This week: Britain and Independence Day answers questions
Upgrade /Log in
Options /Log out
Early Europe
Central Asia
Islamic Empire
Native Americans
S./Central America
American History
Home history/science facts

Welcome to!

Projects and Pages for early July:


BRITAIN: With Brexit all over the news - Britain leaving the European Union - we've pulled together our pages on the United Kingdom for you. Starting with the arrival of the first Indo-Europeans about 3000 BC, then there's the Roman invasion of Britain in 43 AD. Britain was part of the Roman Empire - and so part of Europe - until the 400s AD, and much poorer under British kings (maybe King Arthur?). Anglo-Saxon and Danish immigration helped, and then the Norman invasion in 1066. But there's more: the Magna Carta, the Hundred Years' War, Queen Elizabeth, colonization, the Industrial Revolution - and then World War I and World War II.

parchment with writing
Magna Carta

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE: On July 4, 1776, the United States of America declared independence from the United Kingdom, publishing the Declaration of Independence (written by hand on parchment, to seem more important), and started the American Revolutionary War. We still celebrate the day by setting off fireworks. Native American Iroquois and Cherokee took the side of the British, while France fought on America's side under their General Lafayette. A few years later, the Americans won the war, and started work writing the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

drawing of black man
Denmark Vesey

BATTLE OF MANTINEA - July 4, 362 BC - The Theban army and its allies defeat the Spartans, ending Spartan power over Southern Greece and freeing the Spartans' helot slaves.

PULCHERIA - July 4, 414 AD - Empress Pulcheria, as regent for her younger brother, takes control of the Roman Empire.

CHARLES V - June 28, 1519 AD - Charles V becomes the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, ruling large parts of North America and South America, East Africa, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands, and controlling ocean trade all over the world.

DENMARK VESEY - July 2, 1822 - The African-American leader Denmark Vesey and his followers were hanged after their attempt to free enslaved people was betrayed.

WHAT TO DO THIS WEEK: Fireworks! Picnics! Celebrate the Fourth of July! But take the opportunity to read the Declaration of Independence for yourself (if it's too hard, here's a simplified version of it.)

(Want more like this? Email us to sign up for' email newsletter!)

New page this week:

diagram of the blood vessels in a person

IBN AL NAFIS: Ibn al Nafis was a doctor in Egypt, in the time of the Islamic Mamluk dynasty. He was one of the last doctors in a long, long tradition of medical research in Egypt, starting with Old Kingdom Egypt and running right to the 1200s AD. Ibn al Nafis figured out that your heart pumped blood to your lungs to get air, then back to your heart, and then all around your body.

New discoveries this week:

BEES AND SQUASH: As Native American people began to grow squash in North America (it was originally from Mexico and the Southwest), the squash bees that pollinated the squash spread to the north too. Today there are squash bees as far north as Idaho and Quebec, and as far east as Georgia.

ANCIENT FISHING: Still more evidence that fishing was super important to early people. In the Pacific North-west, salmon was important to the Chinook people and their relatives, of course, but also deep-sea herring fishing, and many other species that we don't even eat much today like sculpins and dogfish.

Help support! is entirely supported by your generous donations and by our sponsors. Most donors give about $10. Can you give $10 today to keep this site running? Or give $50 to sponsor a page?

Seasonal food of the week:

JULY FOURTH PICNIC FOOD: This is definitely the time to make crackers, deviled eggs, potato salad, macaroni salad, and pulled pork on challah rolls. People love brownies at a picnic too, or pound cake with sugared strawberries on top, or cherry pie to remind them of George Washington and the cherry tree. But don't forget people also want to eat vegetables! For your picnic, try making hummus and guacamole, with baby carrots and broccoli to dip into it. On the side, serve cold coleslaw!

Also check out our seasonal and budget recipes at

(Want more like this? Email us to sign up for' email newsletter!)

Professor Carr

Karen Eva Carr, PhD.
Assoc. Professor Emerita, History
Portland State University

Professor Carr holds a B.A. with high honors from Cornell University in classics and archaeology, and her M.A. and PhD. from the University of Michigan in Classical Art and Archaeology. She has excavated in Scotland, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and Tunisia, and she has been teaching history to university students for a very long time.

Professor Carr's PSU page

Help support! (formerly "History for Kids") is entirely supported by your generous donations and by our sponsors. Most donors give about $10. Can you give $10 today to keep this site running? Or give $50 to sponsor a page?

Now that the weather's nice, try some of these outdoor activities! How about bicycle polo, or archery for a Medieval Islam day? Or kite flying or making a compass for a day in Medieval China? How about making a shaduf for a day in Ancient Egypt? Holding an Ancient Greek Olympic Games or a medieval European tournament? Building a Native American wickiup?