Three muscle builders pose at Muscle Beach on the Santa Monica Beach in California, 1949

Gay Panic on Muscle Beach

The skin and strength on display at Santa Monica’s Muscle Beach aggravated American fears of gender transgressions and homosexuality.
Have One Brand

Orange Crate Art

California citrus growers drew on mass-printing techniques and advances in color lithography to create distinctive brands for their boxes.
An illustration of a revolver

Guns in America: Foundations and Key Concepts

This non-exhaustive list of readings on the role of guns in US history and society introduces the field as a subject of scholarly inquiry.
Two people walking towards Los Angeles, 1937

How the LAPD Guarded California’s Borders in the 1930s

Working well outside their jurisdiction, the officers patrolled their state's borders against white migrants.
Illustration of Mexican agricultural laborers forming a raised fist of solidarity

How “Measured Militancy” Empowered California’s Fieldworkers

When Mexican-American fieldworkers' strikes didn't net results, César Chávez led the Ventura County Community Service Organization in alternate tactics.
Nixon and Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai toast during Nixon's 1972 visit to China

How Nixon Paved the Way for Trump

Richard Nixon's voters had a lot in common with Trump's, especially in their idealization of the self-sufficient, independent American businessperson.
single-payer protest

America’s Long Fight Over Single-Payer Healthcare

With new calls for universal single-payer health insurance, President Harry Truman's derailed plan of 1945 is getting renewed attention.
A family eating elephant ears at a fair

What State Fairs Used to Mean

The historical significance of state fairs
Statue of Father Serra

Father Junípero Serra: His Statue and Contested Legacy

While Father Junípero Serra may earn posthumous canonization this fall, his statue in D.C. may be getting the boot.
Sara Plummer Lemmon Botanist

Sara Plummer Lemmon: Pioneering Botanist

Botany didn’t just intrigue and entertain Sara Plummer Lemmon—it deeply affected her personal life.