Pictorial Map of the American Continent Following the Pan American Highway, c. 1930

The Highway and the Gap

The Pan-American Highway began a century ago with a vision of unfettered motor-vehicle access between Alaska and Tierra del Fuego. What happened to the dream?
Grizzly Adams

The True Story of Grizzly Adams

In order to invent a legendary hero of the Wild West, John Adams shook himself free from his life as shoemaker in Massachusetts.
Portrait of astronaut in space suit and helmet

Space Medicine for the Inexperienced Astronaut

The promise of commercial spaceflight raises questions about how untrained travelers will endure the extreme hostility of space.
From THEM!, 1954

Fear of an Insect Planet

"Big bug movies" of the 1950s have been interpreted as projections of nuclear anxieties. But what if they were about...actual fear of bugs?
1 Dollar, Farmers' and Mechanics' Bank of Rahway, New Jersey, 1850

Banks’ Own Private Currencies in 19th-Century America

Before the Civil War local banks issued their own money. It was totally legit, too.
A pile of pots, pans, and kitchen utensils sits in front of a poster urging people to donate aluminum kitchen ware to help the US Air Force

The Environmental Costs of War

Using aluminum as a case study, a geographer shows how wartime "commodity chains" can devastate the Earth.
Design for an Urn, 19th century

How Cremation Lost Its Stigma

The pro-cremation movement of the nineteenth century battled religious tradition, not to mention the specter of mass graves during epidemics.
A Canada Goose

Has the U.S. Government Abandoned Birds?

Recent changes to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 leave birds vulnerable to industry, experts say.
A Pace College student in a gas mask "smells" a magnolia blossom in City Hall Park on Earth Day, April 22, 1970, in New York.

The First Earth Day, and the First Green Generation

The first Earth Day took place fifty years ago, so most people don't remember how it happened or what it accomplished. It's time for a look back.