Ploughman painting

The Toadmen, Masters of Equine Magic

A strange initiation ritual involving a toad was required for members of a secret caste of nineteenth-century horse mystics.
Bart Roberts pirate

The Pirate Creed

Examining the 18th-century social contract of Captain Bartholomew Roberts and his men shows just how organized and codified pirate societies could be.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders Holds Daily Press Briefing At White House

What Is MS-13, Anyway?

The feared gang MS-13 was born out of conditions resulting from U.S. policies in El Salvador in the early 1980s.
Antigua sugar cane slavery

Did Venereal Disease Lead to Abolition?

Many abolitionists seeking to end slavery in the British West Indies were concerned less with human rights, more with the preponderance of interracial sex.
Jabir ibn Hayyan Geber

How to Create a Human Being

The Book of Stones, a central alchemical text, contained formulae with the power to create living tissue from ordinary matter, supposedly.

When FDR Tried to Pack the Courts

Pushing New Deal legislation, FDR proposed that extra justices should be added to the Supreme Court, one for every sitting justice over the age of seventy.
Marcus Garvey

Black Radicalism’s Complex Relationship with Japanese Empire

Black intellectuals in the U.S.—from W. E. B. Du Bois to Marcus Garvey—had strong and divergent opinions on Japanese Empire.

The Camouflage That Dazzled

During WWI, artist and British naval officer Norman Wilkinson came up with an idea so crazy it just may have worked: Dazzle Camouflage.
The United States Supreme Court Building

What Makes This SCOTUS Nomination Unique?

Presidents have always chosen Supreme Court nominees who agree with their political beliefs. But they've gotten savvier about the selection process.
Charles Sumner

Should Politics be Civil?

Some political philosophers suggest that arguments about civility are a distraction from the real political issues.