America Explained

Mapp v. Ohio: Illegal Search and Seizure

Mapp v. Ohio was a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that safeguarded the Fourth Amendment right to privacy after a Cleveland woman was wrongly convicted following an illegal search of her home.

What is The Department of the Treasury?

The Department of the Treasury, inspired by its first secretary, Alexander Hamilton, is responsible for managing the production of money and maintaining the crucial systems underpinning the financial infrastructure of the United States.

Espionage: White Propaganda

Often deployed by governments during times of crisis, white propaganda has a known source and simple slogans, and uses strong visuals to rally public opinion.

Museum of Artifacts That Made America

The Great American Songbook

The Great American Songbook, a collection of jazz standards and show tunes created by talented songwriters in early 20th century New York, provided solace and joy during difficult times in U.S. history.

Nixon’s Tape Recorder

Installed in selected rooms at the White House on the President’s orders, this is the story of how a state-of-the-art recording system ultimately led to Richard Nixon’s downfall.

The History of the Rainbow Flag

The rainbow flag is one of the most recognisable symbols in the world, synonymous with tolerance and LGBTQ+ rights. But how was it created?

Hidden Figures

Josephine Baker: Actor, Singer, Spy

Actor and singer Josephine Baker spent her life resisting racial discrimination at home and abroad. During World War II, she bravely used her fame to fight back against the Nazis.

Women and the American Story

Yuri Kochiyama: Unyielding Voice for Justice

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, thousands of Japanese-Americans were interned on U.S. soil. Determined to right this wrong, Yuri Kochiyama testified to Congress and helped those affected win $20,000 in compensation.

Wilma Mankiller

Wilma Mankiller, a Native American activist who became the first female chief of her tribe, dedicated her life to the Cherokee Nation and the expansion of Indigenous rights.

Afong Moy

Afong Moy is believed to be the first Chinese woman to step foot on U.S. soil and her presence sparked an American fascination with Chinese culture, but her experience in the United States was far from welcoming.

David Pharaoh Asserts Indigenous Rights

Montaukett leader David Pharaoh fought for indigenous land rights – and established a lasting legacy as the founder of America’s first Montaukett school.

Wong Kim Ark’s Fight for Birthright Citizenship

By taking on the US government and winning, Wong Kim Ark ensured that the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution granted citizenship to every American by birth, regardless of their race or ethnicity.

Art That Changed America

The Federal Art Project and The New Deal

Thanks to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s ambitious New Deal plan, American artists were able to keep working during the Great Depression. The work they produced remains a key part of the American landscape.

Indigenous North American Tattoos

To Indigenous North Americans, tattoos aren’t just decorative, they’re also sacred, rich in artistry and meaning, and of huge social, cultural and religious significance.

How Art Saved Yellowstone National Park

The first dedicated National Park anywhere in the world, Yellowstone attracts millions of visitors every year. It was saved for posterity by the work of two pioneering artists.

Wild Wild West

John Wesley Powell: Wild West Explorer

Despite losing an arm in the US Civil War, John Wesley Powell was one of the great explorers of the American West, and made history as the man who mapped the Grand Canyon.

Remember the Alamo

The Battle of the Alamo has become the stuff of legend – when 200 brave Texan fighters took a stand against a Mexican force of thousands. But there’s more to the story than meets the eye.

Power to the People

The Blowouts

In 1968, thousands of Latino students walked out of school in Los Angeles to protest against racial inequality in the classroom. Their collective action, known as the Blowouts, was a defining moment of the Chicano Movement.

The Explosive Story of Dynamite Hill

When Black residents moved into one neighborhood in Birmingham, Alabama, White supremacists unleashed a wave of terror against the community.

The Birmingham Childrens’ Crusade

In 1963, school children from Birmingham, Alabama skipped class to demonstrate for racial equality. Met with police violence, they helped to bring about significant change.

Slavery in the Presidents’ Neighborhood

Things You Didn’t Know

Charles Curtis: Native American Vice President

In 1929, Charles Curtis – a member of the Kaw Nation – made history by becoming the first Vice President of color in the U.S. Yet he left behind a complicated legacy that some claim had a lasting negative impact on Native Americans.

WWII POW Camps on U.S. Soil

Between 1942 and 1946, the U.S. government constructed around 700 POW camps on U.S. soil, housing around 400,000 captured enemy soldiers. But what were the conditions like there?

The Know Nothings

In the mid 19th century a new political party, the Know Nothings, set the stage for xenophobia and nationalism to take root in American politics.

Academy of American Democracy

Voting in Ancient Athens

The United States is a representative democracy where people vote for politicians to govern on their behalf – but voting in the direct democracy of ancient Athens was a very different process.

Race in Ancient Greece

We often think of ancient Greek society as White, but it was a lot more diverse than we give it credit for.

Speeches That Changed America

Shirley Chisholm – Equal Rights for Women Speech

Shirley Chisholm, the first African American Woman elected to Congress, addresses the US House of Representatives to argue in support of a controversial women’s rights bill; the Equal Rights Amendment.