Our Top Stories of 2014

From weird red waterfalls to the pleasures of small-town America, these were the most read articles on Smithsonian.com this year

Small town travel, the Monuments Men, Chernobyl and Stonehenge were all among reader favorites in 2014 (Clockwise from top left: Silver City Arts & Cultural District/Thomas Carr Howe papers, Archives of American Art/T.A.Mousseau & A.P. Møller/Henrik Knudsen, with thanks to English Heritage)

Small-town America, a weird rusty waterfall, the heroism of artists and academics during World War II—the most popular stories on Smithsonian.com this year really spanned the range of our coverage, a melting pot of art, science, history and travel. Find out if your favorite made the list, or get caught up on any cool finds you might have missed:

10. How Japan Copied American Culture and Made it Better

In our April issue, journalist Tom Downey explored Japan’s infatuation with and perfection of American culture. While there probably are only a handful of countries around the world where you couldn’t find an American fast food joint, in one Japanese restaurant you can get a flame-grilled hamburger fresh off the barbecue. A culture focused on perfection has taken many of these iconic facets of American culture to the next level, and Downey gave readers an inside look at Japan’s version of America, from cocktails to suit shirts.

About Helen Thompson
Helen Thompson

Helen Thompson writes about science and culture for Smithsonian. She's previously written for NPR, National Geographic News, Nature and others.

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