About the Headers

Ordinarily this section would go under the Site page, however as it is so extensive we decided to put it here. Here you will find an explaination of every randomized header image. Next to it will be a thumbnail of the header, which you can view in whole by clicking on it. The end of it will include a Wikipedia link to more information about the subject. The subjects are listed chronologically from earliest to latest.

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located in Wiltshire County in England. There is some debate as to when it was erected, the most commonly accepted date being B.C. 2500. It is composed of earthworks surrounding large standing stones. There are parts of the site that date back to B.C. 3100. The structure has always been associated with burial and took about 1500 years to complete. It is theorized that half of the stones originally present are now missing. Stonehenge is owned by the English crown and is a legally protected Scheduled Ancient Monument. (More Information)
This header features a mosaic depicting the Battle at Issus. The battle took place in November of B.C. 333 in Issus, locating in Turkey. Alexander of Macedonia led his troops in an invasion against Darius III of Achaemenid. It was the second greatest battle in the quest for Asian supremacy. Alexander's forces previously defeated the Persian satraps at the Battle of Granicus. After that defeat, Darius III took control of his forces personally, gathering a large army from deep within his empire. (More Information)

Gaius Julius Caesar was an influential Roman military and political leader who played an instrumental role in transforming the Roman Republic to the Roman Empire. On March 15th B.C. 44 Julius Caesar was due to appear before the Roman Senate. Marc Antony heard vague details of the plot and attempted to stop it but the Senate apprehended Caesar before Antony could reach him. Caesar was then presented by Tillius Cimber with a petition to have his brother recalled from exile. The senators surrounded Caesar and began stabbing him. Caesar attempted to escape, but couldn't and was stabbed 23 times. Suetonis, a physician, later said that only one of the wounds had been fatal. The Latin phrase, "Et tu, Brute?" does not originate in history but from William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar. (More Information)
Vercingetorix was an Arverni chieftain who was known for united the Gauls in a revolt against the Roman forces during the last phase of Caesar's Gallic Wars. He had been appointed governor of the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis, which is modern-day Provence. As Caesar went through conquering the Gallic tribes, Vercingetorix managed to unite the Gallic tribes and used methods of modern warfare against Rome. He surrendered after being defeated at the Battle of Alesia in B.C. 51. He was imprisoned for five years and in B.C. 46 Caesar paraded him through Rome before executing him. (More Information)
This is a map of the Ancient World, a vast subject spanning from the beginning of written history until the early Middle Ages. Many historians mark the end of the Antiquity age with the fall of the Roman Empire, the death of Emperor Justinian I, the coming of Islam and the rise of Charlemagne. Earliest civilizations included Sumer, the Akkad, the Hittite Empire, Egypt and Babylonia. Greece and the Roman Empire, the Han and Jing Dynasties, Gupta India and the civilizations of the Aztecs, Mayans and Incas date back to Antiquity. (More Information)
Featured is the Parthenon, representing Ancient Greece. The Parthenon was built as a temple to the Goddess Athena. It is considered the most important representation of Classic Greece that is still standing. It was built around B.C. 5 on the Athenian Acropolis and is the second such structure dedicated to Athena. It is considered a high point of Greek art. In 1806 Thomas Bruce 7th Earl of Elgin removed some of the surviving marbles. They are now kept in the British Museum in London. The Greek government is committed to obtaining the return of the sculptures with no success. (More Information)
The Knights Templar existed in the Middle Ages and were more formally known as Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ of the Temple of Solomon. They were officially endorsed by the Catholic Church in 1129 and grew in membership quickly. They were among the most skilled fighters during the Crusades. Their distinctive attire featured a white mantle with a red cross and their motto was "Not for self, but for God". They lost favor once the Holy Land was lost and French King Phillip IV used their secretive reputation to his advantage, because he was in debt to them. Several members were captured and tortured. (More Information)
The Feudal period of Japanese history lasted from the 12th to the 19th centuries. It was dominated by powerful regional families and the rule of warlords. The position of emperor remained but was merely a figurehead. The period is divided into periods named after the reigning family of the shogun. When the shogun began to suspect that European traders and missionaries in their country were a prelude to European conquest, they secluded their country from the rest of the world. The end of seclusion ended the Feudal period. (More Information)
Henry VIII was King of England from 1509 until his death in 1547. He is pictured here in a portrait featuring his third wife Jane Seymour and their son Edward, who would become King Edward VI. The painting is inaccurate and portrays a future historians believe that Henry VII would have preferred to have, as Jane Seymour is considered to have been his favorite of his six wives because she bore him a male heir. However, Jane Seymour died not long after the birth of Edward and would not have seen him live to the age he is in the painting. Henry VIII was first married to Catherine of Aragon, who gave birth to their daughter Mary who would become queen and known as Bloody Mary. His second wife was Anne Boleyn. She bore him the future Elizabeth I. Following Jane Seymour were Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr. (More Information)
