African American History

Austin Butler as Elvis in the new biopic

Based on a True Story

The True History Behind Baz Luhrmann's 'Elvis'

The new film dramatizes the life and legend of Elvis Presley from the perspective of his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker

Members of the 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps pose on Minerva Terrace at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park in 1896.

The Black Buffalo Soldiers Who Biked Across the American West

In 1897, the 25th Infantry Regiment Bicycle Corps embarked on a 1,900-mile journey from Montana to Missouri

Lena Horne performing in Stormy Weather

The First Broadway Theater to Bear a Black Woman's Name Will Honor Lena Horne

The Brooks Atkinson Theater will be renamed for the award-winning actor, singer and civil rights activist

Rendering of the International African American Museum

A Museum Exploring the African American Experience Is Coming to Charleston

Slated to open early next year, the space will explore the legacy and contributions of enslaved people and their descendants

Located alongside New Jersey’s southernmost point, Cape May is a stunning Victorian shore community that once played a role in guiding Black enslaved laborers to freedom.

The 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2022

From the alleged birthplace of Paul Bunyan to the original gateway to Yellowstone, these towns are buzzing with activity

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"

Black soldiers during World War II

History of Now

Nine Army Bases Honoring Confederate Leaders Could Soon Have New Names

Proposed by a government panel, the suggested title changes honor several women and people of color

The archive of written work and speeches delivered by suffragists simply doesn’t indicate that abortion was at the forefront of discussions about women’s rights during the mid-19th to early 20th centuries.

History of Now

What Did the Suffragists Really Think About Abortion?

Contrary to contemporary claims, Susan B. Anthony and her peers rarely discussed abortion, which only emerged as a key political issue in the 1960s

Early efforts to sow hibiscus on the mainland had mixed success. Today it grows in many states; in the South, hibiscus used in punch is known as “Florida Cranberry.”

Race in America

A Brief History of Red Drink

The obscure roots of a centuries-old beverage that’s now a Juneteenth fixture

The Clotilda has been at the bottom of the Mobile River since 1860, when the captain burned and sank the vessel that was used illegally to bring enslaved individuals from West Africa to Alabama. 

Unlocking the Secrets of the 'Clotilda,' the Last Known Slave Ship

Archaeological divers spent 10 days evaluating the sunken ship in the Mobile River, and took samples for possible traces of DNA

As recent archival finds and reappraisals of well-known documents show, Liss forged her own path to freedom—and may have even spied on the British while doing so.

Women Who Shaped History

Did an Enslaved Woman Try to Warn the Americans of Benedict Arnold's Treason?

New research sheds light on Liss, who was enslaved by the family of a Culper Spy Ring leader and had ties to British spymaster John André

After his shooting, a hospitalized Wallace holds up a newspaper touting his victories in the Maryland and Michigan Democratic presidential primaries.

How a Failed Assassination Attempt Pushed George Wallace to Reconsider His Segregationist Views

Fifty years ago, a fame-seeker shot the polarizing politician five times, paralyzing him from the waist down

Michelle Browder's Mothers of Gynecology monument in Montgomery

Subjected to Painful Experiments and Forgotten, Enslaved 'Mothers of Gynecology' Are Honored With New Monument

The statues acknowledge the suffering of bondswomen overshadowed by the white doctor who operated on them without their consent

Overhead view of Jamestown after a Nor'easter in October 2021

Jamestown, North America's First Permanent English Colony, Could Soon Be Underwater

Flooding risk has landed the site on the National Trust for Historic Preservation's list of most endangered places

Actress Blake Lively wore a Statue of Liberty–inspired gown whose copper bow unfurled into a blue-green train.

Gilded Age Excess Lived on at the 2022 Met Gala

Celebrities paid tribute to the era of extravagance through gold-adorned ensembles, splashy headdresses and more

The only available photograph of America Newton, a formerly enslaved woman who ran a laundry business out of her cabin in Julian, California, dates to around 1910.

The Trailblazing Black Entrepreneurs Who Shaped a 19th-Century California Boomtown

Though founded by Confederates, Julian became a place of opportunity for people of color—and a model for what the U.S. could look like after the Civil War

The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture acquired three works by Elizabeth Catlett, representing the artist's impassioned devotion to the dignity, struggle and uplift. 

A Trio of Elizabeth Catlett Sculptures Convey the Power of Service to Humanity

Regarded as “guardians of the Black narrative,” the artworks greet visitors to NMAAHC’s Heritage Hall

Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson depicted the experiences of Black Americans through often-overlooked, working-class characters.

How Playwright August Wilson Captured the Highs and Lows of Black America

An immersive exhibition in Pittsburgh explores the award-winning dramatist's life and legacy

A 19th-century illustration of two yellow fever victims in New Orleans

Race in America

How Yellow Fever Intensified Racial Inequality in 19th-Century New Orleans

A new book explores how immunity to the disease created opportunities for white, but not Black, people

The Commemorative at St. Mary's College of Maryland honors the enslaved people who once lived and worked there.

Good News

National Park Service Adds 16 New Underground Railroad Sites to Commemorative Network

The recognitions honor the resistance and bravery of freedom seekers and their allies who risked their lives to resist slavery

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