Great Depression

“The First Lady” dramatizes the challenges faced by three first wives (L to R): Betty Ford (portrayed by Michelle Pfeiffer), Eleanor Roosevelt (Gillian Anderson) and Michelle Obama (Viola Davis).

Based on a True Story

The True History Behind Showtime's 'The First Lady'

The new series dramatizes the White House years of Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford and Michelle Obama

Today, Betty Boop is an immediately recognizable cultural icon, appearing on everything from luggage to coffee mugs to chunky heels to board games.

The Evolution of Betty Boop

Film censorship sparked the beloved cartoon character's mid-1930s makeover

Pruitt took roughly 88,000 photographs of life in and around Columbus, Mississippi, between 1916 and 1960. Pictured: a Black baptismal group on the bank of the Tombigbee River, circa 1930s

Chronicling the Triumphs—and Tragedies—of Life in the Deep South

A new book and traveling exhibition highlight the work of Mississippi photographer O.N. Pruitt

The 1946 film It's a Wonderful Life stars James Stewart as down-on-his-luck George Bailey and Donna Reed as his wife, Mary.

What 'It's a Wonderful Life' Teaches Us About American History

The Christmas classic, released 75 years ago, conveys many messages beyond having faith in one another

A postcard of Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, New York, from 1914

Five of America's Most Invincible Hotels

From Miami to San Francisco, these luxury establishments survived their share of crises before the Covid-19 pandemic

To mark its 35th birthday, American Girl rereleased its original six characters (L to R): Felicity Merriman, Kirsten Larson, Samantha Parkington, Addy Walker, Josefina Montoya and Molly McIntire.

The Enduring Nostalgia of American Girl Dolls

The beloved line of fictional characters taught children about American history and encouraged them to realize their potential

If you hike to the Minam River Lodge, thinking about the amazing food, including smokehouse bacon and foraged morels, may keep you going.

What a Vintage Guidebook Taught Me About Oregon's Past and Present

Our writer takes a quirky trip through Oregon, from a wilderness lodge to a Gilded Age saloon to a town hidden underground

Suffragist Rosalie Barrow Edge founded the world's first refuge for birds of prey.

Planet Positive

How Mrs. Edge Saved the Birds

Meet a forgotten hero of our natural world whose brave campaign to protect birds charted a new course for the environmental movement

Between 1957 and 1982, “Sunrise Semester” broadcasted lectures from NYU faculty to the general public.

Education During Coronavirus

The 1950s TV Show That Set the Stage for Today's Distance Learning

"Sunrise Semester" gave a generation of women a second chance at higher education

Helen Viola Jackson, who wed U.S. Army veteran James Bolin in 1936, died on December 16 at age 101.

History of Now

The Last Surviving Widow of a Civil War Veteran Dies at 101

Helen Viola Jackson married James Bolin in 1936, when she was 17 and he was 93

Crossroads General Store​, circa 1938

Virtual Travel

Explore Dorothea Lange's Iconic Photos With These Online Exhibitions

Digital hubs from the Oakland Museum of California and the Museum of Modern Art showcase the American photographer's oeuvre

John Dillinger's mugshot.

Why John Dillinger’s Relatives Want to Exhume His Body

They suspect that the man killed by federal agents in 1934 was not, in fact, the outlaw, but a Dillinger expert dismisses the theory as 'total nonsense'

Here's What Al Capone’s Philadelphia Prison Cell Really Looked Like

The mob boss spent nine months imprisoned at Eastern State Penitentiary, and a new exhibition shows his stay was less glamorous than it was portrayed

New Research

New Analysis of Depression-Era Fossil Hunt Shows Texas Coast Was Once a 'Serengeti'

Over 11 million years ago, the area was full of animals

The volume of poetry is set to be sold alongside a trove of photographs passed down by the Barrow family.

Notebook of Poetry Penned by Bonnie and Clyde Set to Go on Auction

The volume features poems written by the outlaw duo during their Depression-era crime spree

William Dudley Pelley, Silver Shirt leader, pictured as he appeared before Congress.

History of Now

The Screenwriting Mystic Who Wanted to Be the American Führer

William Dudley Pelley and his Silver Shirts were just one of many Nazi-sympathizers operating in the United States in the 1930s

Luisa Moreno, born to a wealthy Guatemalan family, struck out on her own at a young age, eager to alter the world around her for the better.

Guatemalan Immigrant Luisa Moreno Was Expelled From the U.S. for Her Groundbreaking Labor Activism

The little-known story of an early champion of workers’ rights receives new recognition

Norman Rockwell (above in a 1968 photograph by Garry Camp Burdick), who created more than 300 original covers for the Saturday Evening Post over the course of his long career, was already widely known for his rich visualizations of the American dream when he set about the challenging task of animating FDR's Four Freedoms.

Norman Rockwell's 'Four Freedoms' Brought the Ideals of America to Life

This wartime painting series reminded Americans what they were fighting for

In Search of the Real Grant Wood

The denim-clad artist who painted American Gothic wasn’t the hayseed he’d have you believe

Marie and Pierre Curie in the laboratory.

Three Quirky Facts About Marie Curie

In honor of her 150th birthday, let's review a few lesser-known pieces of her personal history

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