Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective

Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective connects history with today. A project of the Public History Initiative and eHistory in the History Department at the Ohio State University and Miami University, Origins produces several features that analyze a pressing issue in a broader, deeper context. Origins’ main articles focus on the long-term trends and patterns, search for the foundations of today’s events, and explore the often complicated nature of a particular current event. The final goal of Origins is to make us all more informed, engaged citizens. As the American philosopher John Dewey wrote, “History which is not brought down close to the actual scene of events leaves a gap.”

The Death of Franco

November 09, 2021

On November 20, 1975, Spanish General Francisco Franco died in bed, signaling the unceremonious end of one of Europe’s longest dictatorships.

Migration and Mobility: Yesterday and Today

April 06, 2021

With more than 80 million forcibly displaced people in the world and another 260-plus million international migrants, humans seem to be on the move. History allows us a glimpse at the motivations and predicaments people face today and in the future.

COVID Conspiracies in Historical Perspective

March 16, 2021

Misinformation about the current public health crisis — which has either denied the existence of the virus entirely or framed it as an intentional product — has proliferated at an alarming rate.

How the Soviet Union Responded to HIV/AIDS

March 09, 2021

On the surface, HIV/AIDS and COVID-19 seem as dissimilar as two viruses could possibly be. Yet the ways in which the Soviet Union reacted to the arrival of HIV/AIDS, and how it spread in the first years of the outbreak, yield valuable insights into the coronavirus pandemic

Climate Change: Insights From History

February 24, 2021

A conversation with Ohio State University’s Department of History faculty members John Brooke, Jennifer Eaglin and Samuel White about the historical context of climate change.

What's "Natural" on the Galapagos Islands?

November 05, 2020

In geologic years, the Galapagos Islands are infants. Located on the perpetually moving Nazca tectonic plate, the islands were formed through repeated volcanic activity. Layer by layer, the islands have risen off the ocean floor, forming a chain that is approximately 5 million years old.

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