On October 29, 1929, life in the United States took a turn for the worst. The stock market – the system that controls money in America – plunged to a record low. But this event was only the beginning of many bad years to come. By the early 1930s, one out of three people was not working. People lost their jobs, their houses, or both and ended up in shantytowns called “Hoovervilles” named for the president at the time of the crash. By 1933, many banks had gone under. Though the U.S. has seen other times of struggle, the Great Depression remains one of the hardest and most widespread tragedies in American history. Now it is represented clearly in our What Was…? series.
On August 28, 1963, more than 200,000 people gathered in Washington, DC, to demand equal rights for all races. It was there that Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech, and it was this peaceful protest that spurred the momentous civil rights laws of the mid-1960s. The March is brought to life in this audiobook! Read more »
A thoughtful and age-appropriate introduction to an unimaginable event--the Holocaust.
The Holocaust was a genocide on a scale never before seen, with as many as twelve million people killed in Nazi death camps--six million of them Jews. Gail Herman traces the rise of Hitler and the Nazis, whose rabid anti-Semitism led first to humiliating... Read more »
At 800-feet long, the Hindenburg was the largest airship ever built--just slightly smaller than the Titanic! Also of a disastrous end, the zeppelin burst into flame as spectators watched it attempt to land in Lakehurst, New Jersey on May 6, 1937. In under a minute, the Hindenburg was gone, people jumping from windows to escape. However, only 62... Read more »
"No Taxation without Representation!" The Boston Tea Party stands as an iconic event of the American Revolution—outraged by the tax on tea, American colonists chose to destroy the tea by dumping it into the water! Learn all about the famed colonialists who fought against the British Monarchy, and listen to this audiobook about this act of... Read more »
We the people at Who HQ bring readers the full story--arguments and all--of how the United States Constitution came into being.
Signed on September 17, 1787--four years after the American War for Independence--the Constitution laid out the supreme law of the United States of America. Today it's easy for us to take this blueprint of our... Read more »
Step back in time to the birth of America and meet the real-life rebels who made this country free!
On a hot summer day near Philadelphia in 1776, Thomas Jefferson sat at his desk and wrote furiously until early the next morning. He was drafting the Declaration of Independence, a document that would sever this country's ties with Britain and... Read more »
An eight-audiobook collection from the creators of the New York Times Best-Selling What Was? series that details the most famous disasters in history, including the Titanic, Pompeii, and the Great Depression.
Perfect for curious young listeners, these eight titles provide exciting details about notable tragedies throughout history. Learn about... Read more »
On October 29, 1929, life in the United States took a turn for the worst. The stock market – the system that controls money in America – plunged to a record low. But this event was only the beginning of many bad years to come. By the early 1930s, one out of three people was not working. People lost their jobs, their houses, or both and ended up... Read more »
Whether Congress is in session or not, here is an enthralling overview about the branch of our government closest to average Americans.
Best-selling adult author and the first woman to become executive editor of The New York Times, Jill Abramson is a self-confessed political junkie. Now she has written the book she wishes she'd had as a young... Read more »
Relive the moments when African Americans fought for equal rights, and made history.
Even though slavery had ended in the 1860s, African Americans were still suffering under the weight of segregation a hundred years later. They couldn't go to the same schools, eat at the same restaurants, or even use the same bathrooms as white people. But by the... Read more »
The story of Girl Power! Learn about the remarkable women who changed US history.
From Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton to Gloria Steinem and Hillary Clinton, women throughout US history have fought for equality. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, women were demanding the right to vote. During the 1960s, equal rights and... Read more »
Learn more about what climate change means and how it's affecting our planet.
