History | Smithsonianhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/rss/history/RSS feed for HistoryenFri, 23 Aug 2019 11:00:00 +0000When the Public Feared That Library Books Could Spread Deadly Diseaseshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/during-great-book-scare-people-worried-contaminated-books-could-spread-disease-180972967/"The great book scare" created a panic that you could catch an infection just by lending from the library Fri, 23 Aug 2019 11:00:00 +0000Sculptor Edmonia Lewis Shattered Gender and Race Expectations in 19th-Century Americahttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/sculptor-edmonia-lewis-shattered-gender-race-expectations-19th-century-america-180972934/As the orphaned child of a black father and a Native-American mother, Lewis rewrote the 19th-century definition of sculptorThu, 22 Aug 2019 13:00:00 +0000Why Spain Is Seeking to Catalog All of Its Historic Shipwreckshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/why-spain-seeking-catalogue-all-historic-shipwrecks-180972836/A deep dive into the archives yields hundreds of long-forgotten journeysThu, 22 Aug 2019 13:00:00 +0000A Chunk of Trinitite Reminds Us of the Sheer, Devastating Power of the Atomic Bombhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/chunk-trinitite-reminds-sheer-devastating-power-atomic-bomb-180972848/Within the Smithsonian's collections exists a telltale trace of the weapon that would change the world foreverThu, 22 Aug 2019 12:00:00 +0000A 42,000-Year-Old Man Finally Goes Homehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/mungo-man-finally-goes-home-180972835/At long last, the remains of Mungo Man are at rest after an agonizing clash between modern science and an ancient spiritualityThu, 22 Aug 2019 12:00:00 +0000Do Goats Really Love to Jump? And More Questions From Our Readershttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/do-goats-really-love-to-jump-180972850/You've got questions, we've got expertsThu, 22 Aug 2019 10:00:00 +0000When an Influx of French-Canadian Immigrants Struck Fear Into Americanshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/french-canadian-immigrants-struck-fear-into-new-england-communities-180972951/In the late 19th century, they came to work in New England cotton mills, but the <i>New York Times</i>, among others, saw something more sinisterWed, 21 Aug 2019 17:46:36 +0000You Can Thank Chemist Stephanie Kwolek for Bulletproof Vests and Yoga Pantshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/you-can-thank-chemist-stephanie-kwolek-bulletproof-vests-and-yoga-pants-180972948/The long-serving researcher at DuPont invented kevlar and contributed to spandexWed, 21 Aug 2019 16:08:08 +0000Why Americans Love Their Apple Piehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/why-americans-love-their-apple-pie-180972852/How did a humble dessert become a recipe for democracy?Wed, 21 Aug 2019 12:00:00 +0000The New Treasures of Pompeiihttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/new-treasures-pompeii-180972829/From gorgeous artworks to grimacing corpses, archaeologists are still uncovering the truth about life—and death—in the doomed cityTue, 20 Aug 2019 11:00:00 +0000In 1870, Henrietta Wood Sued for Reparations—and Wonhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/henrietta-wood-sued-reparations-won-180972845/The $2,500 verdict, the largest ever of its kind, offers evidence of the generational impact such awards can haveMon, 19 Aug 2019 17:06:26 +0000From Nazi Prisons to Cat Sanctuaries, Explore the Many Lives of These Russian Palaceshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/nazi-prisons-cat-sanctuaries-explore-many-lives-russian-palaces-180969991/Follow the footsteps of doomed royals and revolutionaries through these architectural marvelsMon, 19 Aug 2019 12:00:00 +000014 Fun Facts About Roller Coastershttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/14-fun-facts-about-roller-coasters-180972920/For starters, one of the oldest coasters in America carried coal before it carried passengersFri, 16 Aug 2019 12:00:00 +0000How Helicopters Helped Make Woodstock Happenhttps://www.smithsonianmag.comhttp://www.airspacemag.com/daily-planet/without-helicopters-there-wouldnt-have-been-woodstock-180972886/The legendary music festival was propelled by up to 22 helicopters, which airdropped food and flowers, transported performers, and irritated festival-goersThu, 15 Aug 2019 11:00:00 +0000How Marian Anderson Became an Iconic Symbol for Equality https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/how-marian-anderson-became-iconic-symbol-equality-180972898/Her beautiful voice famously