Bruce’s History Lessons

Often fascinating, off-beat and ironic, but always real stories about the people who have shaped our history, published weekly nationwide in newspapers and your email


Your guide to American and world history is Bruce Kauffmann, who worked at CBS News as CBS News Anchorman Dan Rather’s top radio writer and speechwriter before launching his syndicated newspaper column, Bruce’s History Lessons, which runs weekly in newspapers across the country.  Every week Bruce picks a historic event that occurred that week in history and writes about it in a short (just 450 words), entertaining and informative manner. The result has been a new interest in history among readers of all ages and interests, especially among teachers who read the column in their newspapers and use the column to teach in their classrooms.


Online and In Your Email

If you prefer to get your History Lessons “to go,” you can read them anywhere, anytime by bookmarking this page, or you can subscribe (it’s free!), and he will email you two columns every week.  You can also receive the column as one of Bruce’s social media friends, so be sure to follow and “Friend” him through the icons at the top of this page.


Most Recent Bruce’s History Lessons


The King’s Great Matter

This week (May 23) in 1533, Thomas Cranmer, England’s Archbishop of Canterbury, ruled in a special court that the marriage of King Henry VIII to his wife Catherine of Aragon was “null and void.”  Five days later Cranmer ruled that Henry’s subsequent marriage to Anne Boleyn was “good and proper.”

“The...Read More »

The Lyrical Licentiousness of “Louie Louie”

It’s not every rock-and-roll song that prompts the U.S. Attorney General to direct the FBI to conduct a year-long investigation, costing thousands of taxpayer dollars, into whether that song’s possibly dirty lyrics violated the Interstate Transportation of Obscene Material Act. But that was the case with the song “Louie Louie,”...Read More »

The First Political Cartoonist

Among the many professions — firefighter, chimney sweep, librarian, electrician, inventor, advice columnist — that can trace their origins back to Benjamin Franklin, add this one:  political cartoonist.

For it was this week (May 9) in 1754, in The New York Gazette, that Franklin published the first political cartoon in America. ...Read More »

The Deal to Buy Manhattan from the Indians

Every student of American history knows the story of how, back in the day, we swindled some gullible Indian tribe by paying it a measly 24 bucks for what is now Manhattan Island, the richest and most famous of the boroughs that comprise New York City.  But what else do...Read More »

Bruce’s History Lessons: Spring Cleaning 2017

Time for my annual “Spring Cleaning” column, in which I address reader issues and recommend my favorite books of the past year.

This year’s chief reader issue was, do I lecture on historic topics and what do I lecture about?  I lecture often, and my topics can be found on my...Read More »


Subscribe to one or all of Bruce’s writings!

Get the latest from Bruce’s History Lessons in your inbox.



In Your Local Newspaper

 Bruce’s History Lessons is available in many papers all over the country. If your local newspaper does not carry Bruce’s columns, tell the editors they should, and send them to or tell them how much you enjoy the column and have them email Bruce directly at: .

Find Bruce’s History Lessons in your local papers!

The Canton Repository
Canton, OH

The Champaign News-Gazette
Champaign, IL

The Dubuque Telegraph-Herald
Dubuque, IA

The Lebanon Daily News
Colorado Springs, CO

The Marysville Appeal-Democrat
Marysville, CA

The Reading Eagle
Reading, PA

The St. Joseph Herald-Palladium
Paducah, KY

The Terre Haute Tribune-Star
Terre Haute, IN

The Washington Observer-Reporter
Washington, PA

The Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Worcester, MA


What Readers Are Saying

“I very much enjoy each subject matter with its insightful and sometimes little known facts regarding specific events in history.  Thank you for your inspiration and contributions to bringing history alive.” Michael Mobley, North Canton, OH

“…as an educator I think they would make an excellent teaching tool.  You get a Gold Star!!!”  Ginny Decker, Alabama

Thank you for writing this tremendous story. I have had the pleasure to read your column for many years, but I personally thank you for writing this article on Desmund Doss [link to Desmund Doss column].. -WALTER M. SOMMERS, History Docent Volunteer At The Candles Holocaust Museum on 3rd Street.


Subscribe to one or all of Bruce’s writings!

Get the latest from Bruce's History Lessons in your inbox. Subscribe Now