thumbnail of the three Israeli boys who came together at the Western Wall in Jerusalem

Bar Miztvah


The three boys in the photograph belong to a group of Israeli boys who came together at the Western Wall in Jerusalem in 2008 for a mass bar mitzvah celebration. The orthodox social service organization Colel Chabad arranged the celebration for orphans and needy families. Several prominent Israeli rabbis participated in the celebration of this important Jewish rite of passage to adulthood.... Read More »

Barbie Turns 21 magazine article

Barbie Turns 21


Barbie—who is today the most famous doll in the world—was based on Lilli, a sexy and sassy German doll first produced in 1955. Co-founder of Mattel Inc., Ruth Hander transformed the Teutonic doll from floozy to fashion queen for American girls like her daughter, Barbara, after whom the doll was named. In all other ways, Barbie’s shapely body was nearly indistinguishable from Lilli’s pleasing... Read More »

Thumbnail of girl reading from Torah

Bat Mitzvah


The girl in the photograph, Cecelia Nealon-Shapiro, reads from the Torah as part of her bat mitzvah, a rite of passage ceremony, at Congregation Rodeph Sholom in New York City. Prior to this day, she attended classes in Jewish history and tradition, Hebrew, and recitation at the Reform synagogue, where girls now participate in a rite formerly reserved for boys, the bar mitzvah. Following the... Read More »

Beatles Petition and Response


In April 1964, the U.S. Labor Department announced new rules for foreign entertainers. Applying through Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), entertainers with unique talent would be allowed to enter. The Labor Department would evaluate all others to assess availability of American workers. Based on several misleading newspaper reports, rumors spread quickly that the Beatles would not... Read More »

The image is titled on the site as "Children contend with a too-big bicycle, Pre Umbel" taken in 1991.  It is a black and white photograph showing too girls holding up a bicycle, unable to climb onto it.

Beauty and Darkness: Cambodia

In order to comprehend these overwhelming atrocities on a personal level, I strongly recommend the chilling oral histories...The accounts would make excellent supplementary reading for a class discussion on the Khmer Rogue and provide a hauntingly human face to the statistics.

Beijing Silvermine

A fascinating, confusing, and challenging photographic archive, Beijing Silvermine is on the one hand an important record of the lives of ordinary Chinese citizens living through two decades of transcendental change and on the other a somewhat problematic appropriation of their private lives.

Berlin 9 November 1989


With the regime in disarry, an announcement that travel restrictions would be liberalized led East Germans to rush for the wall; confused guards let them pass, and by nightfall, Berliners from both sides had converged on the hated barrier and begun chipping away. This poster was sold in a (West) Berlin souvenir shop after 1989.

[description as stated in the guide for Goodbye, Comrade:... Read More »

Berlin Embassy Cable, GDR Crisis: The Honecker Era Fades Quickly


In this excerpt of a diplomatic cable from the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, we see the first official analysis of East Germany's new leader Egon Krenz, who replaced Erich Honecker on October 18, 1989. In the summary remarks, the embassy officials make clear that Krenz is attempting immediate reform, but not yet on a scale that could be compared to Gorbachev's perestroika.

The U.S. diplomats... Read More »

Berlin Embassy Cable, GDR Political Crisis: Still Deepening. October 6, 1989


The level of unrest in East Germany had been increasing throughout the summer of 1989 and a major focal point of concern for both the East German security forces and international observers concerned the very prominent visit of Mikhail Gorbachev to attend the GDR's 40th anniversary celebrations. This cable sheds light not only on the events leading up to Gorbachev's visit, but also on the West... Read More »

Berlin Embassy Cable, The GDR Political Crisis: Still Deepening. October 4, 1989


On the eve of East Germany fortieth anniversary celebrations, it appeared that the SED was losing control. Several pressure points in society were mounting at the same time. In Prague, East German citizens had jumped over the walls into the West German embassy and the East German regime had negotiated their safe passage to West Germany planned for October 4. The outcome of the crisis in Prague... Read More »