Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

How Anti-Catholicism Created an American Saint

Elizabeth Ann Seton is known today as the first American Roman Catholic saint. her road to canonization was no easy path.
picture books

Why Picture Books Were Once Considered Dangerous for Children

For Puritan New England, picture books were dangerous. But the Enlightenment, by way of John Locke, made illustrations more acceptable in the classroom.
Fresh vegetables

Why Americans Love Diets

On a diet or cleanse in the new year? You're continuing in the very American tradition of self-perfection.
Zika_Mosquito

What Do We Lose When We Lose a Species?

Debates about the moral value of biodiversity are longstanding in the world of environmental ethics, and the issue is far from settled.
classroom blackboard

How Blackboards Transformed American Education

Looking at the history of U.S. education, Steven D. Krause argues that that most transformative piece of technology in the classroom was the blackboard.
Compleat Housewife frontispiece

What Amateur Cookbooks Reveal About History

Remember those spiral-bound cookbooks from your church group or your mom’s favorite charity? Those amateur recipe collections are history books, too.
boy playing with toy plane while waiting in airport

Did Aviation Anxiety End the Era of Kid-Friendly Airports?

Despite intensifying concerns over security, airports play a vital role in teaching children about the interconnected world in which we live.
Yeti

It’s a Yeti! It’s an Abominable Snowman! It’s a… Bear?

A group of scientists from Buffalo tried to definitively prove whether or not the Yeti exists, examining DNA from a variety of hair and tooth samples.
Settlement cookbook

The Cooking Classes that Americanized Jewish Immigrants

At the end of the 19th century, a Wisconsin woman named Elizabeth “Lizzie” Black Kander tried to help immigrants assimilate, through the food they ate.
Russian Olympians

What Counts as Natural Athleticism?

Regulations banning performance-enhancing drugs raise as many questions as they answer.