Mommie Dearest

Are Mothers Monsters? Revisiting Mommie Dearest

On the surface, "Mommie Dearest" is a portrait of vanity and self-obsession. Dig deeper, and it reflects society’s discomfort with mothers and single women.
Winifred Bonfils

The “Sob Sisters” Who Dared to Cover the Trial of the Century

The term “sob sisters” was used in the early twentieth century to make fun of women journalists who dared cover the first trial of the century.
USPS Forever stamps featuring illustrations from Ezra Jack Keats' book "Snowy Day"

The Man Whose Snowy Day Helped Diversify Children’s Books

Jack Ezra Keats's 1962 book The Snowy Day featured an African-American protagonist, a first for a full-color children’s book.
kitchen of the future baby boomers

Did Better Household Technology Create the Baby Boomers?

The Baby Boomers have been blamed for everything from economic stagnation to America's current political situation. But where did they come from?
Leave It To Beaver family dad

When Ward Cleaver Caused Social Anxiety

In the early 1960s, an Illinois Children and Family Services worker tried to figure out how TV dads were impacting contemporary American fathers.
Lois Lowry Number the Stars

The Real-Life Story Behind Number the Stars

An interview with Lois Lowry reveals that the popular children's novel Number the Stars was based on a true story of resistance to the Nazis.
Clothing Rack full of T-Shirts at a Thrift Store

How Thrift Stores Were Born

According to the Association of Retail Professionals, about 16 to 18 percent of Americans shop at thrift stores in any given year.
Martin Shkreli

Is a Fair Trial Possible in the Age of Social Media?

Is it possible to have a fair trial or an impartial jury in an age when anyone is just a viral tweet or a Facebook search away?
Dance hall illustration

Jane Addams’s Crusade Against Victorian “Dancing Girls”

Jane Addams, a leading Victorian-era reformer, believed dance halls were “one of the great pitfalls of the city.”
Edith Stein

Edith Stein, the Jewish Woman Who Became a Catholic Saint

In 1998, Pope John Paul II made one of his most contentious canonizations, elevating a Jewish woman named Edith Stein to the status of saint.