Isabelle Taft is a researcher and journalist in Washington, D. C.
No, the agency did not invent Tang or Velcro, but its discoveries have many applications in our day-to-day lives
In honor of the Fourth of July, we’re revisiting Ted Widmer’s 2008 piece “Where Does American History Begin?” For many, the obvious answer is in 1776 Philadelphia, with the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Others might argue that hints of modern America emerged in the Jamestown and Plymouth settlements. But America’s true beginnings, Widmer writes, go back much further.