Map of New York state from 1813

Suppressing the Black Vote in 1811

As more Black men gained the right to vote in New York, the state began to change its laws to reduce their power or disenfranchise them completely.
Living history interpreter demonstrating a mortar and pestle in a historic kitchen.

The Countercultural History of Living Museums

In the 1960s and ’70s, guides began wearing period costumes and farming with historical techniques, a change that coincided with the back-to-the-land movement.
A poster of a colonial man ringing a bell in front of Independence Hall with the words "4 Minute Men" at the top

The US Propaganda Machine of World War I

As the United States prepared to enter World War I, the government created the first modern state propaganda office, the Committee on Public Information.
People scavenging through garbage on a barge in New York City

A History of Garbage

The history of garbage dumps is the history of America.
Post card depicting coal miners in PA

When Did Americans Start Using Fossil Fuel?

The nineteenth-century establishment of mid-Atlantic coal mines and canals gave America its first taste of abundant fossil fuel energy.
Cotton plants.

Understanding Capitalism Through Cotton

Looking at the development of cotton as a global commodity helps us understand how capitalism emerged.
A group of black prisoners, shoveling.

Race, Prison, and the Thirteenth Amendment

Critiques of the Thirteenth Amendment have roots in a long history of activists who understood the imprisonment of Black people as a type of slavery.
Father sitting with children

The Rise of the Domestic Husband

In the late 1800s, advice writers targeting white, middle-class Americans began encouraging men to become more engaged in the emotional lives of their households.
A view of the Grand Canyon.

When the Government Tried to Flood the Grand Canyon

In the 1960s, the government proposed the construction of two dams in the Grand Canyon, potentially flooding much of Grand Canyon National Park.
Stevia flowers

Stevia’s Global Story

Native to Paraguay, Ka’a he’e followed a circuitous path through Indigenous medicine, Japanese food science, and American marketing to reach the US sweeteners market.
Convalescing Civil War soldiers with crutches

The Post-Civil War Opioid Crisis

Many servicemen became addicted to opioids prescribed during the war. Society viewed their dependency as a lack of manliness.
Arab American man holding child with American flag.

How Arab-Americans Stopped Being White

With the emergence of the US as a global superpower in the twentieth-century, anti-Palestinian stereotypes in the media bled over to stigmatize Arab Americans.
Exchange Coffee House illustration

The First American Hotels

In the eighteenth century, if people in British North America had to travel, they stayed at public houses that were often just repurposed private homes.
The sixty-four hexagrams from the King Wen sequence of the I Ching.

The I Ching in America

Europeans translated the "Chinese Book of Changes" in the nineteenth century, but the philosophy really took off in the West after 1924.
President Kennedy in the limousine in Dallas, Texas, on Main Street, minutes before the assassination

JFK’s Assassination and “Doing Your Own Research”

Revelations about secret government programs after Kennedy’s assassination increased the power of conspiracy theories.
Nineteenth century nuclear family.

How Government Helped Create the “Traditional” Family

Since the mid-nineteenth century, many labor regulations in the US have been crafted with the express purpose of strengthening the male-breadwinner family.
Cattle in Nevada, 1973 (and a UFO)

The 1970s Cow Mutilation Mystery

When ranchers began reporting incidents of mutilated cattle, the ensuring panic fed both conspiracy theories and a growing cynicism about the government.
Two youths in Uptown Chicago, 1974.

When Uptown Chicago was “Hillbilly Heaven”

In the 1960s, white Appalachian workers attempted to put down roots in Chicago by building an integrated model neighborhood called Hank Williams Village.
Drawing of people gathered around a speaker at the liberty tree.

The Letter That Helped Start a Revolution

The Town of Boston’s invention of the standing committee 250 years ago provided a means for building consensus during America’s nascent independence movement.
"White Zombie" in white font on green background, with illustration of eyes over the text and clasped hands below the text

Colonialism Birthed the Zombie Movie

The first feature-length zombie movie emerged from Haitians’ longstanding association of the living dead with slavery and exploited labor.
Group of strawberry pickers in a strawberry field in Bell, California, ca. 1910.

Internationalism and Racism in the Labor Movement

A commitment to internationalism helped build multi-ethnic campaigns within the more radical and anti-authoritarian side of the US labor movement.
Lithograph entitled "A View of the Pearl Fishery" depicting enslaved persons rowing in water next to tents on the shore.

African Swimmers in American Waters

Although most enslaved people worked in the fields, captive workers with strong swimming and diving skills were also exploited by plantation owners.
Political cartoon of Andrew Johnson holding a leaking kettle labeled "The Reconstructed South" towards a woman representing liberty and Columbia, carrying a baby representing the newly approved 14th Amendment.

The Pro-Democratic Fourteenth Amendment

At the heart of recent US Supreme Court decisions, the Fourteenth Amendment was framed to require free speech and free elections in the South.
Photograph of women from the Women's Christian Temperance Union gathered at a bar wearing protest signs.

The Forgotten Temperance Movement of the 1950s

Despite the repeal of Prohibition, alcohol consumption was an enormous political issue for many white American Protestants.