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History Stories

If your holiday shopping includes a history lover, HISTORY's editors have carefully chosen gifts and experiences for fans of any era. Whether it's historical letters, a 2022 calendar, or a model spy plane, there's history here to read, watch, use, play and wear. 

HISTORY recommends products our editors think you’ll like (many created by us!), and if you buy something through our links HISTORY may get a share of the revenue. Prices may fluctuate.

History by Mail

HISTORY Gift Guide 2019

BUY HERE: Weekly Historic Letters, from $59.99 for 3 months, Letterjoy

Who doesn’t love getting a letter in the mail? Letterjoy sends your favorite history buff one historic letter weekly from figures like John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein and Marie Curie, based on monthly themes. Each letter is carefully selected, researched and reproduced on fine stationery, paired with an expertly researched "postscript" that puts the letter in historical context. Plans range from one year for $158.99 down to six months for $99.99 or three months for $59.99. Reduced rates available for educators’ in-classroom use. 

Honor Pearl Harbor's Heroes

HNSailor-PearlHarbor-Sweatshirt-Navy-Front

BUY HERE: Pearl Harbor 80th Anniversary History Nerd with WWII Sailor Crewneck Sweatshirt, from $35.99, HISTORY Store

Commemorate the 80th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, which pushed the U.S. to enter World War II, with a special edition History Nerd Sweatshirt. It features a WWII Sailor in the front and, on the back, the American flag that was flying on the U.S.S. St. Louis at the time of the attack on December 7, 1941.

For an even more immersive gift, pair the sweatshirt with a $33.95 World War II on the Homefront Poster, showing more than 100 WWII patriotic posters that hung in U.S. post offices, railroad stations, schools, restaurants and elsewhere, exhorting Americans to buy bonds, contribute to scrap drives and otherwise support the national war effort.

READ MORE: Why Did Japan Attack Pearl Harbor?

Super Fast Super Spy Craft

SR-71 spy plane

BUY HERE: Metal Earth SR-71 Spy Plane 3-D Metal Model, $7.99, Amazon

If you’ve got a big need for speed—but only a little room on your bookshelf or desk—check out this model of the SR-71 Blackbird spy plane, which holds the manned flight speed record of 2,193 miles per hour, set on July 28, 1976. This unassembled model comes in a flat envelope with easy-to-follow instructions and is best for ages 14 and up. 

READ MORE: Area 51's Most Outrageous Top Secret Spy Plane Projects

It's Always Rosie Time

Rosie the Riveter watch

BUY HERE: Rosie We Can Do It Watch, $29.97, National Archives Store

An icon on your wrist. Rosie the Riveter, the steely-eyed World War II heroine with her red bandanna, blue coveralls and flexed bicep, exemplifies the boundless skill and can-do attitude of American women. This bright, colorful timepiece, with its signature polka-dot strap, will continue to inspire that irrepressible, roll-up-the-sleeves spirit.

READ MORE: Black 'Rosies': The Forgotten African American Heroines of the WWII Homefront

New Facts Daily

TDIH 2022 Box Calendar Cover

BUY HERE: This Day in History Box Calendars, $14.95, HISTORY Store

Learn something new every day with HISTORY's 2022 This Day in History calendars, filled with 365 of history’s most influential and extraordinary events, inspiring people and inventions and facts any trivia buff will love. Available as a This Day in History Wall Calendar or This Day in History Box Calendar.

Other topics for box calendars are This Day in Military History, This Day in Women’s History, and Unexplained Mysteries for each day of the year.

READ MORE: This Day in History

Just in Time

HISTORY Gift Guide 2019

BUY HERE: Chronology 20th Anniversary Edition, about $20, Amazon

Which came first—Isaac Newton’s telescope or Martin Luther’s 95 Theses? Test your knowledge of the past with this Chronology card game where players compete to put historical events in the correct chronological order; the first player to build a timeline of 10 cards wins. Recommended for 2 to 8 players, ages 14+. Includes 429 double-sided cards with 858 events. History is more fun with friends!

Flashback to Black History

Uncommon Goods Flash Cards

BUY HERE: Black History Flashcards​, $24, Uncommon Goods

Learn about some of the most important Black leaders in history with this deck of 28 flash cards. Young historians will learn about well-known leaders including President Barack Obama and Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, as well as lesser-known figures like aviator Bessie Coleman and Arctic explorer Matthew Henson. Featuring an illustration of each figure on the front with details about each of their contributions to their respective fields and the world at large on the back, this deck is a fun way to for kids to engage with Black history. Made in California.

READ MORE: Black History Milestones: Timeline

Sketches of War

Drawing Fire book

BUY HERE: Drawing Fire: A Pawnee, Artist, and Thunderbird in World War II, hardcover from $29.95, Amazon

When 18-year-old Pawnee Indian Brummett Echohawk joined the Oklahoma National Guard in 1940, little could he predict that his brigade, the Thunderbirds—made up of cowboys, farmers and more than a thousand Native Americans—would be hailed by General George Patton as “one of the best, if not the best division, in the history of American arms.” The Thunderbirds of the 45th Infantry fought their way across Europe, culminating in the liberation of prisoners from the Nazi’s infamous Dachau concentration camp. Echohawk, a talented artist, created annotated combat sketches during his service, which form the basis of this unique memoir recounting battles in Sicily, Salerno and Anzio.

