Harper's Weekly, October 17, 1874 issue. Illustration by John A. Randolph of the scene of "A Colorado Tragedy."

The Colorado Cannibal

Prospector Alferd Packer, stranded in the San Juan Mountains, was forced to eat his companions to survive the brutal winter conditions. Or was he?
An advertisement by the Partnership for a Drug Free America

The Story Behind “This is Your Brain on Drugs”

How did the campaign behind the Partnership for a Drug Free America’s iconic commercials develop, and why were its products so memorable?
Miss Charmion, 1904

The “Trapeze Disrobing Act”

Strongwoman Charmion used Thomas Edison’s experiments with moving pictures to encourage women to embrace strength and physical activity.
Exhuming the remains of President Monroe in the Second Street Cemetery

Fighting Over the Dead

There was more than one violent altercation at the cemetery when one side of the family wanted to move a dead relative, and the other didn’t.
Newsboys amusing themselves while waiting for morning papers, New York, 1908

Heroic Newsboy Funerals

These collective rituals of death brought meaning and identity to urban, working-class youth.
The radioactive plume from the bomb dropped on Nagasaki City, as seen from 9.6 km away, in Koyagi-jima, Japan, August 9, 1945.

Hiding The Radiation of the Atomic Bombs

The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the U.S. came with censorship and obfuscation about the effects of the radiation on those who were exposed.
A line of black civil war soldiers holding their rifles circa 1860

Black Soldier Desertion in the Civil War

The reasons Black Union soldiers left their army during the Civil war were varied, with poor pay, family needs and racism among them.
Paris, France, 1900

Graffiti: Jaytalking in 19th Century Paris

The files of Paris police from the late nineteenth century reveal the tumultuous politics of the time through the graffiti recorded in them.
Grand Saloon of the Great Britain

Separate Spheres On Narrow Boats: Victorians At Sea

On the North Atlantic, the ships were small and the trips were long, making it difficult to maintain the land-based social distinctions.
A male janitor stands and bends over a urinal in a bathroom, scrubbing the porcelain with a detergent.

A Short History of the Public Restroom

How come it's so hard to go in sweet privacy when you're out and about?