The earth is definitely getting warmer. There's no argument about that, but who or what is the cause? And why has climate change become a political issue? Are humans at fault? Is this just a natural development? While the vast majority of scientists who study the... Read more »
No one knows where the term Underground Railroad came from--there were no trains or tracks, only "conductors" who helped escaping slaves to freedom. Including real stories about "passengers" on the "Railroad," this audiobook chronicles slaves' close calls with bounty hunters, exhausting struggles on the road, and what they sacrificed for... Read more »
With over 110 million viewers every year, the Super Bowl is one of the most watched television events in the United States. The final showdown between the two best football teams in the NFL attracts some of the biggest musicians to perform at the half-time show. But the Super Bowl is more than just a spectacle – it’s a high-stakes game to win... Read more »
Grab your skis, ice skates, and snowboard and learn how the Winter Olympic Games became a worldwide phenomenal event watched by millions.
Although fans the world over have been fascinated by the modern Summer Olympics since 1896, the Winter Olympics didn't officially begin until 1924. The event celebrates cold-weather sports, displaying the... Read more »
Did the Great Chicago Fire really start after a cow kicked over a lantern in a barn? Find out the truth in this addition to the What Was? series.
On Sunday, October 8, 1871, a fire started on the south side of Chicago. A long drought made the neighborhood go up in flames. And practically everything that could go wrong did. Firemen first went to... Read more »
The morning of August 24, AD 79, seemed like any other in the Roman city of Pompeii. So no one was prepared when the nearby volcano Mount Vesuvius suddenly erupted, spouting ash that buried the city and its inhabitants. The disaster left thousands dead, and Pompeii was no more than a memory for almost 1,700 years. In 1748, explorers rediscovered... Read more »
On December 7, 1941, Japanese war planes appeared out of nowhere to bomb the American base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. It was a highly secretive and devastating attack: four battleships sunk, more than two thousand servicemen died, and the United States was propelled into World War II. In a compelling, easy-to-read narrative,... Read more »
On August 25th, 2005, one of the deadliest and most destructive hurricanes in history hit the Gulf of Mexico. High winds and rain pummeled coastal communities, including the City of New Orleans, which was left under 15 feet of water in some areas after the levees burst. Track this powerful storm from start to finish, from rescue efforts large... Read more »
Oh, rats! It's time to take a deeper look at what caused the Black Death--the deadliest pandemic recorded in human history.
While the coronavirus COVID-19 changed the world in 2020, it still isn't the largest and deadliest pandemic in history. That title is held by the Plague. This disease, also known as the "Black Death," spread throughout Asia,... Read more »
For more than 100 years, people have been captivated by the disastrous sinking of the Titanic that claimed over 1,500 lives. Now young readers can find out why the great ship went down and how it was discovered seventy-five years later.
At 2:20 a.m. on April 15, 1912, the Royal Mail Steamer Titanic, the largest passenger steamship of this time,... Read more »
In this audiobook from the #1 New York Times bestselling series, learn how this vibrant Black neighborhood in upper Manhattan became home to the leading Black writers, artists, and musicians of the 1920s and 1930s.
Travel back in time to the 1920s and 1930s to the sounds of jazz in nightclubs and the 24-hours-a-day bustle of the famous Black... Read more »
Learn how incredible activists made the public aware of AIDS and spurred medical breakthroughs.
In the early 1980s, the first cases of a devastating and fatal new disease appeared, a disease that at first struck only gay men and was later identified as HIV/AIDS. It was the beginning of what became a worldwide health crisis that the US government... Read more »
Hear ye, hear ye! Get ready to learn all about the most powerful court in the United States.
Ever since it was established in 1789, the United States Supreme Court has had a major impact on the lives of all Americans. Some of its landmark decisions have helped end segregation, protected a person’s privacy, and allowed people to marry whomever... Read more »
Go back to the thrilling time of warring knights who were prepared to give their life in order to protect their lord and his castle.
Castles may conjure up a romantic fairy tale world; however, in real life, during the Middle Ages, castles were fortresses, providing shelter and protection for the lord as well as for the peasants who lived on his... Read more »
Discover more about Juneteenth, the important holiday that celebrates the end of chattel slavery in the United States.
On June 19, 1865, a group of enslaved men, women, and children in Texas gathered around a Union solder and listened as he read the most remarkable words they would ever hear. They were no longer enslaved: they were free. The... Read more »