History | Smithsonianhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/rss/history/RSS feed for HistoryenWed, 17 Oct 2018 16:03:21 +0000The Woman Who Made a Device to Help Disabled Veterans Feed Themselves—and Gave It Away for Freehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/woman-who-made-device-help-disabled-veterans-feed-themselvesand-gave-it-away-free-180970321/World War II nurse Bessie Blount went on to become an inventor and forensic handwriting expertWed, 17 Oct 2018 16:03:21 +0000Two Decades Ago, John Glenn’s Encore Space Flight Lifted U.S. Spiritshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/two-decades-ago-john-glenns-encore-space-flight-lifted-us-spirits-180970512/Two cameras tell the tale of the first American to orbit Earth and his return to space 36 years laterWed, 17 Oct 2018 11:00:00 +0000The True Story of Misty of Chincoteague, the Pony Who Stared Down a Devastating Nor'Easterhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/real-misty-chincoteague-once-stared-down-barrel-storm-180970557/The Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962 was a horse of another colorTue, 16 Oct 2018 12:00:00 +0000The Dawn of Television Promised Diversity. Here’s Why We Got “Leave It to Beaver” Insteadhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/dawn-television-promised-diversity-heres-why-we-got-leave-it-beaver-instead-180970548/Using original archival research and FBI blacklist documents, a new book pieces together the intersectional narratives that never made it on airMon, 15 Oct 2018 16:13:53 +0000How Chicago Transformed From a Midwestern Outpost Town to a Towering Cityhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/how-chicago-transformed-from-midwestern-outpost-town-to-towering-city-180970526/The Windy City spurred its miraculous growth by building canals, laying sewers and jacking up buildingsFri, 12 Oct 2018 16:47:31 +0000Underwater Archaeologists May Have Discovered the Oldest Shipwreck in Lake Erie https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/underwater-archaeologists-may-have-discovered-oldest-shipwreck-lake-erie-180970503/After an ill-fated journey hauling boulders sank it, the Lake Serpent is at last ready to tell its storyWed, 10 Oct 2018 16:24:50 +0000The Fascinating Story of the Texas Archives War of 1842https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/fascinating-story-texas-archives-war-1842-180970470/Far from consequential, the battle over where the papers of the Republic of Texas should reside reminds us of the politics of historical memoryTue, 09 Oct 2018 11:00:00 +0000Ancient Proteins From Unwashed Dishes Reveal the Diets of a Lost Civilizationhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/ancient-proteins-unwashed-dishes-reveal-diets-lost-civilization-180970481/Material pulled from ceramic sherds reveals the favored foodstuffs in the 8,000-year-old city of Çatalhöyük in TurkeyMon, 08 Oct 2018 12:00:00 +0000The 19th-Century Fight Against Bacteria-Ridden Milk Preserved With Embalming Fluidhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/19th-century-fight-bacteria-ridden-milk-embalming-fluid-180970473/In an unpublished excerpt from her new book <i>The Poison Squad</i>, Deborah Blum chronicles the public health campaign against tainted dairy productsFri, 05 Oct 2018 15:22:02 +0000The True Native New Yorkers Can Never Truly Reclaim Their Homelandhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/true-native-new-yorkers-can-never-truly-reclaim-their-homeland-180970472/Nearly 400 years after the alleged “sale of Manhattan,” some Lenape strive to reawaken their cultural heritage on the islands where their ancestors thrivedFri, 05 Oct 2018 12:00:00 +0000Viking Chess Pieces May Reveal Early Whale Hunts in Northern Europehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/viking-chess-pieces-may-reveal-early-whale-hunts-northern-europe-180970466/The board game <i>hnefatafl</i>, commonly called Viking chess, pits an attacking player against another trying to defend the kingThu, 04 Oct 2018 16:25:28 +0000San Francisco's 'Early Days' Statue Is Gone. Now Comes the Work of Activating Real Historyhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/san-francisco-early-days-statue-gone-now-comes-work-activating-real-history-180970462/The racist sculpture's end comes at a “tipping point for the politics of Native American memory,” says the director of the American Indian MuseumThu, 04 Oct 2018 16:00:00 +0000The Much-Loved Paddington Bear Turns Sixtyhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/paddington-bear-turns-sixty-180970439/Celebrating the October 1958 publication of <em>A Bear Called Paddington,</em> Smithsonian Libraries takes a look at several pop-up books Wed, 03 Oct 2018 14:22:28 +0000The Screenwriting Mystic Who Wanted to Be the American Führerhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/meet-screenwriting-mystic-who-wanted-be-american-fuhrer-180970449/William