Cook County jail detainees cast their votes after a polling place in the facility was opened for early voting on October 17, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois

Voting Rights for People Convicted of Felonies

Formerly incarcerated people comprise the largest group of disenfranchised American voters. The American Prison Newspapers collection offers fresh insight into the issue.
A baseball game plays on an early television set, c. 1947

Fast Science, TV Baseball, and Curing Nightmares

Well-researched stories from Smithsonian Magazine, Wired, and other great publications that bridge the gap between news and scholarship.
An alchemist in his laboratory. Oil painting by a follower of David Teniers the younger.

When Did Alchemy End?

Despite royal prohibition, transmutation efforts continued underground long after the widely accepted dates for their demise.
Film poster for White Zombie, 1932

Colonialism Birthed the Zombie Movie

The first feature-length zombie movie emerged from Haitians’ longstanding association of the living dead with slavery and exploited labor.
A painting of Osceola by George Catlin

Ghost Stories at Flagler College

Telling a spooky story around a campfire—or in a dorm room—may be the best way to keep a local legend alive.
Psychic researcher Harry Price X-raying a sealed box which once belonged to religious prophetess Joanna Southcott with his assistant, August 1938

Ghosts of Landed Gentry, But Never the Ghosts of Serfs

Psychical researcher Harry Price combined the power of academic language with a cultural identity crisis to build a reputation as a “scientific” ghost-hunter.
Benito Mussolini on a visit to inspect Italian troops in a North African battle zone, 1942

Mussolini’s Colonial Inspiration

In its plans for the conquest of Eastern Europe, the Third Reich looked to the example set in Africa by Fascist Italy.
Anita Bryant is hit in the face with a pie during a press conference on October 14, 1977

Proposition 6 (The Briggs Initiative): Annotated

Proposition 6, better known as the Briggs Initiative, was the first attempt to restrict the rights of lesbian and gay Americans by popular referendum.
Jinn gathering for combat in Shah Namah, the Persian Epic of the Kings

Life with a Jinni

A jinni in the home can help a Muslim explore religious tenets, but it may also interfere with the direct relationship between human and god.
An image made by the FDA about nutritional labeling, 1990

Where Do Nutrition Labels Come From?

We all ponder them when standing in the cereal aisle of the grocery store, but why do we even have nutrition labels on our foods?