Ibram X. Kendi, whose recent book Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas In America is on many of our reading lists, invites us to “open the closets of history.”
Historiann gives us some insight into “cork bums” and other aspects of turn of the 19th century fashion.
If you haven’t played with it yet, put your info into The Atlantic’s Life Timeline. One important thing to think about when studying the past is that people’s formative experiences shape how they react to what happens in their lives. For instance, do you have living memory of The Great Depression? Were your teenage years full of official approval of “enhanced interrogation” and episodes of 24? It’s good to think about why people of different generations react differently to the same events, and this sort of thing can help us think along those lines.