Why Does American History Feel Like Ancient History to High School Students?

An argument for returning the recent past, and the history of modern conservatism, to classrooms.
Map of the United States of America.

Remembering John Hope Franklin, OAH’s First Black President

The 2024 OAH Conference on American History falls almost fifteen years after the renowned historian, teacher, and activist's death.
Statute of Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia, with construction hook ready to remove it.

History Shows the Danger of Comparing Trump to Jesus

It’s important to remember why analogies to Jesus should stay out of the political realm. The results are always ugly.
John Thorn photographed in front of baseball memorabilia.

How Baseball’s Official Historian Dug Up the Game’s Unknown Origins

A lifelong passion for the national pastime led John Thorn to redefine the sport's relationship with statistics and reveal the truth behind its earliest days
“The Caring Hand,” by Eva Oertli and Beat Huber, sculpture of a hand holding a tree.

Bryan Stevenson Reclaims the Monument, in the Heart of the Deep South

The civil-rights attorney has created a sculpture park, indicting the city of Montgomery—a former capital of the domestic slave trade.
The Doctors' House in Glendale.

Pieces of the Past at the Doctors House: Glendale, California

How one house can contain larger stories of American migration and growth, reckonings with exclusion, and the advent of new technologies.
Old car holding up a mining chute on the over of the book “The Bootleg Coal Rebellion”

Rock-Fuel and Warlike People: On Mitch Troutman’s “The Bootleg Coal Rebellion”

Native son Jonah Walters finds something entirely too innocent about the tales told about the anthracite industry’s origins.
A photograph of the SS Eastland.

Checking out Historical Chicago: Cynthia Pelayo's "Forgotten Sisters"

The SS Eastland disaster and Chicago's ghosts.
Painting of Mercy Otis Warren by John Singleton Copley.

Mercy Otis Warren, America’s First Female Historian

At the prodding of John and Abigail Adams, Mercy Otis Warren took on a massive project: writing a comprehensive history of the Revolutionary War.
Grave marker for "Special Case - Baby 1."

The Search for Special Case–Baby 1

Who was buried in the lonely grave in New York’s potter’s field? The year-long search led to a lost world in the history of AIDS.
Civil War soldiers on horseback with pistols.

The Hunt for John Wilkes Booth Goes On

A new television miniseries depicts the pursuit of Lincoln’s killer. But the public appetite for tales about the chase began even as it was happening.

The Annotated Oppenheimer

Celebrated and damned as the “father of the atomic bomb,” theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer lived a complicated scientific and political life.
The Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.

Five Centuries Ago, France Came to America

This is the story of Giovanni da Verrazzano, who never reached Asia, but became the first European to set foot on the site of the future city of New York.
Content of Frank B's suitcase. A luggage tag, a black and white photograph of a young man in military uniform, a notebook with Frank's name written, a guide to Brooklyn, a copy of the Gospel of John, and an address book.

Tales From an Attic

Suitcases once belonging to residents of a New York State mental hospital tell the stories of long-forgotten lives.
Mural of Harriet Tubman with arm outstretched

Harriet Tubman and the Most Important, Understudied Battle of the Civil War

Edda L. Fields-Black sets out to restore the Combahee River Raid to its proper place in Tubman’s life and in the war on slavery.
Bust of Isaiah Bowman at Johns Hopkins University.

Why is Johns Hopkins Still Honoring an Antisemite?

Isaiah Bowman was one of the worst college presidents in American history.
Gloved hand holding COVID-19-shaped dandelion

Did the Year 2020 Change Us Forever?

The COVID-19 pandemic affected us in millions of ways. But it evades the meanings we want it to bear.
Yale Civil War memorial

A Yankee Apology for Reconstruction

The creators of Yale’s Civil War Memorial were more concerned with honoring “both sides” than with the true meaning of the war.
A photograph of Andrew Johnson.

Tennessee Johnson Reel vs. Real

The real Andrew Johnson compared with the only film made about his life.
Statue of Sojourner Truth.

The Remarkable Untold Story of Sojourner Truth

Feminist. Preacher. Abolitionist. Civil rights pioneer. Now the full story of the American icon's life and faith is finally coming to light.
The San Francisco 49ers running onto a football field led by their mascot, a gold prospector.

Who Were the Real 49ers?

San Francisco 49ers fans may feel like their team name is less racist than the “Chiefs,” but given the history of the Gold Rush, they shouldn’t be so smug.
Ambrotype of African American Woman with Flag—believed to be a washerwoman for Union troops quartered outside Richmond, Virginia

Home Front: Black Women Unionists in the Confederacy

The resistance and unionism of enslaved and freed Black women in the midst of the Confederacy is an epic story of sacrifice for nation and citizenship.
Widening tear across a collage of photographs of civil rights movement leaders and events.

Why Are We Still Segregating Black History in February?

The persistence of segregated histories masks a critical truth: there is no American history without African-American history.
A Native American man wearing a cowboy hat.

Abbot Appointee Slams Brakes On American Indian/Native Studies Course

The course was getting a first read after years of review. Then, the Texas Board of Education needed more time to assess it without “drama or controversy.”
Commemorative marker about the "Lynching of Howard Cooper."

Efforts to Memorialize Lynching Victims Divide American Communities

Activists around the country are debating the best ways to acknowledge lynchings. But they often meet resistance from local residents — both Black and White.

Space Isn’t the Final Frontier

Mars fantasists still cling to dreams of the Old West.
Jewish civilians who participated in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising are marched out of the city by Nazi troops

What Holocaust Remembrance Forgets

Popular accounts of the Holocaust overlook its irrationality and often disordered violence.
Martin Luther King Jr. giving a speech.

The Problem With Comparing Today's Activists to MLK

Media coverage of the civil rights movement is a reminder that the deification of King has skewed public memory.
Book cover of "Living the Dream" by Daniel T. Fleming.

Fighting to Desegregate the American Calendar

As a versatile but complex hero, King led a life open to interpretation by politicians and activists of all types who fiercely debated his legacy.
A statue of Martin Luther King Jr. stands larger than life in the center of the frame; two small figures view it in the foreground

The Struggle for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Memory

How political misappropriations of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy fuel right-wing movements.