Elizabeth I was Queen of England from 1558 until her death in 1603. She was the fifth and final monarch of the Tudor Dynasty, dying with no heir. Elizabeth was Henry VIII's daughter with his second wife Anne Boleyn. When Anne Boleyn was executed, her daughter was declared illegitimate. She was celebrated as the ruler of a Golden Age, in part due to the defeat of the Spanish Armada by the English. Her reign lasted for 44 years, providing stability after the short reigns of her brother Edward VI and sister Mary I. (More Information)
The Spanish Armada was the name for the Spanish fleet that faced the English Navy in 1588. Spain's King Phillip II had been a co-monarch of England until the death of his wife Mary I. Her sister Elizabeth I, a protestant, became queen and Phillip II considered her a heretic and an illegitimate ruler. Pope Sixtus V supported Phillip's invasion of England and attempts to overthrow Elizabeth and treated it as a crusade. The Armada consisted of 22 warships and 208 converted merchant vessels. The defeat of the Spanish Armada allowed the English to go against Spanish possessions in the New World. (More Information)
Louis XIV is the longest ruling European monarch to date. His rule in France and Navarre lasted from 1643 until his death in 1715 - seventy-two years. Louis XIV did not officially begin ruling France personally until 1661 when his prime minister died. Louis was a strict adherent to the theory of the Divine Right of Kings. During his reign France stood as the most powerful European nation. His parents, Louis XIII and Anne of Austria remained childless for 23 years of their marriage and thus, Louis was seen as a divine gift. He was married twice. His first wife, Marie-Thérèse, died in 1683. Louis remarried in secret, a secret that remained for the rest of his life, in October of 1683 to Françoise d'Aubigné, marquise de Maintenon. (More Information)
The French Revolution occurred between 1789 and 1799. The French government changed from an absolute monarchy with feudal privileges for the aristocracy and Catholic clergy to a government based on principles of citizenship and unalienable rights. Prior to the revolution, conditions for French citizens had been worsening. The monarchy had supported several wars that left the country bankrupt. The people were starving and diseased. The unrest came to a head in 1789 with the storming of the Bastille ammunition cache. The period was marked by violence. The King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette were both sent to the Guillotine. (More Information)
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader who served as Emperor of France. His actions helped shape European politics in the 19th Century. Some remember him as a tyrant but he did establish the Napoleonic Code help lay the judicial and administrative foundations in Western Europe. This header features a painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme of Napoleon on an expedition to Egypt in 1798. After careful planning Napoleon decided that the French Navy wasn't strong enough to confront the British in the English Channel. He decided instead to invade Egypt, gain allies in the Middle East and cut off British trading to India. His expedition to Egypt included 167 scientists and among their discoveries was the Rosetta Stone. (More Information)
Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios Ponte Blanco is more commonly known as Simón Bolívar, The Liberator. He was one of the most important leaders in Latin America's struggle for independence from Spain. He is contributed for helping the modern-day countries of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru and Bolivia gain their independence. He served as president of Colombia, Venezuela, Peru and Bolivia at various times. He is revered as a hero in Latin America. (More Information)
Queen Victoria had the longest reign of any British monarch in its history. She was on the throne from 1837 until 1901 when she died. Her reign is known as the Victorian Era and the period saw great advances in industry, politics and science. During her reign the British Empire reached its zenith. Between her nine children and forty-two grandchildren she arranged marriages that spread all across Europe. At the time Victoria was born George III was king but his three eldest sons had no surviving legitimate issue. She became heiress presumptive in 1930 after the death of George IV. She married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840. (More Information)
The beginnings of the U.S. Civil War can be dated back from the beginnings of the country but consistently from 1820 until actual combat occurred in 1861. Things began to come to a head in the decade preceding the war, specifically in Kansas and the argument of whether or not it should be admitted as a state with slave labor. In 1856 during the Bleeding Kansas Crisis when border ruffians were entering the state, Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts denounced the Kansas-Nebraska Act and its authors - Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois and Andrew Butler of South Carolina. Sumner's three-hour long speech took a mean spirited turn when he mocked Butler's manner of speech and physical mannerisms, which were caused by a stroke. On May 22nd, South Carolina Congressman Preston Brooks walked onto the nearly deserted Senate floor and began beating Sumner with a walking stick he carried with him. Laurence M. Keitt stopped anyone present from helping Sumner by holding a gun on them. Brooks did not stop beating Sumner until his walking stick broke. Sumner was blinded by his own blood and took three years to recover before returning to the Senate. (More Information)
The Battle of Antietam is also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg. It was a major battle of the U.S. Civil War and took place on September 1, 1862 in Sharpsburg, Maryland. The Union forces were led by General George B. McClellan and the Confederates were led by General Robert E. Lee. The Battle at Antietam is the bloodiest day in the history of the United States. The battle began around 5 A.M. and lasted for roughly twelve hours. Within that twelve hour period, there were an estimated 23,000 casualties for both sides combined. It was considered a major victory for the Union since it stopped an attempt by the Confederacy to gain territory in the North. Because of this tactical Union victory, President Abraham Lincoln had the leverage needed to announce the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing the slaves in the rebel states. (More Information)
