President George W. Bush and his staff look out the windows of Air Force One at their F-16 escort on September 11, 2001.

‘We’re the Only Plane in the Sky’

Where was the president in the eight hours after the Sept. 11 attacks? The strange, harrowing journey of Air Force One, as told by people on board.
Protestors take down a Confederate monument in Durham, North Carolina, 2017.

A Confederate Statue Is Gone, But the Fight Remains in Durham

The city isn't rushing to put it back up.
A microphone and a prostration of George Washington, the first US President, are seen in the Oval Office of the White House October 19, 2017 in Washington, DC.

What Trump — And His Critics — Get Wrong About George Washington and Robert E. Lee

The two men owned slaves — but at vastly different moments in American history.
Laura Ingalls Wilder, circa 1885.

Librarians without Chests: A Response to the ALSC’s Denigration of Laura Ingalls Wilder

A network of professional librarians seeks to destroy a beloved literary heroine and malign her creator.
American actress Alison Arngrim and actor Bob Marsic in an episode of the television series 'Little House on the Prairie', originally aired on December 5, 1977.

Yes, ‘Little House on the Prairie’ is Racially Insensitive — But We Should Still Read It

Librarians are once again raising concerns over the book’s depiction of Native Americans.
Thomas Jefferson's house stands just beyond a pond on Monticello, the president's plantation (February 5, 2014).

Sally Hemings, Thomas Jefferson and the Ways We Talk About Our Past

Why the words we use to describe Sally Hemings matter.
Marsha P. Johnson, in a photo from the documentary

Deconstructing the Stonewall Myth (Brick by Brick)

Why it's important to know that Marsha P. Johnson did not start the riots at Stonewall.
Time capsules from the Westinghouse pavilion, 1939 and 1964 New York World's Fairs.

What Time Capsules, Meant for Future Americans, Say About How We See Ourselves Today

We used to fill our time capsules with fancy stuff. Now we put in junk.
Stone marker for the old Jeff Davis Highway in Gretna, Louisiana.

The Lost Dream of a Superhighway to Honor the Confederacy

Remnants of the dream of a coast-to-coast tribute to their vision of the South are still visible.
The statue of Confederat Gen. Robert E. Lee stands in the center of Emancipation Park the day after the Unite the Right rally devolved into violence in Charlottesville, Virginia (August 13, 2017)

Regime Change in Charlottesville

If you understand why that Civil War statue really went up, the debate over removing it looks a lot different.
Washington Monument before the presidential inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC (January 21, 2013)
Partner

Monumental Disagreements

In this special Memorial Day episode of BackStory, the Guys explore the idea of national remembrance.
Remains of the 1639 Jamestown Church tower (with 20th century reconstruction on the original foundations)

The Misguided Focus on 1619 as the Beginning of Slavery in the U.S.

Michael Guasco argues that pinpointing the beginning of slavery in North America at Jamestown distorts its history