Everything Has a History

A pile of newspapers, mobile phones, and tablets

Bringing Historical Context to Current Events

The American Historical Association is proud to serve as an advocate for the crucial role of historical thinking in public life. Historians in all fields and professions work to provide context for the pressing issues facing the country and the world. This selection of resources highlights the insights that come when we recognize that everything has a history.

History Behind the Headlines

A pair of glasses on a newspaper

A series of webinars featuring prominent historians discussing the histories behind current events and the importance of history and historical thinking to public policy and culture.

History Behind the Headlines

A Bibliography of Historians' Responses to COVID-19

Scrabble boardThe AHA is compiling a professionally vetted bibliography of historians’ responses to COVID-19 as a resource for the public, teachers, and scholars seeking historical perspectives on the current crisis and its local and global impacts. The bibliography includes commentary and publications by historians in both scholarly and popular periodical literature; recorded lectures and webcasts; and digitized primary source materials from past epidemics and pandemics. In amassing these references, the AHA seeks to provide a space where anyone, regardless of expertise, can find digital historical material relevant to the COVID-19 crisis. 

A Bibliography of Historians' Responses to COVID-19

The Assault on the Capitol in Historical Perspective: Resources for Educators

The US Capitol building during a storm. Photo by Thomas Dwyer via Flickr

We know teaching the events of January 6, 2021—which are not a “moment,” but the product of a long history—presents a familiar, yet unusually urgent, challenge: how can students use historical knowledge and thinking to understand the present? Here are some resources that might help. 

The Assault on the Capitol in Historical Perspective: Resources for Educators

Historians on the Confederate Monument Debate

Statue of Robert Edward Lee on horse in Lee Park, Charlottesville, Virginia. First United Methodist Church steeple in the background. By Bill McChesney - https://www.flickr.com/photos/bsabarnowl/2744254199, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61695626In the wake of the Charlottesville tragedy, historians across the country provided important historical context and insight to the public. The AHA compiled statements that our members, fellow historical societies, AHA council members, and staff have made in op-eds, interviews, and other media conversations about the importance of historical thinking and knowledge within the current debate.

Historians Speak Out on Confederate Monuments

Everything Has a History Video Library

Screenshot of first video on the YouTube Everything Has a History playlist

This YouTube playlist compiles videos of historians providing historical context on current events, especially regarding the 2017 presidential election. It also features a conversation between AHA executive director Jim Grossman and 2017 AHA president Tyler Stovall on the role of historical thinking in today's public culture.

Everything Has a History Video Resources