From the cover of the September, 1990 issue of The Angolite, a newspaper published by the inmates of Louisiana State Penitentiary

The Fatal Current: Electrocution as Progress? 

The electric chair was promoted as civilized and at the same time imbued with the technological sublime, the mystery of electrical power harnessed by humans.
Three costumed girls, Pauline, Barbara and Dorothy Luck surrounding Halloween pumpkin, 1940

Halloween: A Mystic and Eerie Significance

Despite the prevalence of tricks and spooky spirits in earlier years, the American commercial holiday didn’t develop until the middle of the twentieth century.
Bessie Beatty

Woman on a Mission

For pioneering journalist Bessie Beatty, women’s suffrage and the plight of labor were linked inextricably.
A View of the Pearl-Fishery, created for George Henry Millar's The new and universal System of Geography, 1782

African Swimmers in American Waters

Although most enslaved people worked in the fields, captive workers with strong swimming and diving skills were also exploited by plantation owners.
National Police Gazette

Policing Abortion

A study on the criminalization of abortion in the late 1800s through the 1940s reveals that the law was often used against working-class women.
A couple holding hands

The Long History of Same-Sex Marriage

Same-sex marriages, in all possible configurations and with all possible motivations, have taken place throughout the history of the United States.
The Sunday, February 1, 1920 Society page of the Pittsburg Press

The Unfolding of the Woman’s Page

As women became the focus of advertising, newspapers began to broaden their offerings targeted to those areas of interest traditionally associated with them.
Cecil B. Moore, president of the Philadelphia chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, uses a hand microphone to talk to people gathered this afternoon at the Reyburn Plaza construction site for the Municipal Services building.

Northern Civil Rights and Republican Affirmative Action

One focus of the 1960s struggle for civil rights in the North were the construction industries of Philadelphia, New York and Cleveland.
Housewife Annie Driver of Hunstanton, Norfolk, scrubbing the floor, 1956

NOW and the Displaced Homemaker

In the 1970s, NOW began to ask hard questions about the women who were no longer "homemakers", displaced from the only role they were thought to need.
Child workers at Avondale Mills, 1910

The Age of the Birth Certificate

When states began restricting labor by children, verifying a person's age became an important means of enforcement.