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Emma Newcombe

Emma Newcombe has a Ph.D. in American and New England Studies from Boston University. Her research interests include nineteenth century American cultural and literary history, as well as the history of tourism. She is currently a writing instructor and a college advisor in Boston.

Now a federal holiday, its roots are based in local, grass-roots celebrations dating back to the Civil War. Once nearly forgotten, the rebirth of Juneteenth speaks to America’s ongoing struggle for racial equality.
In the 19th century, Franconia Notch, a popular tourist site known for its pristine beauty, came under threat from the logging industry. A coalition of women’s groups started a grass-roots campaign to conserve the region.
In 1917 the Supreme Court knocked down a discriminatory land use practice in Louisville, Ky. While the case made overt zoning segregation illegal, state and local government continued to find alternative ways to divide communities along racial lines.
From 1890-1930, they exploded across the American landscape, offering people the chance to own a home just outside the city. Lack of government support curtailed their growth, but these historic neighborhoods serve as models for efficient urban planning.
Located in upstate New York with a population of less than 4,000, Lake Placid was not an obvious choice for the 1932 Winter Olympics. But one man used his political savvy – with a little help from a future president – to turn the town into a two-time Olympic host.
Native Americans have had a deep-seated dislike for Thanksgiving and its sanitized version of colonial history. Fifty years ago, they took action and said enough is enough. A protest was born.
A collapsing rural economy and what to do about it has been a long-term policy problem. In the 1890s, states combined sentimentality and patriotism to woo young people back to their hometowns in New England and beyond.
Most Americans associate Labor Day with the end of summer. But the holiday was originally a form of worker activism during a period of rapid industrialization. Solidarity, not barbecue, was the buzzword back then.
In 1949, city officials desegregated a popular public swimming pool. The reactions of white citizens led to one of the largest race riots in the city’s history. The aftermath energized desegregation.
Bristol, R. I., has celebrated July Fourth for nearly 240 years, making it “The Most Patriotic Town in America.” Legendary Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci made the festivities not only historic, but infamous.