Creole in a Red Turban by Jacques Aman

The Free People of Color of Pre-Civil War New Orleans

Before American concepts of race took hold in the newly-acquired Louisiana, early 19th-century New Orleans had large population of free people of color.
Yorktown Victory Monument, Colonial National Historic Site, Yorktown, Virginia

Whitewashing American History

One of the National Park Service's first historic preservation projects, the Colonial National Monument, wrote people of color completely out of the story.
Wedding rings on an American flag

How Love Transformed American Immigration Law

Love was a deciding factor in the expansion of Asian immigration to the United States, via laws that emerged from Congress in the 1960s.
Employment of Negroes in Agriculture by Earle Richardson

Racial Violence as Impetus for the Great Migration

Historians traditionally point to economic and social conditions as the primary causes for the Great Migration, but racist hate crimes played a role as well.
Leaders of the S-1 project, consider the feasibility of the 184-inch cyclotron at Berkeley, March 29, 1940. Left to right: E.O. Lawrence, Arthur Compton, Vannever Bush, James B. Constant, Karl Compton, Alfred Loomis.

The Man Behind the USA’s Decision to Build the Bomb

FDR's "czar of research," an electrical engineer named Vannevar Bush, was working on an atomic bomb months before Pearl Harbor.
A group of slaves gathered outside a building at the Foller Plantation in Cumberland Landing, Pamunkey Run, Virginia, May, 1862.

Did Black Rebellion Win the Civil War?

Historians are giving credence to W.E.B. DuBois's assertion that enslaved workers coordinated a general strike, which helped end the Civil War.
Portrait of Meriwether Lewis by Charles Willlson Peale

The Mysterious Death of Meriwether Lewis

After triumphantly leading the Lewis and Clark expedition, Meriwether Lewis was either murdered or committed suicide. Did syphilis play a role?
Richard E. Byrd’s First Antarctic Expedition, 1928-1930

Polar Expedition or Publicity Stunt?

Richard E. Byrd's 1928-1930 Antarctica Expedition was sponsored by mass media. Was it all about science and exploration -- or about Byrd's personal #brand?
Zion National Park

When the Park Ranger Was Not Your Friend

Early 20th century National Park Service Rangers were a notoriously rough-and-tumble lot.
A map of lines and metallic circuit connections by the American Telephone and Telegraph Co., 1891

When the Weather Service Spied on Americans

The United States National Weather Service began as part of the military, with a mandate to serve the interests of federal officials and business owners.