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Alicia Vikander portrays Henry VIII's sixth wife, Catherine Parr, in the new film Firebrand.

The Real Story Behind 'Firebrand' and Henry VIII's Tumultuous Relationship With His Sixth Wife, Catherine Parr

A new film dramatizes how the Tudor queen narrowly avoided execution on charges of heresy

Rickwood Field is the oldest ballpark in the United States.

Everyone Should Know About Rickwood Field, the Alabama Park Where Baseball Legends Made History

The sport's greatest figures played ball in the Deep South amid the racism and bigotry that would later make Birmingham the center of the civil rights movement

Abraham Lincoln, William Judkins Thomson, half-plate ambrotype, 1858

See the Photographs That Introduced Americans to Their Presidents

The National Portrait Gallery traces early images of American leaders, from John Quincy Adams to Abraham Lincoln

“When I was making it, people laughed at me a good deal,” Charles F. Ritchel later said. “But so they did at Noah when he built the ark.”

Twenty-Five Years Before the Wright Brothers Took to the Skies, This Flying Machine Captivated America

First exhibited in 1878, Charles F. Ritchel's dirigible was about as wacky, dangerous and impractical as any airship ever launched

Louisiana Purchase State Park in Holly Grove, Arkansas, lies on the spot where the land surveys of the new territories originated.

How the United States Laid Claim to the Mississippi River, One Mile at a Time

Thomas Jefferson imagined the waterway as the heart of his “empire of liberty" as he dispatched surveyors to measure a land already occupied by Native Americans

Edmond O'Brien and Jan Sterling during the filming of a 1956 adaptation of George Orwell's 1984

What Does George Orwell's '1984' Mean in 2024?

Now 75 years old, the dystopian novel still rings alarm bells about totalitarian rule

War correspondent Martha Gellhorn (left) and her first husband, Ernest Hemingway, in 1940

Martha Gellhorn Was The Only Woman to Report on the D-Day Landings From the Ground

In June 1944, the veteran journalist hid on a hospital ship so she could report firsthand as Allied soldiers fought their way onto the beaches of Normandy

Gilbert Stuart painted the famous Lansdowne portrait of George Washington. 

Before Andy Warhol Set His Eyes on Marilyn and Prince, There Was Gilbert Stuart and George Washington

Two court cases over 200 years apart reflect what happens when commercial and artistic interests meet

Pasquino is the most famous of Rome's six talking statues.

Rome's Talking Statues Have Served as Sites of Dissent for Centuries

Beginning in the Renaissance, locals affixed verses protesting various societal ills to six sculptures scattered across the Italian city

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How Americans Got Hooked on Counting Calories More Than a Century Ago

A food history writer and an influential podcast host tell us how our thinking about health and body weight has—and hasn’t—evolved ever since Dr. Lulu Hunt Peters took the nation by storm

Calvin Coolidge poses with Native American leaders on the White House lawn in 1925.

A Century Ago, This Law Underscored the Promises and Pitfalls of Native American Citizenship

The 1924 Indian Citizenship Act sought to assimilate Native people into white society. But the legislation, signed by President Calvin Coolidge, fell short

The 1892 People's Grocery murders are “what opened my eyes to what lynching really was,” Ida B. Wells later wrote.

How the Murder of a Black Grocery Store Owner and His Colleagues Galvanized Ida B. Wells' Anti-Lynching Crusade

The saga of People's Grocery stands as a powerful reminder of the centrality of Black radicalism to the food justice movement

The Travelers’ Tour Through the United States featured a map of the then-24 states.

What America's First Board Game Tells Us About the Aspirations of a Young Nation

Released in 1822, the Travelers’ Tour Through the United States took players on a cross-country adventure

On May 21, 1924, Nathan Leopold Jr. (left) and Richard Loeb (right) murdered 14-year-old Bobby Franks. Leopold later described the pair's motive as “a sort of pure love of excitement, or the imaginary love of thrills, doing something different.”

Why Leopold and Loeb Committed Cold-Blooded Murder in the 'Crime of the Century'

A century ago, two Chicago teenagers killed an acquaintance named Bobby Franks for the thrill of it. The case captivated the nation and continues to fascinate the public today

Looming large on Philadelphia’s Broad Street, a ten-foot-high statue—a gift to the city from the Pennsylvania Freemasons—shows young Benjamin Franklin at his printing press.

Benjamin Franklin Was the Nation’s First Newsman

Before he helped launch a revolution, Benjamin Franklin was colonial America’s leading editor and printer of novels, almanacs, soap wrappers, and everything in between

The city gate of Ariassos, one of several ancient cities connected by the Pisidia Heritage Trail in the Taurus Mountains.

Hike Through Ancient Roman and Biblical History in Turkey’s Rugged Mountains

In southern Turkey, an extensive new trail network spirits trekkers to Pisidia, home to many lost treasures and a true crossroads of civilizations

A romanticized 1920 depiction of the capture of Blackbeard, one of history's most notorious pirates

Who Were the Real Pirates of the Caribbean?

During the Golden Age of Piracy, thousands of sea dogs sought fame and fortune. But the reality of a pirate's life was less enticing than movies and television shows suggest

Jenn Colella as Carrie Chapman Catt (center) in Suffs, a new Broadway musical about the women's suffrage movement

What the Broadway Musical 'Suffs' Gets Right (and Wrong) About the History of Women's Suffrage

The new show serves as an entertaining history lesson, but even that has its creative limits

The title page of one of the Folger’s First Folios.

How the Soon-to-Reopen Folger Shakespeare Library Came to Be

A full 82 copies of Shakespeare’s First Folio will go on view as the renovated Washington, D.C. institution makes its debut

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This Doctor Pioneered Counting Calories a Century Ago, and We’re Still Dealing With the Consequences

When Lulu Hunt Peters brought Americans a new method for weighing their dinner options, she launched a century of diet fads that left us hungry for a better way to keep our bodies strong and healthy

Photo of the day

An accepting neighborhood. People supporting each other. Gay Pride Month in Chicago. The original Pride flag which I think encompassed inclusion of all people. Neighborhood Pride