Charlie Brown

How the Great Pumpkin Became Great

The origins of Linus's pumpkin deity, who "rises out of the pumpkin patch and flies through the air and brings toys to all the children in the world."
The Dance of Death

A Roman Feast… of Death!

The banquet hall was painted black from ceiling to floor. By the pale flicker of grave lamps, the invited senators coud make out a row of tombstones.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Why MLK Believed Jazz Was the Perfect Soundtrack for Civil Rights

Jazz, King declared, was the ability to take the “hardest realities of life and put them into music, only to come out with some new hope or sense of triumph.”
Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde’s Pamphlet: “Children in Prison and Other Cruelties of Prison Life”

Wilde's description is heart-wrenching, but that doesn't hold him back from the usual wit and drama that characterize his writing.
First Landing of Christopher Columbus

The Columbian Exchange Should Be Called The Columbian Extraction

Europeans were eager to absorb the starches and flavors pioneered by the indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere.
Che Guevara

Che Guevara

In 1964, 5 years after the end of the Cuban revolution, Che Guevara wrote for an academic journal. Read the Cuban leader in his own words.
Richard Nixon at the Great Wall of China

Why Did Nixon Burn the China Hands?

Nixon targeted Foreign Service officers who served in China in the 1940s as communist sympathizers and "fellow travelers." Then he opened trade relations.
A Hudson Bay Company trading post

Why the Dakota Only Traded among People with Kinship Bonds

“Trapping was not a ‘business for profit’ among the Dakota but primarily a social exchange,” one scholar writes.
The Flower Girl by Charles Cromwell Ingham, 1846

When Botany Was for Ladies

In nineteenth century America, young women took to studying botany—a conjoining of interest, social acceptance, and readily available schooling.
A 19th-century advertisement for Hood's Tooth Powder

How the Ban on Medical Advertising Hurt Women Doctors

Intended to protect consumers from unscrupulous quackery, a nineteenth-century ban on medical advertising proved to be a double-edged sword.