puritan execution

Puritan True Crime

Cotton Mather and other 17th-century American writers created a genre all their own: Puritan gallows literature, which both terrified and edified.
Charles Knowlton portrait

Charles Knowlton, the Father of American Birth Control

Decades after Charles Knowlton died, his book would be credited with the reversal of population growth in England and the popularization of contraception in the United States. 
Gerrymandering origins

Is Gerrymandering to Blame for Our Polarized Politics?

Gerrymandering is the process by which districts for the House of Representatives are drawn so that one party has a distinct election advantage.
Bobbi Gibb

The Woman Who Crashed the Boston Marathon

In 1966, Bobbi Gibb was the first woman to run the Boston marathon. Gibb had a bigger mission, however: to overcome prejudice against women in sports.
Wampum illustration

Wampum was Massachusetts’ First Legal Currency

First Nations' seashell-derived wampum was Massachusetts' first legal currency, used as currency throughout northeastern America into the 19th century.
Rev. Cotton Mather

A Puritan War on Wigs

In colonial New England, moral quandaries were everywhere. A surprisingly big one in the 17th and 18th century was whether it was okay to wear a wig.
Saco and Vanzetti

Is There a Place in Public History for Sacco and Vanzetti?

How Boston has marked the controversial trial and alleged crimes of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, Italian immigrants executed for murder.
Lizzie Borden

Why We’re So Obsessed With Lizzie Borden’s 40 Whacks

Lizzie Borden’s father and stepmother were brutally murdered, possibly by Lizzie herself, in August 1892. Why are we still dissecting the crime?
Thompson's Temperance Spa

When the Temperance Movement Opened Saloons

Charles Sumner Eaton's “Temperance Spa” served alternative adult beverages like coffee, egg phosphates, and "Moxie Nerve Food," all in the name of health.
Margaret Fuller

How Early Feminist Writer Margaret Fuller’s Memoirs Were Rewritten

Margaret Fuller was one of the most-read Americans of the mid-nineteenth century, but then men started to edit her for posterity.