American and European trading vessels in the Pearl River at Canton in southern China.

The First U.S.-China Trade Deal

The Treaty of Wanghia formalized the burgeoning ties between the two countries, opening the door to new commercial and cultural exchanges.
Indian Paramilitary troopers stand guard in the city center Srinagar, Kashmir, India

How Did Kashmir’s 72-Year-Old Conflict Begin?

The proposal to partition British India along religious lines was put forward as early as 1940. The resulting constitutional provision endured until 2019.
Charlie Brown

How the Great Pumpkin Became Great

The origins of Linus's pumpkin deity, who "rises out of the pumpkin patch and flies through the air and brings toys to all the children in the world."
The Dance of Death

A Roman Feast… of Death!

The banquet hall was painted black from ceiling to floor. By the pale flicker of grave lamps, the invited senators coud make out a row of tombstones.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Why MLK Believed Jazz Was the Perfect Soundtrack for Civil Rights

Jazz, King declared, was the ability to take the “hardest realities of life and put them into music, only to come out with some new hope or sense of triumph.”
Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde’s Pamphlet: “Children in Prison and Other Cruelties of Prison Life”

Wilde's description is heart-wrenching, but that doesn't hold him back from the usual wit and drama that characterize his writing.
First Landing of Christopher Columbus

The Columbian Exchange Should Be Called The Columbian Extraction

Europeans were eager to absorb the starches and flavors pioneered by the indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere.
Che Guevara

Che Guevara

In 1964, 5 years after the end of the Cuban revolution, Che Guevara wrote for an academic journal. Read the Cuban leader in his own words.
Richard Nixon at the Great Wall of China

Why Did Nixon Burn the China Hands?

Nixon targeted Foreign Service officers who served in China in the 1940s as communist sympathizers and "fellow travelers." Then he opened trade relations.
A Hudson Bay Company trading post

Why the Dakota Only Traded among People with Kinship Bonds

“Trapping was not a ‘business for profit’ among the Dakota but primarily a social exchange,” one scholar writes.