Top 10 Famous Historical Events in UK

Historical Events in UK

Historical events-History is history because it’s responsible for having changed the most basics of living of mankind. Can you imagine a day without using the telephone? Does not the discovery of that too have its grounds in deep rooted history? Matters so trivial are everyday affairs.

Great fire of London

great fire of london

On September 2, 1666, night the fire began on Pudding Lane, in the bake shop of Thomas Farynor, who is the baker to King Charles II. At one o’clock in the morning, a servant woke to find the house aflame, and the baker and his family escaped.

The strong wind blew that night sent sparks catch fire to the Church of St. Margaret and spread to Thomas Street with the riverside warehouses which was fully made of wood and pitch construction. The unit of people poured the buckets of water from the river over the flames. By 8o’clock in the morning, the fire had spread halfway across London Bridge. Most of the city got damage.

Lord Mayor Bludworth, worrying about the cost of rebuilding. The Trained Bands of London were called in to demolish houses by gunpowder, but remains too much to be cleared. The fire powerfully unchecked for another three days, until it stayed near Temple Church. At that time the Duke of York (later King James II) had the presence of mind to order the Paper House demolished to create a fire break, and the fire finally died down.
The loss of life was less but the property loss was deeply shocked. Some 430 acres, as much as 80% of the city proper was destroyed, Thousands of citizens found themselves homeless and financially ruined. The Great Fire, and the fire of 1676, which destroyed over 600 houses south of the river, changed the face of London forever. The one positive effect of the Great Fire of London was that the plague, which had carry off London since 1665, valuable greatly, due to the mass death of the plague-carrying rats powerfully.

Charles II appointed six Commissioners to redesign the city. The plan provided for wider streets and buildings of brick, rather than timber. By 1671, 9000 houses and public buildings had been completed. Sir Christopher Wren was commissioned to design and oversee the construction of nearly 50 churches, not least of them a new St. Paul’s Cathedral, construction of which began in 1675. The King also had Wren design a monument to the Great Fire, which stands still today at the site of the bakery which started it all, on a street now named Monument Street.


Museum of London

meseum of london

The Victoria and Albert Museum’s collections span two thousand years of art in virtually every medium, from many parts of the world, and visitors to the museum encounter a treasure house of amazing and beautiful objects. The story of the V&A’s foundation helps to explain its astonishing richness and diversity.

The Museum was established in 1852, following the enormous success of the Great Exhibition the previous year. Its founding principle was to make works of art available to all, to educate working people and to inspire British designers and manufacturers. Profits from the Exhibition were used to establish the Museum of Manufactures, as it was initially known, and exhibits were purchased to form the basis of its collections.

The Museum moved to its present site in 1857 and was renamed the South Kensington Museum. Its collections expanded rapidly as it set out to acquire the best examples of metalwork, furniture, textiles and all other forms of decorative art from all periods. It also acquired fine art – paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture – in order to tell a more complete history of art and design.

In 1899, Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone of a new building designed to give the Museum a grand facade and main entrance. To mark the occasion, it was renamed the Victoria and Albert Museum, in memory of the enthusiastic support Prince Albert had given to its foundation. Throughout the 20th century, the collections continued to grow. While expanding its historical collections, the V&A also maintained its acquisition of contemporary objects, starting with a collection of Art Nouveau furniture in 1900.

Although the V&A’s collections are international in their scope, they contain many particularly important British works – especially British silver, ceramics, textiles and furniture. The British Galleries are designed to give visitors from this country and from around the world a new insight into the history of Britain by bringing us closer to the thoughts and lives of key people in an influential culture.

The Victoria and Albert Museum also offers visitors the chance to experience at first hand the splendour of the arts of Asia. Visitors can also enjoy galleries devoted to the art of Japan, China, Korea and the Islamic world. The East Asian collections are among the best in Europe, with particular strengths in ceramics and metalwork, while the Islamic gallery displays some truly spectacular carpets.

Contemporary design has always been at the heart of the V&A’s work and it works hard to encourage contemporary designers, acquiring their work, and providing inspiration through its displays. Many of Britain’s most successful designers have used the V&A as a source of ideas and stimulation and visitors have the opportunity to see their work alongside the historic collections which helped shape them.

Henry Cole, the V&A’s first director, declared that the Museum should be a ‘schoolroom for everyone’. The V&A today offers visitors the chance to explore more deeply by using its study rooms, guided tours, gallery activities, lectures and special events. Whether you want to enjoy the galleries independently, or get more closely involved, there are many ways to discover the delights of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Recession in 2008

recession in 2008

In 2008 October, the government part-nationalises three leading UK banks with a 37 billion pound rescue package. It also pumps billions into the UK financial system after record stock market falls precipitated by the global “credit crunch”.

In 2008 December, the FTSE 100 ends closes down by 31.3% since the beginning of 2008, the biggest annual fall in the 24 years since the index was started.

In 2009 January, the Bank of England cuts interests rates to 1.5%, the lowest level in its 315-year history.The government announces a second package of measures to help Britain’s ailing banks, amid surging unemployment and deepening economic gloom.

In 2009 May, Furore erupts over MPs’ expenses when details about what they have been claiming are leaked to a national newspaper.

