Category: History

These Are The Best Civil War Novels

A lot of people enjoy reading. But coming across a good book that can keep you occupied for a long time doesn’t happen very often. Only a few writers are gifted enough with the talent to write a great story filled with excitement and deep and thoughtful characters. 

Writing about the Civil War of America is not as simple as it looks. Filling in the pages with words that can take the reader back in history and connect them with the events of the Civil War is a job only some writers can hope to accomplish. 

Listed below are some of the best novels written on the Civil War. The following writers outdid themselves by crafting novels and allowing future generations to discover the truth surrounding the events of America’s past. 

Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson

You will find everything you want to know about the Civil War and the events preceding it in this novel by James McPherson. James did an excellent job by carefully laying out the reasons behind war and how sometimes it is the only option left. The story also argues that the outcomes of war can be justified. 

Personal Memoirs by Ulysses S. Grant 

A writer and a general who valued transparency decided to write with a focus on the interesting details of war. Grant’s novel is one of the many books favorited by people who fancy books about history. 

Landscape Turned Red by Stephen Sears

Read all about the Unions victory and Abraham Lincoln’s strategies about turning situations all into one’s own favor in this book amazingly written by Stephen sears. 

The Civil War: A Narrative by Shelby Foote

Written from a southerner’s point of view, this book will tell the reader the importance of being a soldier at war. Foote also writes about the war and its effect on the West side of the country and the journey of Abraham Lincoln into becoming the man that he is today. 

Mary Chesnut’s Diary by Mary Boykin Chestnut and Catherine Clinton

A woman’s say during the colonial period of American history on the importance of events such as the Civil War on a country being just as important as any man’s. Mary Chestnut’s novel on the war is not about the who and how of war, but instead she narrates the effects of war in a non-military way. 

The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery by Eric Foner

Abraham Lincoln has always been a difficult and confusing figure in history, and there is not a single person who knows everything about him. But this book depicts the 16th president’s life from the beginning and how it was later shaped out through time.

American Inventions that Changed the World

America is responsible for many achievements that have changed the course of time. Our country has produced thinkers and inventors who created objects, both tangible and sometimes intangible, and have helped people in making their lives better. A few excellent examples include these women who brought radical innovation!

Some inventions changed the world and are still in use today, while others evolved to become something else. It is hard to imagine a day without these things because we have become accustomed to them. Below is a look at just a few of these inventions.

Ferris Wheel 

When the Eiffel tower was made in France, America decided to join the race and introduced the Ferris wheel in 1883. After that, many amusement parks built prototypes for what would become the final Ferris wheel design, although there are many interpretations of that original concept found today. Ferris wheels are named after the famous inventor himself, George Washington Gale Ferris.

The Lunar Module

America is the first country to reach for the stars and land on the moon. In 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin hopped into the lunar module that was built by a team of more than 6000 mechanical and technical engineers. 

Laser Printer

in the same year, when one American man landed on the moon, another one invented the laser printer. In 1969, the printing world changed thanks to the laser printer created by a Xerox engineer Gary Starkweather. 

Chocolate Chip Cookies

A comfort food for many, the chocolate chip cookie was invented by Ruth Graves Wakefield in 1930. Chocolate chip cookies have become an integral part of the American dessert cuisine. A lot of ice cream flavors have added chocolate chip cookies to enhance the taste, and chocolate chip cookies milkshakes have become a huge hit, too. 

Traffic Lights

A crucial addition to road safety and management, traffic lights have been controlling road traffic around the world. The first traffic lights were invented in America in the year 1912 by Lester Wire. 

Hearing Aids

People who had trouble hearing and suffered from hearing disabilities owe many thanks o the inventor of hearing aids, Miller Reese Hutchison. Surprisingly enough, Miller wasn’t even a doctor. Still, he took medical classes to understand the functions of the ear and invented the device for people with hearing difficulties, like his childhood friend. 

