April 2011

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Dome of the Rock

Sifting Sacred Ground

As Israeli archaeologists recover artifacts from the religious site, ancient history inflames modern-day political tensions

Northern Lights

Something New Under the Sun

Scientists are probing deep beneath the surface of our nearest star to calculate its profound effect on Earth

Red crowned cranes flying

Living on the Edge

Rare cranes have flourished in the world's unlikeliest sanctuary, the heavily mined demilitarized zone between North and South Korea

Velazquez The Education of the Virgin

The Painting in the Cellar

Sorting through old canvases in a storeroom, a Yale curator discovered a painting believed to be by the Spanish master

Diego de Silva Velazquez

Velázquez: Embodiment of a Golden Age

The magic of Velázquez has influenced artists from his contemporaries to Manet and Picasso

Capri Faraglioni pinnacles

The Lure of Capri

What is it about this tiny, sun-drenched island off the coast of Naples that has made it so irresistible for so long?

Fort Sumter

Opening Salvo

Nearly a century of discord between North and South finally exploded in April 1861 with the bombardment of Fort Sumter


From the Editor

A Necessary Conflict

And an opportunity for re-examination



Readers Respond to the February 2011 Issue

Indelible Images

Spokes and Splinters

Photographer A.F. Van Order captured the thrills and spills of board-track motorcycle racing in the 1910s


Interview: Bettany Hughes

The biographer and author of a new book discusses what new there is to learn about the ancient Greek philosopher

My Kind of Town

Second Acts

Returning to his native Ohio, author Charles Michener marvels at the city’s ability to reinvent itself

This Month in History

April 2011 Anniversaries

Momentous or Merely Memorable

Around the Mall

Attack of the Giant Pythons

The Smithsonian's noted bird sleuth, Carla Dove, eyes smelly globs to identify victims in Florida

The Object at Hand

Lincoln's Loss

The first Union officer killed in the Civil War was a friend of President Lincoln's


Q & A: Tom Mirenda

The Natural History Museum's orchid expert talks about the beloved flowers

What's Up

What's Up

The Last Page

Turn on, Log in, Wise up

If the internet is dumbing us down, how come I've never felt smarter?