Articles on US history

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‘Early Days.’ Detail of Frank Happersberger’s pioneer monument, San Francisco, California, 1894. Photo by Lisa Allen. Cynthia Prescott

Think Confederate monuments are racist? Consider pioneer monuments

Many cities are removing their Confederate statues. But pioneer monuments represent a racist past, too. There are at least 200 of them, and their future is now being debated.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation seal. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

FBI brought down foreign agents in the past

An American pilot. A German aide on Capitol Hill. In the first and second world wars, the FBI effectively uprooted foreign influence campaigns. Today, the agency faces an uphill battle.
The 1947 and 1956 editions of the ‘Green Book,’ which was published to advise black motorists where they should – and shouldn’t – frequent during their travels. Image on the left: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, The New York Public Library. Image on right: Courtesy of the South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C.

‘Traveling while black’ guidebooks may be out of print, but still resonate today

From the 1930s to the 1960s, 'The Negro Motorist's Green Book' and 'Travelguide: Vacation and Recreation Without Humiliation' offered African-American roadtrippers lists of black-friendly businesses.
‘Earthrise,’ which appeared on the cover of the second and third Whole Earth Catalog, was taken by Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders during lunar orbit, Dec. 24, 1968. NASA

Thing-makers, tool freaks and prototypers: How the Whole Earth Catalog’s optimistic message reinvented the environmental movement in 1968

The Whole Earth Catalog was a blueprint for sustainability that envisioned humans living in balance with nature. Its creative spirit was welcomed in a year riven by war, assassinations and riots.
A 1950s photograph of Emmett Till and his mother Mamie Till Mobley, during a visit to Jackson, Miss. AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Emmett Till’s life matters

A historian explains the significance of the Emmett Till murder for the civil rights movement.
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?
Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., speaks about EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and the state of the EPA during a protest on April 25, 2018, in Washington. AP Photo/Alex Brandon

What next for the EPA? Here’s what Reagan did

After two years of turmoil at the EPA in the 1980s, President Reagan hit the reset button, choosing a Republican who supported environmental protection to head the agency.
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?

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