Ulysses' hometown of Georgetown, Ohio, was a prosperous town, and his father Jesse did better than most men in it. Jesse was able to expand their house to accommodate Ulysses and his younger siblings. While there was lots of work to do around the family tannery, there were also plenty of books to read, rivers to fish and swim in, and horses to ride.
Although many kids never went to formal schools in the early 19th century, the Ulysses was lucky to go to school more than most of his peers. Ulysses's father believed in education, and he knew a U.S. Military Academy degree would give his son some advantages in life. As for Ulysses, he wanted to travel, and a military career would offer plenty of opportunities to see the world. But he was terrified he might fail his classes. After an exciting trip through the Midwest, Philadelphia and New York City, a nervous Ulysses arrived at West Point in May 1839.
The 1968 Democratic National Convention saw a clash of political visions on the convention floor and violence outside on the streets of Chicago.
America's first great songwriter, Stephen Foster, wrote 200 songs but died a penniless alcoholic at 37.
The evocative stories of teenage hoboes crisscrossing America on trains during the Great Depression.
The first officially formed regiment of northern black soldiers who fought in the Civil War.
America's first First Lady defined the role of the President's wife and in the process changed the face of the American presidency.
General Douglas MacArthur led American troops in World Wars I and II before being fired by President Harry Truman during the Korean War.
John Scopes' free speech trial pitted science against religion after the teacher presented Charles Darwin's theory of evolution in a Tennessee school.
The stories of ordinary people in the tumultuous years after the Civil War, when America struggled to rebuild the Union.