Al Capone: Child of Prohibition
Unable to bring mob boss Al Capone to justice for many of the crimes ascribed to him, the US Federal government took a new tack to end the rule of gangsters in the Depression.
The Suffragettes: Battle For The Ballot Box
In late Victorian England, women began to organize to gain the right to vote. The fight for women's suffrage lasted well into the early 20th Century.
The Gold Rush: For A Fistful Of Nuggets
Timing is everything, just look at what happened in 1848. How did the finding of gold in Sutter's Mill make an impact on the development of California and the history of the United States?
Cortes At The Heart Of The Aztec Empire
The encounter between the conquistador and opportunist Hernan Cortes and the indigenous peoples of Central America is one of history's tragic tales of greed, conflict, imperial weakness and superior weaponry.
Cuba: Nuclear Standoff
The Cuban Missile Crisis was one of the defining moments of the mid-twentieth century and of the presidency of John Kennedy. How did the two Cold War powers of the USSR and the USA come to the point of threatening nuclear war?
Black Death: The Invisible Enemy
A disease that developed and killed within a few days decimates Europe and changes the course of history.
Istanbul: From One Empire To The Other
Constantinople was a part of the Roman Empire, then became the seat of the Byzantine Empire and then was the imperial city of the Ottoman Empire. Here is the story of the fabled city and its history of power and conflict through the ages.
Aral: A Sea For Cotton
The former Soviet Union collectivized many aspects of agricultural and industrial development in the 1950's. While some efforts were successful, others, like the cotton-growing around the Aral Sea, have proven to be an ecological nightmare.
The Fall Of Quebec: France Loses America
The battle between the French and English for the French territory of New France hinges on the presence of the British navy. And the Battle on the Plains of Abraham is tipped to Great Britain by the solidly trained soldiers of the British army. This changed the landscape of North America.
In the 17th century, a long period of civil war in France and war across Europe, rebellious members of the French Parliament, dubbed The Fronde, defy the monarchy and this defiance does not end well for them...and changes the history of France.
The Olympic Games: A Mirror To Society
How did one man succeed in relaunching the Olympic spirit and turn the Games into a global event?
In the 15th century, an inventor in a workshop in Strasburg came up with a machine that would eventually change the history of the entire world and shake a religion to its core. The choice of the first work to be printed is an astute one: Saint Jerome's Latin version of the Bible.
Dunkirk: Resist At All Costs
The dramatic story of the defense of France against Hitler's invading army in order to enable the desperate evacuation of over 300K men of the British Expeditionary Force and Allied troops across the English Channel to safety in 1940.
Kursk: The USSR Strikes Back
In the spring of 1943, after the successive failures of Moscow and Stalingrad, the armies of the Reich go on the offensive again. Considered the greatest tank battle in History, this event represents a real turning point of World War II on the Eastern Front.
Vikings: Assault on the Frankish Empire
While the Viking raids have come one after another in the Occident for almost a century, in November 885, hundreds of Scandinavian boats sailing towards Burgundy present themselves before the walls of Paris and besiege the city.
Deepwater: An Ocean of Oil
Rented by the BP oil company to drill an oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explodes on April 20, 2010, before sinking into the ocean and causing a gigantic oil spill. At issue: negligence in the maintenance and in the tests carried out.
Cook in Pursuit of the Southern Lands
In 1415, the Portuguese launch an era of explorations that will lead to the European discovery of the world. The competition is intense between France and the United Kingdom for the possession of North America and the West Indies for the Indian colonies, but also for Science.
Champollion: Unravelling the Mysteries of the Stone
In July 1799, during the French Campaign in Egypt and Syria, the French soldiers of lieutenant Bouchard discover by chance at Rosetta a large black stone. It is, in fact, the fragment of a stele engraved in honor of King Ptolemy V, including three writing systems: Greek, Demotic, and hieroglyphs.
Gandhi: The Force of Willpower
In May 1893, a man is thrown out of a train, on the platforms of the train station of Pietermaritzburg, a little city of South Africa, for daring to sit in a first-class compartment. This young Indian lawyer is named Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
Lawrence of Arabia: For a Fistful of Sand
1916, the Great War, far away from the trenches, in the sand of the Middle East, war has a very different face. With a handful of intrepid men, Thomas Edward Lawrence leads the revolt of the Arabs alongside Sharif Hussein, against the Ottoman Empire.
Apartheid: The Spiral of Fear
August 5, 1962, South Africa. After several months on the run, the Black leader Nelson Mandela is arrested by the South African police and incarcerated on Robben Island, a fortress-like jail off Cape Town. He doesn't know it at that time, but it is only the beginning of his penitential ordeal.
Augustus: Emperor of the Republic
At the end of a succession of civil wars which have weakened the Roman Republic, Caesar proclaims himself dictator for life. However, on March 14, 44 BC, he is assassinated by conspirators in the name of the Republic.
Carthage: Rome's Rival
In 814 BC, the exiled Phoenician queen Dido founds the city of Carthage on the African Coast. The city develops and takes the lead of a maritime empire based on trade. Carthage dominates the Western Mediterranean. But in the third century BC, she finds herself opposed to the Roman Republic.
Miners: Fodder of The Industrial Revolution
University of Glasgow, England, 1763. A young engineer tries, in vain, to fix a steam engine before finally understanding what is wrong with it. James Watt still doesn't know it but he will soon revolutionize the world of industry.
Encyclopedia: Dare to Know
July 31, 1784, Paris. Denis Diderot has just passed away and with him, the memory of the biggest editorial epic of the Age of Enlightenment: Encyclopedia, or a Systematic Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Crafts.
Dien Bien Phu: A Losing Battle
Since the end of the 19th century, Indochina has been a flourishing colony, the gem of the French Empire. However, the Second World War turns everything upside down. At the end of the war, the Viet Minh movement announces its independence.