Cellphones

The cellphone is a device that has changed dramatically over the years. From a device that was located in your car or worn over your shoulder and could make calls without a dedicated phone line, to a device that now can handle the same tasks as a desktop computer and so much more more. The cellphone was first invented by an American engineer Martin Cooper in 1973. He made the first cellular handheld phone. 

For being such a young country, America has gifted the world many creatives who have transformed how we live, built our economy, and the way we live. Looking ahead, we can hope to continue to transform the world with newer and more innovative inventions.

4 Times Throughout History That America Failed

To understand why America works, we have to reflect on the bad times as much as the good times. You don’t become one of the youngest, most freedom-loving and traversable nations, and most influential countries in the world without making mistakes. More than that, to brush these mistakes under the rug is also a recipe for repeating the same or worse failures in the future.

So with that understanding, the United States of America hasn’t always been perfect. There have been many, many times in the past when America failed its people and the world. Even today, there are failures. Finding a better way forward with these lessons in tow will make us stronger and better people.

Let’s take a walk down memory lane and jog up our memories remembering when throughout history has America failed.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki 

1945, the year when America bombed not one but two of Japan’s hugely populated cities in World War II. The first attack happened on Monday, August 6, 1945, in Hiroshima, which killed approximately 80,000 people, but the casualties were counted to be more than that. The second bomb targeted Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. This, too, was responsible for taking 40,000 lives. But that’s just the number of people who died in the bomb attack; radiation and other lingering after-effects resulted in even higher numbers.

The Great Depression 

Before World War 2, the country faced a considerable fall in the stock market coupled with droughts throughout the midwest, which hit construction, commercial and industrial sectors, farmers, and so many more people. Unemployment rates rose to between 22% and 25%. Even parts of the country that were known for their wealth were severely affected. 

Vietnam Invasion

In 1960, the United States of America invaded the south side of Vietnam to try and control the rise of communism in the country. The war began in the early 1950s, but was prolonged through to the 1970s. Today, there remain lingering questions about the need for America to invade and to engage in a war that resulted in an estimated 3 to 4 million Vietnamese people dying. 

Internment Camps

During World War II, amid growing fears of spies from Japan inside of the United States, the U.S. government began rounding up thousands of Japanese-American citizens along the west coast and placing them into internment camps for the duration of the war. In total, more than 100,000 ethnic Japanese people were held, with 62% being American-born, second or third-generation Japanese Americans, and, therefore, American citizens. 
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America Quizzes to Test Your Knowledge

The United States of America is a leading country in the world. No person lives today who doesn’t know what America is. But can you claim that you know everything that there is to know about this country? 

People from all over dream of visiting America. We’re sure there are a lot of facts that you are already aware of about America, but we can guarantee you that there is still so much that is not known to you. 

Below are some lesser known facts about America to test your knowledge. We hope you enjoy them and share them with your friends and family. 

  • Did you know that the 4th of July is not the actual date of America’s independence? It’s actually July 2nd, which was when congress voted on the measure. The Declaration of Independence, which liberated America from British rule, was signed on the 4th. 
  • Being a President of the United States of America makes you a target of many people. Four presidents have been assassinated while holding office. 
  • Did you know that out of the 50 states in America, some have more cows than people living in them? 
  • In 2017, 1 out of every 18.6 people brought a brand new car; there are more than 260 million cars registered in the United States!
  • Abraham Lincoln was the tallest president out of all the presidents of America. 
  • Many films made in New York City open with a shot of the Statue of Liberty. But did you know that the Statue is not technically in New York, but actually in New Jersey? France gifted the Statue to America in 1886. 
  • The oldest President, Ronald Reagan, was elected at the age of 78 at the time of his second term.
  • If someone asks you the capital of America, you may quickly answer Washington D.C., but did you know that Philadelphia was previously the capital?
  • Did you know that the first university in the country was Harvard University? 
  • Americans love pizza, and you will be amazed to know that a total of 100 acres worth of pizza are eaten daily!  
  • The famous Mall of America in Minnesota is actually owned by Canadians. 
  • New York City is the most populated city in America, with 8.6 million people living in 302.6 square miles; Los Angeles, the second largest city, has just 4 million people.