Dudley Pelley and his Silver Shirts were just one of many Nazi-sympathizers operating in the United States in the 1930sWed, 03 Oct 2018 13:05:29 +0000The Raid on Bermuda That Saved the American Revolutionhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/raid-bermuda-saved-american-revolution-180970375/How colonial allies in the Caribbean pulled off a heist to equip George Washington's Continental Army with gunpowderMon, 01 Oct 2018 12:00:00 +0000Would Baseball have Become America’s National Pastime Without Baseball Cards?https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/would-baseball-have-become-americas-national-pastime-without-baseball-cards-180970406/Tobacco companies spurred the mania, but artistry won the hearts of collectorsFri, 28 Sep 2018 15:25:41 +0000The Deadliest Massacre in Reconstruction-Era Louisiana Happened 150 Years Agohttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/story-deadliest-massacre-reconstruction-era-louisiana-180970420/In September 1868, Southern white Democrats hunted down around 200 African-Americans in an effort to suppress voter turnout Fri, 28 Sep 2018 11:00:00 +0000Smithsonian Film Festival Examines African-American Life Through Dozens of Distinct Lenseshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/smithsonian-film-festival-examines-african-american-life-through-dozens-distinct-lenses-1-180970404/The first of its kind, the late-October event brings together perspectives both historical and contemporaryThu, 27 Sep 2018 12:00:00 +0000The Dead Beneath London's Streetshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/dead-beneath-londons-streets-180970385/Human remains dating back to the Roman Empire populate the grounds below the surface, representing a burden for developers but a boon for archaeologistsTue, 25 Sep 2018 14:00:00 +0000'Axis Sally' Brought Hot Jazz to the Nazi Propaganda Machinehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/axis-sally-and-art-propaganda-180970327/The voice of Nazi Germany’s U.S. radio disinformation campaigns would have had great success in the media landscape of todayTue, 25 Sep 2018 11:00:00 +0000Tracing the Mysterious "Turks" of South Carolina Back to the Revolutionary Warhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/tracing-mysterious-turks-of-south-carolina-back-revolutionary-war-180970383/For generations, this ethnic group was shunned, but new research sheds light on its originsMon, 24 Sep 2018 18:19:12 +0000Philadelphia Threw a WWI Parade That Gave Thousands of Onlookers the Fluhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/philadelphia-threw-wwi-parade-gave-thousands-onlookers-flu-180970372/The city sought to sell bonds to pay for the war effort, while bringing its citizens together during the infamous pandemicFri, 21 Sep 2018 12:00:00 +0000Should the Nobel Prizes Take a Year Off?https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/should-nobel-prizes-take-year-180970359/An award designed to go to those who benefit all humanity has a history of prejudice and controversyThu, 20 Sep 2018 18:27:32 +0000How the Remnants of Human Poop Could Help Archaeologists Study Ancient Populationshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/remnants-human-poop-help-archaeologists-study-ancient-populations-180970337/Undigested molecules persist in soil for hundreds or even thousands of years, acting as biomarkers that show the ebbs and flows of bygone civilizationsThu, 20 Sep 2018 17:40:20 +0000How the History of Merit Badges Is Also a Cultural History of the United Stateshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/history-merit-badges-cultural-history-united-states-180970306/Over the years, scouting has encouraged boys and girls to be prepared for the world around themThu, 20 Sep 2018 16:54:04 +0000Is All Still Quiet on the Western Front?https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/is-all-still-quiet-on-western-front-world-war-i-180970313/A hundred years after the “war to end all wars” ended, a journey to the front lines of World War I reveals the poignant battles and their tragic legaciesThu, 20 Sep 2018 16:17:32 +0000Zooming In on Petrahttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/petra-jordan-drone-3d-scan-digital-modeling-180970310/How digital archaeologists are using drones and cutting-edge cameras to recreate the spectacular 2,000-year-old ruins in JordanThu, 20 Sep 2018 16:00:00 +0000What Would Happen if the Earth Stopped Rotating? and More Questions From our Readershttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/what-happen-earth-stopped-rotating-180970312/You asked, we answeredThu, 20 Sep 2018 15:00:00 +0000The Original Meanings of the “American Dream” and “America First” Were Starkly Different From How We Use Them Todayhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/behold-america-american-dream-slogan-book-sarah-churchwell-180970311/A