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History, Arts and Literature

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

What do you do when you feel trapped by family lineage? Prince Harry of Britain chose a scorched earth approach. A century ago, a sharp-tongued daughter of American royalty known as Princess Alice blazed a different path.
Our attention to attacks on political figures fades quickly as we move on, seeing them as the isolated acts of deranged individuals. But we need to face up to the deep problems they reflect in our society.
Nineteen states have never had a woman as chief executive, and only a few have had more than one. What made Arizona such an outlier?
In the 19th century, Americans sought a more sentimental way to honor their dead. The unintended result was a rise in green spaces within urban areas, as well as the creation of the first suburbs.
The excesses of the American dream fill 50,000 storage facilities across the country. This material overflow results from crisis, indecision, laziness and selective forgetfulness.
With his unprecedented call for the termination of the U.S. Constitution, Donald Trump seems to ignore the lesson of Andrew Jackson, another aggrieved presidential aspirant who lived to fight – and win – another election.
We’ve tried several approaches, and all have their strengths and weaknesses. But one relic of the Progressive Era is on the way out.
Born of opportunities created in the aftermath of the Civil War, modern day carpetbaggers are simply opportunistic — and voters no longer seem to care anymore about unrooted candidates.
A museum and memorial in a onetime Confederate capital preserve the memories of slavery, lynching and Jim Crow. Yet too much of that past is still around us.
Former presidents have managed to talk their way out of trouble, even if by the skin of their teeth. There may be a lesson in that for us today.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, more than a dozen states enacted legislation barring Asians from purchasing property. But immigrants and their families used the court system and legal loopholes to fight back.
The way we deal with it says a lot about our national and local cultures. Reforming it may not be so much about formal government action as about humans’ willingness to change their habits.
Museums are the institutional embodiment of the historical practice that to the victor go the spoils. More recently, the return of select artifacts is intended to set things right, but it’s complicated.
After the Civil War, white Southern leaders anchored the protection of their way of life in the private ownership of firearms. Piggybacking on American mobility, those ideas migrated out of the South.
Bans are an illiberal idea that undermines a long and honorable tradition of making knowledge and ideas widely available, making people free to choose what to read for themselves.
In June, a museum housing the world’s largest collection of works by Chicano artists opened in Riverside, Calif. Years of community-based work and a partnership with collector Cheech Marin set the stage for success.