Thanksgiving turkey (circa 1910-1915)

American as Pumpkin Pie

Why Pilgrims would be stunned by our "traditional" Thanksgiving table, and other surprising truths about the invention of our national holiday.
Caroline and Charles Ingalls, parents of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Little House, Small Government

How Laura Ingalls Wilder’s frontier vision of freedom and survival lives on in Trump’s America.
Still from the 1915 film The Birth of a Nation featuring Ku Klux Klan riders.

How the KKK Shaped Modern Comic Book Superheroes

Masked men who take the law into their own hands.

The Strange Story of the Forever 1980s

Why the makers of today's popular culture are still so obsessed with the Reagan era.
Joyce Weisbecker (center) with her sister, Jean, and father, Joseph, in 1962, years before she programmed her first video game.

Rediscovering History’s Lost First Female Video Game Designer

In 1976, Joyce Weisbecker programmed games for an RCA PC and console based on technology created at home by her dad.
Title page of

The Cookbook That Brought Chinese Food to American Kitchens

The lasting influence of "How to Cook and Eat in Chinese."
A couple sits in a sandwich bar (1974).

In America's Sandwiches, the Story of a Nation

What the origins of tuna salad, the club sandwich, PB & J, Chow Mein sandwich, and the Scotch Woodcock reveal about our shared history.
Poster for Federal Theatre Project presentation of

The Powerful Tune That Drives ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic’

A melody can carry an undeniable purpose even before it gets paired with a lyric.
The statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee stands in the center of the renamed Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, Virginia (2017).

Robert E. Lee WAS a Man of Honor. That’s the Problem.

For white southerners, honor had little to do with justice.
Detail from Jimmie Durham's

What If Jimmie Durham, Noted Cherokee Artist, Is Not Actually Cherokee?

He’s been called “the art world’s Rachel Dolezal.”
San Diego Padres pitcher Eric Show at work, 1985.

Remembering Baseball’s Right-Wing Rotation

When three Padres pitchers joined the John Birch Society in 1984, the sports world was challenged by a different kind of political activism.
Thoreau's Cove, Walden Pond, Concord, Mass. (ca. 1908)

Darwin's Early Adopters

A new book argues that Darwin failed to capture the American imagination because of the untimely death of Henry David Thoreau.