With the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, the war merged with the abolitionist cause. The Proclamation had included an unexpected clause: at last, black men could enlist in the armed services of the United States.
In the decade after the Civil War, former slaves sing their way into a nation's heart with spirituals, the religious anthems of slavery.
The stories of ordinary people in the tumultuous years after the Civil War, when America struggled to rebuild the Union.
In August 1942 the murder of a young Mexican American man ignited a firestorm in Los Angeles, ultimately sparking brutal race riots.
The legendary tale of Emeline Gurney, who - as the story goes - sold an illegitimate child at the age of 14 only to marry him at a later age.
Robert E. Lee, the leading Confederate general of the American Civil War, remains a source of fascination and, for some, veneration.
Brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright built a flying machine that made its first flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903.
The African American jazz composer and bandleader performed regularly at Harlem's Cotton Club, leaving a legacy in music.
Clemente was an exceptional baseball player whose career sheds light on larger issues of immigration, civil rights and cultural change.