The World War II “Wonder Drug” That Never Left Japan

For Workers and Soldiers, Taking Methamphetamine Was a Patriotic Duty That Hooked a Generation

Amphetamines, the quintessential drug of the modern industrial age, arrived relatively late in the history of mind-altering substances—commercialized just in time for mass consumption during World War II. In fact, the introduction of what is now Japan’s most popular illegal drug began as a result of the state promoting its use during the war.

With the possible exception of opium during the Opium Wars, no drug has ever received a bigger stimulus from armed conflict. “World War II probably gave the greatest impetus to date to legal, medically-authorized as well as …

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The Precarious Career of Hattie Caraway, America’s First Woman Senator | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Precarious Career of Hattie Caraway, America’s First Woman Senator

Elected to the ‘World's Most Exclusive Club’ From Arkansas in 1932, Caraway Was Ignored by Her Peers But Hounded by the Press

The first woman elected to the United States Senate is not a household name. That woman, Hattie Wyatt Caraway of Arkansas, kept a very low profile. She is not considered …

The Forgotten Legacy of Garbo’s Favorite Director | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Forgotten Legacy of Garbo’s Favorite Director

Clarence Brown Should Be Remembered for His Works of Subversive Empathy

Clarence Brown was a major figure in Hollywood’s Golden Age, directing Garbo and other glittering stars in films spread over five decades. He boasts the dubious—or is it admirable?—distinction of …

The 1992 Hip-Hop Song That Sounded Like a Revolution to Black Women | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The 1992 Hip-Hop Song That Sounded Like a Revolution to Black Women

Sir Mix-a-Lot’s Mega Hit 'Baby Got Back' Featured Powerful Women Dancers Who Changed America’s Beauty Norms

Throughout 400 years of the nation’s history, street dance has always been a tool for Americans who lack the social power to resist and seize control of public spaces. In …

The Postage Stamps That Flew Amelia Earhart Across the World | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Postage Stamps That Flew Amelia Earhart Across the World

In the 1930s, Collectors—Including FDR—Helped American Explorers Achieve Their Dreams 

Americans looking to bankroll adventures in the early 20th century had to get creative. Expeditions were not cheap, and even wealthy individuals needed financial assistance to pay for equipment …