History is crucial to democracy, historian Howard Zinn
pointed out to Bill Moyers:
"I think the more people learn about the past I think the more that they will understand that it is possible for people to change the world."
Most Americans are familiar with some of the verses of Woody Guthrie's classic folk song "This Land is Your Land." Fewer are familiar with the verses which question a private property or a wealthy nation that tolerates poverty among its citizens.
Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking that freedom highway;
Nobody living can ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me. -- Woody Guthrie
Woody Guthrie's music evokes the people's American history not that of the power brokers.
The JOURNAL has often turned its attention to that sort of American history from remembrances of the renowned American oral historian
to a celebration of American dissenters
from Tom Paine to William Sloane Coffin. Explore video from the JOURNAL's explorations of American history as well as our collection of
photo essays on history
from Lincoln in pop culture to women's peace movements.