The Rest Is History

Hitchhiking, erotic cookbooks, and a baffling mass frog burial.

By Jaime Fuller

Friday, June 17, 2022

The Hitchhiker, by Russell T. Limbach, 1940. Smithsonian American Art Museum, gift of the artist, 1967.

• “Since 1892 the United States has deported more immigrants (over fifty-seven million) than any other nation.” (Public Books)

• A history of the world ending with the push of a button. (The MIT Press Reader)

• “Mass frog burial baffles experts at Iron Age site near Cambridge.” (The Guardian)

• Considering the story told by the art in the Capitol Rotunda. (Places Journal)

• “In the ’70s, as sexual freedom filtered through American culture and the modern porn industry began to boom, erotic cookbooks also enjoyed something of a renaissance: Sex Pots…And Pans (1970), Fanny Hill’s Cook Book (1971), Lewd Food: The Complete Guide to Aphrodisiac Edibles (1974), Aphrodisiac Cookbook: Meals to Pep Up Your Love Life (1975), and Food for Lovers (1977) were just a few of the many titles published that decade.” (Eater)

• “The earliest known written account of hitchhiking was by a student named Charles Brown Jr., who in 1916 described his eight-hundred-mile journey from Fort Wayne, Indiana, to New York City. He got rides from, among others, a priest, an artist, a teacher, and a doctor, the last of these so fascinated by Brown’s adventure that, despite being en route to a medical emergency, he overshot his destination by ten miles.” (London Review of Books)

• “Looking back at how Watergate progressed, it remains unclear how much we can attribute Nixon’s undoing to the Constitution working or how much owes to lucky breaks and the unique collection of personalities involved. Even if the rule of law ultimately prevailed in Watergate, it has become more difficult to contest presidential power since.” (Boston Review)

• This week in obituaries: John Merriman, George Lamming, Duncan Hannah, Dorothy E. Smith, Amanda Claridge, Baxter Black, Julee Cruise, Valery Ryumin, Philip Baker Hall, Sharon Oster, Stephen Thompson, Nancy Clark Reynolds, Harry Gesner, Alexander Nikitin, Meghan Stabile, Peter Lamborn Wilson, Shauneille Perry Ryder, A.B. Yehoshua, Josh Jensen, and Billy Bingham.