic Revolution beyond the borders of Iran....
    Read more
  • The Korean War was an internal war which led to a major confrontation between the Western Bloc and the Communist Bloc. The conflict lasted for three years and ended with no real winner, so the Korean Peninsula was divided into two states. In just 50 minutes, you will gain an understanding of why the war broke out and find out...
    Read more
  • On 6 June 1944, Allied forces, carried on ships along with weapons and tanks, landed on the beaches of Normandy. The Normandy landings, also known as the D-Day landings, were one of the major operations of the Second World War and paved the way for the Allied victory on the Western Front. In the largest seaborne invasion in history, some...
    Read more
  • The Nuremberg trials were the first international military tribunal in history and aimed to make key figures in the Third Reich answer for their crimes. They took legal action against 24 Nazi leaders, including Herman Göring, and 8 different organizations on charges of conspiracy, war crimes, crimes against peace and crimes against humanity. In just 50 minutes, you will find out how these trials...
    Read more
  • The Six-Day War in 1967 was a major crisis in the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and caused outrage across the Arab world. After a tense period in which the Israelis and Egyptians exchanged threats, Israel launched a pre-emptive strike and destroyed the Egyptian air force in a matter of hours. The Israeli forces then continued their advance, and by the...
    Read more
  • The sinking of the Titanic during its maiden voyage on 14 April 1912 was one of the greatest maritime tragedies in history and sent shockwaves around the world, as the ship was previously believed to be unsinkable. In many ways a symbol of the optimism, boundless confidence and technological progress of the Belle Époque, this luxury liner welcomed over 2000 people from all...
    Read more
  • The Treaty of Versailles, signed in 1919, followed the end of the First World War and imposed harsh terms on Germany, which had been defeated by the Allies and was judged responsible for the bloody four-year conflict. The Allied leaders Woodrow Wilson, David Lloyd George, Georges Clemenceau and Vittorio Orlando drew up the treaty with no input from the vanquished party and struggled to...
    Read more
  • The Trojan War was a legendary period of fighting which took place in Greece and Asia Minor. It was the largest military campaign ever led by the Greeks against Troy, and began after the Queen of Sparta, Helen, was kidnapped by Paris, the son of the King of Troy. This event has been told through many different works of Greek...
    Read more
  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, passed on 10 December 1948, was one of the most significant milestones of the 20th century. It was the first text to recognize that each individual is entitled to fundamental rights and freedoms which make us all equal to one another, regardless of nationality, religion, profession or ethnicity. In just 50 minutes, you will find out...
    Read more
  • The Watergate scandal was one of the major events of the 20th century and marked the end of an era in US politics. It caused a crisis of confidence of the American general public in their government, with the resignation of a large number of senior officials and the replacement of Richard Nixon by Gerald Ford. In just 50 minutes,...
    Read more
  • The Yom Kippur War was fought in 1973 between a coalition of Arab countries, led by Egypt and Syria, and Israel. On the day of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), Egyptian and Syrian troops attacked the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights, which had been occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War in 1967. The Yom Kippur War contributed to the...
    Read more
  • World War I, which lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918, was one of the bloodiest conflicts in human history, and led to massive upheaval in international politics: new states were established and several empires fell. This book explores the beginnings of the war, including the assassination of Franz Ferdinand and the influence of fear on the sudden outbreak of fighting. In just...
    Read more
  • The final years of the First World War were a very uncertain time; it seemed that victory could go either way. The French and British had been beaten back at the Second Battle of the Aisne and at Flanders Fields, the Italians had been defeated at the Battle of Caporetto, and Russia had just signed a peace treaty with Germany. However, Germany's...
    Read more
  • In the winter of 1915, Europe was in a stalemate. There was a general sense of surprise that World War I was still raging - everyone had expected the fighting to be over quickly. However, the war had expanded and taken on a scale beyond all expectations, having already caused around a million casualties. As time went on, there was...
    Read more
  • The Resistance was a massive movement which swept across much of Nazi-occupied Europe in an effort to drive out the invading German forces. It was a clandestine effort which aimed to fight against the occupiers in any way, through civilian resistance, humanitarian resistance and armed resistance. It is therefore difficult to actually define the movement, because this "resistance" took many forms...
    Read more