In 2009 June, European election: Governing Labour Party slumps to its lowest share of the vote – 15.7% – since World War II, and is beaten into third place. The main opposition Conservative Party comes first with 27.7%.House of Commons Speaker Michael Martin stands down after widespread criticism for his reaction to the MPs’ expenses scandal.

In 2009 November, Britain withdraws bulk of its remaining troops in southern Iraq, leaving only a small force tasked with training the Iraqi military.

Iraq inquiry chaired by former civil servant Sir John Chilcot opens. Its stated aim is to “learn the lessons” of the Iraq conflict. The UK economy comes out of recession, after figures show it grew by 0.1% in the last quarter of 2009, following six consecutive quarters of economic contraction – the longest such period since quarterly figures were first recorded in 1955.

In 2010 February, A full list of repayments MPs have been asked to make following the expenses scandal is published in a report from auditor Sir Thomas Legg.

First World War

1st wrld war

The First World War or the Great War, was a global war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918. More than 9 million combatants and 7 million civilians died, a casualty rate exacerbated by the belligerents’ technological and industrial sophistication, and tactical stalemate. It was one of the deadliest conflicts in history, paving the way for major political changes, including revolutions in many of the nations involved. The toll exacted by the First World War can be seen in Britain’s conduct of its successor. The paralysis and weakness which gripped Whitehall as Hitler’s shadow extended first through Austria, then through Czechoslovakia, had no precedent since Tudor times. The war itself was not, as the First had been, a grinding, additional question of superior force and power eventually overcoming an entrenched enemy; rather it was a miracle of luck and spirit, so badly had Britain prepared for it.

The failure to prepare for war was a dark harbinger of the next half century. It is unquestionable that the British sacrifice against Nazi Germany single-handedly (in 1940 at least) prevented the entirety of Western European civilisation falling under its spell. If no other action could be said to justify a nation’s place in the world, this alone would be enough. And yet, the war was known to be coming. In replacing a national industrial strategy with wishful thinking, the British set out their stall for the dog days of decline and fall which would follow. The lamps which Sir Edward Grey saw going out all over Europe in 1914 were now well and truly extinguished.

Second World War

second world war

The British government knew that Germany would target London in their bombing raids. If the capital was put out of action, it would severely affect the war effort and have a devastating impact on the nation’s morale.

The Blitz on London from September 1940 to May 1941 and the V1 flying bomb and V2 rocket attacks in1944 caused a massive amount of damage. It is estimated that more than 12,000 metric tons of bombs were dropped on London and nearly 30,000 civilians were killed by enemy action. The worst hit places tended to be the poorer districts, like the East End, but all Londoners were affected by German air raids to a varying degree.

The Blitz changed the landscape of the city. Many famous landmarks were hit, including Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, the Tower of London and the Imperial War Museum. Some areas, such as Stepney, were so badly damaged that they had to be almost entirely rebuilt after the war. With the arrival of large numbers of Commonwealth and overseas service personnel, London became more cosmopolitan. After 1942, by far the overwhelming presence was that of American servicemen. It was also a busy transport hub and a popular destination for troops on leave.

London was the focus for VE and VJ Day celebrations at the end of the war. Thousands of people waited to see the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace and for Churchill to appear at Whitehall. On VE Day, St Paul’s Cathedral and the National Gallery were floodlit, and there were bonfires in the city’s parks. The British government knew that Germany would target London in their bombing raids. If the capital was put out of action, it would severely affect the war effort and have a devastating impact on the nation’s morale.

The Blitz on London from September 1940 to May 1941 and the V1 flying bomb and V2 rocket attacks in 1944 caused a massive amount of damage. It is estimated that more than 12,000 metric tons of bombs were dropped on London and nearly 30,000 civilians were killed by enemy action. The worst hit places tended to be the poorer districts, like the East End, but all Londoners were affected by German air raids to a varying degree.

The Blitz changed the landscape of the city. Many famous landmarks were hit, including Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, the Tower of London and the Imperial War Museum. Some areas, such as Stepney, were so badly damaged that they had to be almost entirely rebuilt after the war. With the arrival of large numbers of Commonwealth and overseas service personnel, London became more cosmopolitan. After 1942, by far the overwhelming presence was that of American servicemen. It was also a busy transport hub and a popular destination for troops on leave.

London was the focus for VE and VJ Day celebrations at the end of the war. Thousands of people waited to see the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace and for Churchill to appear at Whitehall. On VE Day, St Paul’s Cathedral and the National Gallery were floodlit, and there were bonfires in the city’s parks.

Olympic Games and Paralympic


The London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games were a great triumph for London and the whole country. Our athletes excelled, tens of thousands of volunteers made a fantastic contribution, and the opening and closing ceremonies were widely praised. The success of the Games demonstrates that it is possible for government departments to work together and with other bodies effectively to deliver complex programmes. The government’s preparations were led by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (the Department); the Olympic Delivery Authority delivered the construction programme on time and within budget; and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) ensured that the events themselves were so well organised. We now expect the government to build on the success of the Games by putting the lessons learned from delivering the Games to the best possible effect in delivering other major projects. In this report we make a number of observations and recommendations which are designed to ensure that this happens.

