Ethnography

Watch: This black nurse from Queens invented the basis of the home security system

Marie Van Brittan Brown engineered a solution to her problem<p>Marie Van Brittan Brown returned home from her nursing shifts at odd hours of the night. …

Culture

Find Out How Wales Got Its Name

The fascinating etymology of the word Wales reveals a lot about the history of not just Wales, but Britain as a whole. Find out where Wales got its …

German History

Black Women’s Holy Ghost Work: Then and Now

“East Harlem leaves had the red tips of early autumn when Amaryllia (Lillie) Jones ventured down E. 131st Street in 1919 to her neighbors’ home for …

Black History

Hannibal Hamlin Death Couch

Abraham Lincoln's vice president took his last breath here on July 4, 1891.<p>An old couch sits in the rotunda of the Bangor Public Library in Maine. …

Culture

Live lizards were worn as accessories by fashion-forward women in the 1890s

Creepy crawly couture<p>Stainless steel dragonfly earrings from the 1990s? Pshaw. Critters have inspired baubles for centuries. At one point, people …

Culture

Don’t forget our heroes

There are many unsung heroes of the Jewish people. I just feel most of them are Sephardic. The further south and east you go from the shtetl in our …

Jewish Culture

Ronald Ross Memorial

A monument to the British doctor who connected mosquitoes to malaria.<p>The British doctor memorialized on an arch outside the Seth Sukhlal Karnani …

Culture

Teddy Kennedy used a secret message to get the Russians to intervene in Reagan’s 1984 re-election

‘We knew senators were doing this sort of thing all the time and we ignored it’<p>In 1991, Tim Sebastian, a reporter working on a story for the <i>Sunday</i></i> …

Culture

White Fragility, Anti-Racist Pedagogy, and the Weight of History

<b>by Justin Gomer and Christopher Petrella</b><p>On July 3, <i>The Boston Globe</i> published a controversial, if predictable, op-ed entitled “In Defense of White …

Black History

The Long, Painful History of Police Brutality in the U.S.

Last month, hours after a jury acquitted former police officer Jeronimo Yanez of manslaughter in the shooting death of 32-year-old Philando Castile, …

History

July 27, 1962, Martin Luther King Jr. jailed

Martin Luther King was an American Baptist minister and an activist who was the most prominent spokesperson and leader during the Civil Rights …

Black History

The Forgotten Religions That Worshipped Electricity

The Rev. Aaron Bickley stood on a rough wooden crate inside his revival tent in the middle of an open field in Salem, Ohio. It was the summer of …

Spirituality

The Jane Hotel

This historic building housed the surviving crew members of the Titanic, who were left destitute after the wreck.<p>On April 19, 1912, surviving crew …

Culture

This teen stalker stole Queen Victoria’s panties and lived in Buckingham Palace chimneys for a year

The cops had no idea what to do with the notorious Boy Jones<p>One of the earliest celebrity stalkers in recorded history lived in the walls of …

Culture

No, Nolan’s ‘Dunkirk’ doesn’t fail to honour France’s sacrifice

Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed portrayal of the British army’s miraculous escape in 1940 has been criticised in France for ignoring the French army's heroic last stand that made it possible – a swansong postwar France was all too eager to forget.<p>In one of the opening scenes of “Dunkirk”, a fleeing …

Culture

100 years ago African-Americans marched down 5th Avenue to declare that black lives matter

The only sounds were those of muffled drums, the shuffling of feet and the gentle sobs of some of the estimated 20,000 onlookers. The women and …

Black Lives Matter

At German Schools After WWII, Holocaust Survivors Studied Alongside Nazi Veterans

Dignified and erudite, Marcel Tuchman is the consummate Old World European, easily referencing history and literature. At 95, he still practices …

European History

The Problem with Confederate Monuments in Public Spaces

In a recent interview with Ezra Klein, Bryan Stevenson, executive director of the Equal Justice Commission, stated, “What we do in the memorial …

Black History

“Dunkirk”: A War Movie About Patriotic Ciphers

The outline of Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” is a clever twist on a familiar trilogy: land, sea, and air. Nolan parses a week of combat during the Second World War, from May 26 through June 4, 1940, and the effort to rescue British and French troops into those three components, and gives each a …

Culture

This Archaeological Discovery Has Re-Written Australian History

Archaeologists have unearthed an ancient camp-site in the Northern Territory, which proves that Aboriginal people have lived in Australia for a …

History

Mamie Smith: First Recorded African-American Female Blues Vocalist

Mamie Smith was the first African American female to record blues songs in 1920 with her version of Perry Bradford’s “Crazy Blues,” and “It’s Right …

Black History

Trenton Teapot Museum

The world's largest collection of porcelain "veilleuses-theiere," or night light teapots, includes four that belonged to Napoleon.<p>The city hall of …

Culture

The Intriguing Story Behind Voluntary Taxes in Ancient Greece

Archaeological site of Stoa Poikile, Ancient Agora of Athens | © Tomisti/WikiCommons<p>Liturgies worked on a voluntary basis at first, but there were …

Culture

Hot weather is related to urban unrest — as it was in 1967 — and climate change is bad news for that

In Detroit, spiking temperatures may have been the final provocation<p>Some say it was so hot you could see the heat shimmering off the pavement, that …

Culture

Decades Later, Memphis to Compensate Black Sanitation Strikers of 1968

For 63 mostly uninterrupted years, the rhythms of Elmore Nickleberry’s life have included the rumbles and roars of Memphis’s sanitation trucks. Even now, at 85 and the longest-tenured employee in the city’s history, Mr. Nickleberry still runs a downtown route until 3 a.m.<p>And in the darkness, he …

Black History

A Chinese Museum Is Offering Big Money to Whomever Can Decode This Ancient Script

The going rate is $15,000 per character.<p>It’s not bounty hunting, but it’s close: The National Museum of Chinese Writing in Anyang, Henan Province is …

Culture

North Korea once shot down an American spy plane—killing 31 soldiers—and we didn’t retaliate

The EC-121 incident came at a particularly tense time<p>The plane was nowhere to be found. At 7 a.m. on April 15, 1969, a spy aircraft called Deep Sea …

North Korea

The Most Crucial Design Job Of The Future

What is a data ethnographer, and why is it poised to become so important?<p>If artificial intelligence has any hope of expanding our understanding of the world, rather than simply reflecting old biases, it needs radical transparency. What does that mean? In part, it’s about giving consumers access to …

United States

Doc Explores How a Quiet Revolution in Baton Rouge Changed History

Christopher Tyson never learned about the Baton Rouge bus boycott of 1953 while he was in school.<p>While he knew that it happened in his hometown, Tyson — now a professor at the Louisiana State University Law Center — had no idea about the importance of the boycott in the context of the larger civil …

Black History

I Don’t Want to Watch Slavery Fan Fiction

Many fiction writers have tried, to varying degrees of success, to reimagine slavery or create alternate histories where the Civil War never happened or never ended, or the Confederacy won.<p>Most recently, in the novel “Underground Airlines<i>,”</i> Ben H. Winters created an alternate history where slavery …

Opinion