Articles on History

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Connecticut members of the Ku Klux Klan, escorted by Meriden, Conn. police, run for shelter as protesters pelt them in March 1981. AP Photo

As a young reporter, I went undercover to expose the Ku Klux Klan

In 1979, David Duke told the media he had launched a wildly successful recruiting drive in Connecticut. A local reporter wanted to test Duke's claims – so he filled out an application to join the KKK.
Detail from Julie Shiels’ 1954 poster White on black: The annihilation of Aboriginal people and their culture cannot be separated from the destruction of nature. State Library of Victoria

Friday essay: the ‘great Australian silence’ 50 years on

It is 50 years since anthropologist WEH Stanner gave the Boyer Lectures in which he coined the phrase 'the great Australian silence'. How far have we come since?
Melburnians admire the first primrose to arrive in the colony, transported by a Wardian case, in Edward Hopley’s A Primrose from England, circa 1855. Bendigo Art Gallery, Gift of Mr and Mrs Leonard Lansell 1964.

How the Wardian case revolutionised the plant trade – and Australian gardens

A wood and glass case invented in the early 19th-century transformed the movement of plants around the world. In Melbourne, several thousand people greeted a primrose on its arrival from England.
Heinz is why ketchup seemed to become distinctly American. Reuters/Mike Blake

A brief history of ketchup

Canada recently slapped a tariff on US exports of the tomato-based condiment, and the EU plans to do the same, perhaps on the notion that it's distinctly American. In fact, ketchup’s origins are global, as are its fans.
Gin Lane, a scene of urban desolation with gin-crazed Londoners; a woman lets her child fall to its death and an emaciated ballad-seller. William Hogarth

America looks hopeless – a lot like the ‘mother country’ once did

When the U.S. broke away from the "mother country," the dream was to let the common good overruled selfish and private interests. Yet the federal government is arranged so this can never occur.
In 2016, the Ontario government promised the province’s schools would teach all students about residential schools and add more Indigenous perspectives into the provincial curriculum. The newly elected Conservative government has scrapped those plans. Library and Archives Canada

Nixing plans to add Indigenous content to Ontario curriculum is a travesty

Ontario's move to ignore the calls of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to add Indigenous content to its history and social studies curriculum is foolish and dangerous.
Once lauded for their vision and promise, Silicon Valley giants have made life so hard for locals that residents regularly protest the companies, including their amenities like charter buses to save workers from the region’s terrible traffic. AP Photo/Richard Jacobsen

Silicon Valley, from ‘heart’s delight’ to toxic wasteland

Big technology firms are becoming known for mistreating workers, customers and society as a whole. Is an economic powerhouse about to collapse like Detroit did years go?
Twentieth-century depiction of a victorious Saladin with Guy de Lusignan after battle of Hattin in 1187. Said Tahsine (1904-1985 Syria) -

Understanding the Crusades from an Islamic perspective

The Crusades have been stereotyped, creating a narrative that supports both Islamophobia and anti-immigrant sentiments in the West, as well as "Westophobia" and paranoia in the Muslim world.
Australia’s deep history was uncovered at Lake Mungo.

Fifty years ago, at Lake Mungo, the true scale of Aboriginal Australians’ epic story was revealed

On the golden jubilee of the discovery of Mungo Lady's 40,000-year-old remains, we can reflect on Aboriginal Australia's vast history, which predates the arrival of Homo sapiens in both Europe and America.
The Wedding Feast at Cana, Paolo Veronese, 1563. Wikimedia

Is religion bad for democracy?

Our work on the International Panel for Social Progress has led us to conclude that religion is neither inherently pro-democracy nor inherently anti-democracy.

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