Photograph: Thousands march through the streets near City Hall during the 11th day of an ongoing teachers strike on October 31, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. 

Source: Getty

Socialism: Foundations and Key Concepts

What is the political, philosophic, and economic system known as socialism? Some starting points for further study.
City of Chicago Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium poster promoting testing for tuberculosis, 1939

What Happened to U.S. Public Health?

After the Civil War, support for public health measures was high. Now, some people blast them as part of the "nanny state."
ZIP code promotional sign with "Mr. ZIP" on a hotel letter drop.

Where Did Zip Codes Come From?

How a plan for getting the mail delivered faster allowed targeted marketing to grow.
Map of Tennessee highlighting Former State of Franklin

Franklin, the American State that Wasn’t

Franklin was the 14th state of America. If you haven't heard of it, that's because it only lasted for four years.
A rig in the ocean with smoke and fire protruding from top

How Natural Gas Helped Make our Industrial World

Gas was in fact one of the first readily available fuels, and shaped spaces and politics in Regency-era London.
Florida Longleaf Pines

How Longleaf Pines Helped Build the U.S.

The dense, resin-saturated, rot-resistant timber of the longleaf pine helped build up U.S. cities. But most of the native stands have already been logged.
Declaration of Independence

Who Wrote the Declaration of Independence?

The Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Thomas Jefferson was not then credited with its authorship.

Happy Flag Day! (What is Flag Day?)

What is Flag Day, again? Early American flags were all over the place. There was no consensus about the flag until 25 years after the Revolution.