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Oliver Wendell Holmes

His experiences in the Civil War shaped the mind of one of our greatest jurists.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. was one of the most influential judges ever to take the bench, serving as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court for thirty years and largely defining First Amendment rights as we now understand them. Read more >>

A nationwide gene-purity movement promoted methods that eventually were adopted by the Third Reich. And everyone from John D. Rockefeller to W. E. B. Du Bois supported it.

… and grew, and grew, and grew …

Sixty years ago the permanent individual income tax, with escalation built into its table of rates, came on gently and quietly, by no means ignored, yet not the object of any great furor, either. Read more >>

Could he have beaten Bobby Fischer?

Oliver Wendell Holmes once celebrated Americans as a people “which insists in sending out yachts and horses and boys to outsail, out-run, out-fight, and checkmate all the rest of creation.” The concluding champion on his list was Paul Charles Morphy, whose yo Read more >>
Oliver Wendell Holmes, father of the famous Supreme Court justice, was not only a renowned professor of anatomy at Harvard but by popular acclaim the genial poet laureate of Boston, which he preferred to call “the hub of the solar system.” Despite his usual good humor, Holmes w Read more >>

The Literary Lights Were Always Bright at

Everyone wanted to be invited to 148 Charles Street, where Charles Dickens mixed the punch and taught the guests parlor games, John Greenleaf Whittier and Harriet Beecher Stowe vied in telling ghost stories, and Nathaniel Hawthorne paced the bedroom floor one unhappy night in t Read more >>
It was a bright day for the Republic, that afternoon of May 15, 1815, when the U.S.S. Constitution victoriously dropped anchor oil the Battery at New York. Read more >>

First among all nations the United States made “restraint of trade” a crime, and voted an economic ideal into law. One of its most energetic exponents looks back on that unique, vague, and unenforceable bit of legislation: the Sherman Antitrust Act

Today, thirty-two years after Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed for the murder of a paymaster and his guard in South Braintree, Massachusetts, the ghosts of the cobbler and the fish-peddler are not at rest. Read more >>