Alan Watts

When Buddhism Came to America

Buddhism was embraced by the Beats of 1950s America. But some Buddhists felt these converts were engaging with the practice in a shallow way.
Building Colonies for WW1 Veterans

Building Colonies for WWI Veterans

After World War I, policymakers seriously considered the idea of setting up farming colonies for returning veterans.
King Kamehameha I

Hawaii’s Freemason Kings

Why Hawaii's 19th-century kings were so drawn to Freemasonry.
Black Tom Explosion Diver

The Unlikely Spy Alliance Behind the 1916 Black Tom Explosion

German imperialists teamed up with Irish republicans and Indian nationalists during World War I; the resulting conspiracy trial ended in a courtroom assassination.
Marian Beyonce

Beyoncé, the Virgin Mary, and the Power of Imagery

Why did Beyoncé pose as the Virgin Mary in her pregnancy and birth announcements? Learn about her art historical referents and iconic portraiture here.
Guam Beach

Guam For Beginners

How did the island of Guam, over 5,000 miles from the West Coast, get to be the closest piece of U.S. territory to North Korea?
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?
Komagata Maru

The 1917 Immigration Act That Presaged Trump’s Muslim Ban

Prohibitive laws like the 1917 Immigration Act barred many Asians from entering America. Cultural fears still determine who "deserves" to migrate.
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.
Mahjong players

Making Sense of Social Gaming

What do social gaming habits reveal about the lives of those playing?