The History of the Short-Lived Independent Republic of Florida

For a brief period in 1810, Florida was truly a country of its own




A “laser cowboy” makes a 3-D scan of Lincoln’s life mask at the Portrait Gallery.

How the Smithsonian is Coming to You

Between smartphone apps and local exhibitions, the Institution is looking for great new ways to connect to our biggest fans

Many Americans think U.S. teens perform even worse on standardized science tests than they actually do, according to a new national survey.

Educating Americans for the 21st Century

How Much Do Americans Know About Science?

An exclusive poll shows Americans crave stronger mathematics, science schooling for U.S. kids


From the Editor

From the Editor




“Stem Cells”

A new poem by Amit Majmudar

PHOTOS: Life Along the Borders

The recent book On Borders features the work of photographers who captured images of boundaries both literal and metaphorical


“In the Sistine Chapel”

A new poem by Scott Brennan


Has Gettysburg Kicked Its Kitsch Factor?

Historian Tony Horwitz travels to the Civil War battlefield and finds that even where time is frozen, it’s undergone welcome changes

Inside a World War II-era blimp hangar in Tustin, California, the future of aviation is preparing for liftoff.

Photos: The U.S. Military’s Prototype for a Flying Submarine

Capable of carrying 66 tons of cargo, the Aeroscraft could bring airships back to the skies

Night Raid, by Louie Palu.


Cooked is a from-the-atom-on-up exploration of the ways in which ingredients are transformed.

Michael Pollan, World War II and More Recent Books Out This Month

Read about the transformation of food and what happens to it once its in the digestive system

Ever wonder how much water is in a cloud?

How Much Water Is in a Cloud and More Questions From Our Readers

Imaginary numbers, Roy Lichtenstein and much much more

At remote Abu Camp, visitors can hitch a ride into one of the great water holes of Africa.

The Joys and Dangers of Exploring Africa on the Back of an Elephant

Renowned travel writer Paul Theroux journeys through Botswana’s spectacular, wildlife-rich wetlands

Great Camp Sagamore in Raquette Lake, New York, was once a retreat for the Vanderbilt family.

Where Was the Birthplace of the American Vacation?

First in rustic tents and later in elaborate resorts, city dwellers took to the Adirondacks to explore the joys of the wilderness


From the Editor - Apr 13

From the Editor - Apr 13

In late 1938, the revolutionary DC-3 plane departed Newark Airport for Glendale, California.

How the DC-3 Revolutionized Air Travel

Before the legendary aircraft took flight, it took 25 hours to fly from New York to Los Angeles

A crew member dives overboard in the film.

Kon-Tiki Sails Again

A new film recreates the epic voyage—and revives the controversy over its legendary leader, Thor Heyerdahl

Mikael Knip, a Finnish physician, speculates that developed nations are too clean for their own good.

The Unintended (and Deadly) Consequences of Living in the Industrialized World

Scientists believe dirt could explain why some of the wealthiest countries suffer from afflictions rarely seen in less-developed nations

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