U.S. History

In 1963, standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. waves to the largest crowd ever to participate in a civil rights demonstration in Washington, D.C. where he delivered his historic "I Have a Dream" speech.

To Mark the 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington, Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' Speech Goes on Display

The draft on view at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture was produced a few hours before King took to the podium

Stanley Tretick's photos of the March on Washington went unpublished for 50 years.

These Photos of the March on Washington Capture the Urgency and Joy of the Iconic Day

Stanley Tretick documented the demonstration in 1963, but his snapshots were hidden in a trunk, unseen by the public for decades

The August heat failed to deter demonstrators, no matter their age.

An Oral History of the March on Washington

Americans who marched on Washington 60 years ago under a blazing sun recall the day they were part of a turning point in history

Seventy-eight years after the end of World War II, hospital trains are an oft-forgotten chapter in U.S. military history.

Untold Stories of American History

What Happened on the Trains That Brought Wounded World War II Soldiers Home?

The logistics of moving patients across the U.S. by rail were staggeringly complex

Musicians Cindy Campbell and DJ Kool Herc take center stage in a 2013 celebration of the 40th anniversary of hip-hop. The brother and sister duo threw a "Back-to School Jam" in August, 1973 and launched a lasting music genre.

How Hip-Hop Was Born 50 Years Ago in a Block Party in the Bronx

Arising out of New York's close-knit Black communities, the genre revolutionized the music industry and gave rise to a new generation of sounds and stars

A total of 163 people attended the 117th Central Mine reunion.

Once a Year, This 19th-Century Michigan Ghost Town Comes to Life

Last month, descendants of copper miners and history enthusiasts alike gathered for the 117th annual Central Mine reunion service

Althea Gibson leaves Forest Hills court accompanied by Alice Marble and applause of spectators.

Women Who Shaped History

Sports Legend Althea Gibson Served Up Tennis History When She Broke Through in 1950

Her athletic performance in New York impressed onlookers of all colors and cracked opened the door for a new generation of Black players to come

The "1898: U.S. Imperial Visions and Revisions" exhibition is on display at the National Portrait Gallery through February 25, 2024.

How the War of 1898 Changed History Forever—in the United States and Beyond

When the nascent naval power invaded Puerto Rico, three artists captured the moment, each explaining its significance in their own way

Though historians today generally agree that Harding died of natural causes, suspicions to the contrary lingered for decades.

Why President Warren G. Harding's Sudden Death Sparked Rumors of Murder and Suicide

The commander in chief's unexpected death in office 100 years ago fueled decades of conspiracy theories but was most likely the result of a heart attack

A plate from the Birth Atlas, the Maternity Center Association's manual depicting the entire Birth
Series using photography and line plate drawing

At the 1939 World’s Fair, Robert Latou Dickinson Demystified Pregnancy for a Curious Public

The gynecologist and sculptor’s “Birth Series” broke barriers, but how do his views on abortion, race and women’s health square with what we know today?

President Harry S. Truman speaks from the dais at the Convention Hall as Kentucky Senator Alben Barkley (seated onstage in black suit) looks on during the 1948 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Untold Stories of American History

The 1948 Democratic National Convention Is the Missing Link in Civil Rights History

Civil rights activists failed to expel an all-white, segregationist delegation. But their efforts foreshadowed later milestones in the fight for equality

Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer in Christopher Nolan's newest film

Based on a True Story

The Real History Behind Christopher Nolan's 'Oppenheimer'

The "father of the atomic bomb" has long been misunderstood. Will the new film finally get J. Robert Oppenheimer right?

An illustration of William Morgan's abduction

The Masonic Murder That Inspired the First Third Party in American Politics

Public outcry over whistleblower William Morgan's disappearance gave rise to the Anti-Masonic Party, which nominated a candidate for president in 1832

On a June morning in 1864, Meade expelled Edward Crapsey from camp, ordering his men to seat the reporter backward on a mule, with a sign around his neck that read “Libeler of the Press.”

After Winning the Battle of Gettysburg, George Meade Fought With—and Lost to—the Press

The Civil War general's reputation was shaped by partisan politics, editorial whims and his own personal failings

Flanked by drag queens while brandishing a .410-gauge shotgun on July 6, 1973, Broshears announced the establishment of a new vigilante group: the Lavender Panthers.

LGBTQ+ Pride

The Controversial Gay Priest Who Brought Vigilante Justice to San Francisco's Streets

In response to anti-gay violence, the Reverend Raymond Broshears formed the Lavender Panthers, an armed self-defense group, in 1973

Protesters attend a rally in support of affirmative action in college admissions on October 31, 2022.

History of Now

The History Behind the Supreme Court's Affirmative Action Decision

The phrase, first used in early 20th-century employment laws, is at the center of two new rulings against its use in higher education

The artist’s rendering of the USS Indianapolis. Smith often draws highly detailed features, such as the guns, separately and only later places them onto the larger work.

A Veteran’s Artistic Tribute to Naval Might and Sacrifice

JD Smith has dedicated himself to creating incredibly detailed and historically accurate renderings of warships that fought in World War II

Thomas Edison told journalists they would each receive a brief, private demonstration of the new light bulb’s capacities. They could marvel at what he had achieved before he swiftly ushered them away, ensuring they’d be out of the room long before the bulb burned out.

How Thomas Edison Tricked the Press Into Believing He'd Invented the Light Bulb

A year before he developed a working bulb, the "Wizard of Menlo Park" created the illusion that his prototype burned for more than a few minutes at a time

Why do chickens have wings if they can’t use them to fly?

Why Are Chickens So Bad at Flying? And More Questions From Our Readers

You’ve got questions. We’ve got experts

GUN SITE Gun Site was constructed on the former Anchor Ranch, a 320-acre property to the west of the main research site. The area had a flat, empty space where scientists studied projectiles and ballistics. Its main drawback was its proximity to a road, but efforts to blockade traffic during tests were largely successful.

An Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Los Alamos Lab Where J. Robert Oppenheimer Created the Atomic Bomb

In never-before-seen photographs, explore the secret U.S. facility and home to the Manhattan Project scientists who developed the first nuclear weapon

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