There you go, just a few interesting facts and tidbits to test your knowledge of America. The country is relatively young, but is full of little details throughout its history that you may not know.

These 5 American Females Brought Radical Innovation to the World

America, though a young country, when compared to many other parts of the world, has produced many important inventions. 

It is easy to look at those inventions and say, “Wow, look at what man has done.” But let’s not forget those contributions made by women, who too often get overlooked for how they helped contribute to radical innovation in the world.

Grace Hopper – Computer Language

Quite possibly the most important and widely used contribution in the modern world, Grace Hopper helped to develop a computer compiling languages for the Mark I computer system.

The Mark I was a computer system located at the Commander Howard Aiken’s Computation Laboratory at Harvard University. At 51 feet long, the machine performed calculations daily that had previously taken months. However, the machine had no way of taking instructions and understanding what to do with them, so she built a new computer language that would do just that. This language would eventually become COBOL, which in the year 2000, was the basis of about 240 billion of the 300 billion lines of computer code that had been written up to that point.

Stephanie Kwolek – Kevlar

Stephanie Kwolek was an engineer employed at Dupont and was tasked with finding ways to create stronger materials. Through her study of petroleum engineering, she figured out how to prepare chemicals in the right conditions to create a material known as Kevlar. 

Kevlar is a collection of synthetic fibers strung together through a special process that yields a material that is five times stronger than steel, lighter than fiberglass, and is heat-resistant. There are currently more than 200 applications for Kevlar, including bulletproof vests, the hulls of boats and aircraft, and so much more.

Shirley Jackson – Subatomic Particles

Shirley Jackson is regarded for her many contributions to the field of subatomic particles that have aided the development and advancements across semiconductors, helium films, and how density waves interact with layered compounds.

She was the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. at MIT and to receive the National Medal of Science; she conducted research for AT&T Bell Laboratories; has collaborated on more than 100 scientific articles; and, in 1995, she was appointed as chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Hedy Lamarr – Spread Spectrum Technology

Hedy Lamarr started her early life as an actor in cinema during the 1930s and 40s. While in her trailer, she was allowed to tinker with electronic devices – her intelligence had largely been ignored in favor of her beauty.

After escaping the Nazi party in 1937, she fled to London with knowledge gained about wartime equipment in Germany, and used for gifts to work on projects she hoped to sell to the U.S. military. Her most notable contribution was a method to prevent radio waves from being jammed. However, the technology wasn’t used until after her patent expired, and she wouldn’t receive credit until 1997. Her invention, which was later named Spread Spectrum Technology, went on to fuel the creation of wi-fi, Bluetooth, GPS, cordless phones, and cellphones.   

Virginia Apgar – Newborn Care

Virginia Apgar created a scoring system to evaluate newborn babies to identify and treat prenatal problems and complications. The Apgar score uses a 10-point system that physicians and nurses can apply during the first one to five minutes after birth to measure breathing, skin color, reflexes, motion, and heart rate. A low score is a signal that immediate medical attention is needed. 

The Surgeon General, Julus Richmond, who held the position between 1977 to 1981, once commented that Apgar, “had done more to improve the health of mothers, babies, and unborn infants than anyone else in the 20th century.” 

Virginia Apgar was one of the first women to attend medical school. She graduated in 1933 from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University. She would later return in 1949, and was appointed as the first woman professor at the school and continued to study obstetric and pediatric anesthesia.


Each of these women brought radical innovation to the world, improved our quality of life, and advanced our technology in ways that changed us forever. If you enjoyed this list, then it will be worth your time to check out this list to learn about the women and innovations not featured here.

How Food Fortification Helps Maintain the Health of People

Food fortification is the process of adding micro-nutrients into food to help reduce dietary deficiencies that may be present within populations that rely on foods that may not contain these nutrients naturally. Food fortification is done by either the government as part of their health policy or by the food manufacturers during the manufacturing of food.

