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Phantom Ranch cabins

The Grand Canyon's Phantom Ranch Turns 100 This Year

A century after it was built, the secluded resort below the rim is still an architectural marvel

Audre Lorde lectures students at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

Women Who Shaped History

You May Have Borrowed These Terms from Black Feminism

Two curators have turned co-hosts in the podcast, “Collected,” a six-part examination of the origins of self-care, identity politics, and intersectionality

The so-called frogmen swam into enemy beaches unarmed, wearing only swim trunks, dive masks and fins.

Untold Stories of American History

The Stealth Swimmers Whose WWII Scouting Laid the Groundwork for the Navy SEALs

The Underwater Demolition Teams cleared coastal defenses and surveyed enemy beaches ahead of Allied landings

In the aftermath of the disaster and for decades to follow, numerous theories emerged. The men had been captured by the Japanese. They had been murdered by a stowaway. They had killed each other in a fight over a woman. They had simply fallen out of the blimp.

The 80-Year Mystery of the U.S. Navy's 'Ghost Blimp'

The L-8 returned from patrolling the California coast for Japanese subs in August 1942, but its two-man crew was nowhere to be found

 Online inflation calculators are only as good as the Consumer Price Index (CPI). “They’re as accurate as we can make them,” says economist Joe Mahon.

What Online Inflation Calculators Can—and Can't—Tell Us About the Past

Most of these tools are based on the Consumer Price Index, a measure of changing prices in the U.S. over time

Between March 19 and April 17, 1964, Geraldine "Jerrie" Mock (above: at the start of her journey at Ohio's Port Columbus Airport) flew her single-engine Cessna 180, dubbed "Charlie," solo around the globe setting a world record.

Women Who Shaped History

Who Was the First Woman to Fly Solo Around the World?

When the National Air and Space Museum reopens October 14, Geraldine Mock’s Cessna 180 soars in the new exhibition, "We All Fly"

“The Great Divide” explores how ideas that came to the fore during the Enlightenment at once blurred social hierarchies and reinforced them, particularly along lines of gender and race. 

These 18th-Century Shoes Underscore the Contradictions of the Age of Enlightenment

An exhibition at Toronto's Bata Shoe Museum examines fashion's role in supporting social hierarchies that emerged during the landmark intellectual movement

Musicians Cindy Campbell and DJ Kool Herc take center stage in a 2013 celebration of the 40th anniversary of hip-hop. The brother and sister duo threw a "Back-to School Jam" in August, 1973 and launched a lasting music genre.

How the Block Party Became an Urban Phenomenon

Watch the National Museum of African American History and Culture's 2022 star-studded Hip-Hop Block Party

Ornithologist Edmund Selous made empathy for birds respectable and, in doing so, changed the world. Bird-watching became a popular pastime, eventually making birding scientific and playing a pivotal role in the animals’ conservation.

How Bird Collecting Evolved Into Bird-Watching

In the early 1900s, newfound empathy for avian creatures helped wildlife observation displace dispassionate killing

In May 1536, Henry had his second wife, Anne Boleyn, beheaded on trumped-up charges of adultery and incest. For centuries, historians blamed Anne's sister-in-law, Jane Boleyn, for testifying against the queen—but new research calls this claim into question.

The Myths of Lady Rochford, the Tudor Noblewoman Who Supposedly Betrayed George and Anne Boleyn

Historians are reevaluating Jane Boleyn's role in her husband and sister-in-law's downfall

Medical student Anna Searcy in 1897

Women Who Shaped History

These Trailblazers Were the Only Women in the Room Where It Happened

A new book spotlights 100 historical photographs of lone women hidden among groups of men

Over the past century, archaeologists have uncovered more than 1,600 Proto-Elamite inscriptions, but only about 43 in Linear Elamite, scattered widely across Iran.

Have Scholars Finally Deciphered a Mysterious Ancient Script?

Linear Elamite, a writing system used in what is now Iran, may reveal the secrets of a little-known kingdom bordering Sumer

Divers from AllenX examines the debris trail of the Maravillas, which sank in the Bahamas in 1656.

Cool Finds

The Race to Preserve Treasures From a Legendary 17th-Century Shipwreck

The new Bahamas Maritime Museum will feature finds from the "Maravillas," a Spanish galleon that sank in 1656 with a cargo of gold, silver and gems

A boy riding his bike while delivering newspapers with his dog in tow, 1970s

What Ever Happened to the Neighborhood Paperboy?

To mark the premiere of Amazon's "Paper Girls," we delved into the surprisingly murky history of bicycle-riding newspaper carriers

John Volanthen (Colin Farrell), Richard Harris (Joel Edgerton) and Rick Stanton (Viggo Mortensen) in Thirteen Lives

Based on a True Story

The True History Behind Ron Howard's 'Thirteen Lives'

A new film dramatizes the harrowing attempts to save a group of boys trapped in a cave in Thailand in 2018

Despite the Russian invasion, traditional Ukrainian folk singers performed as part of the celebrations for Kyiv Day  on May 28, 2022.

Can Cultural Treasures in Occupied Ukraine Be Saved?

The podcast 'Sidedoor' goes behind-the-scenes with the Smithsonian Culture Rescue Initiative and its heroic efforts to safeguard the nation’s heritage

A meeting of the Soviet Republics’ Esperanto Union, held in Moscow in 1931

Why Hitler and Stalin Hated Esperanto, the 135-Year-Old Language of Peace

Jewish doctor L.L. Zamenhof created Esperanto as a way for diverse groups to easily communicate

In 1964, when a journalist asked Howard crew coach Stuart Law about the team’s last-place finishes, he just smiled and said, “We’re getting better all the time.”

Untold Stories of American History

The Barrier-Breaking Rowers of America's First All-Black Crew Team

At the height of the civil rights movement, Howard University's oarsmen held their own against rivals from established, largely white programs

The trident, also known as the tryzub, is ubiquitous in modern Ukraine, but its origins lie in the medieval period.

How Medieval Money Shaped Ukraine’s Modern Identity

The country's distinct history is revealed in banknotes, coins and other monetary objects, says the Smithsonian’s curator of numismatics

By March 1862, Judith Henry's Virginia home had been reduced to rubble.

Untold Stories of American History

The Civil War's First Civilian Casualty Was an Elderly Widow From Virginia

Union gunfire killed 85-year-old Judith Carter Henry on July 21, 1861—the day of the First Battle of Bull Run