"On Decoration Day" Political cartoon c. 1900 by John T. McCutcheon

The Evolution of Memorial Day

What started as a solemn commemoration of dead Civil War soldiers has become a celebration of summer. Here's why that makes total sense.
Joseph Priestley, 1822, in front of a colorful background

Joseph Priestley, Radical Inventor

How scientist and soda water inventor Joseph Priestley came to be an enemy of the state.
Vice President Hubert Humphrey, circa 1965

Hubert Humphrey’s Vice Presidential Dilemma

Hubert Humphrey was well-respected as Lyndon B. Johnson's vice president--but he failed to capture the imagination of the young Democrats of the late 60s.
Lon Chaney and Richard Arlen lead vigilante committee in a scene from the film 'The Town Tamer', 1965.

The Civilian Solution to Bank Robberies

The surprising story of the vigilantes who took it upon themselves to catch bank robbers in the 1920s and 30s.

The Mob Violence of the Red Summer

In 1919, a brutal outburst of mob violence was directed against African Americans across the United States. White, uniformed servicemen led the charge.
Photograph: Witch Bottles used for curse protection

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Witch_Bottles_Curse_Protection.jpg

Is There a Witch Bottle in Your House?

In the 16th-18th centuries, vessels filled with nails, thorns, hair, and other materials, were used as a form of ritual protection against witches.
a Turkish harem interior

Style Tips from the Harem

When 19th-century American women visited Turkish harems, they came home with very different impressions than their male counterparts.
Map of the United States showing the state nicknames as hogs, 1884

What Ever Happened to the Beetheads?

A lighthearted look at Americans' nicknames of yore, from master humorist H. L. Mencken.
A drawing of the Astor Place Riot, 1849, by Charles M. Jenckes

When an Argument Over Macbeth Incited a Bloody Riot

On May 10th, 1849, protestors rioted at Astor Place Opera House, leading to the deadliest civic insurrection in American history up to that time.
Fifteen redacted pages of the Mueller Report

Are We Being Framed?

How the linguistic trick of framing shapes meaning--and can lead to deception.