Plague column in Vienna, Austria

How to Memorialize a Plague

Vienna's baroque Plague Column, completed in 1693, gave thanks for the survival of a city.
Panel from the Florentine Cortex depicting smallpox outbreaks in the Americas during the 16th century

European Colonization and Epidemics Among Native Peoples

What you learned about the diseases that decimated Native communities is probably wrong.
Abyssinian officers

The Defense of Ethiopia from Fascism

For black activists in the 1930s, defending Ethiopia from Mussolini’s invasion created unprecedented unity.
La Malaria by Auguste Hebert

Cracking the Malaria Mystery—from Marshes to Mosquirix

It took science centuries to understand malaria. Now we’re waiting to see how the 2019 vaccine pilot works.
A group of Royal Irish Constabulary officers

Britain’s World Police in Mandate Palestine

As colonized peoples challenged the imperial powers after World War I, British veterans were tapped to become a ruthless police force.
The Last Day of Pompeii by Karl Brullov

Pompeii Mania in the Era of Romanticism

Nothing appealed more perfectly to the Romantic sensibility than the mix of horror and awe evoked by a volcano erupting.
Quaker tobacco farmers in Barbados

The Invention of the “Healthy” Caribbean

Europeans used to believe that "bad air" caused diseases, so they distrusted the Caribbean's air quality and land features like swamps.
Anthony Benezet

The Undercover Abolitionists of the 18th Century

Since many people considered them an off-putting radical sect, some Quaker abolitionists worked behind the scenes to eradicate slavery.
Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates testifies during a hearing on slavery reparations held by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties on June 19, 2019.

The Case for Reparations Is Nothing New

In fact, Black activists and civil rights leaders have been advocating for compensation for the trauma and cost of slavery for centuries.
Vicente Guerrero

Black Mexico and the War of Independence

The president of Mexico who finally issued the decree ending slavery was of African descent himself.