Lon Chaney and Richard Arlen lead vigilante committee in a scene from the film 'The Town Tamer', 1965.

The Civilian Solution to Bank Robberies

The surprising story of the vigilantes who took it upon themselves to catch bank robbers in the 1920s and 30s.
Wendell Willkie

An Untested Businessman Almost Became President During WWII

In 1940, Wendell Willkie ran against FDR. The rumpled "man of the people" was a New York businessman with no political experience, but voters loved him.
Wheelmen

When Cyclists Made Up an Entire Political Bloc

The League of American Wheelmen was originally intended to spread bicycle appreciation. The 1896 presidential election changed all that.
Duncan Hines cake

Duncan Hines, Cake Mix Maker Extraordinaire

Duncan Hines was not created by a marketing department. Born in Bowling Green, Kentucky, in 1880, he became an amateur restaurant critic.
Pied Piper

When American Schools Banned German Classes

When American troops headed to Europe for WWI, hostility to all things German intensified across the country. Schools even banned German fairy tales.
Neighborhood Gardens

Neighborhood Gardens: A Housing Project Born of Unbridled Optimism

Long before Ferguson brought it into the news, St. Louis became famous for its monumentally disastrous Pruitt-Igoe Housing ...

Finding Your Place in Letters

For scholars of American history, letter-writing makes historical research possible.