Making History Go Viral

Historians used the Twitter thread to add context and accuracy to the news cycle in 2018. Here’s how they did it.

Nov. 14 2018 1:16 PMWorld War WasteMemorials of World War I should focus on the truth—that it was bloody and pointless.
Oct. 25 2018 12:51 PMThe Far Right Is Claiming That Letter Bombs Are a “Liberal Tactic”But history shows that they are equal-opportunity terrorism.
Oct. 2 2018 8:00 AMThe Origins of Prison SlaveryHow Southern whites found replacements for their emancipated slaves in the prison system.
July 26 2018 4:51 PMWe’re Never Going to Get Our “Have You No Sense of Decency, Sir?” MomentBecause that moment from the 1954 Army-McCarthy hearings isn’t quite what we remember.
May 2 2018 5:31 PMKanye’s Brand of “Freethinking” Has a Long, Awful HistoryHis condemnation of enslaved people’s failure to rebel is drawn from a dangerous ideology that’s older than the United States.
March 5 2018 5:50 AMWho Does She Stand For?As the Statue of Liberty turned 100, our long battle over immigration was having its moment in Reagan’s America.
Jan. 16 2018 9:52 AMA Coup in North CarolinaHow white supremacists overthrew Wilmington’s legally elected city government.
Dec. 21 2017 1:47 PMA Radical Right to HappinessThe 19th-century fight over theatergoing that revolutionized human rights.
Nov. 30 2017 3:32 PMThe Roots of Jim CrowHow the Supreme Court failed to protect Black Americans’ hard-won rights of citizenship during Reconstruction.
Nov. 22 2017 12:28 PMWhat Killed Thanksgiving Puddings?The savory treat was once a major part of the American diet until a backlash against “mixed” foods began to brew.
Nov. 8 2017 2:11 PMHow Andrew Johnson Doomed the Roanoke Island Freedmen’s ColonyAmid flailing efforts to secure land for former slaves, the new president ruthlessly prioritized Confederate resettlement over the advancement of freed people.
Nov. 1 2017 3:48 PMHow Homesteading FailedAfter Emancipation, it was circumstance—not citizenship—that enabled freedmen in Klan-run Alabama to acquire the land they had worked in bondage.
Oct. 27 2017 5:56 AMIntroducing ReconstructionOur new Slate Academy finds the seeds of our present politics in the period after the Civil War.
Aug. 24 2017 10:47 AMThe Nazis Were Obsessed With MagicWhat can their fascination with the supernatural teach us about life in our own post-truth times?
Aug. 4 2017 1:40 PMThe Yakima TerrorNinety years ago in Washington, a wave of anti-immigrant sentiment resulted in horror for Filipinos.
Nov. 1 2018 11:43 AMA History of Anti-HIAS HateRobert Bowers was not the first to scapegoat the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. Government officials did it for years.
Oct. 19 2018 1:56 PMA Devil’s BargainThe Proud Boys’ acceptance at a fancy Republican club looks a lot like the courtship between conservatives and fascists before WWII.
Oct. 1 2018 5:55 AMWhat One Historian Learned About Believing 19th-Century Women in the Age of #MeToo
June 29 2018 10:53 AMEnemies of the StateAmerica has always discriminated in the name of national security. It’s just gotten better at pretending it’s not.
April 11 2018 1:51 PMThe Secret Cohesion of White SupremacistsOur failure to understand white power as a broader social movement has prevented us from combating it.
Feb. 22 2018 5:57 AM“They Were Assumed to Be Puppets of Martin Luther King Jr.”For decades, we’ve been replaying the same absurd partisan debate over whether to take high school activism seriously.
Dec. 29 2017 5:00 AMWhen Tyranny HappenedThe federal government’s legalization of racial violence after the Civil War.
Dec. 8 2017 7:20 AMThe Oppressor’s BookshelfAs formerly enslaved Americans battled to become literate, the only books available to them were written by white supremacists and condescending abolitionists.
Nov. 28 2017 11:52 AMA Revolution Comes HomeHow wage relations evolved after emancipation compelled slave owners to pay the domestic workers they had once enslaved.
Nov. 9 2017 3:10 PMWhat It TakesThe freedmen and Radical Republicans who managed to win power in local governments during Reconstruction.
Nov. 3 2017 6:11 PM“Angry, Scared, Armed People”The Nov. 4 conspiracy theory about antifa has some scary historical echoes.
Oct. 27 2017 5:57 AMWhat Happened to the Plantations?How freedpeople pursued the dream of land ownership during Reconstruction, and how they were denied.
Oct. 27 2017 5:55 AMA Timeline of ReconstructionA Slate Academy guide to the key events that defined America from 1863 through 1883.
Aug. 18 2017 5:05 PMDismantled but Not DestroyedOne alternative to tearing down Confederate monuments: creatively repurposing them.
July 13 2017 7:45 AMThe Shame of RikersThe odious 19th-century history of Rikers Island provides just one more good reason to shut it down.