rang out from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial; a new show takes a look at the highs and lows of her global acclaimWed, 14 Aug 2019 16:13:16 +0000How the Wiffle Ball Came to Behttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/how-wiffle-ball-came-to-be-180972900/Patented in 1957, the lightweight ball saved players' arms and more than a few windowsWed, 14 Aug 2019 15:44:42 +0000Remembering Julia Childhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/remembering-julia-child-180972830/Smithsonian curator Paula Johnson addresses many of the questions visitors ask about America’s beloved cooking teacher and her kitchenTue, 13 Aug 2019 19:21:24 +0000The Actress Who Left the Stage to Become a Civil War Spyhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/actress-who-left-stage-become-civil-war-spy-180972821/Pauline Cushman, now featured in a Smithsonian photography exhibition, unexpectedly found herself spying for the Union after accepting a dareMon, 12 Aug 2019 13:30:28 +0000The Crazy Superstitions and Real-Life Science of the Northern Lightshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/crazy-superstitions-and-real-life-science-northern-lights-180972779/In the latest episode of ‘Re:Frame,’ Smithsonian curators take a deep dive into the dramatic painting ‘Aurora Borealis’ by Frederic Church Fri, 09 Aug 2019 13:00:00 +0000The Government Taste Testers Who Reshaped America’s Diethttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/government-taste-testers-who-reshaped-americas-diet-180972823/In the 1930s, a forgotten federal bureau experimented with ways to make soy and other products more popular in the U.S. Fri, 09 Aug 2019 10:00:00 +0000The 19th-Century Mania for Ice Skating in the Summerhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/19th-century-mania-summer-ice-skating-180972812/Europeans sought to recreate the luxury of wintering in the Alps with an indoor rink attractionWed, 07 Aug 2019 12:00:00 +0000Mark Twain's Quest to Bring Affordable Watches to the Masseshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/mark-twains-quest-bring-affordable-watches-masses-180972813/At one time, he even invested in a watch company that launched a signature 'Mark Twain' pocket watchTue, 06 Aug 2019 14:20:30 +0000How American Brewers Employed Fine Art to Sell Beerhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/how-american-brewers-employed-fine-art-sell-beer-180972781/The Smithsonian’s ‘Re:Frame’ investigates how artist Doris Lee gave beer a new post-prohibition image of domesticity and conviviality Tue, 06 Aug 2019 13:00:00 +0000Mesoamerican Sculptures Reveal Early Knowledge of Magnetismhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/mesoamerican-sculptures-reveal-early-knowledge-magnetism-180972820/Stone figures with magnetized cheeks and navels suggest the pre-Maya civilization of Monte Alto understood the attractive forceTue, 06 Aug 2019 12:00:00 +0000What Do Bovids, Bridges and the West Have to Do With American Art? https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/what-do-bovids-bridges-west-american-art-180972780/In the debut episode of “Re:Frame,” Smithsonian curators explore the iconic symbol of the West, the American BisonMon, 05 Aug 2019 19:10:46 +0000Reframing American Arthttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/blogs/smithsonian-american-art-museum/2019/08/05/reframing-american-art/A new web series, 'Re:Frame,' explores American art by making unexpected connections across the SmithsonianMon, 05 Aug 2019 19:04:35 +0000How Mosquitoes Helped Shape the Course of Human Historyhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/how-mosquitos-helped-shape-human-history-180972802/Historian and author Timothy Winegard discusses the way mosquitoes have played a major role in battles, genetics and the gin and tonicMon, 05 Aug 2019 15:08:57 +0000What's in a Name? Meet the Government Employees Who Make the Callhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/bureaucrats-who-rename-confederate-landmarks-180972774/A little-known patchwork of bureaucratic boards are tasked with deciding when to change the names of geographic placesThu, 01 Aug 2019 15:32:58 +0000The Bootleg King and the Ambitious Prosecutor Who Took Him Downhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/bootleg-king-and-ambitious-prosecutor-who-took-him-down-180972783/The clash between George Remus and Mabel Walker Willebrandt present a snapshot of life during the Roaring TwentiesThu, 01 Aug 2019 14:26:42 +0000The Pioneering Female Botanist Who Sweetened a Nation and Saved a Valleyhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/pioneering-female-botanist-who-sweetened-nation-and-saved-valley-180972765/One of India’s finest plant scientists, Janaki Ammal spurred her country to protect its rich tropical diversityWed, 31 Jul 2019 12:30:00 +0000Florida Man Terrorizes Town, Forcing Federal Government to Step Inhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/florida-man-terrorizes-town-forcing-federal-government-step-180972757/As mayor of Cedar Key, Billy Cottrell reigned as a tyrant until U.S. forces chased him away Tue, 30 Jul 2019 15:06:48 +0000Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch Weighs In on Legendary Photo Archive of African-American Life https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/smithsonian-secretary-lonnie-bunch-on-legendary-photo-archive-african-american-life-180972732/In historic moment, foundations and museums came together to rescue black history. "This is an optimistic tale," says BunchFri, 26 Jul 2019 17:25:57 +0000Why Lie Detector Tests Can't Be Trustedhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/why-lie-detector-tests-cant-be-trusted-180972724/Federal agencies embraced the polygraph in the 1950s to reassure the public that they could unmask spies Thu, 25 Jul 2019 17:01:35 +0000What You Need to Know About the Manson Family Murdershttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/manson-family-murders-what-need-to-know-180972655/Behind the scenes of the brutal crimes lurking throughout Quentin Tarantino's new film, 'Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood'Thu, 25 Jul 2019 16:45:03 +0000Why It Is Important to Know the Story of Filipino-American Larry Itlionghttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/why-it-is-important-know-story-filipino-american-larry-itliong-180972696/Author Gayle Romasanta is on a crusade to recover the farm worker’s story, empowering young leaders to follow in his footstepsWed, 24 Jul 2019 14:44:34 +0000Why 19th-Century Axe Murderer Lizzie Borden Was Found Not Guiltyhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/why-19th-century-axe-murderer-lizzie-borden-was-found-not-guilty-180972707/Nativism, gender stereotypes and wealth all played a role in letting Borden, the prime suspect in her father and stepmother's violent deaths, go freeTue, 23 Jul 2019 15:27:41 +0000The Most Irish Town in America Was Built on Seaweedhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/most-irish-town-america-built-seaweed-180972701/After discovering 'Irish moss' in coastal waters, Irish immigrants launched a booming mossing industry in Scituate, MassachusettsMon, 22 Jul 2019 17:17:38 +0000Five of the Most Fascinating Prison Museums in Americahttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/five-most-fascinating-prison-museums-america-180969137/From Alcatraz to Cell Block 7, these jails now hold tours instead of prisonersMon, 22 Jul 2019 13:00:00 +0000Why Interest in Space Travel Waned After Apollo 11https://www.smithsonianmag.com/videos/category/history/why-interest-in-space-travel-waned-after-apo_1/After the success of Apollo 11, NASA unveiled an ambitious agenda for more missions into space, but interest among the public was beginning to declineMon, 22 Jul 2019 12:00:00 +0000How Neil Armstrong Trained to Land the Lunar Modulehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/videos/category/innovation/how-neil-armstrong-trained-to-land-the-lunar_1/To prepare him for landing the lunar module, Neil Armstrong practiced on a training vehicle right here on EarthSat, 20 Jul 2019 13:00:00 +0000Imagining a World Where Soviets and Americans Joined Hands on the Moonhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/imagining-world-where-soviets-and-americans-joined-hands-moon-180972692/Before he was assassinated, JFK spoke of a cooperative effort in spaceFri, 19 Jul 2019 15:09:03 +0000Interactive Map Shows All 21 Successful Moon Landingshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/interactive-map-shows-all-21-successful-moon-landings-180972687/Humans have walked on the moon six times, and robotic probes have been touching down on the lunar surface for decades—but there is still much to exploreFri, 19 Jul 2019 11:00:00 +0000The Original Tour de France Yellow Jersey Was Made of Woolhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/original-tour-de-france-yellow-jersey-was-made-wool-180972664/100 years ago, in the middle of the race, a rider wore the famed jersey for the first timeWed, 17 Jul 2019 16:24:09 +0000Before Going to the Moon, Apollo 11 Astronauts Trained at These Five Siteshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/going-moon-apollo-11-astronauts-trained-these-five-sites-180972452/From