“A Public Menace”How the fight to ban The Birth of a Nation shaped the nascent civil rights movement.
Red SummerIn 1919, white Americans visited awful violence on black Americans. So black Americans decided to fight back.
A Body for the Body PoliticThe strange, sad, and gross saga of Abraham Lincoln’s two-week funeral procession.
A Gift Guide for Young HistoriansThe books that made scholars want to devote their future to examining the past.
“Your Future Is Very Dark”The incredible story of former CIA agent John T. Downey, the longest held American captive of war.
Slate Voice: “The Self-Made Man” Listen to Slate’s John Swansburg read his story on the myth of the self-made man.
Refugees of the Bosphorus Istanbul, 1944: A Bloomingdale’s executive and a future Pope teamed with Jewish intelligence agents to save hundreds of Eastern European Jews.
The First Victim of Sept. 11He was likely the first person killed, but his influence was felt that entire terrible day—online.
The Rock, Pre-Capone The long history of Alcatraz before it became America's first supermax prison.
Happy Captive Nations Week!It’s that time of year when we are supposed to celebrate one of the weirdest artifacts of the Cold War.
The PenInmates at America’s oldest women’s prison are writing a history of it—and exploding the myth of its benevolent founders.
Who Owns Lincoln’s Papers?Important presidential documents are in the hands of anonymous private collectors. It’s time they shared these treasures with the public.
There Goes the Neighborhood, AgainA gentrifier digs deep into his new home’s past in pursuit of its true historic owners.
History, or Just Horror?Should archives make images of eradicated diseases and antiquated treatments available for the world to see?
“It Wasn’t Just Character. It Was Circumstances.”John Swansburg and his editor Jessica Winter talk about how his history of the self-made man came to life.
They Can’t Buy BackboneFathers, sons, and the lesson of Herman Blume in my Slate essay about self-made men.
America in AfricaThe tragic, misunderstood history of Liberia—and why the United States has a special obligation to help it fight the Ebola epidemic.
A Short History of Postal BankingAs the debate over reinstituting postal banking heats up, we should know we had it. And it worked.
“A Shocking Sabbath Carnival of Death”James Gordon Bennett Jr.’s most eccentric public service announcement.
The Day We Didn’t Invade NormandyOn June 3, 1944, American radio broadcasters announced that D-Day had begun. Whoops.