Protesters attend a rally in support of affirmative action in college admissions on October 31, 2022.

History of Now

The Origins of the Term 'Affirmative Action'

The phrase was first used in early 20th-century employment laws

Does the museum really live up to its promise to be a definitive home to the art and science of movies?

Inside the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

The L.A. institution finally opens, inviting visitors to learn about film history—even the not so glittery bits—and to contemplate the industry's future

The Evidence Room represents thousands of  pages of testimony that was assembled by Robert Jan van Pelt, an architectural historian and the main expert witness in a British lawsuit brought by a Holocaust denier.

Using Art to Talk About the Holocaust in ‘The Evidence Room’

Museum staff discuss the reception of a difficult work that showed the vivid and painful documentation of a Nazi death camp

The late journalist Cokie Roberts recently visited the Smithsonian to discuss some of the presidents' wives in a new podcast "Portraits." If only, she remarked the First Ladies had been painted when they were young and vivacious, before they had gray hair.

Why Cokie Roberts Admired Dolley Madison

The legendary newswoman, who died at 75, appeared on a Smithsonian podcast earlier this summer to speak about a favorite topic, the first ladies

A park ranger gives the Obama family a tour of Carlsbad Caverns National Park in 2016.

3-D Map to Digitize Part of Carlsbad Caverns Down to the Millimeter

The National Parks Service is also compiling a modern cultural history of the caverns

The company's publications (including Black World, EbonyJet) reached a wide audience with photo-driven narratives and interviews.

Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch Weighs In on Legendary Photo Archive of African-American Life

In historic moment, foundations and museums came together to rescue black history. "This is an optimistic tale," says Bunch

The original Mary Sue

Pop History

The Women Who Coined the Term 'Mary Sue'

The trope they named in a 'Star Trek' fan zine in 1973 continues to resonate in 2019

At nearly 91, Dr. Ruth is still committed to the cause

Women Who Shaped History

Dr. Ruth Changed the Way America Talked About Sex

A new documentary chronicles the revolution Ruth Westheimer brought to the air

"My job as an artist is to inspire and heal," he says. "Around the election, my listeners were so distraught and I was distressed, too... so I felt compelled to create a piece of music ["Marigolds"] that would heal and educate."

Hitting the High Notes: A Smithsonian Year of Music

Kishi Bashi on Turning Hard History Into Memorable Music

Plus, listen to an exclusive debut of 'Marigolds' off his new album, 'Omoiyari'

The Impossible Whopper signals the growing market for meatless meat

Pop History

We're Entering a New Age of Meatless Meat Today. But We've Been Here Before

At the turn of the 20th century, the first mock meat craze swept the nation

The National Museum of American History has in its collection this Autoped motor scooter from 1918.

Pop History

The Motorized Scooter Boom That Hit a Century Before Dockless Scooters

Launched in 1915, the Autoped had wide appeal, with everyone from suffragettes to postmen giving it a try

A firefighter is seen fighting the flames at Notre-Dame Cathedral on April 15, 2019

Historic Notre-Dame Cathedral Salvaged From Blaze

After a tense few hours, firefighters announce they saved the landmark from 'total destruction'

Rod Serling working at his Westport, Connecticut, home in 1956.

Pop History

An Early Run-In With Censors Led Rod Serling to 'The Twilight Zone'

His failed attempts to bring the Emmett Till tragedy to television forced him to get creative

Judges Brandon Maxwell, Elaine Welteroth, Nina Garcia, and host Karlie Kloss deliberate

Pop History

What 'Project Runway' Can Teach Us About the Creative Process

Seventeen seasons in, the show continues to demystify what it takes to 'make it work'

Brie Larson as Captain Marvel in front of a very-'90s strip mall

Pop History

'Captain Marvel''s Missed Opportunity With Nostalgia

The '90s lives in the new superhero film but doesn't tell us much about the decade

"A New Yorker in the snow this afternoon carrying what seems like ... iced coffee? #OnlyInNYC #BundleUpNY," @nycgov tweeted on January 30.

Pop History

What’s the Deal With Ordering Iced Coffee in the Winter?

A hot take, if you will, on the iced trend

Pop History

Why Is the Genie in ‘Aladdin’ Blue?

There’s a simple answer and a colonialist legacy for why the genie looks the way it does

Pop History

There Was the Magazine Quiz. Then Came the Internet. What Now?

From the “Cosmo Quiz” to Quizilla to Buzzfeed... what's next?

The Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10 in what came to be known as Super Bowl I.

Pop History

What the Earliest Super Bowl Commercials Tell Us About the Super Bowl

The inaugural title game in 1967 would not have been getting kudos from the media for representing women

Pop History

Seventy-Five Years Ago, the Television Musical Made Its Debut

"RENT: Live" meet "The Boys from Boise"

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