Japanese "picture brides" being processed after arriving at Angel Island, California, c. 1910

Japanese American Wives and the Sex Industry

Japanese American immigrant wives in the American West attempted to improve their living conditions through sex work.
Burial mound in Moundsville, West Virginia

Native Origin Stories As Tools of Conquest

In the nineteenth century, the Euro-American “Lost Tribes of Israel” theory was one of the most popular explanations for the existence of Indigenous peoples.
The BADGER explosion on April 18, 1953, as part of Operation Upshot-Knothole, at the Nevada Test Site.

How Strong of a Nuclear Bomb Could Humans Make?

The biggest nuclear blast in history came courtesy of Tsar Bomba. We could make something at least 100 times more powerful.
Family Portrait by Ralph Eleaser Whiteside Earl

The Nashville Museum of Natural and Artificial Curiosities

Inspired by Peale’s Philadelphia Museum, artist and collector Ralph E. W. Earl founded a similar institution in Tennessee in 1818.
An illustration from Arabian Nights, 1907

We Dream of Genie

In antebellum America, the voyages and adventures of Sinbad and Aladdin in the Arabian Nights nourished a young nation's dreams.

Inventing an American Indian Rebellion

False rumors of an alleged Wampanoag uprising on Nantucket Island in 1738 were turned into a story of an Indian rebellion thwarted via a Boston newspaper.
A sanitary-commission nurse and her patients at Fredericksburg, May 1864

The Post-Civil War Opioid Crisis

Many servicemen became addicted to opioids prescribed during the war. Society viewed their dependency as a lack of manliness.
Frederick Douglass

“What to the Slave is The Fourth of July?”: Annotated

On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglass gave a Fourth of July speech that became his most famous public oration.
Woman in military clothes on a background of rainbow

From Handcuffs to Rainbows: Queer in the Military

The US military has done an about face on LGBTQ+ rights in just over a decade.
Margaret Chase Smith being sworn into the House of Representatives on June 10, 1940

Declaration of Conscience: Annotated

In June 1950, Senator Margaret Chase Smith criticized Joseph McCarthy's anticommunist campaigns. She was the first of his colleagues to challenge his Red Scare rhetoric.