The First World War began in 1914 following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne. Throughout the four year conflict approximately 15 million people were killed. The German, Russian, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires were militarily and politically defeated with the latter two ceasing to exist. The Russian Empire became the Soviet Union in the following years. The war was known for using trench warfare. Trenches would protect soldiers from small arms fire and artillery. Conditions in trenches were harsh, with minor injuries being deadly due to a lack of proper medical care. Sanitary conditions were poor and most deaths during the war were related to disease. (More Information)
The Bolsheviks were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party who split from the Menshevik faction. The Bolsheviks would go on to become the Communist Part of the Soviet Union. They came to power during the October Revolution of 1917. The group was founded by Vladamir Lenin and considered themselves the vanguard of the revolutionary working class. Bolshevik leader Leon Trotsky used the term Bolshevism while he was in exile to differentiate between true Leninism and the regime under Stalin. (More Information)
Benito Mussolini became Prime Minister of Italy in 1922. He ran the country until 1945, when he was assassinated. Initially, Mussolini sided with France against Germany in the 1930s but by 1940 he entered Italy into the Second World War as part of the Axis Powers. Adolf Hitler fought in the First World War and was crushed by the German defeat. He became active in German politics and formed the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi) and became Chancellor of Germany in 1933. He led Europe into the Second World War when Germany invaded Poland in 1939. Mussolini and Hitler met on several occasions, forming an alliance during the war years. (More Information 1, 2)
Featured in this header is the gate to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp located in Poland near the town of Oswiecim. The iron gate has the motto "Arbeit macht frei", which is German for "work brings freedom". At the Nuremberg Trials camp commandant Rudolf Höss claimed that about 3 million people died at the camp, though estimates now stand at 1.1 million - 90% of them Jews. The camp was liberated by Soviet forces on January 27, 1945. That day is now celebrated as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. (More Information)
Pictured in this header are from left to right British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Soviet Union Premier Josef Stalin. Between 4 February 1945 and 11 February 1945 Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin met in Yalta in the southern region of the Ukraine to discuss post-war organization of Europe and restructuring the countries on the continent. It was the second of three such conferences held between those three countries. The first had been in Tehran and the third was Potsdam. Harry S. Truman attended Potsdam in place of the late Franklin D. Roosevelt. (More Information)
Following the German defeat in the Second World War, Germany was split in two with the Soviets taking the eastern half and the western half being occupied by the U.S., France and England. Though Berlin was located in the east, it was also split into eastern and western sections. In the 1950s many citizens of East Germany emigrated to the west, in an effort to stop them the wall was constructed. Construction on the wall began in 1961 and it completely encircled West Berlin and separated it from East Germany. In 1989 the wall began to be dismantled and Germany was officially unified in 1990. (More Information)
Fidel Castro led a successful revolution against Flugencio Batista's regime in Cuba in 1959. Nikita Khrushchev was Premier of the Soviet Union from 1958 to 1964. The United States had long feared the spread of communism following the Second World War. When Fidel Castro came to power he aligned his country with the USSR, something considered unacceptable by the United States. Castro and Khrushchev enjoyed an amicable relationship with the Soviet leader lending help to Castro. The situation came to a head during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October of 1962. (More Information 1, 2)
Mao Tse-Tung was a communist leader in China. He led the Communist Party of China to victory in the Chinese Civil War and was leader of the People's Republic of China. Ernesto 'Che' Guevara was an Argentine revolutionary leader. Rather than leading one country, Che traveled throughout Latin America aiding in revolutions throughout the area in the 1950s and 1960s. Che was known for his Marxist sympathies. Guevara met with Mao in China in November of 1960. (More Information 1, 2)
Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the leader members of the Civil Rights movement in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s. He was born in Georgia and received a doctorate in theology from Boston College. He rose to prominence during the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955. Following the success of that he helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He delivered his infamous "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963 at a historic march on Washington. In 1964 he became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize, awarded for his efforts to obtain racial equality through peaceful methods. Dr. King's methods of passive resistance gained him the support of many Americans. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. (More Information)
Mikhail Gorbachev, standing at Brandenburg Gate in 1986, was the last leader of the Soviet Union. He is also the only Soviet leader to have been born after the October Revolution. Gorbachev contributed to the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. He was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in 1990. The Russian people now blame him for their economic crisis while the western world credits him with the end of the Soviet Bloc. (More Information)