Hundreds of Hours of History

HISTORY Gift Guide 2019: HISTORY Vault

BUY HERE: HISTORY Vault Subscription, $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year, HISTORY Vault

For the documentary and video buff, a HISTORY Vault subscription offers documentaries and series exploring the events and people that shaped our world, from ancient empires to modern warfare. Stream hundreds of hours of acclaimed series, probing documentaries, and captivating specials commercial free.

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Recommended for you

Tuskegee's Famous Fliers

tuskegee airmen book

BUY HERE: The Tuskegee Airmen, An Illustrated History, from $20, Amazon

The Tuskegee Airmen, the first group of African-American pilots in the history of the U.S. military, broke through a massive color barrier to become decorated WWII fliers. This extensive illustrated history offers a detailed insider’s look at their training, deployment and combat in Europe and Africa. See where they lived, worked, played and fought. And meet the critical non-flying support players—the medics, navigators, weathermen, parachute riggers and more—who helped make their success possible. 

READ MORE: How the Tuskegee Airmen Became Pioneers of Black Military Aviation

On the Map

atlas-world-war-ii

BUY HERE: Atlas of World War II, about $34, Amazon

Start with an astounding array of rare wartime maps—some with generals’ scribbled notations, others used by downed airmen to plot their escapes, still others with ominous coffin markers to show where civilians had been exterminated. Add in vibrant new explanatory cartography, related photos, first-person accounts and confidential documents. The result? A coffee-table WWII history book from National Geographic that Greatest Generation buffs will devour.

READ MORE: World War II: Causes and Timeline

Declare It

HISTORY Gift Guide 2019

BUY HERE: Declaration of Independence Print, $28.95, HISTORY Store

For the American Revolution history buff, what could be more inspiring than a hand-printed broadside of the Declaration of Independence that arrived in Boston about July 15th, 1776—and whose lofty vision of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” was read to gathered throngs three days later from the balcony of the Old State House? Printed with historic methods on an authentic colonial-era press at the Printing Office of Edes & Gill in Boston.

Pair your copy of the declaration with this “Revolutionary Superheroes” T-shirt featuring George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton and Abigail and John Adams.

READ MORE: 9 Things You May Not Know About the Declaration of Independence

The Civil Rights Movement, in Graphic Novel

HISTORY Gift Guide 2019

BUY HERE: March, about $28, Amazon

The Mississippi freedom summer. Selma’s “Bloody Sunday.” The signing of the Voting Rights Act. Experience the most epic moments of the Civil Rights Movement through the intimate lens of Congressman John Lewis, one of the key figures in the struggle to end racial segregation. Winner of multiple awards, including the National Book Award for Young People's Literature, this trilogy of graphic novels comes as a commemorative edition housed in a handsome slipcase. Also available as an ebook.

WATCH MORE: John Lewis - Civil Rights Leader

Ted Talks

Roosevelt_QN_1

BUY HERETheodore Roosevelt Quotable Notable, $5.95, HISTORY Store

Speak softly and carry a thoughtfully written note to a friend or neighbor with this die-cut Theodore Roosevelt note card. The Teddy Roosevelt Quotable Notable comes with a sticker sheet filled with quotes from the 26th U.S. President plus traditional messages like “happy birthday.”

Pair it with the Theodore Roosevelt Magnetic Personality Puppet for a Teddy-themed gift bundle.

READ MORE: 7 Little-Known Legacies of Teddy Roosevelt

Crack the Norse Code

Vikings Bookazine

BUY HERE: Vikings: The Rulers of Sea and Sword, $14.99, Amazon 

This special edition bookazine explores the Viking Age and the influence these legendary warrior-trader-explorers had across four continents for more than 400 years. Learn about unique navigational techniques that allowed them to plunder and conquer Europe and the British Isles...the incredible Norse stories that are still told today...and how their culture embraced female warriors at sea as well as at home. 

READ MORE: 10 Things You May Not Know About the Vikings

Sip from Liberty

JCup

BUY HERE: Monticello Jefferson Cup, $45, Monticello

Thomas Jefferson was meticulous in many things, from the drafting of the Declaration of Independence to the drinkware he used at his Virginia home, Monticello. Bring Jefferson’s taste home with your own pewter Jefferson Cup, which can be engraved with three initials for an additional $9.95. For a lighter take, another version includes Jefferson’s philosophy on wine: A very favorite wine…a necessary of life with me.”

READ MORE: A Brief History of Presidential Drinking

Abe, Only Smaller

LINCOLN_LT_PLUSH

BUY HERE: Abraham Lincoln Little Thinker, $20.95, HISTORY Store

Abraham "Honest Abe" Lincoln remains atop the U.S. presidential rankings—head and shoulders, in fact: standing 6 feet, 4 inches, and almost 7 feet in his signature stovepipe hat, this Lincoln Little Thinker plush doll is scaled down to 12 inches tall to inspire you at your desk or on your bookcase.

For a life-size Lincoln gift, consider an Abraham Lincoln Cardboard Cutout at a life-size 76 inches tall.

READ MORE: 10 Things You May Not Know About Abraham Lincoln

 

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