Diana W. Anselmo’s recent publication “Movie-Mad Girls: Female Suicidality in Early Twentieth-Century United States” explores the cultural and political reach of “bad feelings” beyond the strictly psychoanalytic. [Read more…] about Movie-Mad Girls: Early 20th Century Female Suicidality
Massachusetts Historical Society
The Massachusetts Historical Society will host “Mourning the Presidents: Loss & Legacy in American Culture,” a virtual program by Dr. Lindsay M. Chervinsky set for Monday, April 3rd. [Read more…] about Mourning the Presidents: Loss & Legacy in American Culture
The Massachusetts Historical Society will present the 2022 Peter J. Gomes Memorial Book Prize to Robert A. Gross for his book, The Transcendentalists and Their World (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2021), on Saturday, April 1st at the Concord Museum in Concord, Massachusetts. The event will also be held virtually. [Read more…] about The Transcendentalists and Their World
In the late 18th century, planters in the Caribbean and the American South insisted that only Black people could labor on plantations, arguing that Africans, unlike Europeans, had bodies particularly suited to cultivate crops in hot climates.
Katherine Johnston’s The Nature of Slavery (Oxford Univ. Press, 2022) disrupts this longstanding claim about biological racial difference. [Read more…] about The Nature of Slavery: Environment & Plantation Labor
The War of 1812 brought this issue into sharp relief, as a national government intent on waging an unpopular war confronted a populace in Massachusetts that was vigorously opposed to it. Maine, then part of Massachusetts, was the battleground in this political struggle. [Read more…] about Making Maine: Statehood & the War of 1812
Lola Belle Holmes and Julia Brown were African American women who spied for the FBI within the U.S. Communist Party in the 1940s-50s. In the 1960s, Brown and Holmes became speakers for the John Birch Society. Condemning Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a Communist sympathizer, they claimed subversives permeated the civil rights movement. [Read more…] about Civil Rights, Anticommunism & Black FBI Informants Lola Belle Holmes and Julia Brown
Admired by George Washington, ridiculed by Thomas Jefferson, published, and read far and wide, Phillis Wheatley led an extraordinary life. Seized in West Africa and forced into slavery as a child, she was sold to a merchant family in Boston, where she became a noted poet at a young age.
Mastering the Bible, Latin translations, and literary works, she celebrated political events, praised warriors, and used her verse to variously lampoon, question, and assert the injustice of her enslaved condition. [Read more…] about The Odyssey of Phillis Wheatley: A Poet’s Journey
In the mid-20th century, Americans had a great enthusiasm for all manner of keepsakes and mementos cast in bronze. On October 17, 1960, the National Hot Dog Council presented a life-size hot dog cast in bronze on a marble base to Republican vice-presidential candidate Henry Cabot Lodge Jr (1902-1985).
In the blur of events during the hard-fought presidential campaign, Lodge came to mistakenly believe that he had received the unusual gift during a visit to Nathan’s, the famous hot dog emporium in New York City. [Read more…] about Henry Cabot Lodge’s Bronze Hot Dog
Mapping the Gay Guides (MGG) relies on the Damron Guides, an early but longstanding travel guide aimed at gay men since the early 1960s. An LGBTQ equivalent to the African American “green books,” the Damron Guides contained lists of bars, bathhouses, cinemas, businesses, hotels, and cruising sites in every U.S. state, where gay men could find friends, companions, and sex. [Read more…] about Historical Travel: Mapping the Gay Guides
The most recent episode of the Massachusetts Historical Society’s (MHS) Object of History podcast “Furnishing Foreign Relations: Benjamin Joy’s Sea Chest,” examines an object from the first diplomatic mission between the United States and India. [Read more…] about Furnishing Foreign Relations: Benjamin Joy’s Sea Chest