Articles on History

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For centuries, people thought nothing of crowding family members or friends into the same bed. miniwide/Shutterstock.com

The bizarre social history of beds

Today's beds are thought of as bastions of privacy. But not long ago, they were the perches from which kings ruled and places where travelers hunkered down with complete strangers.
It’s a simple word with a strange history. Andrii Oleksiienko/shutterstock.com

Curious Kids: Why do we say ‘OK’?

The word 'OK' has only been around for 180 years, but it's become the most spoken word on the planet.
Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin and Franklin D Roosevelt at the Yalta Conference, 1945. Wikipedia

Who won the war? We did, says everyone

New research suggests people from Germany, Russia, the UK and US all think their own country was the most important in World War II.
Slavery is not so far removed. Anderson and Minerva Edwards met in the 1860s as enslaved laborers in Texas, had 16 children and lived into their 90s in a cabin a few miles from the plantations they once worked. They are photographed here in 1937. U.S. Library of Congress

If Germany atoned for the Holocaust, the US can pay reparations for slavery

Old injustices don't simply disappear with time – they tear a nation apart.
When a group of white and African American integrationists entered a St. Augustine, Fla. segregated hotel pool in 1964, the hotel manager poured acid into it. AP Photo

The forgotten history of segregated swimming pools and amusement parks

Municipal swimming pools flourished in the 20th century. But too often, their success was based on the exclusion of African Americans.

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