The $9.298 billion Public Sector Funding Package for the Games is set to be underspent. We welcome the Department’s commitment to reflect on what more it can do to present costs in a way that goes further and brings out those costs associated with the Games and the legacy that are not covered by the Funding Package. The notable blemish on planning for the Games was venue security, which was a sorry episode. The costs and scale of venue security were vastly underestimated before 2011, and could only be met from the Public Sector Funding Package due to underspend elsewhere. G4S then agreed a contract for providing the necessary security guards, but failed to deliver fully. Thankfully, the armed forces and police were ready and able to step in—we acknowledge their very impressive ability to do so at short notice, and the huge contribution they made to the successful security operation, which passed off without any major problems.

During the Games a large number of accredited seats went unused at events for which the public demand for tickets could not be met, and it is a shame that so few tickets for popular events were available to the UK public. For example, only 51% of tickets for the men’s 100 metres final were available to the UK public and only 47% of tickets for the track cycling. International sports bodies and media organisations wield a lot of power and it cannot be easy for individual event organisers to push back at their demands. But, learning from the experience of the London Games, the government, possibly alongside other governments and event organizers, should challenge demands for large numbers of accredited seats. It is now up to the London Legacy Development Corporation to attract investment in the Olympic Park and generate the promised returns to funders.

We are concerned that the lottery good causes do not have any clear influence over decisions about future sales, despite these decisions directly affecting how much will be available to them and when. On the wider legacy, we look to the Cabinet Office to provide strong leadership to ensure delivery of the longer term benefits, on which basis the public spending was justified, 4 including opportunities for business, tourism and increased sports participation on the back of the Games.

We are keen to see the government building on the success of the volunteering programme, but are not convinced that it is doing all it can to learn and disseminate lessons and to encourage volunteering opportunities both within sport and beyond. On the basis of a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General, we took evidence from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Home Office, LOCOG, the Ministry of Defence, G4S, the London Legacy Development Corporation and the Cabinet Office on the staging of the Games and plans for delivering the legacy.

The Tower of London

tower of london

The Tower of London is one of the most famous buildings in London. It has stood guard over the city since Norman times. The first part of the Tower of London to be built was the White Tower. It was probably begun in 1078 and finished by 1100. The new tower was designed by a Norman bishop called Gandalf, who was a famous builder.

White limestone was brought from Caen in ships to build the Tower and a local stone called Kentish rag stone was brought by barge along the Medway and the Thames. When it was completed the White Tower stood 90 feet high. Its walls were 15 feet thick at the bottom and tapered to 11 feet thick at the top. The entrance was on the first floor.

About 1097 William Rufus built a stone wall around the White Tower to enclose it. For centuries the Tower of London was used to hold important prisoners. Bell Tower was built in 1190-1210. The bell at the top was rung in an emergency. Wardrobe Tower was built in 1190-1199. As its name suggests it was used to hold clothes and jewels.

The Tower of London was greatly extended by Henry III (1216-1272).The Tower of London has always been guarded by armed men. However the Yeomen Warders were founded by Henry VII in 1485.The Tower of London is, of course, famous for its many executions. Several took place during the 16th century.

In 1603 Sir Walter Raleigh was convicted of treason and sent to the Tower. He was held there for 13 years. Raleigh used the time to write a History of the World. Charles II (1660-1685) strengthened the Tower’s fortifications. Furthermore during the reign of Charles II members of the public were allowed to visit the Tower of London for the first time.

In year, 1685 the Royal Fusiliers were founded to guard the weapons in the Tower of London.

In the 19th century the Tower of London changed its function. Since the 13th century there had been a royal menagerie in the Tower. In 1835 it was moved to Regent’s Park. Then in the 1950s state documents were removed from the Tower. Also in the 1850s they ceased storing weapons in the Tower. Meanwhile building work continued. In 1843 the moat around the Tower was drained. In the mid-19th century the Waterloo Barracks and the Officer Block (now the Fusilier’s Museum) were built.

In the 1850s and 1860s a man named Anthony Salvin was employed to restore medieval buildings in the Tower of London. He restored the Beauchamp Tower, the Salt Tower, St Thomas’s Tower and Wakefield Tower. In the 1870s and 1880s restoration work continued under a man named John Taylor.

During the First World War eleven German spies were shot by firing squad in the Tower of London. Only one bomb was dropped on the Tower during that war and fortunately it fell on the moat.

During the Second World War the Tower of London was closed to the public and the crown jewels were removed to a safer location. During the war the Tower suffered bomb damage and two 19th century buildings were destroyed. Part of the Old Hospital Block was also destroyed.

Meanwhile Rudolf Hess the Deputy Fuhrer flew to Scotland in May 1941 and was imprisoned in the Tower. However only one German was actually shot in the Tower of London during World War II. He was a man named Josef Jakobs and he was executed in August 1941.Today the Tower of London is one of the main tourist attractions in London.

