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Jennifer Rosenberg
Guide since 1997

About.com 20th Century History

Famous Criminals

Portrayed in the 1930s as modern-day Robin Hoods, Bonnie and Clyde did sometimes steal from the rich and give to the poor. At other times they killed people for no reason. Learn what happened to this strange, criminal duo.

More Famous Criminals

The Berlin Wall

East Berliner standing on top of the Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall, hastily put up in the middle of the night in 1961, grew to become an icon of the Cold War. Learn more about its history, its structure, and its downfall.

More Cold War History
20th Century History Spotlight10

The Downfall of Communism

Beginning with the creation of the Soviet Union, communism began to gain footing in many countries around the world, vying for control of the world against capitalism. However, in the second part of the 20th century, communism began to weaken. Find out what happened to bring down communism as a world power.


Communism is a political ideology that believes the struggles between classes can be solved by eliminating private property. The concept of communism, founded by Karl Marx in 1848, first became a reality when Lenin used it in Russia. Find out more about this history of communism.

Sammy Davis Jr.

Sammy Davis Jr. was known as Mr. Entertainment because he could do just about anything -- sing, dance, act, play multiple instruments, do impressions, tell jokes, and more. But his life was filled with uncertainty and controversy. Find out more about Sammy Davis Jr.

Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov, best known for his science-fiction novels, wrote a total of 471 books on a huge number of subjects. Find out more about Asimov and how he was so prolific.

Virginia Woolf

British author Virginia Woolf wrote ten novels and a number of essays despite struggling with mental illness nearly her whole life. Sadly, however, her illness ultimately killed her. Learn more about this talented, troubled woman.

Madam C.J. Walker

Madam C.J. Walker was truly a remarkable woman. She started out life as a child of slaves, was orphaned at age 7, married at age 14, a mother by age 17, and then a widow by age 20. She then spent 18 years as a laundress before starting her own hair-care business that grew exponentially, ultimately making her the first female, self-made millionaire.

Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter was a peanut farmer from Georgia, then governor, and then the 39th president of the United States. Unfortunately, my most counts, he failed as a president. However, since then, Carter has worked diligently on humanitarian efforts around the world. Learn more about President Jimmy Carter in this short biography.

The Nazis

The Nazi Party began as one of thousands of innocuous political groups that formed after Germany's defeat in World War I; however, it soon grew increasingly powerful, eventually taking over all of Germany. Led by Hitler, the Nazis started World War II and were responsible for the horrors of the Holocaust. Find out how the Nazi Party formed and how it grew so powerful.

The Jonestown Massacre

On November 18, 1978, Jim Jones, leader of the Peoples Temple, ordered his group to commit mass suicide. In total, 918 people died that day, most by drinking a

A 10-Part Series of WWI Pictures

Each week, The Atlantic online will release a collection of World War I photos, many of which haven't been seen in years. Thus far, half of the historic

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