From the Collections

The Tucker on display at the National Museum of American History.

The Tucker Was the 1940s Car of the Future

Visionary inventor
 Preston Tucker risked everything when he saw his 1948 automobile as a vehicle for change

The first page of Theodore Roosevelt's speech that was damaged when a bullet tore through it.

The Speech That Saved Teddy Roosevelt’s Life

Campaigning for president, Roosevelt was spared almost certain death when 50 pieces of paper slowed an assailant’s bullet headed for his chest

Dr. Lewis Fielding’s File Cabinet.

The World’s Most Famous Filing Cabinet

After Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers, the notorious Plumbers broke into his psychiatrist's office, looking for a way to discredit him

From The Smithsonian Collections: Plastic Flamingos, c. 1980

The Tacky History of the Pink Flamingo

From its start in Massachusetts, of all places, to its inspiration of a John Waters film, the lawn ornament has some staying power

Jim Thorpe's epic performance in the 15 events that made up the pentathlon and decathlon at the 1912 Summer Games remains the most solid reflection we have of him.

Why Are Jim Thorpe’s Olympic Records Still Not Recognized?

In 1912, Jim Thorpe became the greatest American Olympian of all time, but not if you ask the IOC

Until she met her future husband, Julia Child had never given much thought to food. On her own she made do with frozen food.

Julia Child's Recipe for a Thoroughly Modern Marriage

Food writer Ruth Reichl looks at the impact of the famous chef's partnership with her husband Paul

This custom-made board carried Kelly Slater to victory in Australia in 2010; the champion got his first surfboard at age 8 and from that moment, he says, “I was hooked.”

Kelly Slater, the Chairman of the Board

An ode to surfing’s fiercest, most successful competitor – who now has a place in the Smithsonian collections

Artists such as David Hockney were inspired by the SX-70.

How the Polaroid Stormed the Photographic World

Edwin Land's camera, the SX-70, perfected the art of instant gratification

A 1920 poster by Howard Chandler Christy.

Here & Now

Acquired by Samuel Cox, the mummy is "our . . . most richly decorated [specimen]," says curator Melinda Zeder.

How One Mummy Came to the Smithsonian

An American diplomat’s memento takes center stage after 125 years


Q & A with Governor and Children's Book Author Frank Keating

Thomas Jefferson believed that his version of the New Testament distilled "the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has never been offered to man."

How Thomas Jefferson Created His Own Bible

Thanks to an extensive restoration process, the public can now see how Jefferson created his own version of the Scripture

In Robert Walter Weir’s c. 1838 canvas of St. Nicholas (detail), perhaps influenced by a Washington Irving story, the painter envisioned both an enigmatic trickster and a dispenser of holiday cheer.

A Mischievous St. Nick from the Smithsonian American Art Museum

The 19th-century artist Robert Walter Weir took inspiration from Washington Irving to create a prototype of Santa Claus

Conn's Civil War violin.

The Civil War 150 Years: Solomon Conn’s Violin Diary

A soldier's violin becomes a record of his war-time travels

Posakei Pongap, a Manus islander, in front of a field ruined by salinization.

The Faces of Climate Change

Flooding islands, melting glaciers and dried-up streams: experience the impacts of climate change through the "Conversations with the Earth" exhibition


Playing Dress-Up With Van Cleef & Arpels


See the Breathtaking Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels at Cooper-Hewitt in New York City


Q & A: Ottawa/Ojibwe Basket-Weaver Kelly Church

In 1849, Harriet Tubman fled Maryland to Philadelphia. Soon after, Tubman began her exploits—acts of bravery that would make her a legend.

Breaking Ground

Harriet Tubman's Hymnal Evokes a Life Devoted to Liberation

A hymnal owned by the brave leader of the Underground Railroad brings new insights into the life of the American heroine

Live Aid: 25 Years Later

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