from the cover of Radio-Electronics, June 1949, Volume 20, Number 9

Can Radio Really Educate?

In the 1920s, radio was an exciting new mass medium. It was known for providing entertainment, but educators wondered if it could also be used for education.
People holding hands at a civil rights demonstration in Washington, DC, in the aftermath of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, September 1963.

Making Eyes on the Prize

One of the most influential historical documentaries of all time almost didn't get made.
Actor John Boles with extras from his latest musical, 'Redheads On Parade', 1935

The Rise of Hollywood’s “Extra Girls”

They didn't have to do anything besides stand around and look pretty. At least, that was the myth the studios wanted the public to believe.
Sandra Oh in The Chair

Who Looks Like a Professor?

Movie portrayals of faculty may influence the ideas about professors that students bring to the first day of class.
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Night_Of_The_Living_Dead_trailer_screenshot.jpg

The Summer Blockbusters of JSTOR Daily

Our favorite stories about popcorn movies! There may or may not be explosions.
An illustration of somebody using an inhaler

Asthma Tropes and the Kids Who Hate Them

Children with asthma respond to the movie executives who see them as weak people helped by magical inhalers.
Along the highway near Bakersfield, California. Dust bowl refugees by Dorothea Lange

The Photographers Who Captured the Great Depression

The Farm Security Administration had photographers fan out across the country to document agricultural conditions. But they brought back much more.
Black Swan record label of Alberta Hunter recording, 1921.

The History of Black-Owned Record Labels

Decades before Motown ruled the radio, labels like Black Swan and Black Patti put out records that didn't stereotype African American music.
Photograph: Female fans of Frank Sinatra gaze adoringly at a picture of him in a copy of Modern Screen magazine, c. 1950

Source: Getty

How Teenage Girls Invented Fandom

They were mocked for their obsession with movies. But the fan culture they constructed help build Hollywood.
From THEM!, 1954

Fear of an Insect Planet

"Big bug movies" of the 1950s have been interpreted as projections of nuclear anxieties. But what if they were about...actual fear of bugs?