‘Slackers’: The 1918 Influenza Pandemic and Face Masks

As the US battled the 1918 influenza pandemic, some communities staged contentious battles against wearing masks. Sound familiar? We have all seen the alarming headlines: Coronavirus cases are surging in 40 states, with new cases and hospitalization rates climbing at an alarming rate. Health officials have warned that the U.S. must act quickly to halt[…]

The Black Nurses Who Were Forced to Care for German Prisoners of War

Prohibited from attending the white GIs, the women felt betrayed by the country they fought to serve. On the summer afternoon in 1944 that 23-year-old Elinor Powell walked into the Woolworth’s lunch counter in downtown Phoenix, it never occurred to her that she would be refused service. She was, after all, an officer in the[…]

How Abolitionists Fought – and Lost – the Battle with America’s Sweet Tooth

Cane sugar was the source of oppression and bitter opposition before cotton became the symbol of American slavery. Today, land developer and businessman William Cooper is best known for founding Cooperstown, New York, home of the Baseball Hall of Fame. But back in the 1790s, Cooper was a judge and a congressman who used his[…]

The Woman Who Boycotted Sugar to Abolish Slavery in the British Empire

Exploring the first boycott against sugar made with slave labor in the West Indies. Introduction While many companies have trumpeted their support for the Black Lives Matter movement, others are beginning to face consumer pressure for not appearing to do enough. For example, some people are advocating a consumer boycott of Starbucks over an internal[…]

The Legislation of Lycurgus and Solon: Politics and Law in Ancient Greece

Two alternative conceptions of government – a republic and an oligarchy. By Friedrich Schiller18th-Century Philosopher and Historian Schiller delivered his essay on Lycurgus and Solon in the context of his lectures on Universal History, at Jena University, in August 1789. The essay puts forth two alternative conceptions of government—a republican and an oligarchic form—which have[…]

The Code of Hammurabi: Crime and Punishment in Ancient Egypt

Although a social hierarchy placed some in privileged positions, the code proscribed punishments applicable to all classes. Introduction The Code of Hammurabi (also known as the Codex Hammurabi and Hammurabi’s Code), created ca. 1780 B.C.E., is one of the earliest sets of laws found and one of the best preserved examples of this type of[…]