January 2009

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Askariya Shrine in Samarra, Iraq

Samarra Rises

In Iraq, the restoration of the shattered Mosque of the Golden Dome brings together Sunnis and Shiites in an unlikely alliance

President Lincoln with officers at the Battle of Antietam

Commander in Chief

A self-taught strategist with no combat experience, Abraham Lincoln saw the path to victory more clearly than his generals

a salt-making site at the village of Teguidda-n-Tessoumt in arid northern Niger

Winging It

Dangling from a paraglider with a propeller on his back, photographer George Steinmetz gets a new perspective on Africa

Alisha Bacoccini is undergoing experimental gene therapy

Gene Therapy in a New Light

A husband-and-wife team's experimental genetic treatment for blindness is renewing hopes for a controversial field of medicine

Three week old spotted owl hatchlings

The Spotted Owl's New Nemesis

An battle between environmentalists and loggers left much of the owl's habitat protected. Now the spotted owl faces a new threat

Vincent van Goghs The Starry Night

Night Visions

For Vincent Van Gogh, fantasy and reality merged after dark in some of his most enduring paintings, as a new exhibition reminds us

80-square-mile Hobet 21 mine near Danville, West Virginia

Mining the Mountains

Explosives and machines are destroying Appalachian peaks to obtain coal. In a West Virginia town, residents and the industry fight over a mountain's fate


Indelible Images

With Santa, the More the Merrier

Photographer Neal Slavin captures the night some Santas bent the rules

From the Editor


Disparate views from on high

Letters to the Editor


Readers Respond to the November Issue

This Month in History

January Anniversaries

Momentous or Merely Memorable

From the Castle

Teaming Up

University partnerships are key to the success of the Smithsonian Institution's education initiatives

Around the Mall

Intelligent Designer

Charles Harrison, former industrial designer at Sears, Roebuck and Company, created practical innovations that touched many lives

Around the Mall

Hail to the Chief

Franklin Roosevelt's fourth inaugural, which was less than 600 words long, focused on the perils of isolationism

Around the Mall

There's No Place Like Home

The newly reopened Smithsonian National Museum of American History boasts a rare pair of Judy Garland's legendary ruby slippers


Q&A: N. Scott Momaday

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Kiowa Indian N. Scott Momaday runs a nonprofit organization working to preserve Native cultures

Around the Mall

Easy Rider

What's Up

What's Up

Presence of Mind

Frost, Nixon and Me

Author James Reston Jr. discovers firsthand what is gained and lost when history is turned into entertainment

The Last Page

Your Name Here

If you're not yet a Hall of Famer, maybe you're just not trying