Kent State

What the Kent State Killings Did to the Student Protest Era

In retrospect, the violent events at Kent State on May 4, 1970 marked the ending of widespread campus protest left over from the turbulent 1960s.
Reconstruction Richmond

Revisiting Reconstruction

Reconstruction is one of the least-known periods of American history, and much of what people think they know about it may be wrong.
Oklahoma City bombing first responders

The Unexpected Effects of the Oklahoma City Bombing

Divorce rates declined considerably in Oklahoma City during the immediate aftermath of the 1995 bombing there. Social scientists have a few theories as to why.
biting dogs

The 19th Century War on Dogs

Dogs have always been a matter of debate in American cities. In 19th-century New York City, the debate involved paying impoverished children to participate in dog-murder.
Prison interior

Why Do We Have Prisons in the United States?

The Enlightenment brought the idea that punishments should be certain and mild, rather than harsh with lots of pardons and exceptions.
Beatles hair 1963

The High School Hair Wars of the 1960s

Following the introduction of the mop top by the Beatles, the battle over how long school boys could wear their hair in the 1960s and 1970s went to the courts again and again.
portrait of abolitionist James Hinds, 1860s

The White Carpetbagger Who Died Trying to Protect African-Americans’ Civil Rights

James Hinds was assassinated for his beliefs, and today is largely forgotten. He stood up for African-American civil rights during the Reconstruction, provoking the KKK's ire.
Colonial headstone

Funerals Once Included Swag

In eighteenth-century New England, funeral attendees went home with funeral tokens–usually a pair of gloves or a ring that declared their sorrow.
J Edgar Hoover

The Truth About J. Edgar Hoover’s “Cross-Dressing”

The story of J. Edgar Hoover dressing in women's clothing is part of American myth. But does this story tell us more about Hoover or about the nature of gossip?
Paul Robeson 1942

Why Paul Robeson Was Labelled a Psychopath

The singer, actor, and activist Paul Robeson had a spectacular rise and then a stunning fall brought on by the Cold War's pathologizing of dissent.