Monument to the great fire of London

monument oftower of london

The first Rebuilding Act, passed in 1669, stipulated that “the better to preserve the memory of this dreadful visitation”, a column of either brass or stone should be set up on Fish Street Hill, on or near the site of Farynor’s bakery, where the fire began. Christopher Wren, as surveyor-general of the King’s Works, was asked to submit a design. Wren worked with Robert Hooke on the design of the monument. It is impossible to disentangle the collaboration between Hooke and Wren, but Hooke’s drawings of possible designs for the column still exist, with Wren’s signature on them indicating his approval of the drawings rather than their authorship. It was not until 1671 that the City Council approved the design, and it was another six years before the 202 ft. column was complete. It was two more years before the inscription (which had been left to Wren — or to Wren’s choice — to decide upon) was set in place. “Commemorating — with a brazen disregard for the truth — the fact that ‘London rises again…three short years complete that which was considered the work of ages.

Hooke’s surviving drawings show that several versions of the monument were submitted for consideration: a plain obelisk, a column garnished with tongues of fire, and the fluted Doric column that was eventually chosen. The real contention came with the problem of what type of ornament to have at the top. Initially, Wren favoured a statue of a phoenix with outstretched wings rising from the ashes, but as the column neared completion he decided instead on a 15 ft. statue either of Charles II, or a sword-wielding female to represent a triumphant London; the cost of either being estimated at £1,050. Charles himself disliked the idea of his statue atop the monument and instead preferred a simple copper-gilded ball “with flames sprouting from the top”, costing a little over £325, but ultimately it was the design of a flaming gilt-bronze urn suggested by Robert Hooke that was chosen. The total cost of the monument was £13,450 11s 9d of which £11,300 was paid to the mason-contractor Joshua Marshall.

The Edinburgh-born writer James Boswell visited the Monument in 1763 to climb the 311 steps to what was then the highest viewpoint in London. Halfway up, he suffered a panic attack, but persevered and made it to the top, where he found it “horrid to be so monstrous a way up in the air, so far above London and all its spires”.

The area around the base of the column, Monument Street, has now been pedestrianized in a £790,000 street improvement scheme. The Monument closed in July 2007 for an 18-month, £4.5 million refurbishment project and re-opened in February 2009.

Between 1 and 2 October 2011, a Live Music Sculpture created especially for the Monument by British composer Samuel Bordoli was performed 18 times during the weekend. This was the first occasion that music had ever been heard inside the structure and effectively transformed Wren’s design into a gigantic reverberating musical instrument.

Westminster Abbey


Westminster Abbey a shrine was first founded here in 616 on a site then known as Thorny Island. It was said to have been miraculously consecrated after a fisherman on the River Thames saw a vision of Saint Peter.

While the existence of this shrine is uncertain, the historic Abbey was built by Edward the Confessor between 1045-1050 and was consecrated on December 28, 1065. Its construction originated in Edward’s failure to keep a vow to go on a pilgrimage; the Pope suggested that he redeem himself by building an Abbey.

The original Abbey, in the Romanesque style that is called “Norman” in England, was built to house Benedictine monks. It was rebuilt in the Gothic style between 1245-1517. The first phase of the rebuilding was organised by Henry III, in Gothic style, as a shrine to honour Edward the Confessor and as a suitably regal setting for Henry’s own tomb, under the highest Gothic nave in England.

The work was largely finished by the architect Henry Yevele in the reign of King Richard II. Henry VII added a Perpendicular style chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary in 1503 (known as the Henry VII Lady Chapel). It is a Gothic monastery church in London that is the traditional place of coronation and burial for English monarchs. Neither a cathedral nor a parish church, Westminster Abbey is a place of worship owned by the royal family.

Located next to the Houses of Parliament in the heart of London, Westminster Abbey is a must-see for any London visitor. With its oldest parts dating to the year 1050, the Abbey contains some of the most glorious medieval architecture in London. Because of its royal connections, it was spared King Henry VIII’s general assault on monastic buildings during the Reformation.

The interior is a veritable museum of English history. Among many highlights are the medieval coronation throne; Poet’s Corner with its memorials to William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, and other giants of literature; and the tombs of Queen Elizabeth I, “Bloody” Queen Mary, explorer David Livingstone and naturalist Charles Darwin.

It suffered damage during the turbulent 1640s, when it was attacked by Puritan iconoclasts, but was again protected by its close ties to the state during the Commonwealth period. Oliver Cromwell was given an elaborate funeral there in 1658, only to be disinterred in January 1661 and posthumously hanged from a nearby gibbet.

The Abbey was restored to the Benedictines under Queen Mary, but they were again ejected under Queen Elizabeth I in 1559. In 1579, Elizabeth re-established Westminster as a “royal peculiar” – a church responsible directly to the sovereign, rather than to a diocesan bishop – and made it the Collegiate Church of St. Peter, (i.e. a church with an attached chapter of canons, headed by a dean).

The abbey’s two western towers were built between 1722 and 1745 by Sir Christopher Wren and Nicholas Hawks moor, constructed from Portland stone to an early example of a Gothic Revival design. Further rebuilding and restoration occurred in the 19th century under Sir George Gilbert Scott.

The New English Bible was also put together here in the 20th century. Closer to our own time, in 1998 ten 20th-century Christian martyrs including Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Oscar Romero were immortalized in stone statues over the Great West Door.

