What defines America? What does it mean to be an American? What are the examples of indisputable American Truth that serve as the guiding examples of our country’s past and present? Those are some of the questions we’re asking and ones we will answer in our special reporting — American Truth.

This reporting focuses on the concepts of truths in American history that allow us to thrive today. We are celebrating the truths that make America a powerful, influential and unique country that serves as an example to the rest of the world. We’re also exploring moments in history that have challenged our American way of life and forced us to grow as a nation.

We live in polarized times, but there have been plenty of polarizing moments in our history. There have also been moments and movements that allow every individual American citizen to pursue their right to live a free and happy life.

To tell these compelling stories, we will work to showcase someone whose life behavior demonstrates an American truth. Examples might include the right to vote, the right to free speech, the civil rights movement, immigration, equality and civics education.

The important documents that define this nation will also play a key role. The Declaration of Independence expresses the ideals upon which the United States was founded and the reasons for separation from Great Britain. In the same spirit, the U.S. Constitution is the fundamental framework of America’s system of government.

Freedom, justice, representation and equality are pillars that represent the basic values of democratic political systems. Reflecting upon our country’s nearly 250 years of existence, it’s time we see how we’re performing as a nation and as a people. It’s time to remind ourselves of the principles that guide us and the ideals we embrace. It’s time to celebrate an American Truth.

Do you have a story idea for our American truth series? Click here to fill out a form, and we may report on it.

Stories

PADUCAH — Imagine being born in a country where you're not allowed to vote, because you're a woman. The United States of America was that country for a very long time. In August 1920, lawmakers in 36 states ratified the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote.

The word patriotism never once appears in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, or the Bill of Rights. But you demonstrate patriotism when you honor what those documents created — principles and a government that have endured nearly 250 years.

Thirteen stripes and 50 stars make for a powerful symbol. The American flag is something all Americans will celebrate on June 14. That’s the day we commemorate as a country the flag that represents freedom all over the world.

Art and other imagery puts on display our nation’s accomplishments and successes, and at times, the saddest and most negative aspects of our nation’s history.

The U.S. Constitution never originally defined who could vote. That was left up to the states. In our country’s early history, most states allowed only white men who owned property to cast a ballot.

Over the course of our nation’s nearly 250-year history, Americans have grappled with the concept and practice of freedom of religion.

There have been powerful and persuasive speeches throughout our nation’s history, which is why the great American speech is an American Truth.

Only about a third of Americans can name all three branches of the government and that should be alarming to each and every American citizen.

America is a nation full of second chances. But what happens when you face one problem after another as you work to get that second chance?

Cherokee State Park in Marshall County, Kentucky was one of only a handful of “blacks only” state parks in the U.S. during segregation.

What defines America? What does it mean to be an American? Those are some of the questions we’re asking and ones we will answer in our new special report — American Truth.

What do you think defines the American way of life? Fill out this form and your idea may be part of our American Truth special reports.