Newt Gingrich Bill Clinton

The Midterms That Changed America

In 1994, Republicans swept the midterms and Newt Gingrich became Speaker of the House. His “Contract with America” was both polarizing and transformative.
Vietnam War television

How TV Transformed the News in 1968

In 1968 violent events at home and aboard were broadcast in color on the television news, creating impacts that may have swayed the presidential election.
Alex Haley Roots

How Alex Haley Popularized Ancestral Searching

Today it's easy to have DNA tested. But before that technology was available, Alex Haley's Roots inspired generations to trace their families' histories.
Ford Pinto

What Made the Pinto Such a Controversial Car

The Pinto became known as the subcompact car that Ford sold while ignoring major safety defects. But was that just a false narrative?
Antigua sugar cane slavery

Did Venereal Disease Lead to Abolition?

Many abolitionists seeking to end slavery in the British West Indies were concerned less with human rights, more with the preponderance of interracial sex.
disco backlash

The Night They Drove Disco Down

On July 12th, 1979, a promotional event turned into a violent fracas, marking the beginning of the end of disco. Some say it was fueled by anti-gay anger.
1919 Chicago White Sox

When “Foreigners” Were Blamed for a Baseball Scandal

In the early 20th century, baseball was a magnet for illegal gambling. But when the Chicago White Sox threw the World Series, Jews became the scapegoats.
Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter and the Meaning of Malaise

In July of 1979, Jimmy Carter delivered a presidential address that was more like a sermon, urging America to reflect upon its meaning and purpose.
Atlantic City casinos

Atlantic City’s Grand Casino Bust

Nearly every American is now within a few hours’ drive of a casino. But critics note that casino gambling has not delivered on its economic promises.
Harry Truman

How Harry Truman Transformed the Vice Presidency

Initially viewed by his critics as a parochial, lackluster Midwestern politician, Harry Truman emerged as a president who oversaw grand historic events.