The dreaded CSS Alabama.
McMullen via Wikimedia Commons
If Liverpool hadn't supplied it with warships, the South might not have been able to put up much of a fight against the Union.
A Harper’s Weekly cartoon of German emigrants boarding a steamer in Hamburg, Germany, 1874.
Anti-migrant rhetoric is running high in the US – but its star proponent would do well to think about his German roots.
Joe Louis and Neil Scott help Isaac Woodard up a set a stairs soon after a beating left him blind.
Ossie Leviness/New York Daily News
Seventy years ago, a horrific beating left a black World War II vet blind. His determined fight for justice would earn the support of Orson Welles, Woody Guthrie – and even the president.
Protector in chief: Theodore Roosevelt with conservationist John Muir at Yosemite in 1906.
U.S. Library of Congress
Historically, environmental causes enjoyed bipartisan support but gains by NGOs and the emergence of climate change as a social issue have created a sharp political divide.
The problems of diversity are deeply rooted, extending beyond an annual awards show.
'Oscar' via www.shutterstock.com
Underneath the sheen of the Oscars is an arcane organization that's historically sought to consolidate power.
In the late 19th century, three brothers from New Hampshire drew uniforms for the military troops of their imaginary world.
One historian is plumbing the oft-discarded works of kids – from shipwreck tales to diary entries – to augment our understanding of U.S. history.
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah.
Behind the armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon lie decades of controversy over federal control of public land in western states.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) was often referred to as the Bureau of Livestock and Mining in the 19th century.
U.S. Bureau of Land Management
What explains the anger behind the Malheur occupation in Oregon, and why does the BLM own so much land in the West?
Miller achieved a public voice even before she had the vote.
Alice Duer Miller's analysis of contemporary politics not only made anti-suffragist politicians look stupid. It also made her (and women like her) look completely capable of participating in the political sphere.
Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Raleigh, North Carolina on December 4 2015.
An expert on American political rhetoric breaks down Donald Trump's rhetorical prowess, pointing to the various techniques the candidate has mastered.
Dutch painter Pieter Claesz’s Still Life with Turkey Pie (1627) features a cooked turkey that’s been placed back inside its original skin, feathers and all.
Most of the flavor combinations and traditions we've come to associate with the holiday date back to the Middle Ages.
Part of the ongoing debate: some papaya growers in Hawaii have planted a strain that has been genetically modified to resist a virus.
What explains the huge gap between US and European consumers on GMO foods? A short history helps explain.
Two months after the bombing at Hiroshima.
US Department of Defense
US military censors contained information after the bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, leaving Americans with a limited understanding of the impact of radiation.
Members of the Chitimacha language team (from left to right) Sam Boutte, Kim Walden and Rachel Vilcan use the new language software for the first time.
In the face of war, disease and outside cultural pressures, the Chitimacha language has survived -- and now thrives.
Blowing up the desert – and people’s minds: the first atom bomb test in 1945.
The first atom bomb test seventy years ago today marks the start of a change in Americans' thinking about radiation. On balance, our nuclear anxieties endure today.
Many readers have responded with outrage to the notion that Atticus Finch might be racist.
Erik S Lesser/EPA
As a historical document, Watchman is a fascinating read. It gives us valuable insight into how America prefers to remember its history of racism.
White painter William Gilbert Gaul’s To the End (1907-1909) uses the loyal slave trope.
Black Like Us? – a new exhibition at the Birmingham Museum of Art – looks at how blackness has been portrayed in American art through the years.
Arrangement in Grey and Black No.1 (commonly known as Whistler’s Mother), by James McNeill Whistler (1871).
The famous portrait, usually resident in France, is on a rare tour in the US. From looking at it, one might assume its subject had a tranquil, even monotonous, life. But one would be wrong.
People protest the Confederate battle flag.
President Obama's recent condemnation of the Confederate battleflag mirrors the current and rapidly-changing public mood on this artefact. But attitudes to the flag have deeper roots.
Hamilton’s political enemies unduly tarnished his legacy.
'Hamilton' via www.shutterstock.com
Alexander Hamilton's story is our story. It would be a mistake to remove him from the $10 bill.