Inside the Secret Society That Inspired the New Age Movement

Blending meditation and astrology with Saturn worship and “sex magic,” they survived the Nazis and remain one of the world’s most mysterious sects.

The Dog Who Took the Witness Stand

Tracing the origins of the animal rights movement to one truly bizarre 1922 court case.

The Sexual Assault Case That Shook Ancient Rome

A prominent politician was accused of raping a 12-year-old actress—in 54 B.C. The way his legendary lawyer dismissed it speaks volumes about how we prosecute these crimes now.

This Novelist’s Female Heroes and Brazen Polyamory Shocked Victorian England

Wilkie Collins, inventor of the mystery novel, startled polite society with attacks on the institution of marriage. But it was his own love life that really caused a stir.

These 1930s Housewives Were the Godmothers of Radical Consumer Activism

When meat prices spiked during the Great Depression, the women of Detroit got mad as hell—and launched a boycott that changed America.

The Gay Black American Who Stared Down Nazis in the Name of Love

One of the most brilliant minds of the Harvard class of ’35, Reed Edwin Peggram met his soulmate on the eve of World War II and risked everything to stay by his side.

The Strange Life and Mysterious Death of a Panther-Trapping, Gator-Wrestling Wild Man

Trapper Nelson was a Florida legend from the day he hopped off a boxcar to the day he died. But did he really kill himself, or was he murdered?

This Black Woman Was Once the Biggest Star in Jazz. Here’s Why You’ve Never Heard of Her.

Hazel Scott was a piano prodigy who wowed the worlds of music, TV and film. But when she stood up for her rights, the establishment took her down.

This Crusading Socialist Taught America’s Workers to Fight—in 1929

Fred Beal went down to North Carolina with a mission to defend the common man. He left with a murder conviction and a direct ticket to the USSR. Then his story got really weird.

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The Tree That Would Not Be Broken

By | June 17, 2014

It was the last living thing rescued from the ruins of 9/11. A dozen years later, one mythical pear tree is finally home, and branching out from Ground Zero in mystical ways.
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