The New York Times
Racial Inequality Was Tearing the U.S. Apart, a 1968 Report Warned. It Was Ignored.
Anger over policing and inequality boiled over in 1967 in protests and violence across the United States. A landmark report warned that without major changes, it would happen again.
What the Bungled Response to HIV Can Teach Us About Dealing With Covid-19
Politics, public health and a pandemic. What we didn’t learn from HIV.
Why We Can't Have a Civil Conversation About Guns
In the 1980s, the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan and the shooting of his press secretary, Jim Brady, led to the Brady Bill. Decades later, are there lessons from that fight for the Parkland students?
Could You Patent the Sun?
Decades after Dr. Jonas Salk opposed patenting the polio vaccine, the pharmaceutical industry has changed. What does that mean for the development of innovative drugs and for people whose lives depend on them?
Meatless Burgers Are on Trend. Eating to Save the World Has a Long History.
Plant-based meats may be high tech, but the ideas behind them have been around for decades.
She Derailed the Fight for Equal Rights for Women
Even in the #MeToo era, many people don’t know that the Equal Rights Amendment never passed…because of one woman. Her name is Phyllis Schlafly.
Why the Cold War Race for Nuclear Weapons Is Still a Threat
Russian President Vladimir Putin controls the world’s largest nuclear arsenal, and his invasion of Ukraine is a reminder that Russia, the U.S. and many other countries have thousands of nuclear missiles, even as safeguards once in place have fallen away.
Raising Doubts About Evolution… in Science Class
A skepticism of science has seeped into the classroom, and it’s revived attacks on one of the most established principles of biology – evolution.
Gerrymandering Tilts Political Power. Here’s How Redistricting Affects Democracy.
Both parties play the redistricting game, redrawing electoral boundaries to lock down power.
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Presidents v. Press: How the Pentagon Papers Leak Set Up First Amendment Showdowns
Efforts to clamp down on White House leaks to the press follow a pattern that was set during the Nixon era after the publication of the Pentagon Papers.
How a Folk Singer’s Murder Forced Chile to Confront Its Past
Víctor Jara was a legendary Chilean folk singer and political activist, whose brutal killing during a military coup in 1973 went unsolved for decades. Now, his family may finally get justice.
A Trusted Pill Turned Deadly. How Tylenol Made a Comeback
How do some companies regain public trust after something goes seriously wrong, while others fail? A look at how Tylenol responded after someone spiked its pills with poison in the 1980s sheds some light.
Blazes That Damaged Yellowstone Changed Wildfire Strategy
A rapidly growing California wildfire is threatening a grove of giant Sequoia trees in Yosemite National Park, some nearly 3,000 years old. For context, we examine the 1988 fires in Yellowstone National Park that ignited a debate over firefighting tactics and sustainable forestry.
For Private Prisons, Detaining Immigrants Is Big Business
An inmate population surge in the 1980s led to the growth of for-profit prisons. Today, despite their mixed record, private prison companies are overseeing the vast majority of undocumented migrants.
Abortion Was Illegal. This Secret Group Defied the Law
The Supreme Court has reversed Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that established the constitutional right to abortion. We tell the story of the Jane Collective, which provided thousands of illegal abortions from 1969 to 1973.
Conspiracy Theories and Fake News from JFK to Pizzagate
Retro Report explores decades of conspiracy theories – from the John F. Kennedy assassination to Pizzagate – and what they can tell us about how we view the world today.
Lobotomy: A Dangerous Fad's Lingering Effect on Mental Illness Treatment
From the 1930s to the 1950s a radical surgery – the Lobotomy – would forever change our understanding and treatment of the mentally ill.
Why Supreme Court Confirmations Have Become So Bitter
The defeat of Robert Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court in 1987 changed the way justices are confirmed today.
Rachel Carson’s Warning on D.D.T. Ignited an Environmental Movement
Author Rachel Carson’s strike against the pesticide DDT turned her into both an environmental hero and a foil for those who believe regulation has gone too far. That fight is more relevant than ever.
Sanctuary Cities: An Uproar That Began Long Ago
As deportations of unauthorized immigrants rose under President Donald Trump, some churches and cities declared themselves sanctuaries and shielded migrants from immigration enforcement.