Frederick Douglass, ca. 1875

Frederick Douglass’ 200th Birthday Invites Remembrance and Reflection

This Douglass Day, celebrate an icon’s bicentennial while helping to transcribe the nation’s black history

In 1968, at Resurrection City, a multicultural, multi-racial people shaped a campaign of hurt and hope out of a tumultuous year, including the war in Vietnam, and the assassinations of King and Robert F. Kennedy.

Deeply Grieving MLK’s Death, Activists Shaped a Campaign of Hurt and Hope

At Resurrection City, an epic 1968 demonstration on the National Mall in Washington D.C., protesters defined the next 50 years of activism

The Contemplative Court at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture

In This Quiet Space for Contemplation, a Fountain Rains Down Calming Waters

One year after the Nation’s first black president rang in the opening of the African American History Museum, visitors reflect on its impact

Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division escort the Little Rock Nine students into the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Ark.

The Youngest of the Little Rock Nine Speaks About Holding on to History

Carlotta Walls LeNier, whose school dress is in the Smithsonian, says much was accomplished and now we need to hold onto it

Two National Guard escort an African-American man in the tense summer weeks of 1917 in East St. Louis, Illinois.

The East St. Louis Race Riot Left Dozens Dead, Devastating a Community on the Rise

Three days of violence forced African-American families to run for their lives and the aftereffects are still felt in the Illinois city today

In 2001, Smithsonian scientists Doug Owsley and Kari Bruwelheide traveled to the Grove in Glenview, Illinois, Robert Kennicott's boyhood home, to open the naturalist's casket and determine the cause of his death.

Two Smithsonian Scientists Retrace the Mysterious Circumstances of an 1866 Death and Change History

Did the 19th-century naturalist Robert Kennicott die of his own hand?

"We saw kids who created hands that had solid, non-moving opposable joints," says Tim Pula (left) from the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation .

The Next Generation of Military Prosthetics Is Breaking New Ground

At the Smithsonian’s Military Invention Day, visitors experienced how military innovation is helping society

"This book was representative of an era during which colonialism and the associated conversion to Christianity oppressed the indigenous population in often violent ways,” says curator Gabriela Pérez-Báez.

A Rare Public Display of a 17th-Century Mayan Manuscript

With the book newly digitized, scholars are reinterpreting a story of native resistance from within its pages

The suit Alan Eustace wore during his record-breaking freefall jump in October 2014 is on view at the Smithsonian's Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.

This Souped-Up Scuba Suit Made a Stratospheric Leap

The record-breaking Alan Eustace found just the right fit for his 25-mile free fall by marrying scuba technology with a space suit

“One of the great things we can do at this museum is ask those questions and think about the larger significance of sports and African-Americans," says curator Damion Thomas.

Stories of Sports Champions in the African American History Museum Prove the Goal Posts Were Set Higher

The sports exhibition delves into the lost, forgotten or denied history of the heroes on the field

A sandal believed to have belonged to King Tutankhamun at the Grand Egyptian Museum conservation center.

For the First Time, All 5,000 Objects Found Inside King Tut's Tomb Will Be Displayed Together

Take a sneak peek at the collection of the new Grand Egyptian Museum, opening in early 2018

The Sikiorsky JRS-1 "was right in the middle of it,” Robinson says. “She went out along with other airplanes from the (Navy) Utility Squadron One searching for the Japanese fleet.”

At Pearl Harbor, This Aircraft Risked It All to Find the Japanese Fleet

The Sikorsky JRS-1 flew right through the middle of it on December 7, 1941

A statue of the former slave Clara Brown, who was born into slavery in 1800. She married and had four children, but the family was broken up and sold at auction.

In “Defending Freedom,” the Vanguards Who Refused to Be Suppressed Are Reunited

At the African American History Museum, this exhibition graphically conveys the trials and triumphs in the battle for Civil Rights

The stacked bricks represent the people enslaved by President Thomas Jefferson in 1776 and include his own children and their mother Sally Hemings.

At the New “Slavery and Freedom” Show, a Mother Finds an Empowering Message for Her Young Daughters

A child's shackles, a whip, and an auction block deliver a visceral experience of slavery

Resurrection City Mural (detail), 1968

A Mural on View in the African American History Museum Recalls the Rise of Resurrection City

The 1968 Hunger Wall is a stark reminder of the days when the country's impoverished built a shantytown on the National Mall

The Jones-Hall-Sims House, stripped down from 140 years of additions and siding, was acquired in 2009 by the National Museum of African American History and Culture and has been rebuilt as part of an exhibition called “Defending Freedom, Defining Freedom: The Era of Segregation.”

For Nearly 150 Years, This One House Told a Novel Story About the African-American Experience

On view in the new museum, the woodframe dwelling evokes the aspirations and limitations of the era following enslavement

“Even the greatest things in the world need attention when they’re not as strong as they could be. It was a cry for freedom,” says Tommie Smith of his silent act at the 1968 Olympics.

What You Don’t Know About Olympian Tommie Smith’s Silent Gesture

The simple act of civil disobedience, thrusting a black-gloved fist in the air, produced shock waves across the nation

Ballast from the first historically documented ship carrying enslaved Africans that wrecked off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa in December 1794.

Few Artifacts of the Transatlantic Slave Trade Still Exist. These Iron Blocks Help Tell That Gut-Wrenching Story

A profound symbol of the horrific conditions aboard a slave ship is the ballast used as a counterweight for human cargo

This first-person account by B.C. Franklin is titled "The Tulsa Race Riot and Three of Its Victims." It was recovered from a storage area in 2015 and donated to the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture.

A Long-Lost Manuscript Contains a Searing Eyewitness Account of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921

An Oklahoma lawyer details the attack by hundreds of whites on the thriving black neighborhood where hundreds died 95 years ago

Sculptor Anne Arnold and her husband, the abstract painter Ernest Briggs, owned a house with a barn in Montville, Maine, where they raised farm animals, including pigs, cows, and chickens, and kept many dogs and cats. Arnold frequently relied on photographs of her menagerie to create her lively sculptures of animals in metal and wood.

A Look at the Creative Process and What Makes an Artist Tick

A new exhibition delivers a better understanding of where artists find their inspiration

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