In the U.S., food fortification began in 1924, when iodine was added to salt in an attempt to reduce the problem of goiters. This program was initiated when a significant number of healthcare organizations such as the Council on Foods, AMA, American Public Health Association, and Nutrition of the Natural Academy of Sciences recommended the adoption of this step as supported by their research on goiters.

In the 60s, it was feared that increased food fortification might lead to over-fortification, and hence FDA proposed a more restricted approach to the problem. In 1962, the fortification program was scaled back to include 12 nutrients that are essential for health.

The current policy on fortification includes nutrients that are stable and physiologically available and are added in a quantity that does not pose a risk if taken in excessive.

Vitamins are essential for living a healthy life. They help to support and regulate the body’s many systems. Each vitamin plays a different role in the body. Here are some of the ways that vitamins that support the body:

  • Vitamin A helps in maintaining teeth, bones, soft tissues, and skin. 
  • Vitamin C helps the body in absorbing iron and maintaining the tissues and also helps in healing wounds faster. 
  • Vitamin D is made in the body by absorbing sunlight helps in absorbing calcium and also helps in regulating blood calcium and phosphorus levels in the body.
  • Vitamin B6 helps in the development of red blood cells and in maintaining brain function. 
  • Vitamin B12, on the other hand, is essential for the nervous system and is also important for metabolism. 

As you can see, vitamins are important in regulating our body’s functions. The right quantity of these vitamins in the body is achieved by food fortification as the essential amount of these is sometimes not present originally in the food.

A Quick Look at The Troubled History of the American Car Industry

The automobile industry in the U.S. began in the 1890s, and due to high demand and economic prosperity, cars quickly became an important product for not just America but the world over. However, this industry has gone through several significant shifts. Specifically, foreign entries into the U.S. market in the 1970s brought news challengers to once dominant Big Three (General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler). To remain competitive, U.S. manufacturing became less America-centric and built factories in countries where labor was less expensive.  

Going back to the 1920s and up until the 1950s, General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler produced nearly three-quarters of all the automobiles in the world by the 1950s. As Japan and Europe ramped up their own production after World War II, those numbers began to shift.

Currently, the automotive industry of the U.S. is in second place for manufacturing with between 8-10 million vehicles produced annually. In the 1970s, production reached 13-15 million annually. Its ultimate low came in 2009 during the American financial crisis that saw production sink to 5.7 million. 

General Motors, founded in the year 1908 by William Durant in Michigan was an instant success, and later acquired other iconic car companies such as Buick and Cadillac. 

Ford, founded by Henry Ford in the year 1903, was originally the first American car manufacturer in the American car industry. However, its main challenger, General Motors, offered more brands and a different approach to engineering cars.

In its early days, Ford only assembled a few cars a day, which were made by a small group of workers. After the introduction of the mass production concept and the release of the Model T in 1908, Ford could supply an efficient and reliable automotive at an affordable rate. Within a decade, nearly half of the cars in America were Model Ts. 

Chrysler was founded in the year 1925 by Walter Chrysler. It was the third-largest of Detroit’s automotive companies and was at its peak during World War II. It was known during those days for its well-engineered cars. Over the years, the company has changed hands, including ownership under Mercedes Benz for a short time, until ultimately ending up under control by Fiat’s parent company in Italy. 

Things took a turn around the 1970s when newcomers Toyota and Japan from Japan, and Volkswagen from Germany, began importing cars to the U.S. These cars came at an important time in the U.S., as gas shortages, environmental regulations, and greater focus on safety allowed foreign automakers to take advantage of their existing small, efficient, and safe cars that suddenly appealed to American consumers.

Currently, the automotive industry in the U.S., is the second biggest manufacturer in the entire world, but due to high competition in the international market and shifts towards electric vehicles, the future of the industry is uncertain.