April 2008

Subscribe to Smithsonian magazine image Subscribe to Smithsonian magazine mobile image


Inside a Keck telescope dome

Homing In On Black Holes

To gain insight into the most mysterious objects in the universe, astronomers shine a light at the chaotic core of our own Milky Way


Inside Cape Town

Tourists are flocking to the city, but a former resident explains how the legacy of apartheid lingers


The Unmaking of the President

Lyndon Johnson believed that his withdrawal from the 1968 presidential campaign would free him to solidify his legacy


Larger than Life

Whether denouncing France's art establishment or challenging Napoleon III, Gustave Courbet never held back


To Catch a Thief

How a Civil War buff's chance discovery led to a sting, a raid and a victory against traffickers in stolen historical documents

Pay Dirt in Montana

A librarian's sleuthing turns up a crime with at least 100 victims


The Sodfather

Major-league teams are turning to third-generation groundskeeper Roger Bossard to give them a winning edge

Tips from the Top

The Roger Bossard way to great grass


Indelible Images

Comrades and Arms

When Fidel Castro asked for a show of hands in support of his new policies, an American journalist captured the response

My Kind of Town

Urbane Renewal

Claire Messud, the best-selling author of The Emperor's Children, discovers the grown-up pleasures of her adolescent playground


Patricia Zaradic, Conservation Ecologist, Pennsylvania

The trouble with "videophilia"

Presence of Mind

"Those Aren't Rumors"

Two decades ago an anonymous telephone call sank Gary Hart's presidential campaign—and rewrote the rules of political reporting

From the Editor

Into the Void

Unraveling an astronomical mystery... and a presidency



Readers Respond to the February Issue

Wild Things

Wild Things

Life as We Know It

This Month in History

April Anniversaries

Momentous or Merely Memorable

Points of Interest

Points of Interest

Notable American Destinations and Happenings

From the Castle

From the Castle

Hello? Hello?

Around the Mall

Buried Treasure

A Clarion call from the new African American History Museum: What's in Your Attic?

Around the Mall

Making History

Where Animals Roam

The Object at Hand

Spirals of History

Hand-carved elephant tusks tell the story of life in the Congolese colonies of the late 1800s


James Luna

James Luna is known for pushing boundaries in his installations, where he engages audiences by making himself part of a tableau

Around the Mall


Young Talent

What's Up

What's Up

The Last Page

Mind Games

You say tomato, I say otamot