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 and crews. But two notable explorers got especially imaginative by relying on an early version of crowdfunding that piggybacked on a budding American craze: collecting stamps.

Antarctic explorer Navy Rear Admiral Richard Byrd and transatlantic pilot Amelia Earhart made thousands for their journeys by selling postmarked souvenir envelopes and stamps that commemorated their travels. They were helped along by “Stamp-Collector-in-Chief” …

In the 1930s, America Defaulted on Its Debt. It Could Happen Again.

FDR's Decision to Drop the Gold Standard Holds Resonance Today as Big Bills Come Due

In the darkest days of the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, with support from Congress and the Supreme Court, agreed to wipe out more than 40 percent of public …

When the U.S. Government Asked American Families to Turn in Their Gold

American Default: The Untold Story of FDR, the Supreme Court, and the Battle Over Gold

At $20 trillion, the national debt of the United States is slightly bigger than the annual output of the American economy. Government shutdowns and brinksmanship about extending the country’s debt …

The Reporter Who Helped Persuade FDR to Tell the Truth About War

After Witnessing the Bloody Struggle with Japan, Robert Sherrod Thought the Public Should Face the 'Cruel' Facts

Betio, part of the Tarawa Atoll, is a small, bird-shaped island along the equator in the central Pacific. Early in the morning on November 20, 1943, elements of the Second …

The New Deal Origins of Homeland Security

During FDR’s Administration, the First Lady and the Mayor of New York Clashed Over Guns, Butter, and American Liberalism

Ever since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Americans have faced a set of seemingly unprecedented national security challenges and anxieties. Our society has been consumed with debates …