This Day in History

  • Mass graves discovered in Hue
    by History.com Editors on June 27, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    Allied troops who had recaptured the imperial capital of Hue from the North Vietnamese during the Tet Offensive discover the first mass graves in Hue. It was discovered that communist troops who had held the city for 25 days had massacred about 2,800 civilians whom they had identified as ...

  • The Buffalo Creek Flood (1972)
    on February 26, 2021 at 5:00 am

    More than 100 people were killed and thousands more left injured or homeless when a dam in West Virginia's rural Buffalo Creek Valley gave way. It had been built out of sediment left over from coal mining and collapsed after a heavy rainfall, sweeping away two more dams in its path. The collapse unleashed approximately 130 million gallons of black waste water onto the residents of the valley below. A study done 17 years later found that residents still suffered what lasting psychological effect? Discuss

  • The Calaveras Skull Hoax Begins (1866)
    on February 25, 2021 at 5:00 am

    What began as a practical joke became a famous, decades-long scientific hoax when a prominent geologist not only fell for it, but vigorously defended it as real. After miners in Calaveras County, California, claimed to have found a human skull deep within a mine, Harvard University Professor Josiah Whitney—then the State Geologist of California—announced that it was the earliest evidence of humans on the continent. Where might the miners who planted the skull have obtained it in the first place?

  • Diocletian Publishes Edict Calling for Persecution of Christians (303 CE)
    on February 24, 2021 at 5:00 am

    Though the Roman Emperor Diocletian ordered the persecution of Christians several times, his so-called Great Persecution began with an official edict. Churches were razed, scriptures burned, and practitioners executed. A few years later, he became the first Roman emperor to voluntarily abdicate, after which he retired to Croatia to grow cabbages in peace. The reign of Constantine soon made Christianity the empire's preferred religion. When asked to return to the throne, how did Diocletian reply?