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Social History

  • American History Magazine

    Power and Vitality: Margaret Bourke-White

    On the evening of October 29, 1929, a 25-year-old photographer entered the First National Bank of Boston hoping the building would be empty, so she could finish shooting pictures of its new lobby for an advertisement. Instead, she found...

  • American History Magazine

    Q&A with Michael Honey

    Why were the Memphis sanitation workers on strike in 1968? For generations, black people coming in from the countryside would take these bottom-end jobs, and the whole system was designed to keep them in bottom-end jobs. About 40 percent...

  • American History Magazine

    King’s Last Crusade

    Martin Luther King went to Memphis in March 1968 to lead a peaceful demonstration in support of civil rights and economic justice. Instead, the city became his final battleground. Sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee, had been on...

  • American History Magazine

    For Us the Living

    When a nation in mourning looks to its president for comfort and courage, he must choose his words carefully. Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is considered one of history’s great speeches, and it has gained an almost mythical...

  • American History Magazine

    The Battle to Save Blair Mountain

    More than 85 years after the miners’ ill-fated march, another battle for Blair Mountain is being waged in the courts. Over the years, the miners’ battlefield disappeared piece by piece as coal companies mined the mountain. The mining...

  • American History Magazine

    A Powder Keg Ready to Blow

    Coal miners toiling in the bowels of the earth kept American industry humming in the early 1900s. Their fight for better working and living conditions led to the nation’s largest armed uprising since the Civil War. It was a tableau that...

  • American History Magazine

    From Detroit to the Promised Land

    Two escaped slaves from Kentucky touched off riots in Detroit and set an international legal precedent. Detroit Sheriff John M. Wilson glanced anxiously upward. From the courtroom balcony came the sounds of angry muttering and restless...

  • American History Magazine

    America’s First Daredevil

    He was the Evel Knievel of his day, the man whose daring exploits drew massive crowds and fired imaginations across the country. Sam Patch lived a life of no particular distinction until his hobby of jumping from great heights into...

  • American History Magazine

    Brit Johnson, The Real Searcher

    Movies about Indian captives have thrilled American audiences since 1903, but none has been as influential as The Searchers (1956), John Ford’s adaptation of Alan Le May’s novel. Le May set his story of an uncle’s search for his...

  • American History Magazine

    Strangers in Two Worlds

    For many children captured by Indians on Texas frontier, the greatest challenge was returning home. To the Editors of the San Antonio Herald: On the first day of January, 1870, the son of the undersigned was stolen by the Indians at or...

  • American History Magazine

    How Cricket Struck Out

    Thousands of fans poured into Hoboken’s Elysian Fields in 1859 for one of the biggest sporting events of the times: a cricket match between American and British teams. But by the turn of the century, cricket was on the losing side of a...

  • American History Magazine

    Jamestown at 400: Digging for Truth

    Forget what you’ve learned about Pilgrims and Plymouth Rock. Stunning new archaeological evidence reveals that the real roots of American independence and the entrepreneurial spirit which drove it were thriving in Virginia’s Tidewater....

  • American History Magazine

    American History DVD Review: The Plow That Broke the Plains and The...

    The Plow That Broke the Plains and The River Naxos, 112 minutes Before Al Gore and An Inconvenient Truth, Pare Lorentz pioneered the modern documentary with two films that explore the sometimes uneasy coexistence of man and nature.The Plow...

  • American History Magazine

    American History DVD Review: World War I- American Legacy

    World War I: American Legacy Inecom Entertainment, Widescreen, 112 minutes World War I had a profound impact on Americans on and off the battlefield. The well-educated sons of the nation’s elite were among the first to report to duty...

  • American History Magazine

    American History Book Review: American Bloomsbury

    American Bloomsbury: Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau—Their Lives, Their Loves, Their Work  By Susan Cheever, Simon & Schuster, 2006 Concord, Massachusetts, is...

  • American History Magazine

    Speaking American

    An 1816 church election threw fuel on a fiery national debate about immigrants, patriotism and the English language. In March 1816, Pennsylvania’s attorney general charged 59 German-American men with conspiring to harass and assault a...