In the upcoming exhibition, "Nation of Speed," the Sharp DR 90 Nemesis (above: museum workers install the aircraft in the new gallery) will go on view when the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum reopens this fall. 

How the Nemesis Air Racers Redefined Speed

For Jon and Patricia Sharp, crafting and flying the sleek airplanes was as much about sport as it was about ingenuity

Materials and manufacturing details of the specially made suit of America's first space traveler were extensively analyzed before being prepared for display on a customized mannequin.

The Second Man in Space Had a Wee Wish—That He'd Used the Bathroom Before Blasting Off

Alan B. Shepard's historic Mercury spacesuit undergoes hours of conservation work for its debut when the National Air and Space Museum opens this fall

The Godfather was named Best Motion Picture–Drama in the 1973 Golden Globe Awards and Best Picture in the Academy Awards.

Studio Executives Did Not Want Marlon Brando for the Title Role in 'The Godfather'

On the film's 50th anniversary, a Smithsonian historian reflects on the cultural phenomenon of the blockbuster hit

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the National Park Service and the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation will mark the annual Day of Remembrance, with virtual programming from February 18 to 20, 2022, to explore the Japanese American community's struggle for recognition and redress.

Eighty Years After the U.S. Incarcerated 120,000 Japanese Americans, Trauma and Scars Still Remain

Families were stripped of their rights and freedoms in February 1942, when FDR signed Executive Order 9066

Ben Franklin by Joseph-Siffred Duplessis, ca 1785

Ben Franklin Lives in Your Smartphone

The 18th-century inventor discovered concepts that impact modern technology

The Moores' younger daughter, Evangeline, donated this locket and other personal artifacts to the Smithsonian in 2013.

This Locket Memorializes a Black Activist Couple Murdered in a Christmas 1951 Bombing

Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore attracted the KKK's ire for their tireless promotion of civil rights in the Jim Crow South

In October, the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History displayed this vandalized, bullet-ridden marker—one of three placed at the Mississippi site where, in 1955, police found the body of 14-year-old Emmett Till.

Why Museums Are Primed to Address Racism, Inequality in the U.S.

Smithsonian leaders discuss how the Institution can be a powerful place for investigating and addressing society’s most difficult issues

The internationally recognized paper artist Jiyong Chung works in the Korean craft of Joomchi (above: Balance IV, detail), a technique that was born of necessity centuries ago.

Three Craft Artists Share How the Pandemic Has Reshaped Life and Art

Traditional and innovative specialists make ready for the upcoming virtual Smithsonian Craft Show and Sale

The document, which had been stored in a folded shape for more than 200 years, is composed of parchment pages that offer new insight into the Smithsonian founder's family history.

New Analysis Reveals More Details About Smithsonian Founder's Illegitimate Family Tree

The newly recovered 1787 Hungerford Deed, detailing a contentious squabble over property and prestige, can now be viewed in a new virtual exhibition

Butler is not just a talented writer, says curator Monica Montgomery. She is “this magnifying, visionary author and was and is a social justice warrior for our times.”

Futures

The Pioneering Sci-Fi Writer Octavia E. Butler Joins a Pantheon of Celebrated Futurists

The author’s career is honored by a newly commissioned work by digital artist Nettrice Gaskins

The Smithsonian's 1980 portrait of Yuri Kochiyama by Corky Lee (above, detail) is the "perfect combination of subject and artist," says the National Portrait Gallery's Ann Shumard.

Women Who Shaped History

Behind This Photo Is the Story of Two Asian American Folk Heroes

Corky Lee's photograph of Yuri Kochiyama captures the familiar struggle of those living at the margins of society

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery holds an Italian poster (above: Il Quarto Potere, detail) promoting the film.

The Lasting Riddles of Orson Welles' Revolutionary Film 'Citizen Kane'

This year’s award-winning "Mank" attracts new attention to the 80-year-old American classic; two Smithsonian curators share insights

Geraldine Ferraro and Walter Mondale by Diane Walker, 1984

Walter Mondale Never Won the Presidency, but He Changed American Politics Forever

A trove of Smithsonian artifacts document the man who was first to put a woman on the presidential ticket and reshaped the vice presidency

The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery boasts the only public collection of images depicting every single U.S. president throughout history.

The Thorny Politics of Presidential Portraiture

In a new podcast, the National Portrait Gallery reveals that a portrait is being commissioned of the former president

This 1936 photograph from the collections of the National Portrait Gallery—featuring eight of the nine Scottsboro Boys with NAACP representatives Juanita Jackson Mitchell, Laura Kellum, and Dr. Ernest W. Taggart—was taken inside the prison where the Scottsboro Boys were being held.

Who Were the Scottsboro Nine?

The young black men served a combined total of 130 years for a crime they never committed

John Glenn by Henry C. Caselli, Jr., 1998 is in the collections of the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.

Why John Glenn Couldn't Escape the Hero Label

A new book explores the man who would serve his country as a fighter pilot, an astronaut and a U.S. Senator

In an explosion of green and gold, Elaine de Kooning's portrayal of President John F. Kennedy holds pride of place at the National Portrait Gallery in its exhibition "America's Presidents."

Why Elaine de Kooning's Portrait of JFK Broke All the Rules

After the assassination, the grief-stricken artist painted the president’s image obsessively; finally saying she caught only "a glimpse" of him

With a countrified accent, Will Rogers (Above: (detail) by Walter K. Kinstler, c. 1923) attempted to link arms with ordinary Americans, always reminding them of his Native American ancestry. “My ancestors didn’t come over on the Mayflower, but they met the boat,” he said.

Will Rogers Was One of a Kind

The popular raconteur touched Americans with his humor, newspaper columns, movie star power, philanthropy and as political agitator

In the recent "Portraits" podcast, LL recounts why he turned to a 100-year-old masterpiece of the richest person in modern history—John D. Rockefeller Sr.—for his power pose.

How a Maverick Hip-Hop Legend Found Inspiration in a Titan of American Industry

When LL COOL J sat for his portrait, he found common ground with the life-long philanthropical endeavors of John D. Rockefeller

When the Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress, first saw the new image of Harriet Tubman (above, detail), she said: "She's young!"

Why Harriet Tubman’s Heroic Military Career Is Now Easier to Envision

The strong, youthful visage of the famed underground railroad conductor is the subject of the Portrait Gallery’s podcast “Portraits”

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