People protesting with signs to secure welfare rights.

The Welfare Rights Movement Wanted Society to Value the Work of Child-Rearing

The welfare rights movement of the 1960s and ’70s resisted invasive policies. Their animating vision: that society treat every mother and child with dignity.
Art depicting Jimmy Hoffa pulling the lever of a slot machine.

What Happened in Vegas

The Teamsters and Jimmy Hoffa—with a little help from the mob—built Las Vegas as we know it today.

Elvis Presley Needed a Reboot in July 1969. So Did Las Vegas.

Elvis’s skills were in question when he returned to the stage after eight years. His ’69 comeback show was a make-or-break gamble.
Ruby Duncan standing and addressing a group with Jane Fonda seated behind her on the eve of a protest in 1971.

When the Welfare Rights Movement Was a Powerful Force for Uplifting the Poor

The War on Poverty comes to life in a new book that explores how welfare mothers in Las Vegas built an organizing juggernaut that transformed lives.
Senator McCarran greeted by a group of men in front of a plane.

What Nevada Stole from Its Indigenous People

Senator Pat McCarran’s vision for the desert carried a tradition of dispossession into the mid-20th century.
Left: Place de la Concorde. Number 6 in the series Curiosités Parisiennes, early 20th century. Postcard; offset lithography. Courtesy Leonard A. Lauder. Right: Monolite Mussolini Dux, via Wikimedia Commons

The 20th-Century Obelisk, From Imperialist Icon to Phallic Symbol

Amid all the imperial aspiration, wooly-minded New Age mythologizing, and pure unadulterated commerce, the obelisk stands tall.
Black and white photo of Charlie Rich on a hammock.

Dear Charlie

Charlie Rich, the tragic soul man whose legacy was largely forgotten after his brief period of fame.
Tupac shirtless in the shower, wearing gold chain and covered in soap suds

Why Tupac Never Died

It’s because the rapper’s life and work were a cascade of contradictions that we’re still trying to figure him out today.
Thurgood Marshall

What Thurgood Marshall Taught Me

He became the first Black Supreme Court justice, and the stories he told his clerks — like me — revealed how he helped break down America’s color line.
The start of the comic, a bus driving through the desert with the text "I am on a BUS FULL OF HISTORIANS speeding through the desert"

The Desert Keeps Receipts

A dispatch from a tour of a Cold War-era nuclear test site in the Mojave Desert.

The Decade America Terrorized Itself

The next 9/11 never came. Instead, we got Sandy Hook, and Las Vegas, and Parkland…

Presidents and Mass Shootings

How Consoler-in-Chiefs respond to senseless gun violence.