Design for an Urn, 19th century

How Cremation Lost Its Stigma

The pro-cremation movement of the nineteenth century battled religious tradition, not to mention the specter of mass graves during epidemics.
South African police beating Black women with clubs after they raided and set a beer hall on fire in protest against apartheid, Durban, South Africa, 1959

The South African Experience with Changing the Police from Within

In states transitioning from authoritarianism to democracy, resistance to police abuses can make or break the larger democratic project, explains one social scientist.
Juneteenth Emancipation Day Celebration, June 19, 1900, Texas by Mrs. Charles Stephenson

Juneteenth and the Emancipation Proclamation

The emancipation of enslaved people in the U.S. took place over a protracted period. The articles in this curated list dig into the complicated history.
Attendees sing during the 48th Annual Juneteenth Day Festival on June 19, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Juneteenth in the Alternative Press

Reports in the underground press demonstrate how Juneteenth has been celebrated as both a social and political gathering in the twentieth century.
Indian migrant workers walk on a bridge after they were stopped by police while returning to their native places, as the country relaxed its lockdown restriction on May 14, 2020 in New Delhi, India

India’s Coronavirus Migration Crisis

Widespread market failure and unemployment triggered by the coronavirus pandemic have set off a crisis of domestic migration in India.
The Loch Ness Wellington

Bomber Plane or the Loch Ness Monster?

A Vickers Wellington plane was submerged for decades in the Loch Ness, till a group of Nessie hunters stumbled across mysterious sonar readings.
Anita Louise chats on the telephone in a scene from The Gay Lady, 1935

When the Telephone Was Considered Feminine

Being difficult to understand on the other end of the line was a badge of masculinity.
Nikolai Vavilov in prison

The Weed Scientist Who Brought Down the Wrath of Stalin

Nikolai Ivanovich Vavilov's hypothesis on the evolution of rye is now accepted. But in the 1930s, his research got him arrested.
ZIP code promotional sign with "Mr. ZIP" on a hotel letter drop.

Where Did Zip Codes Come From?

How a plan for getting the mail delivered faster allowed targeted marketing to grow.
An illustration of Dong Xian and Emperor Ai depicting the story of Passion of the cut sleeve

In Han Dynasty China, Bisexuality Was the Norm

So tender was Emperor Ai’s love for his "male companion" that, when he had to get up, instead of waking his lover, he cut off the sleeve of his robe.