U.S. History

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Women Who Shaped History

The Little-Known Story of the Women Who Stood Up to General Motors and Demanded Equal Pay

In the 1930s, Florence St. John and her co-workers at an automotive plant won a hard-fought victory for fairness

Florence Pugh (left) stars in Don't Worry Darling as Alice, a 1950s housewife who resides in an idyllic California community with her husband, Jack (Harry Styles, right).

The Feminist Inspiration Behind 'Don't Worry Darling'

Director Olivia Wilde dubbed the new film "'The Feminine Mystique' on acid"

The signpost of hometowns for each of the characters in the sitcom "M*A*S*H" is now held in the collections of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, where it will go on view December 9.

Fifty Years and TV's 'M*A*S*H' Still Draws Audiences

Fans are making plans to visit the Smithsonian this December when the show's signature signpost goes on view in the new exhibition "Entertainment Nation"

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The Noble Fury of Samuel Adams

How America’s “first politician” galvanized a colony—and helped set a revolution in motion

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The Remarkable Effort to Locate America's Lost Patents

An 1836 blaze destroyed thousands of records that catalogued the young nation's ingenuity, but recent discoveries indicate that originals may still exist

Paula, Sam and Sol Messinger aboard the M.S. St. Louis in May 1939. The U.S. denied the ship entry, forcing its 937 passengers to return to Europe. More than a quarter of these refugees were later killed in the Holocaust.

Untold Stories of American History

Why Was America So Reluctant to Take Action on the Holocaust?

A new Ken Burns documentary examines the U.S.' complex, often shameful response to the rise of Nazism and the plight of Jewish refugees

Elizabeth arrives in Jamestown, Virginia, at the start of a visit to the United States in October 1957.

Why Women in 1950s America Looked to Elizabeth II as a Source of Inspiration

The British queen ascended to the throne at a time when most women were expected to conform to traditional domestic roles

Elizabeth remained staunchly tight-lipped, rarely commenting publicly on current events.

Elizabeth II Was an Enduring Emblem of the Waning British Empire

The British queen died on Thursday at age 96

In “Postage Pairings,” from the National Portrait Gallery, host Kim Sajet speaks with the Smithsonian's Daniel Piazza, curator of philately, about postage stamps (left: 29c single, july 30, 1993) reproduced from portraits (right: Benjamin Franklin by Joseph Siffred Duplessis, c. 1785).

The Revolutionary Role Mail Played in America’s Fight for Independence

Hear about the colonial period postal service in the latest "Portraits" podcast

An inmate firefighter monitors flames as a house burns in the Napa wine region of California on October 9, 2017.

Untold Stories of American History

The History of California's Inmate Firefighter Program

The initiative, which finds prisoners working as first responders and rescuers, dates back to the 1940s

In the not-so-distant past, the Russian and American governments talked up the shared crucibles of their two mid-19th century leaders as a way of improving diplomatic relations.

Before Lincoln Issued the Emancipation Proclamation, This Russian Czar Freed 20 Million Serfs

The parallels between the U.S. president and Alexander II, both of whom fought to end servitude in their nations, are striking

Septima Poinsette Clark by Brian Lanker, 1987

Women Who Shaped History

These Black Women Changed America

Thirty years ago, photographer Brian Lanker made indelible images of historical lives; a new exhibition says their stories have never seemed more relevant

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Six Times School Bus Drivers Were Heroes

A look back at some remarkable rescues

The eight-episode production does not include the participation of the real-life Tyson. Pictured: Episode still of Johnny Alexander as Evander Holyfield (left) and Trevante Rhodes as Mike Tyson (right)

Based on a True Story

How Hulu's 'Mike' Dramatizes the Life of Boxing Heavyweight Mike Tyson

The new eight-part series tries to humanize its notorious central character, whose athletic prowess was later overshadowed by his actions outside the ring

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A Deadly World War II Explosion Sparked Black Soldiers to Fight for Equal Treatment

After the deadliest home-front disaster of the war, African Americans throughout the military took action to transform the nation's armed forces

The Pekin Noodle Parlor in Butte, Montana, serves what owner Jerry Tam calls “Chinese American comfort food.”

The First Chinese Restaurant in America Has a Savory—and Unsavory—History

Venture into the Montana eatery, once a gambling den and opium repository, that still draws a crowd

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

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