Reference Blog Entries

Meet Pluto!

Erin's picture

Color image of Pluto, photographed by the New Horizons spacecraftNASA’s New Horizons reached a goal, nine years and over three billion miles in the making. It’s the first spacecraft to fly by Pluto, collecting data and taking the first detailed images of the dwarf planet and its large moon, Charon. This mission makes the United States the first country to explore every planet in the Solar System, from Mercury to Pluto.

The piano-sized craft will then keep going, exploring the Kuiper Belt, the outer part of the Solar System that has more dwarf planets and other objects that contain evidence of the early formation of the sun and planets.

Explore this exciting moment in history further!

Happy Bastille Day!

Megan's picture

The Bastille FortressThe storming of the Bastille is considered the opening of the French Revolution, which had huge, world-changing effects, from the rise of Napoleon to the Russian Revolution, which was inspired by the French. Learn more:

  • In Haiti, slaves inspired by the French led a revolution and overthrew the government, establishing Haiti’s independence from European powers.
  • Americans were initially thrilled with the spread of democracy, but became more divided as the French Revolution continued (although not necessarily because of the violence!).
  • In France, the Reign of Terror, from which the guillotine gained its notoriety, began, a new calendar was adopted, and churches were closed. Belgium, the Netherlands, and German principalities were invaded by the French.

Learn more from the Encyclopedia of the French revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars and our many history databases.