There is a great new history blog in Slate.com called The Vault. It highlights historical gems that the writer Rebecca Onion pulls out of the archival void into the sunny view of the readers. Two very interesting artifacts that she found are two very different literacy tests. The first is an innocuous, but almost existential, literacy test for American recruits for the armed forces at the beginning of the First World War. The second has more sinister intentions and is meant to keep African Americans from voting with its inscrutable 30 questions that require a nearly impossible score of 100 percent in order for the individual to be allowed to vote.