Use the adjective historical to describe something that happened in the past, like the historical details of your ancestors' immigration to the United States.
When you're talking about events in the past, you can call them historical. Civil War reenactors might work hard to research the perfect historical costumes, and set designers for period films try to recreate rooms with historical accuracy, making them look just like they would have in the past. The word historical traces back to the Greek word historia, "a learning by inquiry, history, or record."
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