Channel tunnel opened in 1994

channeltunnel opened


In a ceremony presided over by England’s Queen Elizabeth II and French President Francois Mitterand, a rail tunnel under the English Channel was officially opened, connecting Britain and the European mainland for the first time since the Ice Age.

The channel tunnel, or “Chunnel,” connects Folkstone, England, with Sangatte, France, 31 miles away. The Chunnel cut travel time between England and France to a swift 35 minutes and eventually between London and Paristo two-and-a-half hours.

As the world’s longest undersea tunnel, the Chunnel runs under water for 23 miles, with an average depth of 150 feet below the seabed. Each day, about 30,000 people, 6,000 cars and 3,500 trucks journey through the Chunnel on passenger, shuttle and freight trains.

Millions of tons of earth were moved to build the two rail tunnels–one for northbound and one for southbound traffic–and one service tunnel. Fifteen thousand people were employed at the peak of construction. Ten people were killed during construction.

Napoleon’s engineer, Albert Mathieu, planned the first tunnel under the English Channel in 1802, envisioning an underground passage with ventilation chimneys that would stretch above the waves. In 1880, the first real attempt was made by Colonel Beaumont, who bore a tunnel more than a mile long before abandoning the project. Other efforts followed in the 20th century, but none on the scale of the tunnels begun in June 1988.

The Chunnel’s $16 billion cost was roughly twice the original estimate, and completion was a year behind schedule. One year into service, Eurotunnel announced a huge loss, one of the biggest in United Kingdom corporate history at the time. A scheme in which banks agreed to swap billions of pounds worth of loans for shares saved the tunnel from going under and it showed its first net profit in 1999.

Freight traffic was suspended for six months after a fire broke out on a lorry in the tunnel in November 1996. Nobody was seriously hurt in the incident.

In 1996, the American Society of Civil Engineers identified the tunnel as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.

Top 10 Important Events in US History

Hiroshima and Nagasaki


The bomber named as B-29 was the world’s first deployed atomic bomb dropped over the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, during World War II (1939-45). The explosion wiped out 90% of the city and immediately killed 80,000 people; tens of thousands more would later die of radiation exposure. Three days later, a second B-29 dropped another A-bomb on Nagasaki, killing an estimated 40,000 people. After several years, the program’s scientists worked on producing the key materials for nuclear fission uranium and plutonium Pu-239. They sent them to Los Alamos, Mexico, a team led by J. Robert Oppenheimer.

Then on the morning of July 16, 1945 the Manhattan Project held its first successful test of an atomic device of Trinity test site at Alamogordo, New Mexico.

The first target was Hiroshima a manufacturing centre of some 350,000 people located about 500 miles from Tokyo.

The plane dropped the bomb–known as “Little Boy”–by parachute at 8:15 in the morning, and it exploded 2,000 feet above Hiroshima in a blast equal to 12-15,000 tons of TNT, destroying five square miles of the city.

However the Hiroshima’s failed to elicit immediate Japanese surrender and on August 9 Major Charles Sweeney flew another B-29 bomber, Bockscar, from Tinian. They targeted the city of Kokura, Nagasaki, where the plutonium bomb “Fat Man” was dropped at 11:02 that morning the bomb weighed nearly 10,000 pounds and was built to produce a 22-kiloton blast. At noon of Japanese time on August 15, 1945 Emperor Hirohito announced his country’s surrender in a radio broadcast. The formal surrender agreement was signed on September 2, aboard the U.S. battleship Missouri, anchored in Tokyo Bay.

After World War II, most of Hiroshima would be rebuilt, though one destroyed section was set aside as a reminder of the effects of the atomic bomb. Each August 6, thousands of people gather at Peace Memorial Park to join in interfaith religious services commemorating the anniversary of the bombing.

American Revolution

American Revolution

The American Revolution was a political disruption that took place between 1765 and 1783 during which colonists in the Thirteen American Colonies rejected the British monarchy and aristocracy. During this time protests by colonists known as patriots continued to increase rapidly, as in the Boston Tea Party in 1773 during which patriots destroyed a consignment of taxed tea from the British government favoured East India Company. In late 1774 the Patriots set up their own alternative. The Patriot leadership professed the political philosophies of liberalism and republicanism to reject monarchy and aristocracy, and proclaimed that all men are created equal.

The British were forced out of Boston in 1776, but then captured and held New York City for the duration of the war, nearly capturing General Washington and his army.

In early 1778, following a failed patriot invasion of Canada, a British army was captured by a patriot army at the Battle of Saratoga, following which the French entered the war as allies of the United States. The war later turned to the American South, where the British captured an army at South Carolina, but failed to enlist enough volunteers from Loyalist civilians to take effective control. A combined American–French force captured a second British army at Yorktown in 1781, effectively ending the war in the United States. A peace treaty in 1783 confirmed the new nations complete separation from the British Empire

Among the significant results of the revolution was the creation of a democratically-elected representative government responsible to the will of the people. Congress had powers of taxation that were lacking under the old Articles. The United States Bill of Rights of 1791 comprised the first ten amendments to the Constitution, guaranteeing many “natural rights” that were influential in justifying the revolution. The American gave birth to the ethic that has formed a core of political values in the United States.