Arizona to Hawaii, these landscapes—similar in ways to the surface of the moon—were critical training grounds for the crewWed, 17 Jul 2019 14:31:47 +0000One Hundred Years Ago, a Four-Day Race Riot Engulfed Washington, D.C.https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/one-hundred-years-ago-four-day-race-riot-engulfed-washington-dc-180972666/Rumors ran wild as white mobs assaulted black residents who in turn fought back, refusing to be intimidatedWed, 17 Jul 2019 11:09:34 +0000The Best Books About the Apollo Program and Landing on the Moonhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/best-books-about-apollo-program-and-landing-moon-180972653/From astronaut autobiographies to definitive accounts from leading historians, these are the must reads about the landmark missionTue, 16 Jul 2019 13:09:43 +0000When Ancient DNA Gets Politicizedhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/when-ancient-dna-gets-politicized-180972639/What responsibility do archaeologists have when their research about prehistoric finds is appropriated to make 21st-century arguments about ethnicity?Fri, 12 Jul 2019 17:29:38 +0000Apollo Engineers Discuss What It Took to Land on the Moonhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/apollo-engineers-discuss-what-it-took-land-moon-180972580/The people who bent metal and built spaceships recall the culture and leadership that made it possible to send humans to the lunar surfaceFri, 12 Jul 2019 11:00:00 +0000Why Don't People Smile in Old Photographs? And More Questions From Our Readershttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/why-dont-people-smile-in-old-photographs-180972554/You asked, we answeredThu, 11 Jul 2019 15:00:00 +0000While NASA Was Landing on the Moon, Many African-Americans Sought Economic Justice Insteadhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/nasa-landing-moon-many-african-americans-sought-economic-justice-instead-180972622/For those living in poverty, the billions spent on the Apollo program, no matter how inspiring the mission, laid bare the nation's prioritiesThu, 11 Jul 2019 14:46:24 +0000The Delicious, Ancient History of Chocolate and Vanillahttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/delicious-ancient-history-chocolate-vanilla-180972551/Archaeologists are discovering that two of the world’s most prized flavors have a much richer history than we thoughtThu, 11 Jul 2019 10:00:00 +0000When 6-Year-Olds Chose Jury Candidateshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/when-six-year-olds-chose-jury-candidates-180972592/Before computers randomly issued jury summons, some state laws required that children do the pickingWed, 10 Jul 2019 18:34:23 +0000When Twister Was Too Risqué for Americahttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/when-twister-was-too-risque-america-180972589/The hugely successful game, patented 50 years ago this week, had its critics at firstWed, 10 Jul 2019 15:37:13 +0000A Brief History of Smokey Bear, the Forest Service's Legendary Mascothttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/brief-history-smokey-bear-180972549/How the beloved figure has become a lightning rod in a heated environmental debateWed, 10 Jul 2019 13:00:00 +0000Danny Thompson's Blazing Nitromethane-Fueled Pursuit of Racing Gloryhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/danny-thompson-blazing-pursuit-of-racing-glory-180972541/An American tale of speed demons, murder and a son's attempt to complete his father's unfinished legacyWed, 10 Jul 2019 11:00:00 +0000How a Voyage to French Polynesia Set Herman Melville on the Course to Write 'Moby-Dick'https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/voyage-french-polynesia-herman-melville-course-write-moby-dick-180972525/We retrace the journey that had a long-lasting influence on the enigmatic author's improbable careerWed, 10 Jul 2019 11:00:00 +0000From the Family Station Wagon to the Apollo Lunar Rover, My Dad's Engineering Talent Had No Limitshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/from-family-station-wagon-apollo-lunar-rover-dads-engineering-talent-had-no-limits-180972574/Stricken with polio as an adult, he retired from the military and joined NASA's ingenious design teamTue, 09 Jul 2019 16:33:58 +0000How the Camera Introduced Americans to Their Heroineshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/how-camera-introduced-americans-their-heroines-180972526/A new show at the National Portrait Gallery spotlights figures including Harriet Beecher Stowe, Lucretia Mott and Margaret FullerTue, 09 Jul 2019 13:00:00 +0000A Lost Work by Langston Hughes Examines the Harsh Life on the Chain Ganghttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/lost-work-langston-hughes-180972499/In 1933, the Harlem Renaissance star wrote a powerful essay about race. It has never been published in English—until nowTue, 09 Jul 2019 12:00:00 +0000Two Tour Guides—One Israeli, One Palestinian—Offer a New Way to See the Holy Landhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/two-tour-guides-offer-a-new-way-to-see-holy-land-180972503/With conflict raging again in Israel, a fearless initiative reveals a complex reality that few visitors ever experienceTue, 09 Jul 2019 11:00:00 +0000Attempting to Fry an Egg on the Sidewalk Has Been a Summer Pastime for Over 100 Yearshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/attempting-fry-egg-sidewalk-has-been-summer-tradition-over-100-years-180972556/The Fourth of July is also National Fry an Egg on the Sidewalk Day, and no amount of scientific logic can crack this traditionThu, 04 Jul 2019 12:00:00 +0000Ancient DNA Sheds New Light on the Biblical Philistineshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/ancient-dna-sheds-new-light-biblical-philistines-180972561/A team of scientists sequenced genomes from people who lived in a port city on the Mediterranean coast of Israel between the 12th and 8th centuries B.C.Wed, 03 Jul 2019 18:48:14 +0000Seven Inventions for a Safer Fourth of Julyhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/seven-inventions-safer-fourth-july-180972544/From fireworks shields to seat belts, these inventions throughout history have made summer fun less riskyWed, 03 Jul 2019 11:00:00 +0000What David Levinthal’s Photos of Toys Reveal About American Myth and Memoryhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/what-david-levinthals-toy-centric-photographs-reveal-about-american-myth-and-memory-180972476/A new show at the Smithsonian American Art Museum reflects on iconic events including JFK's assassination, flag raising at Iwo Jima and Custer's last standWed, 03 Jul 2019 10:00:00 +0000At 21, Ann Montgomery Became a Lead Engineer at NASA, Managing the Cameras and Other Crucial Gear Used on the Moonhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/ann-montgomery-became-lead-engineer-nasa-during-apollo-managing-lunar-cameras-180972535/Montgomery worked closely with the Apollo astronauts to train them to use handheld tools and equipment on the moonTue, 02 Jul 2019 18:32:58 +0000How Xerox's Intellectual Property Prevented Anyone From Copying Its Copiershttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/how-xeroxs-intellectual-property-prevented-anyone-from-copying-copiers-180972536/The company used patents and trademarks to develop a line of machines based on inventor Chester Carlson's 'electrophotography'Tue, 02 Jul 2019 17:29:37 +0000The 1900s Movement to Make the Fourth of July Boring (But Safe)https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/1900s-reform-movement-made-fourth-july-safe-and-sane-180972537/One activist thought celebrating the founding of the nation would be better spent as a "a quiet day under the trees"Tue, 02 Jul 2019 15:19:08 +0000The Diaries Left Behind by Confederate Soldiers Reveal the True Role of Enslaved Labor at Gettysburghttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/diaries-left-behind-confederate-soldiers-reveals-role-enslaved-labor-gettysburg-180972538/Even as some enslaved men escaped North, the retreat by the Army of Northern Virginia would have been disastrous without the support of its camp servantsTue, 02 Jul 2019 14:52:31 +0000How One Museum Is Giving a Voice to Former Mental Health Patientshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/how-one-museum-giving-voice-former-mental-health-patients-180972303/The Indiana Medical History Museum is telling the human stories behind its collection of brains, tumors and other biological remainsTue, 02 Jul 2019 12:00:00 +0000This Man Became the First Openly Gay Bishop in Americahttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/videos/category/arts-culture/this-man-became-the-first-openly-gay-bishop/ Fri, 28 Jun 2019 14:30:56 +0000How the Escalator Forever Changed Our Sense of Spacehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/how-escalator-forever-changed-our-sense-space-180972468/Sure, the 19th-century invention transformed shopping. But it also revolutionized how we think about the built environmentThu, 27 Jun 2019 12:00:00 +0000Europe Reacts to the Treaty of Versailles, in Photoshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/europe-reacts-treaty-versailles-photos-180972456/One hundred years ago, the news broke that World War I had officially ended.Thu, 27 Jun 2019 12:00:00 +0000