Articles on US history

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Former President Bill Clinton promotes ‘The President is Missing,’ the new novel he wrote with James Patterson, in New York. AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

In retirement, most ex-presidents can’t resist the urge to stay relevant

What happens to motivated, determined and egotistical men when they are forced to abandon the White House? As John Quincy Adams once said, 'There is nothing more pathetic in life than a former president.'
Actress Nicolle Rochelle, who appeared on several episodes of ‘The Cosby Show.’ AP Photo/Corey Perrine, File

Why black women’s experiences of #MeToo are different

Any movement against sexual assault must take into account historical, state-sanctioned violence against black women in the US that goes back centuries.
An illustration called “British Burning Washington” depicting the White House on fire in 1814. U.S. Library of Congress

What Donald Trump doesn’t know about the War of 1812

Donald Trump was under the mistaken impression that Canadians once burned down the White House. But he's not the only one who has a fuzzy sense of the history of the War of 1812.
‘Silent Spring’ author Rachel Carson testifies before a Senate Government Operations Subcommittee in Washington, D.C. on June 4, 1963. Carson urged Congress to curb the sale of chemical pesticides and aerial spraying. AP

Would Rachel Carson eat organic?

Did Rachel Carson catalyze the organic farming movement, as many advocates claim? Or would she reject their ban on synthetic fertilizer and see organic as an inefficient way to feed the world?
Radical policy shifts are a hallmark of the Trump administration. On May 8, the president announced that the U.S. would withdraw from the international Iran nuclear deal. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

Presidents often reverse US foreign policy — how Trump handles setbacks is what matters most now

Many presidents have radically changed US foreign policy. Truman created his own doctrine. Carter gave up the Panama Canal. But a presidential historian sees danger in Trump's decision-making style.
National Memorial for Peace and Justice. AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

Lynching memorial shows women were victims, too

Although fewer black women were lynched in the US than men, their stories have been marginalized. Will a new memorial in Alabama help make their sacrifices known?
Panama Canal construction in 1913 showing workers drilling holes for dynamite in bedrock, as they cut through the mountains of the Isthmus. Steam shovels in the background move the rubble to railroad cars. (Everett Historical/Shutterstock)

The Panama Canal’s forgotten casualties

The Panama Canal was a tremendous achievement by the U.S. and a display of their power and abilities. However, the health costs to the mostly Caribbean contract workers was enormous.
President Donald Trump delivers remarks at the Pentagon on January 18, 2018. Dominique A. Pineiro/Flickr

A friendly reminder: impeaching Donald Trump will not remove him from office

Not a day passes without fresh speculation about the possible impeachment of Donald Trump, but history indicates that – barring a dramatic turn of events – he is likely to serve out his first term.
Americans tend to prefer beers that have corn or rice ‘adjuncts,’ or fillers. RetroClipArt/Shutterstock.com

Why bland American beer is here to stay

The unique role of the temperance movement in US history might explain why, when it comes to Americans' tastes, bland beer is still king.

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