Why Color TV Was the Quintessential Cold War Machine

The Technological Innovation Transformed How Americans Saw the World, and How the World Viewed America

In 1959, at the height of the space race, Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Krushchev stood together, surrounded by reporters, in the middle of RCA’s color television display at the American National Exhibition in Moscow. Nixon, speaking to Krushchev through a translator, pointed proudly to the television camera before them and addressed the technological competition between the two nations that the leaders had just been debating. “There are some instances where you may be ahead of us, for example, in the development of the thrusts of your …

The Escaped Slave Who Discovered America

Esteban, a Captive of Spanish Explorers, Led an Eight-Year, 3,500-Mile Trek Across the Southwest and Mexico

“The first white man our people saw was a black man,” wrote historian and Pueblo native Joe Sando in Pueblo Nations.

Sando was referring to Esteban, an African who became the …

Why Don’t American Jews Search for Their Heritage in New York City?

Tourists Now See the Holocaust, Not the Lower East Side, as the Core of the Jewish Experience

While the Jewish heritage industry is booming in many places, it is struggling in New York.

This poses a problem not just for the city but also for those who …

Ulysses Grant’s Forgotten Fight for Native American Rights

The President and His Seneca Friend Ely Parker Wanted Indians to Gain Citizenship, But Their Efforts Are Mostly Lost to History

The man elected president in 1868—Ulysses S. Grant—was determined to change the way many of his fellow Americans understood citizenship. As he saw it, anyone could become an American, not …

How Hawai‘i Inspired the Advance of Aviation

In the 1920s, the Contest to Cross the Ocean and Reach the Islands Was Deadly—and Transformational

Approximately 20 million airline passengers traveled through Hawaiian airports last year. That might seem like a lot of people on a couple of small Pacific islands, but Hawai‘i hardly broke …