Vintage engraving from 1876 of a old victorian haunted house.

How Victorian Mansions Became the Default Haunted House

Quick: Picture a haunted house. It's probably a Victorian mansion, right? Here's how these structures became signifiers of horror, haunting, and death.
Boake Carter

Before Rush Limbaugh, There Was Boake Carter

When Boake Carter opened his mouth, he whipped up tempers and tempests. But who was he?
statue of liberty public charge

The Problem with “Public Charge” Rules

Historically, public charge rules have been a threat to immigrants dismissed as too disabled to be full contributors to the country.

From Samhain to Halloween

Exploring the Celtic origins of everyone's favorite harvest holiday celebrating thresholds between life and death.
Los Angeles concrete

The Lost Paradise of Los Angeles

Los Angeles's bountiful agricultural land was devoured by runaway suburbanization, a process which began long before the post-war era.
Children out at night

What Happened to the Night Children?

A hundred years ago, it was quite common for working-class children to roam the streets freely at night.

A Book of Divination for the End of the World

The Falnama, or Book of Omens, combined apocalyptic representations from many sources. Say a prayer, ask your question, and flip to a random page.
1800s Chicago police

A History of Police Violence in Chicago

At the turn of the century, Chicago police killed 307 people, one in eighteen homicides in the city—three times the body count of local gangsters.
Seymour Hersh

Seymour Hersh on the Future of American Journalism

Hersh talks about his career as an investigative reporter, the fate of online media, and feeble responses to Trump.
breastfeeding eighteenth century

When Breastfeeding Was a Civic Duty

Think people are judgmental of mothers now? In the 18th- and 19th-centuries, mothers who bottle-fed their babies were blamed for many of society's ills.