Skip to content

Peter Feuerherd

Peter Feuerherd is a professor of journalism at St. John’s University in New York and a correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter.

Jimmy Hoffa

When Jimmy Hoffa Vanished, He Took Union Strength With Him

The July 30, 1975, disappearance of labor leader Jimmy Hoffa sparked public fascination because he was an important cog in the nation's economy.
John Calvin

John Calvin: The Religious Reformer Who Influenced Capitalism

Both the blame and the credit for capitalism has often been placed at the feet of a 16th-century Christian theologian named John Calvin.
Barnum and Bailey poster

How P.T. Barnum Gave The Public What It Wanted

P.T. Barnum, born July 5, 1810, was "the first great advertising genius and the greatest publicity exploiter the world has ever known."
President Garfield

The Unexpected Impact of James Garfield’s Assassination

On July 2, 1881, less than a year after President James Garfield was elected the 20th president of the United States, he was shot by Charles Guiteau.
Franz Ferdinand assassination

Does Political Violence Generate Real Change?

U.S. law prohibits American leaders from assassinating their counterparts in other nations. But targeted assassination has long been a part of history.
Marshall McLuhan

The Mystical Side of Marshall McLuhan

Communication theorists don't usually merit international celebrity, with one giant exception: Canadian professor and author Marshall McLuhan.
Eisenhower before D-Day

What Eisenhower’s Unsent Letter Reveals About True Leadership

Before the D-Day landing on June 6th, 1944, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, commander of the invasion force, wrote two letters for public consumption.
Brigham Young and wives

Brigham Young and the Defense of Mormon Polygamy

Mormon leader Brigham Young tried to create a culture of polygamy in the nineteenth century. How did he justify the practice in Victorian-era America?
Birthday Cake

Happy Birthday to “Happy Birthday” Composer Mildred J. Hill

Happy Birthday, Mildred J. Hill! How the early childhood educator's humble song "Happy Birthday To You" became a worldwide institution.
retired couple

Why Retirement Age Is 65 (And Why It’s Getting Higher)

Is there something magical about age 65? The history behind the retirement age involves economics, aging, and Otto von Bismarck.
Lakewood Church

Does the “Prosperity Gospel” Explain Trump?

According to the Prosperity Gospel, wealth is a sign of God's favor. Trump Tower is not just his monument. It is seen as God's gift.
Citizen Kane William Randolph Hearst

Why William Randolph Hearst Hated Citizen Kane

Most Americans know about William Randolph Hearst through his fictional alter-ego, the protagonist of the film Citizen Kane. Was it an accurate portrait?
Aristocratic family

Noblesse Oblige in American Politics

What responsibility to the very wealthy have to the rest of the population? United States governor Winthrop Rockefeller provides a historical case study.
Central Park Olmsted

Frederick Law Olmsted: The Complicated Man Behind Central Park & The Nation

Struck by something naturally beautiful in an American city? Odds are that you have stumbled across the work of Frederick Law Olmsted.
Waco compound in flames

How Religious Literacy Might Have Changed the Waco Tragedy

Religious scholars argue that the Waco raid was not justified and that with more understanding of theology, the loss of life could have been avoided.
A postcard featuring the Castillo de San Marcos

St. Augustine, the Real First European Settlement in America?

By the time Jamestown, Virginia was settled, St. Augustine, Florida was already 42 years old. The rich history of America's oldest settlement.
Jefferson statue

What Are We to Make of Thomas Jefferson?

There is perhaps no more enigmatic figure in American history than Thomas Jefferson, born April 13, 1743. How should his legacy be understood today?
Houdini poster

The Man Who Pulled the First Houdini

Harry Houdini wasn't always famous for his daring escapes. A look at how the humble Hungarian immigrant became the world's most famous magician.
NATO headquarters meeting

NATO Survives its Identity Crisis

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) began on April 4, 1949, creating an alliance promising mutual defense against potential Soviet aggression.
John Quincy Adams

What Do Ex-Presidents Do? Ask John Quincy Adams.

Many are speculating about what former president Barack Obama will do in his retirement. Perhaps he will stay as politically involved as John Quincy Adams.
Articles of Confederation

The Constitution Most Americans Have Forgotten About

The Articles of Confederation set off the long-running feud between states' rights and Washington, a debate that still rages today.
Dresden Germany after firebombing

How Slaughterhouse-Five Made Us See the Dresden Bombing Differently

The bombing of Dresden, Germany, which began February 13, 1945, was once viewed as a historical footnote. Until Slaughterhouse-Five was published.
Missing poster for Charles Lindbergh, Jr.

The Sensationalist Trial of the Century

When Charles Lindbergh became the first to fly solo across the Atlantic in 1927, the smiling visage of the ...
Photograph: President Barack Obama, Ruby Bridges,  and representatives of the Norman Rockwell Museum view Rockwell’s  "The Problem We All Live With,"  hanging in a West Wing hallway near the Oval Office, July 15, 2011.  Ruby Bridges is the girl in the painting. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House. 

Source: https://flic.kr/p/a41wAb

Norman Rockwell: Provocative Artist or Predictable Hack?

While Norman Rockwell's paintings struck a chord with the mass American public, that was not always not the case with art critics.
James Joyce

James Joyce, Catholic Writer?

James Joyce remains a novelist whose characters are imbued with a Catholic world view, despite declaring himself to be a freethinking heretic.