Maria Mitchell

America’s First Woman Astronomer

Maria Mitchell became famous when she discovered a comet in 1847. She didn't stop there, fighting for education and equality for women in the sciences.
refrigerator

The Complicated Politics of… Refrigerators

When American kitchens started getting high-tech in the 1950s, the refrigerator seemed to alienate and frustrate many men.
James Tiptree, Jr Alice Sheldon

The Woman Behind James Tiptree, Jr.

James Tiptree, Jr., was a beloved sci-fi writer known for masculine prose and universal themes. Then her real identity was revealed: Alice Bradley Sheldon.

When FDR Tried to Pack the Courts

Pushing New Deal legislation, FDR proposed that extra justices should be added to the Supreme Court, one for every sitting justice over the age of seventy.
Iris Origo La Foce

Iris Origo’s Italian War Diary

The marchese's 1939-1940 diary, detailing the months before Italy's armed alliance with Nazi Germany, is now available as A Chill in the Air.
Avalanche Lake trail at Adirondack High Peaks, New York.

The Odd History of the Adirondacks

The largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi was deemed "Forever Wild" in 1885. But it wasn't exactly created to preserve nature.
Vernon Lee 1881 by John Singer Sargent 1856-1925

The Forgotten Master of the Ghost Story

Vernon Lee was a widely-read writer of 19th-century ghost stories, called the "cleverest woman in Europe." Her life story was pretty fascinating, too.
Lew Welch

The Poet Who Wanted to Be Eaten by Vultures

One day in 1971, the hard-drinking Beat poet Lew Welch walked into the woods of Nevada County and disappeared, possibly angling to be eaten by vultures.
Glyptodon

Megafauna Memories?

Some folklorists have hypothesized that the mythical beasts and monsters of legend were actually inspired by shadowy collective memories of megafauna.
River Basin archaeologists

The River Basin Surveys Preserved American Prehistory

Between 1945 and 1969, archaeologists hurriedly surveyed over 20,000 prehistorical sites before the Mississippi River Basin was flooded by dams.