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Emancipation Day in Richmond, Virginia, circa 1905

Juneteenth

Juneteenth is an annual holiday commemorating the announcement of emancipation in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865. More broadly, it celebrates the effective end of slavery in the United States.  History of Juneteenth Freedom from slavery happened sporadically throughout the Civil War as Union troops claimed outlying Confederate territory or as enslaved people escaped to …Read More

“Into the Jaws of Death — U.S. Troops wading through water and Nazi gunfire,” by Robert F. Sargent

D-Day (Normandy Landings)

The Normandy landings of Operation Overlord during World War II—codenamed Operation Neptune but most commonly known as D-Day—took place on June 6, 1944. On this day, approximately 156,000 Allied troops crossed the English Channel in a massive amphibious military assault, breaking through the Germans’ extensively fortified Atlantic Wall to begin the invasion of German-occupied France. …Read More

Helen Keller, circa 1907

Helen Keller

Summary Helen Keller (born June 27, 1880; died June 1, 1968) was an activist and author. Blind and deaf herself, Keller was a passionate advocate for persons with disabilities. Early Life Helen Adams Keller was born in Alabama in 1880. At 19 months old, she lost her sight and hearing due to a serious illness …Read More

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442nd Regimental Combat Team in France in late 1944

442nd Regimental Combat Team

The 442nd Regimental Combat Team was a World War II U.S. Army regiment composed almost entirely of second-generation Japanese Americans, known as Nisei. It was the most decorated unit relative to size and service length in U.S. military history. Formation The predecessor of the 442nd was the 100th Infantry Battalion, formed in June 1942 predominantly …Read More

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

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