Photo of old books with candles, a feather, and round framed glasses
American History

Thomas Jefferson’s Books

May 9, 2017

The story of America’s founding—great men who debated, argued, persuaded, and negotiated their way to the U.S. Constitution—is as dramatic and instructive as any in the nation’s history. Read how Thomas Jefferson was influenced by Enlightenment politics and which books influenced the author of The Declaration of Independence. […]

American History

An Icon of History: Thomas Jefferson’s Bible

April 13, 2017

Jefferson’s bible is an amazing artifact. It provides insight into Jefferson’s views and his handiwork, an amazing illustration of how this founding father himself practiced the freedom of religion so avidly sought for all Americans. […]

Image of Mt Vernon estate for the Islam in America article
American History

Islam in America — The American Revolution

April 12, 2017

Former President Barack Obama stated “Islam has always been a part of America.” History confirms this to be undeniably true. Read more from The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington & The Great Courses Daily. […]

Image of Marian Anderson singing at Lincoln Memorial
American History

The Smithsonian Collection—Marian Anderson’s Mink Coat

April 7, 2017

On Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939 African American contralto Marian Anderson performed an unprecedented open-air concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. What she wore on that day illustrated that, despite stereotypes and obstacles, an African American woman could transcend entrenched social and cultural barriers to achieve fame, fortune, and success. […]

The Hope Diamond (Image: Unknown/Public domain)
American History

The Curse of The Hope Diamond

March 12, 2017

There had been, over the years—even decades—numerous stories about how the Hope Diamond carried an ancient curse. Several commentators questioned the wisdom of accepting the diamond. If the Smithsonian was the national museum of the United States and it acquired the Hope Diamond, then the country would own it. Would the American people then be cursed? […]

Statue of Liberty
American History

Symbols of Freedom: The Statue of Liberty

February 14, 2017

The Statue of Liberty is a symbol of freedom, recognized around the world, and it heralded this wave of immigration that gave America a much more diverse face, though it didn’t start out that way, or with that purpose in mind. […]

Portrait of Thomas Jefferson
American History

The Inauguration of Thomas Jefferson

January 20, 2017

By Gary W. Gallagher, Ph.D., University of Virginia; Patrick N. Allitt, Ph.D., Emory University; Allen C. Guelzo, Ph.D., Gettysburg University There was no question in Thomas Jefferson’s mind but that his […]

Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mathew Ahmann in a crowd.
American History

Martin Luther King, Jr.— American Prophet

January 16, 2017

By Allen C. Guelzo, PhD, Gettysburg College Martin Luther King, Jr.’s success stemmed from formidable oratory skills sharpened at the pulpit coupled with an intellectual […]

(Image: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock)
American History

Remember the Alamo

January 8, 2017

By Allen C. Guelzo,PhD, Gettysburg College As Americans swarmed into the territories of the Louisiana Purchase, they triggered a major conflict with Mexico over American […]

Al Capone in Miami, Florida (Image: By Miami Police Department - http://getcapone.com/gallery.html/Public Domain)
American History

Al Capone: Lord of The Chicago Underworld

January 4, 2017

Throughout American history, the names of certain criminals have taken on romantic associations. Al Capone is a case in point. Capone, who was born in 1899 and lived until 1947, became the leading organized crime figure in Chicago during the 1920s, when the unpopular Prohibition Amendment to the Constitution tempted thousands of citizens to cooperate with criminals to procure alcohol. […]

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