Birmingham trainyard

A Precedent for Today’s Political Violence

Illegal violence has always been a political tool, often serving the interests of the powerful. A historian looks at the case of 1930s Birmingham, Alabama.
Portland diner

The Making of the American Diner

Today's diners would surprise a 1940s patron. These restaurants were once vulgar boy’s clubs before becoming today's family-friendly establishments.
Godey's Lady's Book

The Women’s Magazine That Tried to Stop the Civil War

Godey’s Lady’s Book, one of the most influential American publications of the nineteenth century, tried to halt the Civil War.
Waukesha Bethesda Springs

The Clash Over Water in Waukesha, Wisconsin

A town that once thrived on tourism around its famed natural springs is seeking water from faraway Lake Michigan.
Windowsill

When Americans Became Obsessed with Fresh Air

Once it became clear that mosquitoes, not the air itself, carried malaria, early 20th-century Americans went to extreme lengths to enjoy fresh air at night.
A postcard featuring the Castillo de San Marcos

St. Augustine, the Real First European Settlement in America?

By the time Jamestown, Virginia was settled, St. Augustine, Florida was already 42 years old. The rich history of America's oldest settlement.
jefferson davis inauguration

The Battle Over Confederate Heritage Month

A Southern governor has proclaimed April to be Confederate Heritage Month. But how can you celebrate the confederacy without mentioning slavery?
Jefferson statue

What Are We to Make of Thomas Jefferson?

There is perhaps no more enigmatic figure in American history than Thomas Jefferson, born April 13, 1743. How should his legacy be understood today?
Komagata Maru

The 1917 Immigration Act That Presaged Trump’s Muslim Ban

Prohibitive laws like the 1917 Immigration Act barred many Asians from entering America. Cultural fears still determine who "deserves" to migrate.
wake up, America!

What Americans Thought of WWI

What did Americans think of World War I before the US entered the conflict 100 years ago? “Public opinion” was no more universal in 1917 than it is today.