new book from historian Sarah Churchwell examines the etymologies of two ubiquitous phrasesThu, 20 Sep 2018 12:00:00 +0000Over 1,500 Museums Across the U.S. Will Open Their Doors for Free This Saturday https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/museums-visit-free-museum-day-180970317/Museums and zoos across the country are letting visitors in admission-free. Here are some highlights. Wed, 19 Sep 2018 18:31:24 +0000Traveling the World Was Never the Same Once the Boeing 747 Debutedhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/traveling-world-never-same-once-boeing-747-debuted-180970308/Wave goodbye to the beloved jet that took us to new heightsTue, 18 Sep 2018 15:42:36 +0000How Midwestern Suffragists Won the Vote by Attacking Immigrantshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/how-midwestern-suffragists-won-vote-by-attacking-immigrants-180970298/Women fighting for the ballot were vocal about believing that German men were less worthy of citizenship than themselvesMon, 17 Sep 2018 18:02:31 +0000The Senator Who Stood Up to Joseph McCarthy When No One Else Wouldhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/senator-who-stood-joseph-mccarthy-when-no-one-else-would-180970279/Margaret Chase Smith was the first woman to serve both the House and the Senate and always defended her values, even when it meant opposing her partyThu, 13 Sep 2018 11:00:00 +0000The Maya Captured, Traded and Sacrificed Jaguars and Other Large Mammalshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/maya-captured-traded-and-sacrificed-jaguars-and-other-large-mammals-180970271/New archeological findings suggest the Maya city state Copan dealt in a robust jaguar tradeWed, 12 Sep 2018 18:00:00 +0000Stone Age Markings May Be the Oldest Drawing Ever Discoveredhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/stone-age-markings-may-be-oldest-drawing-ever-discovered-180970269/The crosshatch symbol was made with a red ochre utensil more than 70,000 years agoWed, 12 Sep 2018 17:00:00 +0000The Lost Children of the Lidice Massacrehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/story-lidice-massacre-180970242/The Nazis arbitrarily slaughtered the Czech villagers, angering the world, even as Europe's Jews faced similar fates in concentration campsWed, 12 Sep 2018 15:50:23 +0000An Eyewitness Account of Pinochet’s Coup 45 Years Agohttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/eyewitness-account-pinochets-coup-45-years-ago-180970241/Smithsonian ethnomusicologist Dan Sheehy poignantly recalls the brutal outcome of a nation dividedMon, 10 Sep 2018 13:00:00 +0000Rare WWII Submarine Dog Fight Turns Deadlyhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/videos/category/history/rare-wwii-submarine-dog-fight-turns-deadly/On February 9, 1945, two submarines are poised to engage in a direct, underwater confrontation. It's the first - and only - underwater submarine dog fightMon, 10 Sep 2018 12:00:00 +0000The First Submarine to Launch Rockets From Its Deckhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/videos/category/history/the-first-submarine-to-launch-rockets-from-i_1/It's June 1945 and the USS Barb has just launched an unprecedented attack on the factories of the Japanese island of ShariFri, 07 Sep 2018 12:00:00 +0000Was the 1968 TV Show “Julia” a Milestone or a Millstone for Diversity? https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/was-1968-tv-show-julia-milestone-or-millstone-180970198/Diahann Carroll's award-winning series was a hit, but it delivered a sanitized view of African-American lifeThu, 06 Sep 2018 15:30:00 +0000This 1812 American Frigate Could Take a Direct Cannon Hithttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/videos/category/history/this-1812-american-frigate-could-take-a-dire/A British frigate fires on the USS Constitution - but its shots either miss or rebound off its tough oak hullThu, 06 Sep 2018 12:00:00 +0000Fifty Years Ago, "Star Trek" Aired TV's First Interracial Kisshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/fifty-years-ago-star-trek-aired-tvs-first-interracial-kiss-180970204/For actress Nichelle Nichols, the first black woman to have a continuing co-starring role on TV, it was the beginning of a lifelong career in activismWed, 05 Sep 2018 15:35:56 +0000This Tiny Island Was Key for Allied Forces to Secure North Africahttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/videos/category/history/this-tiny-island-was-key-for-allied-forces-t/During WWII, Nazi forces were preparing to take the coastal city of Tobruk and tighten their grip on North AfricaWed, 05 Sep 2018 12:00:00 +0000A Brief History of the RVhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/brief-history-rv-180970195/In 1915, technology merged with the "back to nature" movement, leading to the invention of the motorhomeTue, 04 Sep 2018 18:33:54 +0000When the U.S. Government