 Civil War

civil war

The Civil War is the central event in American’s history. The Revolution of 1776-1783 created the United States, the Civil War of 1861-1865 determined what kind of nation it would be.

Northern victory in the war preserved the United States as one nation and ended the institution of slavery that had divided the country from its beginning. Nearly as many American soldiers as died in all the other wars in which this country has fought combined. The Civil War started because of uncompromising differences between the free and slave states over the power of the national government to prohibit slavery in the territories that had not yet become states.

The real fighting began in 1862. Huge battles like Shiloh in Tennessee, Gaines, Second Manassas, and Fredericksburg in Virginia, and Antietam in Maryland foreshadowed even bigger campaigns and battles in subsequent years, from Gettysburg in Pennsylvania to Vicksburg on the Mississippi to Chickamauga and Atlanta in Georgia.

The year of 1862 to 1865, Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia staved off invasions and attacks by the Union Army of the Potomac commanded by a series of ineffective generals.

Meantime Union armies and river fleets in the theatre of war comprising the slave states west of the Appalachian Mountain chain won a long series of victories over Confederate armies commanded by hapless or unlucky Confederate generals. In 1864-1865 General William Tecumseh Sherman led his army deep into the Confederate heartland of Georgia and South Carolina, destroying their economic infrastructure while General George Thomas virtually destroyed the Confederacy’s Army of Tennessee at the battle of Nashville.
By the spring of 1865 all the principal Confederate armies surrendered, and when Union cavalry captured the fleeing Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Georgia on May 10, 1865, resistance collapsed and the war ended. The long, painful process of rebuilding a united nation free of slavery began.



On July 20, 1969, American astronauts Neil Armstrong (1930-2012) and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin (1930) became the first humans ever to land on the moon. About six-and-a-half hours later, Armstrong the one who walk on the moon. Armstrong famously said, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The Apollo 11 mission occurred eight years after President John Kennedy (1917-63) announced a national goal of landing a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. Apollo 17, the final manned moon mission, took place in 1972.

In 1966, after five years of work the Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) conducted the first unmanned Apollo mission, testing the structural integrity of the proposed launch vehicle and spacecraft combination. Then, on January 27, 1967, tragedy struck at Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral, Florida, when a fire broke out during a manned launch-pad test of the Apollo spacecraft and Saturn rocket. Three astronauts were killed in the fire.
At 9:32 a.m. EDT on July 16, with the world watching, Apollo 11 took off from Kennedy Space Centre with astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins aboard. Armstrong, a 38-year-old civilian research pilot, was the commander of the mission.

After traveling 240,000 miles in 76 hours, Apollo 11 entered into a lunar orbit on July 19. The next day, at 1:46 p.m., the lunar module Eagle, manned by Armstrong and Aldrin, separated from the command module, where Collins remained. Two hours later, the Eagle began its descent to the lunar surface, and at 4:17 p.m. the craft touched down on the south-western edge of the Sea of Tranquillity. Armstrong immediately radioed to Mission Control in Houston, Texas, a now-famous message: “The Eagle has landed.”

At 10:39 p.m., five hours ahead of the original schedule, Armstrong opened the hatch of the lunar module. As he made his way down the module’s ladder, a television camera attached to the craft recorded his progress and beamed the signal back to Earth, where hundreds of millions watched in great anticipation. At 10:56 p.m., as Armstrong stepped off the ladder and planted his foot on the moon’s powdery surface

Aldrin joined him on the moon’s surface 19 minutes later, and together they took photographs of the terrain, planted a U.S. flag, ran a few simple scientific tests and spoke with President Richard Nixon (1913-94) via Houston. By 1:11 a.m. on July 21, both astronauts were back in the lunar module and the hatch was closed. The two men slept that night on the surface of the moon, and at 1:54 p.m. the Eagle began its ascent back to the command module. Among the items left on the surface of the moon was a plaque that read: “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot on the moon–July 1969 A.D–We came in peace for all mankind.”

At 5:35 p.m., Armstrong and Aldrin successfully docked and re-joined Collins, and at 12:56 a.m. on July 22 Apollo 11 began its journey home, safely splashing down in the Pacific Ocean at 12:50 p.m. on July 24.

Titanic sinks

titanic (2)

At 2:20 a.m. on April 15, 1912, the British ocean liner Titanic sinks into the North Atlantic Ocean about 400 miles south of Newfoundland, Canada. The massive ship, which carried 2,200 passengers and crew, had struck an iceberg two and half hours before.

On April 10, the RMS Titanic, one of the largest and most luxurious ocean liners ever built, departed Southampton, England, on its maiden voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. The Titanic was designed by the Irish shipbuilder William Pirrie and built in Belfast, and was thought to be the world’s fastest ship. It spanned 883 feet from stern to bow, and its hull was divided into 16 compartments that were presumed to be watertight. Because four of these compartments could be flooded without causing a critical loss of buoyancy, the Titanic was considered unsinkable. While leaving port, the ship came within a couple of feet of the steamer New York but passed safely by, causing a general sigh of relief from the passengers massed on the Titanic‘s decks. On its first journey across the highly competitive Atlantic ferry route, the ship carried some 2,200 passengers and crew.

