I just found a nice service using the Google WEB API. It is called H-Bot. Here is what Dan Cohen, posted to Google Groups:
We've just launched a beta version of an application that uses the
Google API in combination with other resources to answer historical
questions like "When did Charles Lindbergh fly to Paris?" "When was
Nelson Mandela born?" "What was the gold standard?" "Who was Lao-Tse?"
We are still developing and testing the application, called H-Bot, and
are very interested in receiving some preliminary feedback before
doing a more official launch to students and teachers.
You can try H-Bot out on the web at http://chnm.gmu.edu/tools/h-bot/
or via an AOL instant messenger client by adding a buddy with the AIM
screen name "chnmhbot". If you type in "help" it will give you some
tips on using it. Also, if H-Bot gives you an incorrect answer, you
can type "wrong" and it will automatically log the error so we can try
to fine tune our programming.
Thanks in advance for the feedback of anyone who might be interested.
Director of Research Projects
Center for History and New Media
George Mason University