U.S. History

Hazel Ying Lee (right) and fellow pilot Virginia Wong (left)

Women Who Shaped History

This Chinese American Aviatrix Overcame Racism to Fly for the U.S. During World War II

A second-generation immigrant, Hazel Ying Lee was the first Chinese American woman to receive her pilot's license

In 1866, Joseph A. Joel, a Jewish private in the 23rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment, wrote a detailed account of an 1862 Passover Seder.

Untold Stories of American History

How Jewish Soldiers Celebrated Passover in the Midst of the Civil War

A group of Union men from Ohio held a makeshift Seder in the western Virginia woods in 1862

Michael Douglas stars as Benjamin Franklin in the new Apple TV+ series "Franklin."

Based on a True Story

The Real Story Behind Apple TV+'s 'Franklin'

A new limited series starring Michael Douglas as Benjamin Franklin revisits the founding father's years as the American ambassador to France

USS South Dakota (BB-57) anchored in Hvalfjordur

This 12-Year-Old Boy Fought on a World War II Battleship and Became the Nation's Youngest Decorated War Hero

In 1942, young Calvin Graham was decorated for valor in battle, before his worried mother learned of his whereabouts and revealed his secret to the Navy

The hideout boasted more than 1,000 bunk beds, a 400-seat cafeteria, individual auditoriums for both the Senate and the House of Representatives, vast water tanks, and a trash incinerator that could serve as a crematorium.

Untold Stories of American History

The Town That Kept Its Nuclear Bunker a Secret for Three Decades

The people of White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, helped keep the Greenbrier resort's bunker—designed to hold the entirety of Congress—hidden from 1958 to 1992

Furnished with permission from the British to cross into their waters, Samuel Williams set sail for Penobscot Bay in south-central Maine, which he thought was within a solar eclipse's path of totality.

Untold Stories of American History

The Eclipse Chaser Who Led an Expedition Behind Enemy Lines During the Revolutionary War

In 1780, astronomer Samuel Williams journeyed to British-controlled territory to view a total solar eclipse

The Library Company reading room on Juniper Street in Philadelphia c. 1935, one of the group’s main locations from 1880 to 1935.

How Ben Franklin Invented the Library as We Know It

Books were rare and expensive in colonial America, but the founding father had an idea

When Abraham Lincoln campaigned in Hartford, Connecticut, in March 1860, he was met by a new uniformed group—the Wide Awakes.

The Club of Cape-Wearing Activists Who Helped Elect Lincoln—and Spark the Civil War

The untold story of the Wide Awakes, the young Americans who took up the torch for their antislavery cause and stirred the nation

Couriers’ duties included fetching patients from cabins, weighing babies, delivering medicine, cleaning saddles and bridles, and escorting any guests who rode the routes between FNS outposts.

Untold Stories of American History

Why Debutantes Volunteered to Be Horse-Riding Couriers in Rural Kentucky

Between the 1920s and 1940s, wealthy young women signed up to run errands and carry messages for the Frontier Nursing Service, whose nurse-midwives provided care to patients in hard-to-reach areas

John Thorn, perhaps the most knowledgeable historian of our national pastime, at home in Catskill, New York.

How Baseball’s Official Historian Dug Up the Game’s Unknown Origins

A lifelong passion for the national pastime led John Thorn to redefine the sport's relationship with statistics and reveal the truth behind its earliest days

The steel frame of the Francis Scott Key Bridge rests atop of a container ship following the bridge's collapse on March 26, 2024.

History of Now

Seven of the Worst Bridge Disasters in World History

The collapse of Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge is shocking—but not unprecedented

Regina King as Shirley Chisholm in Shirley, a new film written and directed by John Ridley

Women Who Shaped History

The True History Behind Netflix's 'Shirley' Movie

A new film dramatizes Shirley Chisholm's history-making bid to become the first Black woman president in 1972

Lili Taylor as Mary Lincoln and Hamish Linklater as Abraham Lincoln in the AppleTV+ miniseries "Manhunt"

There's More to That

The Man Behind 'Manhunt,' the New Apple TV+ Show About the Lincoln Assassination

Meet James Swanson, the lifelong Abraham Lincoln obsessive who wrote the nonfiction thriller that inspired the acclaimed miniseries

An illustration of Molly Maguires on their way to the gallows in Pottsville, Pennsylvania

Untold Stories of American History

Eight Secret Societies You Probably Haven't Heard Of

Many of these selective clubs peaked in popularity in the 18th and 19th centuries

Hazel Fellows sews pieces of an Apollo A7L spacesuit on the production line at International Latex Corporation (ILC) in 1968.

From the Inventor of Mass-Market Paper Bags to a Scientist Who Unraveled the Mysteries of Polio, Meet Five American Women Whose Remarkable Achievements Have Long Been Overlooked

The inaugural exhibition at the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum seeks to shine light on lesser-known historical figures

“Happy Birthday” may be the Hill sisters' main claim to fame, but Patty (left) and Mildred's (right) impact on American history extends far beyond the beloved song.

Women Who Shaped History

The Forgotten Sisters Behind 'Happy Birthday to You'

Mildred and Patty Hill wrote the popular song's melody, but their contributions to American culture have long been overlooked

Not everyone was a fan of rumor clinics. Some critics faulted them for helping hearsay reach an even larger audience.

History of Now

World War II 'Rumor Clinics' Helped America Battle Wild Gossip

Newspapers and magazines across the United States published weekly columns debunking lurid claims that were detrimental to the war effort

The International Cryonics Museum’s mission is to educate people of all walks of life about the hard science of cryonic human preservation.

The World's First Cryonics Museum Finds a Perfect Home in Estes Park, Colorado

The town’s historic hotel magnifies its mastery of the macabre with a chilling new attraction

Mario Van Peebles directs and stars in a new film titled Outlaw Posse.

How a Century of Black Westerns Shaped Movie History

Mario Van Peebles' "Outlaw Posse" is the latest attempt to correct the erasure of people of color from the classic cinema genre

Two unidentified Gullah Geechee women photographed by Lorenzo Dow Turner in the early 1930s

How the Memory of a Song Reunited Two Women Separated by the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

In 1990, scholars found a Sierra Leonean woman who remembered a nearly identical version of a tune passed down by a Georgia woman’s enslaved ancestors

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