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Social History Archives | JSTOR Daily

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Social History

How Masks of Mutilated WWI Soldiers Haunted Postwar Culture

In the age before plastic surgery, masks were the best option for veterans with faces scarred by war. The end results, however, were somewhat uncanny.

Gender Identity in Weimar Germany

Remembering an early academic effort to define sexual orientation and gender identity as variable natural phenomena, rather than moral matters.

Valentina Tereshkova and the American Imagination

Remembering the Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, and how she challenged American stereotypes.

When America Incarcerated “Promiscuous” Women

From WWI to the 1950s, the "American Plan" rounded up sexually-active women and quarantined them, supposedly to protect soldiers from venereal disease.

What Happened to the Night Children?

A hundred years ago, it was quite common for working-class children to roam the streets freely at night.

When Breastfeeding Was a Civic Duty

Think people are judgmental of mothers now? In the 18th- and 19th-centuries, mothers who bottle-fed their babies were blamed for many of society's ills.

The Magazine That Put Children in Their Place

Children's literature hasn't always been about whimsy. This early magazine sought to retrench the elite in the publishing and education industries.

The Bizarre Victorian Diaries of Cullwick and Munby

Arthur Munby was an upper-class man of letters who "collected" working class women, including his servant Hannah Cullwick, whom he married in 1873.

The Bisbee Deportations

According to one scholar, the 1917 deportation in Bisbee, AZ wasn't "about labor relations or race or gender: it was about all of them."

The Woman Who Refused to Leave a Whites-Only Streetcar

In 1854, Elizabeth Jennings rode the streetcar of her choice, in an early civil rights protest that led to desegregating public transportation in NYC.