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World History
20th Century

These are episodes around the world that took place in the 20th Century. Click here for 20th Century American history.


The Christmas Truce
One of the oddest yet most compelling episodes in World War I happened on Christmas Day in 1914: Both sides stopped shooting.

The Debut of Tennis's Davis Cup
Professional tennis has a yearlong tournament in which players compete for their country against other players playing for theirs. The prize is the Davis Cup, and it debuted in 1900.

The Opening of the Panama Canal
On August 15, 1914, the Panama Canal opened for business, with the passage through of the Ancon, an American cargo-passenger ship.

The Dunkirk Evacuation
In a desperate act of heroism and self-sacrifice, thousands of pilots rescued hundreds of thousands of Allied troops trapped by advancing Germans. It took place at the French port of Dunkirk.

Kristallnacht Devastates German Jews
On November 9, 1938, mobs in German-owned territories assaulted Jews on the streets, in their homes and their businesses, and even in their places of worship. Businesses were vandalized. Synagogues were burned. It came to be called Kristallnacht, the "Night of Broken Glass." It was the beginning of the Holocaust.

The Opening of King Tut's Tomb
One of archaeology's greatest mysteries was solved in 1922, when the tomb of King Tut was found and opened.

The Life of Yasser Arafat
From humble beginnings, he rose to the pinnacle of authority over his people, leading them in their quest for a state to call their home. Find out more about this fifth son of a businessman who became, depending on who was talking, a hero or a monster in the quest for peace in the Middle East.

 Graphics courtesy of ArtToday

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