Abraham Lincoln

In the not-so-distant past, the Russian and American governments talked up the shared crucibles of their two mid-19th century leaders as a way of improving diplomatic relations.

Before Lincoln Issued the Emancipation Proclamation, This Russian Czar Freed 20 Million Serfs

The parallels between the U.S. president and Alexander II, both of whom fought to end servitude in their nations, are striking

According to author Christopher A. Thomas, the dedication "was a microcosm of the strained race relations of its day, marked by the rhetoric of good intentions and the behavior of bigotry."

A Century Ago, the Lincoln Memorial's Dedication Underscored the Nation's Racial Divide

Seating was segregated, and the ceremony's only Black speaker was forced to drastically revise his speech to avoid spreading "propaganda"

Kate Warne was the Pinkerton National Detective Agency's first woman operative. She died in 1868 at age 34 or 35.

Women Who Shaped History

How Kate Warne, America's First Woman Detective, Foiled a Plot to Assassinate Abraham Lincoln

In February 1861, the Pinkerton agent, posing as the disguised president-elect's sister and caregiver, safely escorted him to Baltimore

Top row (L to R): Bill Clinton's cat Socks (pictured twice), Amy Carter's cat Misty Malarky Ying Yang and George W. Bush's cat India. Bottom row (L to R): India, Calvin Coolidge's cats Blackie and Tiger, and the Bidens' cat Willow

History of Now

A Colorful History of Cats in the White House

Willow Biden isn’t the first feline to grace the presidential residence's halls

Lieutenant Colonel Almon F. Rockwell (center) was a longtime friend of President James A. Garfield (right). He was also one of roughly 25 people present at Abraham Lincoln's (left) deathbed.

This Man Was the Only Eyewitness to the Deaths of Both Lincoln and Garfield

Almon F. Rockwell's newly resurfaced journals, excerpted exclusively here, offer an incisive account of the assassinated presidents' final moments

Arnold Bertonneau of New Orleans, Robert Smalls of South Carolina and Anderson Ruffin Abbott of Toronto.

Meet the Black Men Who Changed Lincoln's Mind About Equal Rights

During the Civil War, these individuals convinced the president, altering the course of U.S. history

Since the 1920s, this unique piece of history has only been displayed publicly three times.

This Civil War–Era Eagle Sculpture Was Made Out of Abraham Lincoln's Hair

The unusual artifact also contains tresses from First Lady Mary Lincoln, members of the president's cabinet and senators

Lightning strikes the iconic Washington, D.C. landmark “twice per year on the high end and once every five years on the low end,” says meteorologist Chris Vagasky.

Watch a Bolt of Lightning Strike the Washington Monument

The iconic obelisk remains temporarily closed as workers repair an electronic access system damaged by the storm

Early Juneteenth celebrations featured picnics, rodeos, horseback riding and other festivities.

Juneteenth, the U.S.' Second Independence Day, Is Now a Federal Holiday

June 19, 1865, marked the end of slavery in Texas and, by extension, the Confederate states

Lincoln outlived her husband and three of her four children.

Why Historians Should Reevaluate Mary Todd Lincoln's Oft-Misunderstood Grief

A new exhibition at President Lincoln's Cottage connects the first lady's experiences to those of modern bereaved parents

When suburbanites want to limit the number of deer in their area, it can be easier said than done.

How Can Suburbs Control Deer Populations? And More Questions From Our Readers

You've got questions. We've got experts

For generations, Americans have sought to understand the sense of shared destiny—or perhaps, civic obligation—that forged the nation.

The Pitfalls and Promise of America's Founding Myths

Maintaining a shared sense of nationhood has always been a struggle for a country defined not by organic ties, but by a commitment to a set of ideals

A framed display of locks of George and Martha Washington's hair is estimated to sell for upward of $75,000.

Trove of Presidential Memorabilia, From Washington's Hair to JFK's Sweater, Is Up for Sale

RR Auction is offering a collection of nearly 300 artifacts, including a signed photo of Abraham Lincoln and a pen used by FDR

Famed illustrator Thomas Nast designed this celebration of emancipation, with Abraham Lincoln inset at the bottom, in 1865

Black Lives Certainly Mattered to Abraham Lincoln

A look at the president's words and actions during his term shows his true sentiments on slavery and racial equality

Sergeant Major William L. Henderson and hospital steward Thomas H.S. Pennington of the 20th U.S. Colored Troops Infantry Regiment, as photographed by W.H. Leeson

How Photography Tells the Story of the Civil War's Black Soldiers

A new book by scholar Deborah Willis features more than 70 photos, as well as letters, journal entries and posters

George Peter Alexander Healy, Abraham Lincoln, 1887. Oil on canvas. Dimensions: 188 × 137cm (74 × 53 15/16"). National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; transfer from the National Gallery of Art; gift of the A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, 1942. This portrait is on view at the National Portrait Gallery, South Gallery 240.

Smithsonian Voices

A Scholar Takes a Deep Dive Into a Painted Homage to Abraham Lincoln

U.S. artist George Peter Alexander Healy’s presidential portraiture, conceived years after the sitter passed away

The sculpture has stood in Boston's Park Square since 1879.

Boston Removes Controversial Statue of Lincoln With Kneeling Freed Man

The sculpture, installed in 1879, is based on one still standing in Washington, D.C.

Roosevelt exchanged lively correspondence with all kinds of people for much of his life.

Library of Congress Seeks Volunteers to Transcribe Letters to Theodore Roosevelt

The campaign is part of a broader crowdsourcing effort aimed at making archival materials more accessible to the public

This year's top titles include One Mighty and Irresistible Tide, You Never Forget Your First, and Caste.

Holiday Gift Guide

The Ten Best History Books of 2020

Our favorite titles of the year resurrect forgotten histories and help explain how the country got to where it is today

Anti-war Democrats objected to mail-in voting, citing widespread fears of voter fraud, as well as intimidation on the part of the pro-Republican military.

History of Now

The Debate Over Mail-In Voting Dates Back to the Civil War

In 1864, Democrats and Republicans clashed over legislation allowing soldiers to cast their ballots from the front

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