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.
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.
The Flower Girl by Charles Cromwell Ingham, 1846

When Botany Was for Ladies

In nineteenth century America, young women took to studying botany—a conjoining of interest, social acceptance, and readily available schooling.
A 19th-century advertisement for Hood's Tooth Powder

How the Ban on Medical Advertising Hurt Women Doctors

Intended to protect consumers from unscrupulous quackery, a nineteenth-century ban on medical advertising proved to be a double-edged sword.
Mother and Child Hand Coloured Ambrotype (Collodion Positive) c. 1860

Industrial London’s Maternal Child Abductors

In industrial-era England, children took on new value in family life. Around this time, they started to be stolen more often, too.
Two siblings standing back to back with serious expressions

The Invention of Sibling Rivalry

Sibling jealousy feels like a universal problem, but most parenting experts didn't even acknowledge it until the early 20th century.
the Publick Universal Friend

The Genderless Eighteenth-Century Prophet

In 1776, a 24-year-old Quaker woman named Jemima Wilkinson died of fever, and came back to life as a prophet known as the Publick Universal Friend.
Good Housekeeping October 1905

Speaking for Rural America, 100 Years Ago

In the early 20th century, the Country Life Movement tried to make rural life appeal to women. But it ignored many truths about farms and women alike.