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Black and white headshot of author Matthew Wills

Matthew Wills

Matthew Wills has advanced degrees in library science and film studies and is lapsed in both fields. He has published in Poetry, Huffington Post, and Nature Conservancy Magazine, among other places, and blogs regularly about urban natural history at matthewwills.com.

Black and white photograph of the Postdam Conference group from 1945

Potsdam and the Origins of the Cold War

An exploration of Potsdam and its effects on the Cold War.
Lyndon Johnson and Martin Luther King Jr. set to shake hands

The Voting Rights Act at 50

Passage of the act was paved by the sacrifices of Civil Rights activists, especially those who had recently put their bodies on the line at Selma, Alabama.
Stacks of paperbacks published by Penguin Books

Penguin Books at 80

The beloved Penguin Books is 80 years old.
Statue of Benjamin Silliman

The Soda Jerk and the Periodical

The history of scientific periodicals starts with Benjamin Silliman's upstart publication.
Stamp-shaped skull and crossbones

Stamping Out the Stamp Act

The history of the Stamp Act as it celebrates its 250th anniversary.
Globe showing Iran and its surrounding areas

Iranian/Persian Americans

Iranian and Persian identity in America.
Packaging for Munsell Crayons from the early 1900s

Color Us Munsell-Nickerson

The history of the Munsell-Nickerson color system.
Landing page for the International Monetary Fund website

The IMF in Context

Governments and the IMF enter into an agreement for shadier reasons.
Greek flag

In Greece, “Ochi” Again

The Greeks rallied under the word "ochi", or no, as the Italians attempted to gain control of Greece during 1940-1941.
Relics from prior American War sit in the sunset

Origins of the Confederate Lost Cause

The mythos of the The Lost Cause of the Confederacy.
The French flag handing from the Arc de Triomphe

Bastille Day

The origins and contested meanings of Bastille Day.
Oil painting titled "Fur Traders Descending the Missouri" by George Caleb Bingham

George Caleb Bingham: On Display in All His American Contradictions

An exhibition called "Navigating the West: George Caleb Bingham and the River," explores the artist in all of his contradictions.
Cover of Ecology

The Ecological Society of America Turns 100

Ecological Society of America celebrates its centennial this year.
An illustration from Alice in Wonderland depicting Alice's encounter with a hookah smoking caterpillar

Off With Their Heads! Alice In Wonderland Turns 150

How Alice in Wonderland changed how we look at time and space.
An Election Entertainment by William Hogarth, 1754-1755

Never Mind That Extra Second, What Happened to Those 11 Days?

The 1752 British transition from Julian to Gregorian calendar added 11 days to people's lives.

Heat Waves: 20 Years After Chicago

Two articles look at the sociological impact of the 1995 heat wave in Chicago, which killed 700 people.
Confederate flag

That Flag Again: The Meanings of the Confederate Flag and Iconography

Different interpretations of confederate flag and confederate battle iconography.
Oil painting of the Battle of Waterloo

Waterloo at 200

John Houston takes a less melodic look at the transformation of the Battle of Waterloo from "fact to myth," from history to literature.
Black and white photograph of “369th 15th New York” from World War I

World War I Vets as the Vanguard of the ‘New Negro’

World War I saw several hundred thousand African-American soldiers discharged from a virulently segregated U.S. military into a virulently segregated society
1906 photograph of Ota Benga holding a chimpanzee at the Bronx Zoo

Ota Benga and the Living Ethnographic Exhibit

In the book Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga, Pamela Newkirk tells a tale that is more than astonishing.
Kelli O'Hara and Ken Watanabe dancing in the 2018 "The King and I"

The Real Anna Leonowens

The real-life story of Anna Leonowens is actually more interesting than her fictionalized life in "The King and I."
Cover of North American Review

The North American Review Turns 200

Happy birthday to the North American Review!
Stamp commemorating Flannery O'Connor

Flannery O’Connor’s Stamp

Flannery O'Connor is being honored by a new stamp, which will be released on June 5th.