A free-standing, double-hulled steel shelter was installed beneath the front yard of Mr. and Mrs. Murland E. Anderson of Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

Dig Into the Nuclear Era's Homegrown Fallout Shelters

In 1955, the head of Civil Defense urged everyone to build an underground shelter "right now"

The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, after a $30 million renovation, is qualified once again to be called the "American Louvre."

The Renwick: Finally The Gem It Was Meant to Be

When the newly renovated museum reopens this month, one of Washington D.C.’s most storied buildings will be elegantly reborn

The title of Gardner's photograph (taken with Timothy O'Sullivan) Field Where General Reynolds Fell, Gettysburg, July 1863 was added later to capitalize on the famous general's heroism.

Alexander Gardner Saw Himself as an Artist, Crafting the Image of War in All Its Brutality

The National Portrait Gallery’s new show on the Civil War photographer rediscovers the full significance of Gardner's career

Alice Roosevelt and Nicholas Longworth disembark in Manila

Global Diplomacy Was in Theodore Roosevelt's Hands, But His Daughter Stole the Show

Alice Roosevelt's 1905 journey to Japan, Korea and China is documented in rare photographs held by the Freer and Sackler Galleries

The National Museum of American History in its new exhibition "American Enterprise," displays a prime example of Stephen Burrough's art—a $1 certificate on the Union Bank of Boston, dated 1807, signed by Burroughs as cashier, and later stamped COUNTERFEIT.

The Entertaining Saga of the Worst Crook in Colonial America

Stephen Burroughs was a thief, a counterfeiter and a convicted criminal. A rare piece of his fake currency is in the collections

This UH-1, on view at the Smithsonian Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, compiled a distinguished combat record in Vietnam from 1966 to 1970.

The Huey Defined America's Presence in Vietnam, Even to the Bitter End

The 40th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon presents a chance for one Vietnam War correspondent to look back at the iconic helicopter

The top hat, with a silk mourning band for his son Willie, was worn last to Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865.

A Host of Relics from Lincoln's Last Days All Came to Reside at the Smithsonian

The Lincoln collection at the American History Museum marks the horrific tragedy and the poignancies of a nation in mourning

The carriage that transported President Abraham Lincoln, Mary Lincoln, Major Henry Rathbone and his fiancée Clara Harris to Ford's Theatre is on view at the American History Museum through May 25, 2015.

This is the Carriage That Took Lincoln on his Fateful Trip to Ford's Theatre

As the April anniversary of Lincoln's last ride approaches, an historian recounts the president's other horse and buggie moments

An aerial view of the city of Washington, D.C, in 1861 as seen from a balloon.

How the Backwater Town of Washington, D.C. Became the Beacon of a Nation

As the Anacostia Community Museum delves into daily life in a city at war, author Ernest B. Furgurson recalls the nascence of a city on the verge

Scores of high-spirited civilians carried picnic baskets and champagne to the battlefield to watch what would turn out to be the first major land engagement of the Civil War. Shown here is the battlefield as it appears today.

The Battle of Bull Run: The End of Illusions

Both North and South expected victory to be glorious and quick, but the first major battle signaled the long and deadly war to come

The "cemeteries were park and playground," recalls Ernest B. Furgurson, in the National Cemetery.

Danville, Virginia: Hallowed Ground

The town's Civil War cemeteries deepened Ernest Furguson's view of history as a young boy

The Amazon loses 8,800 acres a day to "This army does not retreat," Gen. George H. Thomas famously asserted. Later in 1863, he rallied Union troops in the Battle of Chickamauga, in Georgia. His equanimity shows in a Civil War portrait, as it did in the heat of combat.

Catching Up With "Old Slow Trot"

Stubborn and deliberate, General George Henry Thomas was one of the Union's most brilliant strategists. So why was he cheated by history?


The Forgotten General

Historians' perspectives on George H. Thomas

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