The Rest Is History

Soap, immunoprivilege, and not wearing a mask in 1918.

By Jaime Fuller

Friday, August 07, 2020

Soap Factory Workers, by Mathew Brady Studio, c. 1860. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Frederick Hill Meserve Collection.

• On the people who refused to wear masks in 1918: “Pasadena’s city commission passed a mask ordinance…Sixty people were arrested on the first day, the Los Angeles Times reported on January 22, in an article titled ‘Pasadena Snorts Under Masks.’ ‘It is the most unpopular law ever placed on the Pasadena records,’ W.S. McIntyre, the chief of police, told the paper.” (New York Times)

• Factchecking “bardcore.” (Jezebel)

• The power of speech in the West Indies: “The exact contours of this power to speak, to be heard, and to silence others were frequently disputed, both within the colonial population and across the different legal and political zones of empire, but that’s precisely because it was so central to the meaning of freedom.” (The New York Review of Books)

• Revisiting the work of cartoonist Kuniko Tsurita. (

• A cultural history of Satyajit Ray being very tall. (Popula)

• “A stone box fished out of Lake Titicaca contains tiny items that add an intriguing twist to what’s known about the Inca empire’s religious practices and supernatural beliefs about the massive lake.” (Science News)

• On “immunoprivilege” in nineteenth-century New Orleans. (Slate)

• The history of the Noriega Hotel in Bakersfield. (Zócalo Public Square)

• “Margaret Mead, Ruth Benedict, and the relationship that changed social science.” (Nautilus)

• The invention of the rice cooker. (Atlas Obscura)

• Found: Woodhenge. (Portugal News)

• How resurrection affected the legal status of an executed person in seventeenth-century England. (Nursing Clio)

• “The soap industry…serves as an effective introduction to the history of American marketing.” (The New Yorker)

• Twitter obsessives, meet the people lurking at coffeehouses in the eighteenth century. (JSTOR Daily)

• Trying to pinpoint the history of the Pachacamac Idol in Peru. (Archaeology)

• Nine eyewitness accounts of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (

• On the history and future of Kiruna. (Places Journal)

• This week in obituaries: Wilford Brimley, Leon Fleisher, Hawa Abdi, Catherine Freeman, Shirley Ann Grau, Eric Bentley, William English, Charles Armstrong, Clive Ponting, James Silberman, Dobby Dobson, Helen Jones Woods, Pete Hamill, Nigel Weiss, James Keast, Doris Buffett, and Connie Culp.