After stopping at Cherbourg, France, and Queenstown, Ireland, to pick up some final passengers, the massive vessel set out at full speed for New York City. However, just before midnight on April 14, the RMS Titanic failed to divert its course from an iceberg and ruptured at least five of its hull compartments. These compartments filled with water and pulled down the bow of the ship. Then the Titanic broke in half, and, at about 2:20 a.m. on April 15, stern and bow sank to the ocean floor.

Because of a shortage of lifeboats and the lack of satisfactory emergency procedures, more than 1,500 people went down in the sinking ship or froze to death in the icy North Atlantic waters. Most of the 700 or so survivors were women and children. Announcement of details of the tragedy led to outrage on both sides of the Atlantic. The first International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea was held in 1913. Rules were adopted requiring that every ship have lifeboat space for each person on board, and that lifeboat drills be held. An International Ice Patrol was established to monitor icebergs in the North Atlantic shipping lanes.

On September 1, 1985, a joint U.S.French expedition located the wreck of the Titanic lying on the ocean floor at a depth of about 13,000 feet. The ship was explored by manned and unmanned submersibles, which shed new light on the details of its sinking.

Gulf war


On November 29, 1990, the U.N. Security Council authorized to force against Iraq. if it did not withdraw from Kuwait by the following January 15. By January, the coalition forces prepared to face off against Iraq. The coalition effort, known as Operation Desert Storm, benefited from the latest military technology, including Stealth bombers, Cruise missiles, so-called “Smart” bombs with laser-guidance systems and infrared night-bombing equipment. The Iraqi air force was either destroyed early on or opted out of combat under the relentless attack, the objective of which was to win the war in the air and minimize combat on the ground as much as possible.

On February 28, Bush ending the Persian Gulf War. In the Gulf War, Kuwait and Iraq suffered enormous damage. In the immediate after the war, Hussein’s forces brutally suppressed a revolt by Kurds in the north of Iraq and Shiites in the south. The United States-led coalition failed to support the revolt. In the followed years U.S. and British aircraft continued to patrol skies and mandate a no-fly zone over Iraq. This resulted in an interruption of hostilities in 1998. Additionally Iraqi force regularly exchanged fire with U.S. and British aircraft over the no-fly zone.

In the year 2002, the United States sponsored a new U.N. resolution calling for the return of weapons inspectors to Iraq; U.N. inspectors re-entered Iraq that November. Bush without any further U.N. approval issued an ultimatum on March 17, 2003, demanding that Saddam Hussein step down from power and leave Iraq within 48 hours, under threat of war. Hussein refused, and the second Persian Gulf War–more generally known as the Iraq War–began three days later.

Hindenburg disaster


The atmosphere was crumpled, the great airship flutter above its landing spot at New Jersey’s Lakehurst Naval Station on May 6.

In1937 the Hindenburg was just completing its first trip with ninety-seven people. Few days later she decided to return to Frankfurt – loaded with American passengers planning to attend the coronation of George VI.

Within 34seconds after Commander Rosendahl initially saw a small burst of flame on the top of the ship, Hindenburg was completely destroyed in an unbelievable fire. The 62 people miraculously survived.

The Hindenburg which had become a huge ball of fire was falling out of the sky!

Later Dr. Addison Bain (a retired NASA scientist) Conducted an independent investigation decades and he did not believe that hydrogen blamed. Otto Beyersdorff, a German engineer originally investigating the disaster, had concluded (by June of 1937) that the massive fire was caused by Hindenburg’s paint. It was extremely flammable.

In this story behind the disaster, see the great airship (designated LZ 129) as she was built in Germany and as she was consumed by flames in America.

World trade bombing

World trade bombing

A terrorist bomb explodes at 12.18 p.m. in a parking garage of the World Trade Centre in New York City, leaving a crater 60 feet wide and causing the collapse of several steel-reinforced concrete floors in the vicinity of the blast. But the terrorist bomb failed to critically damage the main structure of the skyscrapers, six people were killed and more than 1,000 were injured.

The World Trade Centre itself suffered more than $500 million in damage. After the attack, authorities evacuated 50,000 people from the buildings, hundreds of whom were suffering from smoke inhalation. The evacuation lasted the whole afternoon.

City authorities and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) undertook the case and within days several radical Islamic fundamentalists were arrested. In March 1994, the criminals who responsible for the major crisis, were put into the prison. Two weeks later the one who helped to buy and mix the explosives was caught.

The mastermind of the attack–Ramzi Ahmed Yousef–remained at large until February 1995, when he was arrested in Pakistan. Eyed Ismoil, who drove the Ryder van into the parking garage below the World Trade Center, was captured in Jordan that year and taken back to New York.

In 1998 the bombings of embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, were began to suspect by U.S. investigators. Whether bin Laden was in fact involved in the 1993 twin tower attacks has not been determined.

