Hercules Statue Found in Sewer along Rome's Appian Way
January 29, 2023
Hercules statue Appian Way Rome archaeologists have unearthed a life-size marble statue reminiscent of Hercules that they say dates to the Roman period of empire. The location of the statue: a sewer. The dig was part of work to repair damaged sewage pipes in Parco Scott, which is in the Appia Antica Archaeological Park, a popular destination for both historians and tourists because of its remains of monuments, tombs, and villas. Officials stressed that the statue had probably been prominently displayed elsewhere but had been left there when the sewer system was completed, in the early part of the 20th Century. Convincing the team that the statue was indeed suggesting Hercules were the marble inclusions of a lion's coat covering the statue's head and the traditional giant club associated with the legendary Greek demigod whose exploits included the famous Twelve Labors.

'Unknown Wreck' off English Coast Is 17th-Century Dutch Warship
January 28, 2023
Klein Hollandia wreckage Archaeology officials have concluded that an underwater wreck found off the coast of southern England is that of a 17th-Century Dutch warship that featured in one of a series of wars between the two countries. A local dive operator found the 105-foot-deep wreck in 2019 near the seaside resort Eastbourne, in East Sussex, between Brighton and Hastings. Subsequent work shared by amateur and professional divers has proved that the ship was the 44-gun Klein Hollandia, which was attacked and sunk in 1672, while it was sailing home from the Mediterranean to deliver a cargo of marble tiles for homes. The two countries were not at war at the time but had been twice before that and the Dutch ship had featured heavily in the second of those wars, which the Dutch won. The peacetime attack, which killed Dutch commander Jan Van Nes and some of his crew, along with a number of English sailors who had boarded the ship, was one of the causes of the Third Anglo-Dutch War later that year. The two countries fought four wars in all, striving for dominance on the high seas and in overseas colonies.

Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day, February 2, is a day to have fun and see whether more or less winter is on the way, courtesy of a furry weather predicter who lives in a hole.

Who is Punxsutawney Phil?
Find out more about the holiday's famous weather predictor, Punxsutawney Phil.


These African-Americans are famous for fighting against slavery. Learn more about their lives.

Frederick Douglass
One of the most important Black Americans in the history of the country was Frederick Douglass. Find out more about this outspoken foe of slavery.

Harriet Tubman
The "Moses" of her people, she escorted more than 300 slaves to safety. Find out more about this extraordinary woman.

Sojourner Truth
Born into slavery and never able to read or write, she nonetheless was a tired and famous advocate for both abolition and women's voting rights.

Josiah Henson
Read the story of the man who was the inspiration for Uncle Tom's Cabin.


Patrick Henry: Voice of Freedom
Patrick Henry was one of the leading lights of the American Revolution, a voice that would not be silenced until Americans were free and could govern themselves.

Samuel Adams: Ringleader of the American Revolution
Described as a firebrand, a revolutionary, and a patriot, the young Adams was perhaps the most vocal of his generation to demand independence from Great Britain. He believed in the higher cause of independence, and he didn't often let laws that he thought unjust stand in his way.

Benjamin Franklin: America's Renaissance Man
Benjamin Franklin was one of the most famous people of his generation, his country, and his country’s history. He was as close as Colonial America came to having a Renaissance man.

John Hancock: The Money Behind the Revolution
John Hancock is perhaps best known for his very large signature on the Declaration of Independence. However, he was much more important to the American Revolution and the Revolutionary War as a businessman who had large sums of money at his disposal and used that money to support the American cause.

The Boston Tea Party
What caused Americans to get so upset about tea? Find out in this easy-to-read article.


The 13th Amendment
The Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery. It was ratified on January 31, 1865. The passage of this amendment wasn't a foregone conclusion, though. It was quite a struggle, involving many a protracted negotiation.

The Beginning of the Supreme Court
Article III of the United States Constitution calls for the establishment of a Judicial Branch of the federal government, but the specifics of a Supreme Court were spelled out in an act of Congress, the Judiciary Act of 1789. That Act provided for the highest court in the land to have six justices, of which one would be the Chief Justice. (The proper terminology is Chief Justice of the United States, not Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.) The Supreme Court was to begin its first session on February 1, 1790. However, John Jay, the Chief Justice, couldn't make it. So, the Court first convened on February 2.

