February 2014

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Eddies the Eagle

The Eagle Never Landed

Twenty-six years after he (sort of) took to the air at the Olympics, Michael Edwards soars


Valentine’s Revenge

Historian Amanda Foreman explores the other side of love and marriage


The Last Days of Blackbeard

An exclusive account of the final raid and political maneuvers of history’s most notorious pirate


Voles in Love

A relative of the mouse may hold the key to understanding why human beings are one of the few mammals that seek lifelong mates


The Cave Dwellers

Once the “shame of Italy,” the ancient warren of natural caves in Matera may be Europe’s most dramatic story of rebirth


The Mouth that Roared

In 1964, a 22-year-old Cassius Clay was largely untested as a pro. Then he stepped into the ring


Blood in the Jungle

The brutal 2011 slayings of two local rainforest defenders in the Amazon underscore the risks of activism in Brazil and the rest of the world


Lincoln’s Boys

The slain president’s two personal secretaries battled mudslingers for a quarter-century to shape his image


From the Editor

From the Editor

Introducing our February 2014 issue

From the Castle

From the Castle

Letters to the Editor


From our readers



Although scientists never could quite turn lead into gold, they did attempt some noteworthy experiments


All that Glitters

Flirting lightning bugs illuminate a dark forest with golden flight during mating season


Gold-Blooded Murder

But surely you don’t expect us to talk about it


A Golden Cure?

Can the precious metal hold the key to killing cancerous cells?


Royal Raptor

Rare photos of a golden eagle attack illustrate the predator’s legendary hunting techniques

Around the Mall

Sky High

A new fusion of camera and captor gives us a bird’s-eye view of America

Around the Mall

LISTEN: Five-Time Grammy Winner Flaco Jiménez Returns to his Tex-Mex Roots

Virtuoso 12-string bajo sexto player Max Baca talks about his long-time partner Flaco Jiménez

Around the Mall

Ask Smithsonian

You asked, we answered

Fast Forward

Fast Forward

The densely populated nation has found a new way to harness the power of the sun