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02 September 2009 

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Website of the Week — Eyewitness to History

28 August 2009

Time again for our Website of the Week, when we showcase interesting and innovative online destinations.

Most of us know history from what we learned in school, and for many people it was pretty dull — all those names and dates. But history is made by people, and our Website of the Week features the first-person accounts of people who were there.

"EyewitnessToHistory.com takes a look at history through the eyes of the people who actually lived it," explains Jonathan Davis, managing editor of EyewitnessToHistory.com. He says the site "presents eyewitness accounts of historical events from ancient Greece through the 20th century. We search for good stories. We don't just take any eyewitness account, but it has to be a good story."

You can read first person accounts of America's first steam locomotive, or the great London fire of 1866, or dining with Attila the Hun.

The site launched in 1993 and gets about 700,000 visitors a month, about one-quarter of them students, and all of them interested in this different way of experiencing some of history's great moments.

""The battle of Marathon in ancient Greece in 490 BC, the Revolutionary War in the United States, the San Francisco earthquake, the sinking of the Titanic. Over 400 eyewitness accounts [are] currently included in the website," says Davis.

There are also photos, videos, and audio clips — like this one of Paul Tibbets, pilot of the plane that dropped the first atomic bomb used in World War II.

We saw this cloud of boiling dust and debris below us with this tremendous mushroom on top. Beneath that was hidden the ruins of the city of Hiroshima.

Get close to the great events of the past at EyewitnessToHistory.com, or visit our site, VOANews.com, for the link to this and more than 250 other Websites of the Week.

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