Thank the Pilgrims for America’s Tradition of Separatism, Division, and Infighting

They Were Not the Nation's First Settlers, but They Were the Most Fractious

December marks the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ landing at Plymouth, the moment habitually yet mistakenly thought of as the beginning of America. The conflation of New England’s history with that of the nation at large, encouraged by generations of Harvard-reared scholars, continues to warp Americans’ understanding of their past. By the time the Mayflower dropped anchor off Cape Cod, the Jamestown settlement in Virginia had survived (barely) for more than a decade, while Spanish settlements at Santa Fe, New Mexico, and St. Augustine, Florida, were far older.

In part, the …

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Will Holograms Help Us Grieve? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Will Holograms Help Us Grieve?

Ready or Not, Digital Afterlives Are Here to Stay

Long before Kim Kardashian West made headlines for being gifted a hologram of her deceased father for her 40th birthday, a panel session at South by Southwest Interactive, an annual …

Why CRISPR May Be the Most Important Thing to Happen on the Planet in 4.5 Billion Years | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why CRISPR May Be the Most Important Thing to Happen on the Planet in 4.5 Billion Years

This Gene-Editing Technology Promises to Revolutionize Medicine, Spark Ethical Debate, and Might Even Bring Woolly Mammoths Back to Earth

Bringing extinct species back to life may sound like science fiction, but it’s a real thing—perhaps the most important to occur during the past 4.5 billion years. Called “de-extinction,” the …

How a Royal Illness Spurred a Public Health Revolution | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How a Royal Illness Spurred a Public Health Revolution

For Decades, the British Ignored One of the Greatest Health Calamities of Their Age. Then the Prince of Wales Contracted Typhoid Fever

In the early hours of Friday, October 9, President Donald Trump announced that he, like nearly 8 million other Americans in the past eight months, had tested positive for COVID-19. …

Understanding the History of Fire Can Help Us Fight Today’s Biggest Blazes | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Understanding the History of Fire Can Help Us Fight Today’s Biggest Blazes

Lessons From the Past and Warnings for the Future in 400 Million Years of Geological Record

Charcoal fragments are black, often small, and generally unremarkable. Most people would not realize it if they were to come across one. But over the past 40 years or so, …