Articles on History

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A painting by Sakubei Yamamoto. Yamamoto Family/Collection Yamamoto Sakubee

The “Pitmen painters” of England and Japan

Throughout the centuries, a number of coal miners have documented their lives with paintings. Some of their works are now in museums and bring the stories of the "pitmen" back to life.
It is commonly thought that anyone in ancient Rome who killed his father, mother, or another relative was subjected to the ‘punishment of the sack’. But is this true? Creative Commons

Mythbusting Ancient Rome: cruel and unusual punishment

From being thrown off a cliff to being sewn into a sack with animals, ancient Rome is notorious for its cruel and unusual punishments. But we must be careful what we take as historical fact.
Swan River Colony. Jane Eliza, Currie Panorama of the Swan River Settlement via Wikimedia Commons

The story of Australia’s last convicts

A century and a half after the last convict ship docked in Australia, new research is uncovering what happened to those who were transported.
Westfield Burwood circa 1999, a year before being demolished to make way for a new Westfield building. Wikimedia Commons (unknown author)

Westfield’s history tracks the rise of the Australian shopping centre and shows what’s to come

The fact that Westfield's founders are moving out of physical store development to invest in innovative retail technology shows what's to come in Australian retail.
‘I don’t care what they say about me,’ P.T. Barnum once said, ‘as long as they spell my name correctly.’ Everett Historical/Shutterstock.com

How the ‘Greatest Showman’ paved the way for Donald Trump

The new movie about P.T. Barnum couldn’t come at a better time: It's impossible not to see his ghost in our culture, in our advertisements and in our president.
A statue of John A. Macdonald is shown covered in red paint in Montreal in November 2017. Canada’s first Prime MInister, he has been criticized for his treatment of Indigenous peoples and attitudes towards those of Chinese origin. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)

Why history education is central to the survival of democracy

In a time of populism and political polarization, children and young adults need to learn to think critically, with complexity and nuance. History, as a subject, is more important than ever.
Women shipfitters working on board the USS Nereus at the U.S. Navy Yard in Mare Island, circa 1943. Department of Defense

Rosie the Riveters discovered a wartime California dream

Thousands of American women moved west to take advantage of wartime employment opportunities during WWII. For some, this version of the California dream was temporary; for others, it lasted a lifetime.
Mike Mozart/Flickr

How ‘brand you’ came to be

Marketing has moved from a focus on the product itself to the consumer, who they are and finally, how they think.
The Tower of London has altered greatly in its 900-year history as a castle, home, museum, prison and tourist attraction. Claudio Divizia/Shutterstock

Heritage building preservation vs sustainability? Conflict isn’t inevitable

When talking about heritage, we need to be clear about our definitions and our objectives for each building. Then we can work on achieving the optimum balance of heritage and sustainability.

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