Two polar bears paused from their play to nuzzle noses, which is the equivalent of a kiss for some species.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day With Heartwarming Snapshots of True Love

These 15 photos capture affection that goes beyond candy and flowers

A little rain doesn’t stop the show, and neither does a worldwide pandemic. Just months after Covid-19 gripped the globe, high school football players—and referees—were back on the field.

Are You Ready for Some Football? Prep for the Super Bowl With 15 Thrilling Photos of Americans Tossing the Pigskin

Celebrate the cherished American sport before the big game

Genealogy researchers use military records, birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, wills, legal and court documents, and census records to help piece together the past.

How the Smithsonian Is Helping Black Americans Trace Their Roots

Free sessions hosted by the National Museum of African American History and Culture offer visitors advice on researching their genealogy

Captured mid-hop, the floppy feet of a white hare were indeed good luck for this photographer.

Celebrate Winter in the Wild With 15 Photos of Animals Enjoying the Snow

These chilly but cute creatures will remind you what’s so wonderful about winter

A church with a red roof and steeple sticks out against the sprawling landscape as the sun pokes through the hazy clouds.

Get an Eyeful of Iceland in These 15 Photos That Capture Its Natural Beauty

These selections from the Smithsonian magazine photo contest will transport you to the small Scandinavian island

Depictions of catlike animals are visible on stones under a rotating, starry sky.

These 15 Photos Capture the Beauty of the Night Sky

Stars shine in these heavenly images from the Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest

Where does the ocean end and the sky begin? It’s a little hard to tell as the sun sets on Aruba’s Baby Beach.

These Inviting Photos Capture the Beauty of the Caribbean

The stunning shots will make you wish you were there

James W. Barr and Claudia E. Sharperson Barr (above, left and right), the maternal grandparents of senior editor Tracy Scott Forson. Diana Anagho (center), mother of heritage travel organizer Ada Anagho Brown. Brown as a child (far right). Harriet Tubman (below, left). Lewis Douglass (bottom), son of abolitionist orator Frederick Douglass.

What Genealogical Records Taught Me About My Family

For millions of enslaved people, bondage stole more than freedom—it severed a link to the past. Now their descendants are recovering their heritage

A train whizzes through snowy hills with frosty peaks from the Stanovoy Ridge mountains in the distance.

Get Your Year on the Right Track With These 15 Photos of Trains Around the World

With 2024 in its earliest days, take to the rails with inspiring images of life on and around train lines

Located in the White Andean Mountain Range near Huaraz, Alpamayo is among the most beautiful peaks in the world.

Grab Your Hot Cocoa and Enjoy These 15 Gorgeous Images of Snowy Landscapes

These highlights from the Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest feature winter wonderlands

A kaleidoscope of Christmas lights creates a satisfying spectacle for the eyes.

All Is Bright With These 15 Cheery Christmas Photos

Celebrate the holiday season with festive shots from the Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest

Almost like an arrow, the somewhat triangular shape of the architectural framework points this pedestrian in the right direction.

Appreciate Awesome Architecture With These 15 Photos

No passport is needed for this virtual tour of beautiful buildings around the world

Just before sunset, the peaks of Gokyo Ri in Sagarmatha National Park peek through the clouds.

Soar Through the Himalayas With These 15 Breathtaking Photos of Nepal

Travel vicariously to one of the world’s most picturesque locales

The northern lights cast an eerie glow upon an abandoned, wrecked airplane.

These 15 Photos Capture the Beauty of the Northern Lights

Spiking solar activity could mean more chances to see the awesome aurora borealis

This turkey, with his impressive wattle and snood, has nothing to fear during the Thanksgiving holiday. He gives thanks every November that he lives the secure life of a beloved pet.

Give Thanks for These 15 Photos Celebrating Thanksgiving

Gather together and commemorate the holiday of gratitude

A service member carries a flag and leads his comrades at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst as they march in remembrance of 9/11 victims. More than 40 veterans died in the attacks.

Celebrate Veterans Day With These 15 Patriotic Photos

Communities nationwide honor our retired service members every November

The green gas emanating from this small jack-o’-lantern alludes to the spread of Covid-19. Fittingly, the photographer’s subject dons a beaked mask based on the ones worn by physicians treating bubonic plague victims in 17th-century Europe.

Treat Yourself to 15 Eerie Images Celebrating Halloween

These highlights from the Smithsonian Photo Contest are sure to scare up some smiles

Players’ signatures are blurred as the red threading of this baseball comes into focus.

Celebrate the World Series With 15 Bold Baseball Photos

These highlights from the Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest are a home run

The asymmetrical angles of the roof of this old, abandoned barn complement the scenic rolling hills surrounding it.

These Beautiful Barns Tell the Story of the United States

In 1935, the nation was home to 6.8 million farms, and most had at least one barn. By 2007, only about 650,000 of these structures remained.

Seemingly still waters wind through colorful canopies displaying warm autumn hues on a hazy September morning.

Fall Into Autumn With These 15 Foliage Photos

These highlights from the Smithsonian Photo Contest celebrate the season

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