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Gun safety advocates rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in 2019

What the Supreme Court Gets Wrong About the Second Amendment

Government, wrote Alexander Hamilton, should substitute “the mild influence” of the law for “the violent and sanguinary agency of the sword.”
Erica Jong

‘Fear of Flying’ Is 50. What Happened to Its Dream of Freedom Through Sex?

With its feminist take on sexual pleasure, Erica Jong’s novel caused a sensation in 1973. But the revolution Jong promoted never came to pass.
Two American soldiers and farmer Olof Öhman posing with a supposed Viking runestone.

Why Americans Simply Love to Forge Viking Artifacts

No, roving bands of medieval Scandinavians did not visit West Virginia. (So far as we know.)
The Fisk Jubilee Singers.

How the Negro Spiritual Changed American Popular Music—And America Itself

In 1871, the Fisk University singers embarked on a tour that introduced white Americans to a Black sound that would reshape the nation.

Retelling U.S. History With Native Americans at the Center

A new account by the Yale historian Ned Blackhawk argues that Native peoples shaped the development of American democracy while being dispossessed of their land.
School house with Black children playing around it.

How Reconstruction Created American Public Education

Freedpeople and their advocates persuaded the nation to embrace schooling for all.
Cover of book Seeing Red.

The State of Nature

From Jefferson's viewpoint, Native peoples could claim a title to their homelands, but they did not own that land as private property.
A drawing of James Longstreet, zoomed in on his eyes.

The Confederate General Whom All the Other Confederates Hated

James Longstreet became a champion of Reconstruction. Why?
Claudia Alta Taylor “Lady Bird” Johnson

Listening to Lady Bird Johnson, in Her Own Words

“The Lady Bird Diaries” depicts the former first lady as a mass of contradictions.
Hand holding a gun painted like the American flag.

The Real Origins of America’s Gun Culture

“Gun Country” chronicles the transformation of guns from tangible weapons to ideological ammunition during the Cold War.
A warehouse of canned salmon

How Canned Food Went From Military Rations to Fancy Appetizers

This simple technology changed the world.

The Spanish-Speaking William F. Buckley

Buckley’s seldom-acknowledged fluency in Spanish shaped his worldview—including his admiration for dictators from Spain to Chile and beyond.
Ernest Thompson Seton posing with three citizens of the Blackfeet Nation, ca. 1917.

This Land Is Your Land

Native minstrelsy and the American summer camp movement.
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.
People holding up signs of support for abortion rights for immigrant women

Why the Courts Had to Force the Trump Administration to Let a 17-Year-Old Have an Abortion

A 1974 case gave the antiabortion movement a new playbook to whittle away abortion rights for poor women.
Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., left, announcing that he is nominating Kimberly Teehee, right, as a Cherokee Nation delegate to the US House of Representatives

One of the Oldest Broken Promises to Indigenous Peoples Is for a Voice in Congress

A treaty commitment to seat a delegate representing the Cherokee Nation in the House has gone unmet for two centuries.
Rubble in the aftermath of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima

Big Six v. Little Boy: The Unnecessary Bomb

A new book's insistence that the bomb was necessary to bring about Japan’s surrender is largely contradicted by its own evidence.
Engraving of President William Henry Harrison

This President was Widely Attacked for Being Too Old to Run — at 67

In 1840, William Henry Harrison was mocked for his presidential run at age 67 — 15 years younger than President Biden would be at the start of a second term.
Collage of Black woman and marriage certificate.

Why Is America Afraid of Black History?

No one should fear a history that asks a country to live up to its highest ideals.
US Marines marching in Da Nang, Vietnam, 1965.

How Israel Is Borrowing From the US Playbook in Vietnam

Justifying civilian casualties has a long history.
Charlie Chaplin in a still from “The Great Dictator.”

The War on Charlie Chaplin

He was one of the world’s most celebrated and beloved stars. Then his adopted country turned against him.
Article about the KKK from an old copy of the Atlantic

What The Atlantic Got Wrong About Reconstruction

In 1901, a series of articles took a dim view of the era, and of the idea that all Americans ought to participate in the democratic process.
Young Lords Party march to the UN.

The Young Lords' Radical Fight for Environmental Justice

Johanna Fernández's new book on the Young Lords sheds light on the group's fight for clean streets and public health in 1960s New York City.
Gladys Knight and the Pips performing on "The Ed Sullivan Show"

The Misunderstood Talent of Gladys Knight

Gladys Knight and the Pips have always been more beloved by fans than by music historians, but they are essential to the evolution of soul.
Woman with fist raised and logo for "Mapping the Movimiento" project.

Mapping the Movimiento

Places and people in the struggle for Mexican American Civil Rights in San Antonio.
Adefunmi I

Overlooked No More: Adefunmi I, Who Introduced African Americans to Yoruba

A pivotal conversation led him on a quest to understand African history and create a one-of-a-kind village for practitioners of the Yoruba religion.
Enslaved people working on South Carolina Plantation.

