Common facts found in world history textbooks often refer to dates, such as June 28, 1914, when the Archduke Francis Ferdinand was assassinated, or major time periods, such as the Renaissance, which was a time of great intellectual advancement. World history textbooks commonly have facts about particular people and objects as well. For example, Christopher Columbus discovered the New World in 1492, and the life-saving medicine Penicillin was discovered in 1928.
The Roman Empire was established in 27 BC. The western portion of the empire dissolved around 476 A.D. However, the eastern portion, in the form of the Byzantine Empire, lasted until the invasion of the Ottoman Empire in 1453. At its height, the Romans controlled as far north as modern day Scotland, as far south as North Africa and as far east as modern-day Iran.
The Protestant Reformation of the 16th century was an attempt to reform the corrupt Catholic Church and to loosen the grip of papal authority. The upheaval resulted in decades of war, rebellion and religious persecution.
World War II was fought in Europe, Africa, and Asia between 1939 and 1945. It pitted the Axis powers, which included Germany, Italy, and Japan, against the Allied powers, which included the United States, Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union. The Allies defeated Nazi Germany on May 8, 1945. They defeated Japan on September 2, 1945.
The end of communist rule in Germany and the downfall of the Soviet Union was largely signified by the Fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989.