With support from the University of Richmond

History News Network

History News Network puts current events into historical perspective. Subscribe to our newsletter for new perspectives on the ways history continues to resonate in the present. Explore our archive of thousands of original op-eds and curated stories from around the web. Join us to learn more about the past, now.

The Roundup Top Ten for May 19, 2023

I'm Headed to Florida to Teach-In Against DeSantis's Education Policies

by Kellie Carter Jackson

This May 17 saw a 24-hour teach-in by historians in St. Petersburg, Florida, to protest the restrictions on curriculum, books and ideas pushed by Governor Ron DeSantis and his allies. As a historian of abolition, the author stresses that denying people the pen may influence them to pick up the sword. 

Bull Connor's Police Dogs Shocked the Nation in 1963, but they were an American Tradition

by Joshua Clark Davis

"In 1963 liberal critics condemned the Alabama city’s K-9 unit as a relic of the Old South. The harder truth to accept, however, was that it was actually a product of a new America."

MLK: Christian, Radical

by Jonathan Eig

Veneration has hollowed out Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy, and obscured the way that his political leadership always aimed at radical transformation of American society, argues the author of an acclaimed new biography. 

If it's Ineffective and Harmful, Why is Gay Conversion Therapy Still Around?

by Andrea Ens

Conversion therapies endure because their purpose is political, not therapeutic. They seek and symbolize the eradication of LGBTQ people from society and are promoted by groups who want that eradication to happen. 

Florida Just Banned Everything I Teach

by William Horne

Black historians during the Jim Crow era observed that the history taught in schools justified slavery, segregation, and lynching. A professor thinks that's where Ron DeSantis's vision of history is headed. Some politicians may think curriculum is a winning issue, but students and society will lose. 

Texas Shooting Highlights Long History of Anti-Black Violence in Latino Communities

by Cecilia Márquez

History shows that there have long been strains of anti-black racism in Latino communities, and that the categories "white" and "latino" are not mutually exclusive. Understanding today's far right requires attention to those details. 

The Relevance of Common Law to Abortion Debate: How Did the Law Work in Practice?

by Katherine Bergevin, Stephanie Insley Hershinow and Manushag N. Powell

Samuel Alito's ruling in Dobbs claimed to ground itself in the English common law's treatment of pregnancy. But he focused on a small number of published treatises while ignoring the record of how the law actually treated pregnant women and fetuses. 

There's Never Been a Right Way to Read

by Adrian Johns

The intellectual work and play of reading has always competed with other demands on attention; only recently have science and commerce converged to sell remedies for distraction and proprietary methods for reading. 

China is Cutting the US Out of the Middle East with an Axis of the Sanctioned

by Juan Cole

Recent American policies have squandered an opportunity to engage poductively with Iran and Saudi Arabia and instead pushed them toward stronger economic development relationships with China. 

Henry Kissinger: A War Criminal Still at Large at 100

by Greg Grandin

Henry Kissinger was instrumental in Nixon's decision to undertake the illegal bombing of Cambodia. His foreign policy machinations also led him to push Nixon to the actions that led to Watergate and the president's downfall, though Kissinger has remained unaccountable.