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Our Writers’ Favorite Stories of 2021

Without our writers (and editors and fact checkers and producers) and you, we're nothing.
Striking miners in Buchtel, Ohio receiving "Blackleg" workmen when returning from their work escorted by a detachment of Pinkerton's detectives

American Vigilantism

In the early 20th century, labor unrest and strike breaking were done not by the government, by private agencies and self-appointed vigilantes.
Antipathes dendrochristos

Meet the Christmas Tree Doppelgängers of the Sea

More than one marine species is named for the beloved evergreens.
Limnoria quadripunctata, male and female, ventral view.

How “Termites of the Sea” Have Shaped Maritime Technology

These small marine pests have been eating our ships for millennia, forcing us to keep building better boats throughout history.
Johnny Cash on stage with his band, in concert at San Quentin State Prison, California, February 24th 1969.

The Radicalism of Johnny Cash

The best-selling musical artist in the world in 1969, Johnny Cash sang of (and for) the "forgotten Americans": the imprisoned men of all races.
A christmas wreath

Wreath-Making in National Parks? In Mexico, Yes

Mexico created its national parks system in the 1930s. Today, hundreds of thousands of people live, and work, within its boundaries.
Great Snow in 1717

The Snowy Winter that Devastated Colonial New England

For eleven days in February and March 1717, New England was hit with four major snowstorms. The devastation struck some as a sign from God.
The Actor Arashi Wakano as a wakashu in a kappa (raincoat)

The Disappearance of Japan’s “Third Gender”

Gender roles in Edo Japan recognized an in-between position for young men, called Wakashu, that was erased as Japan westernized.
Pavlova cake on a white background

Food and Culture

Food is complicated. That creation you love from "The Great British Baking Show? It's been the subject of arguments over culture, identity and copyright.

Holiday Supply Chain Issues of Ancient Rome

Hey, at least we’re not trying to track down frankincense and myrrh.