Clarence Darrow was a trial attorney made famous for his defense of a Tennessee educator accused of breaking a state law banning the teaching of evolution in public schools.

Everything You Didn’t Know About Clarence Darrow

A newly released book brings new insight into the trial attorney made famous by the Scopes monkey trial

A group of officers in Culpeper, Virginia reading letters from home.

The Essentials: Six Books on the Civil War

These six histories of the Civil War that are must-reads if you want to better understand the conflict

From manifest destiny to Santa Claus, newspaper editorials have captured the country's attention throughout history.

Top 10 Unforgettable Editorials

These editorial voices rose above the America clamor with words we will never forget

Moammar Qadhafi speaking in 1986 during a time of heightened tension between Libya and the United States.

Ronald Reagan and Moammar Qadhafi

Twenty-five years ago, President Reagan minced no words when he talked about the Libyan dictator

The Oberlin Rescuers at Cuyahoga County Jail in 1859.

The Invisible Line Between Black and White

Vanderbilt professor Daniel Sharfstein discusses the history of the imprecise definition of race in America

Shiner Bock beer-battered onion rings

Beer Batter is Better; Science Says So

What's the difference between beer-battered fried foods and those fried in water-based batter?

The bridge, which is awaiting decking and with temporary pylons in September 2009, was built to bypass the part of U.S. Route 93 that crosses the Hoover Dam.

A Breathtaking New Bridge

The construction of the bridge that bypasses the Hoover Dam was an Erector Set dream come true for this photographer

According to author Richard Conniff, "what really got the species seekers started was that a Swedish botanist named Linnaeus had invented a system of scientific classification."

Richard Conniff on The Species Seekers

The 18th century was an age of discovery when a frontiersman mentality yielded scientific breakthroughs in natural history

Only twice has a president's party gained seats in his first midterm election.

Top 10 Historic Midterm Elections

While not as memorable or studied as presidential campaigns, the midterm elections also stand as pivotal moments in U.S. history


What Will America Look Like in 2050?

A Smithsonian/Pew poll finds optimism about science and social progress despite worries about the environment and population growth

In 44 B.C., dictator-for-life Julius Caesar is assassinated by conspirators led by Marcus Junius Brutus.

Top Ten Reasons to Beware the Ides of March

March 15 will live in infamy beyond the murder of Julius Caesar. Here are 10 events that occurred on that date

The United States expanded from the original 13 colonies in a series of deals that began in 1783 with the Treaty of Paris.

Top 10 Nation-Building Real Estate Deals

Luck and hard bargaining contributed to the growth of the United States. But with expansion came consequences

Richard Conniff has been writing for Smithsonian magazine since 1982.  His latest work is titled, "Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time: My Life Doing Dumb Stuff with Animals."

Richard Conniff’s Wildlife Writing

International journalist Richard Conniff has reported on animals that fly, swim, crawl and leap in his 40 years of writing

After a year in graduate school in New York City, Eudora Welty returned to her native Mississippi and began taking pictures (Home by Dark).

Eudora Welty as Photographer

Photographs by Pulitzer-Prize winning novelist Eudora Welty display the empathy that would later infuse her fiction

A fallow deer with its impressive but unevenly formed antler looks straight into the light of the setting sun.

Wild Things: Life as We Know It

Bats' barotrauma, fallow deer, Tahitian vanilla, lucky dinosaurs

Great white shark with its mouth open.

Wild Things: Life as We Know It

Great white sharks, endangered frogs and more

Basking sharks can be found in coastal waters and feed on plankton.

Wild Things: Life as We Know It

From zombie caterpillars to basking sharks at sea

University of Cincinnati-led researchers found sunflower seeds in Tabasco, Mexico.

Wild Things

Mouse lemur calls, a coral comeback, sunflower seeds and more

The Great Barrier Reef

Diving Into the Great Barrier Reef

Beautiful beaches and unrivaled underwater views lure lovers of marine life to the world’s largest coral reef

Yangtze River

Navigating the Yangtze River

Dubbed “the wildest, wickedest river,” this 4,000-mile-long waterway has played a major role in Chinese civilization

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