Saturday Night Live, Dec. 20, 1986.

The ‘SNL’ Sketch That Predicted Our Nerd Overlords

In 1986, William Shatner told a roomful of spoof Trekkies to "get a life."
Comfort Magazine, February 1904.

Mail-Order Magazines Did More Than Just Sell Things

The cheap monthly publications that flooded rural homes offered more than just advertising—they also provided companionship.
Screenshot of the nuclear explosion depicted in 1983's

Is It Time for a 21st-Century Version of ‘The Day After’?

It’s beginning to feel like the 1980s all over again.
An 1894 cartoon by Frederick Burr Opper critiques American newspapers.

A Century Ago, Progressives Were the Ones Shouting 'Fake News'

The term "fake news" dates back to the end of the 19th century.
US athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos raise their gloved fists in the Black Power salute to express their opposition to racism in the USA during the US national anthem at the Mexico Olympic Games, 1968

This Wasn’t the First Time Football, Protest and Politics Have Mixed

The long history of athletes taking a stand for racial justice.
San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson, inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017.

The NFL’s Pending Hall of Fame Problem

If everyone is breaking records, then who goes to Canton?

Bad Boys

How “Cops” became the most polarizing reality TV show in America.
Ursula K. Le Guin in the 1970s.
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At Home With Ursula Le Guin

Her novels featured dragons and wizards, but they were also deeply grounded in indigenous American ways of thought.
Camp scene from the Thirty-second Regiment Indiana Volunteers portrays a practical joke being played on private Jacob Labinsky, January 1863.

The Civil War Sketches of Adolph Metzner (1861–64)

The remarkable collection of sketches, drawings and watercolors left to us by Civil War veteran Adolph Metzner.

The People Who Would Survive Nuclear War

How an appendix to an obscure government report helped launch a blockbuster and push back the possibility of atomic war.
Haint blue Victorian porch ceiling.

Haint Blue, the Ghost-Tricking Color of Southern Homes and Gullah Folktales

Cultural histories of unusual hues.
Jello Biafra, surfing the crowd.

Nazi Punks F**k Off

An oral history of how Black Flag, Bad Brains, and other hardcore acts reclaimed punk from white supremacists.