Historic or historical? What's the difference?
The words historic and historical are close in meaning, but their uses are quite different.
The adjective historic means having importance in history or having influence on history.
The adjective historical means having taken place in history, from the past or pertaining to history.
This is a historical event.
(one that happened in the past)
This is a historic event.
(one that is important in history, e.g., the Moon landing)
He was a historical scholar.
(A scholar who studied history)
He was a historic scholar.
(A scholar who was important in history, e.g., Homer)
The bones were of historical significance.
(significant from a perspective of history, i.e., possibly worthless but important to study history)
The bones were of historic significance.
(very significant, i.e., important in history)