Leaders of the S-1 project, consider the feasibility of the 184-inch cyclotron at Berkeley, March 29, 1940. Left to right: E.O. Lawrence, Arthur Compton, Vannever Bush, James B. Constant, Karl Compton, Alfred Loomis.

The Man Behind the USA’s Decision to Build the Bomb

FDR's "czar of research," an electrical engineer named Vannevar Bush, was working on an atomic bomb months before Pearl Harbor.
Poster shows Uncle Sam playing a fife, leading a group of children carrying gardening tools and a seed bag.

The First School Gardens

In the early 1900s, immigration and child labor laws resulted in growing numbers of schoolchildren. Gardens were seen as a way to keep them under control.
Portrait of Meriwether Lewis by Charles Willlson Peale

The Mysterious Death of Meriwether Lewis

After triumphantly leading the Lewis and Clark expedition, Meriwether Lewis was either murdered or committed suicide. Did syphilis play a role?
Two women spinning silk in the 15th century

The Silkwomen of Medieval London

A group of skilled women ran the silk-making industry in 15th century London. So why didn't they protect their workers' rights by forming a guild?
Richard E. Byrd’s First Antarctic Expedition, 1928-1930

Polar Expedition or Publicity Stunt?

Richard E. Byrd's 1928-1930 Antarctica Expedition was sponsored by mass media. Was it all about science and exploration -- or about Byrd's personal #brand?
The Signing of Peace in the Hall of Mirrors, Versailles 1919, by William Orpen

The Fable of the Fourteen Points

Woodrow Wilson's legendary support for "self-determination" is indeed just a legend.
A jury box in a courtroom in Texas.

Why Do We Still Use Juries?

The history of juries is actually quite revolutionary.
A stack of books by Virginia Woolf

Was Modernism Meant to Keep the Working Classes Out?

In the 19th century, more working class readers started partaking in contemporary fiction. Modernist literature, however, was specifically not for them.
Samuel Beckett

Samuel Beckett and the Theatre of Resistance

The dark, absurdist humor of Samuel Beckett's work was directly informed by his time in the French Resistance during World War II.
A piece of polished amber

Facts and Fancies About Amber

It's taken scientists a long time to figure out what amber is made of, and what we can learn from it.