Mexican-American War Ends
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo officially the Mexican-American War, on February 2, 1848. Before then, however, were more than a decade of conflicts, including a massacre at the Alamo. After a few years of hard fighting, however, the American forces won surrender from the Mexican forces and the treaty was signed. As a result, the United States gained a large amount of land known popularly as the Mexican Cession.

George Washington Elected
On February 4, 1789, George Washington was elected the first President of the United States. He was the choice of all 69 electors, making him still the only president to be a unanimous choice. Find out more about the "Father of the Country."



The Development of Austria Before Habsburg Rule
Like many other areas of Europe, what is now Austria has a past that includes Celtic and Roman influences. Other pre-Habsburg rulers included the Holy Roman Empire and a handful of Babenbergs.

Leopold I, Margrave of Austria
Leopold the

Leopold I: Margrave of Austria
Leopold the Illustrious (left) was the first Margrave of Austria and the progenitor of the Babenberg dynasty that ruled over Austria for many decades.

Henry I: Margrave of Austria
Henry I was the second Margrave of Austria. He ruled in the last part of the 10th Century and into the early 11th Century.

Adalbert: Margrave of Austria
Adalbert followed in his father's and brother's footsteps by extending the borders of the realm.

Ernest: Margrave of Austria
Ernest was the fourth Margrave of Austria. He ruled for two decades in the 11th Century and both fought against and lent support to the Holy Roman Empire.

Leopold II: Margrave of Austria
Leopold II was the fifth Margrave of Austria. He ruled for two decades in the late 11th Century and continued his father's struggle against the Holy Roman Empire.

Leopold III: Margrave of Austria
Leopold III was the sixth Margrave of Austria. He ruled for more than four decades in the late 11th Century and early 12th Century. He is also known for establishing a number of monasteries.

Leopold IV: Margrave of Austria
Leopold III was the seventh Margrave of Austria. He ruled for just a few years and had a relatively peaceful reign.

Henry II: Margrave of Austria, Duke of Austria
Henry II was the eighth and last Margrave of Austria and the first Duke of Austria. He ruled in that capacity for 15 years and then served as Duke of Austria for 21 years after that. He also fought in the Second Crusade.

Leopold V: Duke of Austria
Leopold V was the second Duke of Austria. He reigned for nearly two decades near the end of the 12th Century. He also fought in the Third Crusade and later kidnapped England's King Richard I, an act that shaped the histories of England and France for generation.

Frederick I: Duke of Austria
Frederick I was the third Duke of Austria, ruling for three short years at the end of the 12th Century. He died on Crusade, in the Holy Land.

Leopold VI: Duke of Austria
Leopold VI was the fourth Duke of Austria, ruling for more than three decades at the beginning of the 13th Century. He fought in the Fifth Crusade

Frederick II: Duke of Austria
Frederick II was the fifth and last pre-Habsburg Duke of Austria, ruling for more than three decades in the first half of the 13th Century. One of his signal achievements was a victory over the feared Mongols.

The Babenberg Succession Conflict
In the ruling history of Austria, the bridge between the House of Babenberg and the House of Habsburg was a succession controversy.

Habsburg coat of arms

Rudolf I
The King of Germany won a power struggle and then initiated Habsburg rule of Austria, cementing immediate succession by installing his sons as leaders of the largest provinces.

Albert I
Albert I was King of Germany and ruler of Austria for a decade on either side of the turn of the 14th Century. His reign came to a violent end.

Rudolf II
Rudolf II was King of Germany and Holy Roman Emperor for a time in the late 16th Century and early 17th Century. He was born in Vienna and ruled Austria as well but only for a short time.

Frederick III: Duke of Austria
Frederick III was Duke of Austria and Styria for more than two decades in the 14th Century, sharing power with two of his brothers. He won selection as Holy Roman Emperor for a time but then lost it again, retiring to rule Austria in peace.

