Articles on History

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The biblical book of Ezekiel describes a vision of the divine that medieval philosophers understood as revealing the connection between religion and science. By Matthaeus Merian (1593-1650)

When religion sided with science: Medieval lessons for surviving COVID-19

Those experiencing stress and uncertainty amid the coronavirus may find guidance in medieval responses to plagues, which relied on both medicine and prayer.
How many times a day do you use soap? Paul Linse/The Image Bank via Getty Images

The dirty history of soap

With hand-washing top of mind, soap is an integral part of keeping clean. But people through the ages relied on earlier forms of soap more for cleaning objects than for personal hygiene.
President and Mrs. Roosevelt enjoying after-luncheon conversation with patients of the Warm Springs Foundation. Bettmann/Contributor via Getty Images

What FDR’s polio crusade teaches us about presidential leadership amid crisis

Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s personal battle with polio, and his steady hand while overseeing a national eradication campaign, highlights decisive leadership against a virus that terrified America.
GettyImages.

Your guide to the 2020 census questionnaire

Emily Klancher Merchant, a historian of science and technology at the University of California at Davis, shares some of the most interesting stories behind the 2020 census questionnaire
During coronavirus lockdowns, gardens have served as an escape from feelings of alienation. Richard Bord/Getty Images

The impulse to garden in hard times has deep roots

What drives people to garden isn't the fear of hunger so much as hunger for physical contact – and a longing to engage in work that is real.

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