Custom in the Ottoman Empire mandated that a condemned grand vizier could save his neck if he won a sprint against his executioner
March 22, 2012 | By Mike Dash
Events March 23-25: Dinner & A Movie: Skydancer, Cherry Blossom Festival Family Day, Book Signing: Jo B. Paoletti
Friday, March 23 Dinner & A Movie: Skydancer For more than 120 years, ironworkers have raised America’s modern cityscapes—sculpting the country’s skylines, fearlessly walking atop steal beams, just a foot wide. Bravery in a job like this, is crucial. In New York City, six generations of Mohawk Indians have made the job their own. This [...]
March 22, 2012 | By Kelly Smith
His 20-volume masterwork was hailed as "the most ambitious enterprise in publishing since the production of the King James Bible"—and he paid dearly for his ambition
March 21, 2012 | By Gilbert King
The real prize for Kaleb Harris, winner of the American History Museum and Smithsonian Channel's Black History Month essay contest, was meeting Joseph McNeil, one of the leaders of the 1960 Greensboro sit-in
March 20, 2012 | By Megan Gambino
In 1887, a painter was inspired by an idea: commemorate the everyday heroism of men, women and children who had lost their lives trying to save another's
March 19, 2012 | By Mike Dash
Weekend Events March 16-18: Evolution of Video Games, Saint Paddy Party, and Masterworks of Three Centuries
This weekend, "Art of Video Games" curator Chris Melissinos leads a panel on the past, present and future of video games, Saint Paddy Party turns the Discovery Theater green, and baritone William Sharp performs Schumann.
March 15, 2012 | By Aviva Shen
"Don't talk to me about X-rays," Edison said after an assistant on one of his X-ray projects started showing signs of illness. "I am afraid of them."
March 14, 2012 | By Gilbert King
Even before there were roads, there were men who wanted to drive fast.
March 07, 2012 | By Karen Abbott
A new biography tells the story of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts
March 07, 2012 | By Megan Gambino
When the spectators at Rome's spectacular circuses split into factions, it threatened to bring the Eastern Empire down. The day was saved by Byzantium's remarkable empress, but only at the cost of 30,000 lives
March 02, 2012 | By Mike Dash
The massacre almost brought the United States to war against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but only one man was brought to trial: John D. Lee
February 29, 2012 | By Gilbert King
Events Feb 28-March 1: Paradox of Liberty, A Not So Still Life, and Perspectives on “Limits to Growth”
This week, learn about slavery at Monticello, meet artist Ginny Ruffner, and join experts for a day of discussion on sustainability.
February 27, 2012 | By Aviva Shen
The man who brought The King to global fame kept his own past secret. But what exactly was Tom Parker hiding?
February 24, 2012 | By Mike Dash
President Barack Obama presided over the start of a new museum devoted to African American history and culture
February 22, 2012 | By Joseph Stromberg
A groundbreaking early email program, written by a high school student in 1979, helps tell the story of this crucial technology's history
February 22, 2012 | By Joseph Stromberg
This weekend, learn about the influences of artist Jacob Lawrence, celebrate Presidents' Day Weekend with the whole family, and take a tour of some of the most famous Civil War sites.
February 17, 2012 | By Aviva Shen
The descendants of American presidents are the athletic trainers, lawyers, salesmen and executives of everyday life
February 17, 2012 | By Megan Gambino
The groundbreaking ceremony for the Smithsonian's newest museum, scheduled to open in 2015, will feature Obama, Laura Bush and others
February 16, 2012 | By Joseph Stromberg
Sir Basil Zaharoff was the archetypal "merchant of death"—an arms salesman who made a career out of selling to both sides in a conflict and stood accused of starting World War I for his personal profit.
February 16, 2012 | By Mike Dash
The National Portrait Gallery expert on celebrity culture admits that she is often captivated by the glamour and glitz that defines the Hollywood superstar
February 14, 2012 | By Joseph Stromberg