The structural steel of the skyscrapers could not withstand the tremendous heat generated by the burning jet fuel, and both collapsed within two hours of being struck. Close to 3,000 people died in the World Trade Center and its vicinity, including a staggering 343 fire-fighters and 23 policemen who were struggling to complete the evacuation and save the office workers trapped on higher floors. Only six people in the World Trade Center towers at the time of their collapse survived. Almost 10,000 other people were treated for injuries, many severe.

Statue of liberty

statue of liberty

The Statue of Liberty was a joint effort between France and the United States, intended to commemorate the lasting friendship between the peoples of the two nations. The Statue of Liberty was then given to the United States and erected atop an American-designed pedestal on a small island in Upper New York Bay, now known as Liberty Island. Over the years, in 1986 the statue stood tall as millions of immigrants arrived in America via nearby Ellis Island

Today, the Statue of Liberty remains an enduring symbol of freedom and democracy, as well as one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks.

Due to the need to raise funds for the statue, the sculpture did not begin until 1875. Bartholdi’s massive creation, titled “Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World,” depicted a woman holding a torch in her raised right hand and a tablet in her left, upon which was engraved “July 4, 1776,” Bartholdi, modelled the woman’s face after  his mother, hammered large copper sheets to create the statue’s “skin”. The skeleton was created by Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, designer of Paris’ Eiffel Tower.

In 1885, Bartholdi completed the statue with the height reached 305 feet including the pedestal. On October 28, 1886, President Grover Cleveland officially dedicated the Statue of Liberty in front of thousands of spectators.

In 1892, the U.S. government opened a federal immigration station on Ellis Island, located near Bedloe’s Island in Upper New York Bay

Until 1901, the U.S. Lighthouse Board operated the Statue of Liberty, as the statue’s torch represented a navigational aid for sailors. After that date, it was placed under the jurisdiction of the U.S. War Department. In 1924, the federal government made the statue a national monument, and it was transferred to the care of the National Parks Service in 1933.

By the early 20th century, the oxidation of the Statue of Liberty’s copper skin through exposure to rain, wind and sun had given the statue a distinctive green colour, known as verdigris. On July 5, 1986, the Statue of Liberty reopened to the public in a centennial celebration. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Liberty Island closed for 100 days until august 2004.In July 2009, the statue’s crown was again reopened to the public, though visitors must make a reservation to climb to the top of the pedestal or to the crown.

Manhattan project


The Manhattan Project was based at a 428,000-acre industrial complex in New Mexico; thousands of the West’s best scientists had worked on the project at one time or another. $2 billion had been spent. By mid-July, 1945, not even Robert Oppenheimer who was the civilian leader of the project knew if ‘The Beast’ or ‘The Thing’ or ‘The Device’ (as the scientists variously nick-named the bomb. There were varied opinions– some believed it would fail to explode.

On July 14th, two hemispheres of plutonium were moved from Los Alamos to the test site. The omens for a successful outcome were not good. On July 15th, one of the so-called X-units (the trigger that would actually detonate the bomb) had blown its circuits for no known reason.

Also as the bomb was being lifted up to the top of a detonation tower, it had fallen 50 feet and landed on mattresses without any damage.

Robert Oppenheimer was a very nervous man as the time for the test explosion approached. At one time, he had 100,000 people working under his command.

In the early morning of July 16th, Groves took command of what was going on. Groves decided to delay the test. The original firing time had been 04.00 but because of the weather problem it’s delayed. Finally at 05.30, as planned, the first atomic explosion in history took place. It is estimated at the instant of the explosion, the temperature at the core of the bomb was 60 million degrees centigrade and that the initial explosion was brighter than the sun. It is said that the force of the bomb destroyed windows 120 miles away. The explosion was the equivalent of 22,000 tons of conventional explosives. The brilliant light created by the explosion had been seen 180 miles away.

Louisiana Purchase



 We cannot forget the one shrewd business deal, Thomas Jefferson doubled the United States of America’s area. The U. S. paid 60 million francs, and cancelled French debts totalling another 18 million, for a grand total of 78 million francs, or about $15 million. Today, that would be worth about $220 million, which is an extraordinarily good sale price for 828,800 square miles.

Today that area comprises some 15 states, including all of Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri. Jefferson couldn’t pass up a deal. It should be noted that France’s illustrious leader at the time, Napoleon Bonaparte, made this deal mostly for the money, but also to give “England a maritime rival that will sooner or later humble her pride.” Not that America ever did conquer Britain on the high seas (no one ever did), but Napoleon thought it would take a bit of the oceanic strain off his aspirations for global conquest. Two years later, his and Spain’s navies met England’s under Lord Horatio Nelson off Cape Trafalgar, Spain, and his sale of the Louisiana territory wasn’t such a sale anymore.

Jefferson immediately ordered the territory explored, and commissioned Meriwether Lewis and William Clark for the job. His purpose was multiple, with both scientific and commercial goals, especially “to find direct and practicable water communication across this continent, for the purposes of commerce with Asia.” At the time, no one on Earth, except for the thousand or so tribes of Indians, knew what sort of environs Lewis and Clark were to go through. They were still looking for the Northwest Passage, but the Pacific Ocean said, “No.” This single business transaction left only about a third of the modern United States to be explored, acquired, and founded.