Civil rights activist Sidney Poitier supporting the Poor People's Campaign at Resurrection City, a shantytown set up by protestors in Washington, DC, May 1968.

What the Civil Rights Movement Has to Do With Denim

The history of blue jeans has been whitewashed.
Katharine Hepburn, an iconic tomboy, shooting a gun in 1935,

Tomboys Were a Trend 100 Years Ago, but Mostly to Bring Up the Birth Rate for White Babies

Fear of diminishing broodstock got the gals going outdoors.
A sign reading “I Am an American” outside a shop that was closed following an order for the evacuation of people of Japanese descent, in 1942.

When Immigrants Are No Longer Considered Americans

The history of immigrants in the U.S. teaches that no amount of assimilation will protect you when an alien requires conjuring.
Portrait of F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1937.

Borne Back Into the Past

Mike St. Thomas reviews ‘Paradise Lost: A Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald.'
A child clings to his mother after she turned themselves in to Border Patrol agents on December 7, 2015 near Rio Grande City, Texas.

Great Migration Debates: Keywords in Historical Perspective

The use of the word "immigrant" in contemporary debates often reflects a lack of understanding of U.S. immigration history.
Ad for Otis Redding's single

In Memory of Otis Redding and His Revolution

The legacy of the talented singer, songwriter, and producer who died at age twenty-six.
Flounced crinolines, shawls and lace for the summer of 1857. (July 1857)

How Hoop Skirts Actually Advanced Women's Rights

The difficult-to-wear skirt helped to break down class barriers.

The 1968 Book That Tried to Predict the World of 2018

For every amusingly wrong prediction in “Toward the Year 2018,” there’s one unnervingly close to the mark.

The Fictional Presidential Candidate Who Promised to ‘Make America Great Again’

How a work of science fiction anticipated the coming of Trump.
Bill O'Reilly,

Why The 'War On Christmas' Just Isn't What It Used To Be

The battle between "Happy Holidays" and "Merry Christmas" goes way deeper than you think.
Sheet-music cover, circa 1836.

The Music I Love Is a Racial Minefield

How I learned to fiddle my way through America's deeply troubling history.
“Caught in the Act”: Santa sits atop a chimney (1900)
Partner

Naughty & Nice: A History of the Holiday Season

Tracing the evolution of Christmas from a drunken carnival to the peaceful, family-oriented, consumeristic ritual we celebrate today.