Albert II: Duke of Austria
Albert II was Duke of Austria and Styria for more than two decades in the 14th Century, sharing power with his brother Otto. With his mind on succession, Albert established the Albertinian House Rule, stipulating that the principle of primogeniture (the right of the firstborn child–and, ideally, son–to inherit his father's main estate, lands, and titles) should apply.

Rudolf IV: Duke of Austria
Rudolf IV was Duke of Austria and Styria for seven years in the mid-14th Century. Denied a role as an elector for choosing the Holy Roman Emperor, Rudolf issued the Privilegium maius, a series of "found" documents that elevated Austria to the status of an archduchy and, in the duke's minds, deserving of elector status.

Albert III: Duke of Austria
Albert III was Duke of Austria for three decades in the 14th Century, sharing power with his brother Leopold.

Albert IV: Duke of Austria
Albert IV was Duke of Austria for nine years on either side of the start of the 15th Century.

Albert V: Duke of Austria
Albert the Magnanimous was one of his handful of titles. He was also King of Germany and Holy Roman Emperor. Among his prime achievements were the ending of private warfare and feuds and the division of Germany into administrative circles, from which his successors benefited much more than he did.

Ladislaus: Duke of Austria
Ladislaus was Duke of Austria and King of Bohemia, Croatia, and Hungary for many years in the 15th Century. He was the last Duke of Austria.

Austria was ruled for an extended period of time, and at various intervals, by a series of Holy Roman Emperors.

Holy Roman Empress Maria Theresa

Maria Theresa: Empress of Austria
Maria Theresa (left) was Holy Roman Empress for four decades in the 18th Century, surviving a devastating war over her succession and ruling over a period of great reform.

Joseph II: Ruler of Austria
The second husband of Maria Theresa, he was Holy Roman Emperor in his own right after she died, becoming a proponent of enlightened absolutism.

Leopold II: Ruler of Austria
Succeeded his brother on the thrones of Austria and the Holy Roman Empire. His desire to reverse the enlightened policies of his predecessor led to deep discontent in the country and resulted in the enmity of revolutionary France.

Francis II: Ruler of Austria
Son of Leopold II, he was the last Holy Roman Emperor and the last Archduke of Austria. He took command of troops fighting in the coalition wars against France. In the middle of it all, he declared himself the first Emperor of Austria. His most famous advisor was Klemens von Metternich.

Ferdinand I: Emperor of Austria
Ferdinand I was Emperor of Austria for more than a dozen years in the 19th Century, giving way in the wake of the revolutionary fervor that swept many European countries in the middle of the century.

Franz Josef: Emperor of Austria
Franz Josef was Austrian emperor from 1848 to 1916. During that time, he presided over a large number of changes in his homeland, including the advent of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the devastation of World War I.

The Austro-Hungarian Empire
The Austro-Hungarian Empire was in existence for just more than 50 years.

Karl: Emperor of Austria-Hungary
Karl I was the last emperor of Austria-Hungary. He reigned for nearly two years, in the waning days of World War I.

Search This Site

Custom Search

Get weekly newsletter

Why Is It?

Why Is It Called a River Delta?
As with many things, the answer lies in Ancient Greece.

Why Is It That American Elections Are on Tuesday?
Elections in American happen on a Tuesday. That's the law. But why?

Why Is It Called Big Ben? Big Ben clock tower
Big Ben is actually the giant bell inside the famous Clock Tower in London. It is not the only bell in the tower, and it is certainly not the tower itself. The giant bell, the official name of which is the Great Bell, is more than 7 feet tall and more than 9 feet wide and weighs 13.5 tons. It sounds an E-natural note. As to why any of it is called Big Ben, that's a matter of some debate.

Significant Sevens are the highest, the lowest, the deepest, the farthest, the oldest, the youngest, and a host of other lists in economics, geography, history, and much more.

The Seven Most Visited National Parks in the U.S.

The Seven Longest Train Journeys in the World



Social Studies for Kids
copyright 2002–2023
David White