Articles on US history

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Donald Trump embraces legendary basketball coach Bobby Knight at a campaign rally in Indianapolis, Indiana. Jim Young/Reuters

Trump’s dog whistle: the white, screwed-over sports icon

Politicians are often eager to embrace the support of sports stars. But when Donald Trump trots out a very specific type of athlete and coach at his events, who's he really trying to appeal to?
Eastman Johnson’s ‘A Ride for Liberty’ (ca. 1862) depicts a family of slaves galloping for the safety of the North in the early morning light. Brooklyn Museum

In a digital archive of fugitive slave ads, a new portrait of slavery emerges

With Freedom on the Move, historians hope to reveal patterns of escape and capture, while giving anyone the chance to learn about the individual heroism of runaway slaves.
Half Dome, Yosemite National Park. Lorcel/Shutterstock

How John Muir’s incessant study saved Yosemite

John Muir, born on April 21, 1838, was one of America's first great conservation advocates. His letters and diaries convey the emotions Muir felt in Yosemite Valley, his 'sanctum sanctorum.'
Sunrise on Angel’s Window, North Rim, Grand Canyon National Park. National Park Service/Wikimedia

How the Grand Canyon changed our ideas of natural beauty

Why do Americans revere the Grand Canyon? It taught us to look at nature in a new way, and to respect iconic places by leaving them alone.
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

The police beating that opened America’s eyes to Jim Crow’s brutality

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.

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