Cultural History

How Jazz Changed the World

By Jessica Fellowes

Jessica Fellowes discusses the history behind her recently released novel, The Mitford Scandal, focusing on the birth of jazz in America and its cultural impact on post-WWI London. … Read the article

Sidney Lumet: “Eating Ham for Uncle Sam”

by Maura Spiegel

Acclaimed as the ultimate New York movie director, Sidney Lumet began his astonishing directing career with the now classic 12 Angry Men, followed by such landmark films as Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, and Network. In this excerpt from the highly-entertaining biography, … Read the article

A Family Memoir of War Across Three Continents

by Mieke Eerkens

Internment Camp Lampersari, Semarang, Dutch East Indies, December 28, 1942

Authority in Lampersari is established immediately. As they enter the camp, some women are pulled from the line and their suitcases opened to be searched for contraband: … Read the article

The Golden Age of the Pullman Car

by Jack Kelly

2019 marks the 150th anniversary of the completion of the first transcontinental railroad. When builders pounded the golden spike at Promontory Point, Utah, on May 10, 1869, they opened a new era in transportation. But long train … Read the article

Exploring the LGBT History of Brooklyn

by Hugh Ryan

Hugh Ryan’s When Brooklyn Was Queer is a groundbreaking exploration of the LGBT history of Brooklyn, from the early days of Walt Whitman in the 1850s up through the queer women who worked at the Brooklyn Navy … Read the article

Wild Bill: Baseball “Player”

by Tom Clavin

With Major League Baseball emerging from its winter slumber, fans tend to acknowledge what anniversaries the new season brings us. In 2019, it was the centennial of the infamous Black Sox scandal, when gangsters fixed the outcome … Read the article

Recovering History’s Most Expensive Turtle

by Peter Laufer

The clash of old and new in Yunnan Province, China, is mind-numbing. Ancient Buddhist temples vie for attention with massive infrastructure projects around the provincial capital, Kunming: parades of towering apartment blocks, superhighways and bullet trains. One … Read the article

Christmas in 1920s America

by Maia Chance

In 1921, Frances Lester Warner described a Christmas Eve scene in Boston with “red and white crystal” in shop windows, “lights gleaming on the slippery cross-streets, throngs of last-minute shoppers” and “bright posters still cheerfully advising us … Read the article

5 Vintage Christmas Cards from the NYPL Archive

by New York Public Library

Every year as the days grow shorter, amidst the holly, cookies, and carols there is another timeless holiday tradition—sending and receiving Christmas cards to and from those you love. 100 Christmas Wishes is a collection of vintage … Read the article