Meet MythAmerica Snapshots

A MythAmerica Snapshot is a single article

giving a brief overview of a little-known,

fascinating tidbit of American history.

A Different Hat for Dr. Seuss

Before the Lorax (1971), before the Cat in the Hat (1957), even before Gerald McBoingBoing (1950), Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss was just his pen name) had a major career in illustration going clear back to the 1920s. Some of the content would be quite surprising to those who only know him as an author and illustrator of "kiddie books." This article traces a brief history of the first half of his career.

"Dr. James Crow, MD"

Most Americans realize that there was a time in the United States when it was legal to have allegedly "separate but equal" school facilities for African American children. They were, of course, definitely separate but definitely UNequal. And most are also aware that travel on buses was also separate but UNequal-blacks were required by law to move to the shabbier seats in the "back of the bus," or even give up their seats to whites who were standing. But you don't see much about the fact that separate but UNequal went far beyond these two aspects of daily living. This article is a brief look at the astonishingly shameful state of medical care for African Americans under Jim Crow laws.

Hiding in Plane Site-Camouflaging the Homeland

Perhaps you have seen photos of camouflaged tanks in World War II, hard to spot on the ground by enemy planes. But have you seen the camouflage jobs that were done on whole huge aircraft factory complexes and air fields in the US, making them virtually undetectable from the skies? Check out this collection of photos and explanations of how it was done in this overview of these amazing projects.   

Pony Tales: Brief history of the Pony Express

The Pony Express is the stuff of legends in the US, often depicted in Hollywood and on TV in the heyday of the Western Movie craze, as well as in many books going clear back to the 1800s. Given the amount of attention it has received in historical fiction settings, you'd think it was an institution that lasted for at least a generation or two. You'd think wrong. This brief overview of the history of the business will set you straight.

Ruby's Shoes

When we think about the "Civil Rights Movement" of the 1950s and 60s, what most often comes to mind first is photos of brave adult African Americans marching along arm in arm in large groups, in protests such as that in Selma in 1965.  Yes, they often endured taunts and threats and jeers, and sometimes actual violence. But some of the bravest acts of resistance to segregation weren't performed by men and women. And they weren't acted out "arm in arm" with compatriots who could provide moral support. As an example, this article is an overview of the amazing bravery of one tiny little girl who marched bravely past taunts and threats and jeers, arm in arm with no one-not just for one day, but for many months.

Stone Mountain, GA, and the KKK

The Stone Mountain theme park just outside Atlanta, Georgia, was in the news in autumn 2015 because plans had been announced for placing a memorial there to the I Have a Dream speech by Martin Luther King, along with a model of the Liberty Bell. Those plans were quickly opposed by many Georgia citizens. A stalemate has ensued, but many news reports about the situation have neglected to put the current situation in historical context so that "outsiders" can understand the roots of the debate. This article provides some much-needed details.

The Birth of Labor Day-Rooted in Pullman Hell

Celebrations of July 4 can be traced back to a significant American historical event in 1776. Memorial Day originated as Decoration Day, a day, usually in May, that had been set asidefor honoring war dead-originally, those of the Civil War. It went back to 1865 or so. But what about Labor Day? Congress set it aside in 1894 to honor the workers of America. But why 1894? This article is a brief overview of the Birth of Labor Day…with its roots in Pullman Hell.

The Water Cure

 There has There has been debate in recent years about the propriety of a "method of interrogation" by the US military known as "waterboarding." The assumption by many US citizens seems to be that this is some sort of modern method invented by those responsible for getting intelligence information from prisoners in the US prison in Guantanamo. As you will see in this brief overview, this is a mythconception. Waterboarding-and the debate about it-has a long history in the United States of America.

Uncle Sam's Girlfriend

Uncle Sam, as a "personification" of America, has a long history. But actually you can't find his name used in writing before the War of 1812. And you can't find published political cartoons of him, with top hat, straggly hair, gaudy striped pants, and such going back much before the Civil War. That's because America had long had a more sophisticated-and feminine-personification before he came on the scene. This article offers a brief overview of the history of Uncle Sam…and his girlfriend.


Exploring our past to sort out myth from reality

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These are the voyages of the TimeShip Anachron.  
Our Mission: To boldly explore the past, dispelling
mythinformation and mythconceptions

of American History along the way.

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