Tried to Make It Rain by Exploding Dynamite in the Skyhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/when-us-government-tried-make-rain-exploding-dynamite-sky-180970193/Inspired by weather patterns during the Civil War, the rainmakers of the 1890s headed to west Texas to test their theoryTue, 04 Sep 2018 16:58:17 +0000The Mysterious Origins of the Smallpox Vaccinehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/mysterious-origins-smallpox-vaccine-180970069/Though the disease was declared eradicated in 1980, the era of smallpox is far from overTue, 04 Sep 2018 15:31:25 +0000This U.S. Sub Launched an Attack on a Japanese Trainhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/videos/category/history/this-us-sub-launched-an-attack-on-a-japane/The USS Barb had an unusual target in its sights in 1945 - one that wasn't even in the water. It was a Japanese supply train on the island of KarafutoTue, 04 Sep 2018 12:00:00 +0000Why Shipbuilders Were Forced to Stop Using British Oakhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/videos/category/history/why-shipbuilders-were-forced-to-stop-using-b/After the Napoleonic Wars caused a shortage of British Oak, frigate builders looked all over the empire for an alternative. They found one in IndiaMon, 03 Sep 2018 12:00:00 +0000Two Sculptures of Ancient Women Give Voice to the Protection of Antiquities in War Zoneshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/two-sculptures-ancient-women-give-voice-protection-antiquities-war-zones-180970179/The Smithsonian's elegant Haliphat of Palmyra and the blue-eyed Miriam from Yemen raise awareness of the illegal trade in and destruction of antiquitiesFri, 31 Aug 2018 15:43:37 +0000A Torpedo Malfunction Threatens to Destroy a U.S. Submarinehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/videos/category/history/a-torpedo-malfunction-threatens-to-destroy-a/The USS Silversides is patrolling the Pacific during WWII when it finds itself in a terrifying situation: one of its torpedoes has jammedFri, 31 Aug 2018 12:00:00 +0000How Napalm Bombs Intensified U.S. Attacks During WWIIhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/videos/category/history/how-napalm-bombs-intensified-us-attacks-du_1/Bombing ground targets from the air is tricky and not always accurate. But a new type of bomb creates an unimaginable level of destructionThu, 30 Aug 2018 12:00:00 +0000How the British Navy Camouflaged Their Ships Using Arthttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/videos/category/history/how-the-british-navy-camouflaged-their-ships/The British Navy knew it couldn't completely disguise a ship to protect it from attack during WWI. So they turned to 'Dazzle Painting'Wed, 29 Aug 2018 12:00:00 +0000The True Story of “Operation Finale”https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/true-story-operation-finale-180970153/Director Chris Weitz explores the 1960 hunt for Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in the new feature filmTue, 28 Aug 2018 18:55:42 +0000This Secret Boat Was Built for a WWII Invasion That Never Happenedhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/videos/category/history/this-secret-boat-was-built-for-a-wwii-invasi/In 2011, declassified CIA documents shed light on a covert government program dating back to WWIITue, 28 Aug 2018 12:00:00 +0000The Portrait That Captures the Defining Features of John McCain’s Life and Careerhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/portrait-are-defining-features-john-mccains-life-and-career-180970139/A photograph of the straight-talking Arizona senator goes on view In Memoriam at the Portrait GalleryMon, 27 Aug 2018 19:24:28 +0000U.S. Troops in the Pacific Treat Themselves to a Little R&Rhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/videos/category/history/us-troops-in-the-pacific-treat-themselves-_1/A brief respite from the frontlines of the Pacific War sees American troops trying to inject a little comfort into their livesMon, 27 Aug 2018 12:00:00 +0000Mel Mermelstein Survived Auschwitz, Then Sued Holocaust Deniers in Courthttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/mel-mermelstein-survived-auschwitz-then-sued-holocaust-deniers-court-180970123/Fed up with the lies and anti-Semitism, a California businessman partnered with a lawyer to prove that the murder of 6 million Jews was established factMon, 27 Aug 2018 11:00:00 +0000Captain Cook’s 1768 Voyage to the South Pacific Included a Secret Mission https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/captain-cooks-1768-voyage-south-pacific-included-secret-mission-180970119/The explorer traveled to Tahiti under the auspices of science 250 years ago, but his secret orders were to continue Britain’s colonial projectFri, 24 Aug 2018 14:23:06 +0000Why Depth Charges Don't Have to Touch a Submarine to Sink Ithttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/videos/category/history/why-depth-charges-dont-have-to-touch-a-subm/It's 