Group portrait of European refugees saved by the Emergency Rescue Committee on board the Paul-Lemerle, a converted cargo ship sailing from Marseilles to Martinique

The World War II Escape Route from France to Martinique

After the fall of France to the Nazis in 1940, some refugees tried to make it out through the Caribbean.
Family on outdoor picnic

The Sorry History of Car Design for Women

A landscape architect of the 1950s predicted that lady drivers would want pastel-colored pavement on the interstate.
Image from a poster for safe sex awareness

Gay Bars and Gay Rights

One of the flash points in the LGBTQ+ movement was liquor licenses, which were the subject of important legal cases.
Ancient Roman slave-collar

Slave Collars in Ancient Rome

The objects purported to speak for the wearer: "Hold me! I have run away."
from Bouquet of Flowers in a Sculpted Vase by Jan Frans Eliaerts

The Charities That Gave Flowers to the Poor

Presenting impoverished city dwellers with a fresh bouquet might seem condescending. On the other hand, flowers are awesome.
https://www.jstor.org/stable/community.28033142

The Summer of Love Wasn’t All Peace and Hippies

Articles in the underground press capture what's missing from our romanticized memory of that fateful season.

Smoking Banana Peels to Get High Was Briefly a Thing

But it didn't work. The rumor, spread by the underground press in 1967, probably led to many disappointed hippies.
A crystal ball with an oil field inside of it

The Mediums Who Helped Kick-Start the Oil Industry

Apparently some people communed with spirits to locate the first underground oil reserves.
An anatomical machine of Prince Raimondo di Sangro

The Anatomical Machines of Naples’ Alchemist Prince

Rumor had it that these machines were once the Prince’s servants, whom he murdered and transformed into anatomical displays. Scholars showed otherwise.
James Baldwin

James Baldwin and the FBI

The author was monitored for his political activities, but also for being gay. The surveillance took a toll on him.