A Historian Complicates the Racial Divide

"African Founders" corrects some of the ideological uses of Black American history.
Conference of Studio Unions' months-long strike against Hollywood studios in 1945.

How Hollywood’s Black Friday Strike Changed Labor Across America

A 1945 union vs. studios battle set off broad right-wing hysteria—its lessons should resonate today.

The Men Who Started the War

John Brown and the Secret Six—the abolitionists who funded the raid on Harpers Ferry—confronted a question as old as America: When is violence justified?
A Historic American Buildings Survey photograph of a house being demolished.

Before the Wrecking Ball Swung

The Historic American Building Survey's mission to photograph important architecture before its demolition.
Texas Mission bell.

A Bell's Journey Through Texas History

For those in later years, the bell’s value lay not in its powerful sound, but in its visual representation.
Spectrum of color from red to blue.

A Little Spectrum-y

What the autism diagnosis says about you.
An advertisement for Bayer aspirin and heroin.

Treating the (Last) Pandemic

Heroin, Aspirin, and The Spanish Flu.
Cars entering Holland Tunnel on Broome Street in New York City, 1927.

It’s Been 100 Years Since Cars Drove Pedestrians Off The Roads

One hundred years ago roadbuilder Edward J. Mehren wrote that streets, should be redesigned for the utility of motorists alone.
Two Choctaw men

Choctaw Confederates

Some Native Americans chose to fight for the Southern cause.
Painting depicting the Trail of Tears.

Native Removal Prior to the Indian Removal Act of 1830

To understand westward expansion, the Trail of Tears, the history of Manifest Destiny, and the impacts to Native Americans, one must understand its buildup.
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?
Sister Rosetta Tharpe holding a guitar

Amazing Base: A Singer Wed in a D.C. Ballpark, and 19,000 Paid to Attend

Attendees packed D.C.’s Griffith Stadium in 1951 for the wedding spectacular of gospel singer Rosetta Tharpe, who’s now the subject of a show at Ford's Theatre.
A women's liberation group marches in Boston on April 17, 1971.

The Reproductive Rights Movement Has Radical Roots

Abortion rights in the US were won in the 1970s thanks to militant feminist groups. As those rights are repealed, the fight must return to the streets.
Photographs of Lee Harvey Oswald and of George Joannides.

What Really Happened to JFK?

One thing’s for sure: The CIA doesn’t want you to know.
Chainlink fence in a desert with a danger sign warning of arsenic poison

The Toxic Legacy of the Gold Rush

Almost 175 years after the Gold Rush began, Californians are left holding the bag for thousands of abandoned mines.
Photo of a homeless person sleeping on the street wrapped in a blanket on top of cardboard.

A Blueprint From History for Tackling Homelessness

During the New Deal, the U.S. knew that economic recovery depended upon housing.
An American World War II veteran salutes on a beach during the 1994 anniversary commemorations for the invasion of Normandy.

Let’s Give Black World War II Vets What We Promised

The G.I. Bill created a prosperous middle class that was altogether too white.
A white mob poses for a photograph in front of the charred remains of the Daily Record building they burned.

Majority-Black Wilmington, N.C., Fell to White Mob’s Coup 125 Years Ago

The 1898 Wilmington massacre overthrew the elected government in the majority-Black city, killed many Black residents and torched a Black-run newspaper.
People celebrate Armistice Day in New York City on Nov. 11, 1918.

How Armistice Day Became Veterans Day in the United States

The holiday, which originally marked the end of World War I, was broadened in the 1950s to honor all veterans.
A lithograph of Phillis Wheatley and the first page of her book, "Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral."

Phillis Wheatley’s “Mrs. W—”: Identifying the Woman Who Inspired “Ode to Neptune”

Who was that traveler? And what did she signify to the poet?
A view of the campus of New College of Florida in Sarasota, Fla,. on Jan. 19, 2023.

The History Behind the Right's Effort to Take Over Universities

The right has had qualms about universities since the 1930s.
A building with Amazon's logo

How Public Opinion May Decide the FTC Amazon Antitrust Suit

In the 1920s, electricity monopolies survived an antitrust investigation because they had won over the public.
Shrapnel damage to an exterior of a home in Rehovot near Tel Aviv, Israel.

The Problem With America's Reagan-Era Approach to Terrorism

While condemning terrorism should be a no-brainer, "moral clarity" has not guaranteed sound U.S. counterterrorism policy.
A Mexican family stands next to the border wall between Mexico and the United States, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on May 23, 2017.

America’s Border Wall Is Bipartisan

Biden continues a tradition of building fences at the US-Mexico border that long precedes Donald Trump.
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