An Octagon House

A Phrenologist’s Dream of an Octagon House

Orson S. Fowler thought houses without right angles would offer a better life, but his own architectural experiments did not end well.
Elizabeth Jennings Graham

The Woman Who Refused to Leave a Whites-Only Streetcar

In 1854, Elizabeth Jennings rode the streetcar of her choice, in an early civil rights protest that led to desegregating public transportation in NYC.
Photo by _HealthyMond . on Unsplash

Maroon Societies, Down Syndrome, and Food Justice

New books and scholarship from academic publishers.
Avalanche Lake trail at Adirondack High Peaks, New York.

The Odd History of the Adirondacks

The largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi was deemed "Forever Wild" in 1885. But it wasn't exactly created to preserve nature.
Niagara Falls postcard

When Souvenirs Peddle Stereotypes

The things travelers bring home reflect their worldviews. In 19th c. Niagara Falls, souvenirs revealed problematic stereotypes about Native Americans.
Dance hall illustration

Jane Addams’s Crusade Against Victorian “Dancing Girls”

Jane Addams, a leading Victorian-era reformer, believed dance halls were “one of the great pitfalls of the city.”
NYC Subway Sandhogs

The Sandhogs Who Built the New York Subway

Unlike other laborers, who toiled anonymously on bridges and buildings throughout the city, the sandhogs had an iconic status in New York City.
First Ellis Island wooden structure

The Curious History of Ellis Island

Ellis Island celebrates its 125th anniversary as the federal immigration depot. From 1892-1954, more than 12 million immigrants passed through the island.
New York Journal 1898

To Fix Fake News, Look To Yellow Journalism

Fake news has plenty of precedents in the history of mass media, and particularly, in the history of American journalism.
Couple at Niagara Falls

Falling for Niagara Falls

How did Niagara Falls become the Honeymoon Capital of the World?