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History, Arts and Literature

Covering topics of American history, including The Constitution, literature and various works of art.

Our resident humanities scholar asks, what happens when the glue that holds our society together stops sticking?
Thomas Jefferson thought that each generation should rewrite its own founding document. A constitutional scholar talks about the changes that could have happened if Americans had taken Jefferson up on his challenge.
Since the country’s founding, the federal government has had its fair share of scandals often followed by a congressional hearing to find out what went wrong and why. Some are famous, others less so.
The 33-year ordeal of Salman Rushdie came to head with a knife attack at a venerable cultural venue in upstate New York. That the onstage stabbing took place in America is a grim reminder of the need for eternal vigilance in defending the First Amendment.
In the 1940s, Black Georgians elected the second woman in the state to Congress. Her political rise and fall reveal the lengths that state officials would go to disenfranchise Black voters.
This large and largely unpopulated western state with a rich history is pioneering a new future by setting aside several million acres of public and private land to serve as natural habitat for returning bison and other displaced animals.
Lawmakers are seeking to downplay the role that slavery played in the development of the United States, but history tells a different story.
An apology by public officials would be the first step toward acknowledgment of government’s role in the sins of our past and the effects that linger today. And it would be the start of racial healing.
Most bridges aren’t built offsite and then moved to where they need to be. But that’s what happened in Detroit with an unusual infrastructure project that also called for saving an iconic music recording studio.
Two artists see the potential to bring theatrical disciplines to public meetings to better define the public’s role and make its participation more meaningful.
The Good Roads Movement of the late 19th century began as a grass-roots crusade to improve roads for bicyclists. By the 20th century, it had turned into a national effort embraced by the automobile industry, railroad tycoons and presidents.
As the country rapidly approaches its 250th birthday, it is not too early to define how it will be marked. Our resident humanities scholar wants to return to the Jefferson idea of rewriting the constitution — one that is for and by all Americans.
Construction is underway on Origin Park, built on 600 acres of post-industrial wasteland along the banks of the Ohio River.
Since John Roberts was confirmed as chief justice in 2005, the court has ruled in favor of religious organizations 83 percent of the time, chipping away at the "wall of separation" envisioned by Thomas Jefferson.
They once numbered in the thousands. Now, only a fraction are left, mostly abandoned and falling apart. But Kathy Wilner is determined to find every remaining one-room school in her state.