1942 and the USS Silversides, a U.S. submarine submerged in the Pacific, is frantically trying to dodge depth charges dropped by a Japanese warshipFri, 24 Aug 2018 12:00:00 +0000What Made P.D. East the Fearless Wit of Forrest Countyhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/what-made-pd-east-fearless-wit-segregationist-south-180970036/The newspaper man's bravery rocked the racist establishment of the South—and heralded a new era of political satireThu, 23 Aug 2018 16:00:28 +0000Before the Civil War, Congress Was a Hotbed of Violencehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/field-of-blood_article-180970043/A new book from historian Joanne Freeman chronicles the viciousness with which elected officials treated each otherThu, 23 Aug 2018 15:00:00 +0000The Wild Road Trip That Launched the Populist Conservative Movementhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/wild-road-trip-rallied-conservatives-180970033/How a fiery preacher and a maverick Army general took the nation by stormThu, 23 Aug 2018 13:00:00 +0000Actual Combat Footage of the Battle of the Philippines Seahttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/videos/category/history/actual-combat-footage-of-the-battle-of-the-p_2/Relive the aerial dogfights and naval clashes of the Battle of the Philippines Sea, thanks to stunning color footageThu, 23 Aug 2018 12:00:00 +0000How a Little Yellow Bus Came to the Rescue of a Persecuted Schoolboyhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/little-yellow-bus-came-rescue-persecuted-schoolboy-180970044/LGBTQ activist and journalist Bil Browning reminisces about the importance of a simple toyWed, 22 Aug 2018 15:00:00 +0000What Drove Sigmund Freud to Write a Scandalous Biography of Woodrow Wilson?https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/what-drove-sigmund-freud-write-scandalous-biography-woodrow-wilson-180970042/The founder of psychoanalysis collaborated with a junior American diplomat to lambaste the former presidentWed, 22 Aug 2018 15:00:00 +0000Rediscovering a Founding Motherhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/rediscovering-founding-mother-180970037/Just-discovered letters herald the significance of an unsung Revolutionary woman, Julia RushWed, 22 Aug 2018 15:00:00 +0000Terrorized African-Americans Found Their Champion in Civil War Hero Robert Smallshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/terrorized-african-americans-champion-civil-war-hero-robert-smalls-180970031/The formerly enslaved South Carolinian declared that whites had killed 53,000 African-Americans, but few took the explosive claim seriously—until nowTue, 21 Aug 2018 16:06:02 +0000Why Do So Many People Still Want to Believe in Bigfoot?https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/why-so-many-people-still-believe-in-bigfoot-180970045/The appeal of the mythical, wild man holds strongTue, 21 Aug 2018 15:00:00 +0000The Women Code Breakers Who Unmasked Soviet Spieshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/women-code-breakers-unmasked-soviet-spies-180970034/At the height of the Cold War, America’s most secretive counterespionage effort set out to crack unbreakable ciphersTue, 21 Aug 2018 15:00:00 +0000How to Cipher Like a Soviethttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/how-cipher-like-soviet-180970032/See if you can figure out how the American code-breakers unraveled the complexities of the Russian codebookTue, 21 Aug 2018 15:00:00 +0000The Moment That Defines Famed American Composer Leonard Bernsteinhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/moment-defins-famed-american-composer-leonard-bernstein-180970027/The National Portrait Gallery showcases a celebrated conductor as portrayed by the master French photographer Henri Cartier-BressonTue, 21 Aug 2018 14:00:00 +0000Did Francis Drake Bring Enslaved Africans to North America Decades Before Jamestown?https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/did-francis-drake-bring-enslaved-africans-north-america-decades-jamestown-180970075/The English privateer arrived on the Carolina coast after sacking Spanish lands in the Caribbean, but who, if anyone, did he leave behind?Mon, 20 Aug 2018 17:54:13 +0000How Can Museums Democratize Portraiture? https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/how-can-museums-democratize-portraiture-180970029/As the National Portrait Gallery turns 50, it is asking how well its collections represent the people—and where there is room for improvementMon, 20 Aug 2018 14:00:00 +0000How Italy Used Human Torpedoes to Attack British Shipshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/videos/category/history/how-italy-used-human-torpedoes-to-attack-bri/On December 16, 1941, the Italian navy launched a daring attack on three British ships outside Alexandria harborMon, 20 Aug 2018 12:00:00 +0000