Residents of the United States' first government-built planned "utopian" community in Greenbelt.

Greenbelt, Future Home of the FBI, was Planned as a New Deal ‘Utopia’

Greenbelt was designed in 1935 as a community created, built, populated and even furnished entirely by the federal government. Now the FBI is set to move in.
Old stone walls and trees in a New England meadow

How Stone Walls Became a Signature Landform of New England

Originally built as barriers between fields and farms, the region’s abandoned farmstead walls have since become the binding threads of its cultural fabric.

Borderland Stories

What we remember when we remember the Alamo.
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.
Exhibit memorializing the victims of convict leasing with Chassidy Alainu Olade.

Mass Grave Recalls the Ugly Past of a City Where ‘Life Is Sweeter’

The Houston suburb Sugar Land got its name from a business reliant on the forced labor of convicts. But efforts to memorialize those people have stalled.
The Cross-Bronx Expressway, April 1971. Photo by Dan McCoy/Environmental Protection Agency/National Archives

How the New York of Robert Moses Shaped my Father’s Health

My dad grew up in Robert Moses’s New York City. His story is a testament to how urban planning shapes countless lives.

The Richest Square Mile on Earth

Almost by accident, we find ourselves at the epicenter of the Colorado Gold Rush, which attracted prospectors to the Rockies a decade after the famous bonanza of ‘49.
A woman standing with arms outstretched

The Last Lighthouse Keeper in America

In a technological age, impassioned devotees renew an ancient maritime tradition.
A crowd of tourist superimposed over images of Salem attractions and a cemetery.

Salem’s Unholy Bargain: How Tragedy Became an Attraction

Is the cost worth the payoff?
Thomkins H. Matteson's painting of George Jacobs' witchcraft trial in 1855

The Salem Witch Trials Actually Happened in Danvers, Massachusetts

Tensions between Salem and Danvers were there from the start—contributing to the ensuing witch hysteria.

Oregon Trails

After navigating a minor hiccup in our own provisioning process, we set out for the West on what would be our longest trip yet.
African American man looking at a dilapidated house

A New Doc, "Silver Dollar Road," Chronicles the Dispossession of Black Americans

"It's the story of a family who had been denied justice about a piece of land they owned for at least 160 years."
Bison drinking from a pond.

How the Iron Horse Spelled Doom for the American Buffalo

From homesteaders to tourists to the U.S. Army, railroads flooded the Great Plains with people who saw bison as pests, amusements, or opportunities for profit.
Grant Wood’s sister, Nan Wood Graham, and his dentist, Byron McKeeby, stand by the painting for which they had posed, “American Gothic.”

Beyond the Myth of Rural America

Its inhabitants are as much creatures of state power and industrial capitalism as their city-dwelling counterparts.
Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen .

How the American Suburbs Created Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel

The musical culture of the New York metropolitan area, combined with themes of suburban life, suffuse the legends' music.
QR code on a historical monument.

In San Antonio, Remembering More Than the Alamo

Innovators are using digital tools to tell stories of the city’s Black and Latinx history.
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.
Civilian gravestone in Arlington National Cemetery

From ‘Contraband’ to ‘Citizen’: Visiting Arlington’s Section 27

More than 3,800 formerly enslaved people are buried in the military cemetery.
Cover of the book "American Purgatory"

American Purgatory: Prison Imperialism and the Rise of Mass Incarceration

A new book links the rise of American prisons to the expansion of American power around the globe.
Modoc leader Captain Jack.

150 Years Ago, the US Military Executed Modoc War Leaders in Fort Klamath, Oregon

A small band of Modoc warriors held off hundreds of U.S. soldiers in California. Ultimately, the conflict left the Modoc leaders dead and the tribe divided.

Edgar Allan Poe’s America

Tracing the life of the author who seemed to be from both everywhere and nowhere.
Employees working on radiators for the Ford Motor Company in Detroit in the 1920s.

The Black and White Southerners Who Changed the North

“Hillbilly Highway” and “Black Folk” offer two views of the search for a better life by working-class migrants in the middle of the 20th century.
The Serpent Mound in Ohio

The Story of Ohio's Ancient Native Complex and its Journey for Recognition as a World Heritage Site

An Indigenous sacred site, Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks has served as a military barracks, a fairground and, more recently, a golf course.
Burning Benedict Arnold in effigy.

A Traitor, Burned in Effigy, Again and Again

New London, Conn., has never forgiven Benedict Arnold for his Revolutionary War treason — and for burning their city.
Design drawing for the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Competition, 1947.

A Gateway to the Past

The Arch in St. Louis stands as a monument to contradictory histories.
Mother-daughter opera singers Givonna Joseph and Aria Mason.

The Black Composers of New Orleans Opera Are Finally Getting Their Due

And it's all thanks to this mother-daughter dream team.
Deborah Taylor Mapp at her home in the Broad Creek neighborhood of Norfolk, Va.

The Long History of Universities Displacing Black People

The expansion of higher education in Virginia uprooted hundreds of black families.
The Battle of Tippecanoe

Lost Prophets and Forgotten Heroes

Tracing the currents of American history that run through the Great Lakes region.
Christopher Newport University.

Erasing the “Black Spot”: How a Virginia College Expanded by Uprooting a Black Neighborhood

Sixty-plus years ago, the white leaders of Newport News, Virginia, seized the core of a thriving Black community to build a college.
Mabel E. Macomber

The Neighborhood Nuisance: One Woman’s Crusade to Shape Brooklyn

“It is true that my life has been threatened as the leader of this playground campaign,” wrote Mabel E. Macomber in 1929 from Brooklyn’s Bedford neighborhood.