U.S. World War II anti-venereal disease poster

When America Incarcerated “Promiscuous” Women

From WWI to the 1950s, the "American Plan" rounded up sexually-active women and quarantined them, supposedly to protect soldiers from venereal disease.
guy fawkes mask

The Gunpowder Plot, Redux

The cultural meaning of Guy Fawkes’ conspiracy to blow up the House of Lords has shifted, from countercultural symbol to HBO drama.
Close up of an eye

Finding a Murderer in a Victim’s Eye

In late 19th-century forensics, optography was all the rage. This pseudoscience held that what someone saw just before death would be imprinted on their eye.
Chestnuts

When Chestnuts Were an Everyday Food

Even if you haven't actually roasted chestnuts on an open fire, you probably associate them with winter. But once they were a common year-round food.
The Hobet mine in West Virginia taken by NASA LANDSAT in 2009

When Mining Destroys Historical Cemeteries

Mountain top removal mining brings with it total ecosystem destruction. It also erases history by destroying historic mountain cemeteries.

Better Living Through Nudity

In England in the 1920s and ‘30s, nudism was ideological and utopian. Then the Nazis coopted the concept for their eugenicist Nacktkultur movement.

Do We Have to Tell Them the House Is Haunted?

On the law and mythologies of haunting, from antiquity to today.
T. B. Welch, engraver (from a daguerrotype) - William G. Brownlow, The Great Iron Wheel Examined; or Its False Spokes Extracted, and An Exhibition of Elder Graves, Its Builder

William Gannaway Brownlow, the Fighting Parson of Tennessee

The controversial politician William Gannaway Brownlow shepherded Tennessee's re-admission to the Union. It was the first state of the Confederacy to do so.
Factories Emitting Pollution

Why Climate Change Is a National Security Issue

Viewing climate change through a national security lens makes a certain amount of sense -- but it won't entirely solve the problem.
Relics from the Franklin Search Expedition

When Clairvoyants Searched for a Lost Expedition

When Captain Sir John Franklin's Arctic expedition went awry, clairvoyants claimed to be able to contact the crew members. Why did people believe them?