Welcome to HistoryWow

Why ‘Wow’? Because history has a ‘Wow’ factor. History is rich in fascinating and inspirational incidents and events. Stories of heroism, self-sacrifice, humor, arrogance, foolishness, victory against the odds, the cruel hand of fate, irony and nobility.

History’s got the lot. Since 2012, HistoryWow’s aim, using only the finest historical reference material, has been to bring you some of these fascinating and inspirational incidents and events, in a short, sharp format. A little bit of history every day. But not enough to overload your busy lifestyles. We hope you enjoy HistoryWow!

History Question of the Day

What did 3rd US president Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) famously declare was “more dangerous than standing armies”?

The answer tomorrow.

Yesterday's question and answer:

In 1897, Swede S.A. Andrée (1854-1897) attempted to reach the North Pole by what means?

Answer: Hydrogen balloon. The expedition was a disaster. Andrée ignored a number of signs the balloon would be inadequate and the balloon crashed after only two days. Andrée and two fellow expedition members died.

Source: The Ice Balloon by Alec Wilkinson

More at: History

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The HistoryWow Research Team

The HistoryWow research team is led by principal researcher Benjamin S V Bray, who has a first class honours degree in history from Edinburgh University and a masters degree in philosophy majoring in history from Cambridge University.

Ask HistoryWow

The History Wow Search Engine. "Ask HistoryWow"


History Question of the Week

Sunday derives from a decree made by Roman Emperor Constantine that the Roman day of rest would be dies Solis (“day of the Sun”), “Sunday”. True or False?

The answer on Thursday.

Submit Answer

The first correct answer to each week's question will receive a US$30 voucher to buy a history book of their choice.

Last week's question and answer:

What pioneering treaty, signed in 1860 between England and France, inaugurated a period of relative free trade among many European nations that survived until the 1890s?

Answer: The Cobden–Chevalier Treaty. The treaty is considered the first modern multinational trade agreement.

Source: Encyclopedia of Free Trade by Cynthia Northrup et al
More at: History

HistoryWow’s Golden List of Great History Books

There are many great history books, on a range of interesting topics. These are some of the ones we at HistoryWow think are especially good.

These excellent books are available at: History

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The HistoryWow Forum


The fascinating thing about history is that there are a variety of different opinions and views on historical questions. Here is your chance to tell us what you think about a particular history question.


According to French philosopher Michel Foucault, the concept of the individual only emerged from 1600 – 1850 and therefore was contingent, not eternal or universal. This is of course saying that we are all natural collectivists because the individual was a recent social construction. In short, it maintains that we humans long to belong, to be part of a group. What do you think?

More at: History


What Business Can Learn from the Lessons of History

A unique business conference and corporate presentation.

Tell us Your Favorite History Anecdote

History lovers have their own special history stories, incidents and episodes. Stories of heroism, self-sacrifice, victory against the odds, arrogance, the cruel hand of fate, irony and nobility. Tell us here what your favorite anecdote is.

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The HistoryWow App

The HistoryWow App. Seventy fascinating and inspirational incidents and events from history - in a short, sharp format. Each great story is different and each one is a terrific read. A nice-sized, compact, mini history book of around 15,000 words, complete with pictures. And it's free.


HistoryWow’s Featured Historical Figure of Note

Victor Hugo (1802-1885)

French writer and poet. A key figure in the Romantic Movement, he penned hugely successful works such as the Hunchback of Notre Dame (1831) and Les Misérables (1862). He is considered among the most famous French writers.

More at: History