U.S. History

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Langley's Feat--and Folly

The Smithsonian Secretary assembled a devoted team, a remarkable engine and a plane that wouldn't fly

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Pipelines to the Public

Through innovative outreach programs, the Smithsonian extends its resources far and wide

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Signs of the Times

Autographs of luminaries —from Lincoln to Liberace —feed the yen for nostalgia and a brush with fame

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Pushing the Envelope

At the National Postal Museum, envelopes are as critical a part of history as the letters inside

Photograph of cased-daguerreotype studio portrait of brain-injury survivor Phineas P. Gage (1823–1860) shown holding the tamping iron which injured him.

Facing a Bumpy History

The much-maligned theory of phrenology gets a tip of the hat from modern neuroscience

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Two Cultures--Never the Twain Shall Meet?

Scientists wonder why today the word "Intellectual" is used to describe only those in arts and letters

Ahmad Lahauri is believed to have been the main architect of the Taj Mahal.

An Illustrated History of a Mughal Emperor

The opulent paintings in the "King of the World" exhibition bring the reign of the Taj Mahal builder to life and incite a passion for learning

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Bang! Bang! You're Dead

Dueling at the drop of a hat was as European as truffles, and as American as mom's apple pie

REI

For Those Who Want to Play Outdoors

REI was started in the back of a gas station in 1938. Now this consumer co-op is the nation's largest

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Our New Gem Hall is a Jewel, Indeed

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The Space Race

Onetime rivals are now partners. A new exhibition and an IMAX film, Mission to Mir, tell the story

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John Brown's Picture

A long-lost daguerrotype, made by a black artist in 1847, has lately come to rest at the Smithsonian

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Smithsonian Perspectives

Smithsonian Perspectives

Smithsonian Institution Archives

A Treasury of Archives

Though seldom seen by the public, the Smithsonian's vast repositories are vital to the institution

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Women and Flight

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Around the Mall & Beyond

Kites aren't just for kids. Ben Franklin knew it, as did the 20,000 kiters and kite fans at this year's 31st annual Smithsonian kite festival

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Smithsonian Perspectives

Through object-based education and other programs, the Smithsonian reaches out to teachers and students

Grace Coolidge with Laddie Boy, an Airedale Terrier, and Rob Roy, a white Collie

All the Presidents' Pooches

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The Maginot Line

It is known as a great military blunder, but in fact this stout network of ingenious bunkers did what it was designed to do

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Smithsonian Perspectives

A patriarch of flight, Paul Garber devoted his Smithsonian career to the preservation of historic aircraft

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