American History Museum

World Cup champion Samantha Mewis (above: in the May 26, 2019 International Friendly match against Mexico) and her colleagues sued the U.S. Soccer Federation for equal pay. In 2022, U.S. Soccer agreed to pay the women some $24 million in back pay.

Enacted 50 Years Ago, Title IX Is More Relevant Than Ever

New exhibit highlights female athletes who gained opportunities and the controversies that still surround the statute

In her new historic novel, Brooks reimagines the life of the itinerant artist Thomas J. Scott, who rendered the distinguished race horse in the oil painting, Portrait of Lexington, ca. 1857, a work that Smithsonian curator Eleanor Harvey describes as "visually riveting."

The Lost Story of Lexington, the Record-Breaking Thoroughbred, Races Back to Life

For her latest novel “Horse,” the Pulitzer-prize winning author Geraldine Brooks found inspiration in the Smithsonian collections

Left: Photo of the dress from a Bonhams auction listing. Right: Father Gilbert Hartke with the gifted garment

There’s No Place Like Home—but What’s the Right Place for Dorothy's Dress From 'The Wizard of Oz'?

Donated to the head of Catholic University’s drama department in 1973, the garment's ownership is now at the center of a legal dispute

One reader wonders why men’s bicycles have crossbars but not women’s.


 

Why Do Only Men's Bicycles Have Crossbars? And More Questions From Our Readers

You've got questions. We've got experts.

Before the critical 1965 Supreme Court ruling Griswold v. Connecticut, state and federal morality laws prohibited access to contraceptives, even to married couples (above: a picketer protests the opening of a new Planned Parenthood Center in New Haven, Connecticut).

The Revolutionary 1965 Supreme Court Decision That Declared Sex a Private Affair

A Smithsonian curator of medicine and science looks back to the days when police could arrest couples for using contraception

Cookbook author Grace Young set out to raise awareness of the struggle that Chinatown's business owners were facing, recording her “Coronavirus Stories”—short on-the-spot video interviews with members of the community.

Grace Young, Who Documented the Toll of Anti-Asian Hate on NYC's Chinatown, Receives Julia Child Award

A $50,000 grant is awarded to the culinary historian for her advocacy of Chinese-American culture and cuisine

The National Museum of American History and Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum announced the joint acquisition of the historic kit envisioned by activist Martha Goddard.

Invented by a Woman Activist, an Early 1970s Rape Kit Arrives at the Smithsonian

Martha Goddard didn’t receive much recognition—instead she got the job done

“The First Lady” dramatizes the challenges faced by three first wives (L to R): Betty Ford (portrayed by Michelle Pfeiffer), Eleanor Roosevelt (Gillian Anderson) and Michelle Obama (Viola Davis).

Based on a True Story

The True History Behind Showtime's 'The First Lady'

The new series dramatizes the White House years of Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford and Michelle Obama

Singer-songwriter Loretta Lynn was applauded—and sometimes banned—for her daring songs about women's lives. 

Country Legend Loretta Lynn Braved Controversy to Tell the Truth About Women's Experiences

On her 90th birthday, the self-taught singer-songwriter is donating personal items to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History

An original illustration from a children’s book, I Dissent, No I Dissent, depicts Associate Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia—opposites in ideology, politics and jurisprudence—facing off against each other. 

New Artifacts Document the Soaring Popularity of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The Smithsonian bestows its Great Americans Award on the former associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

One reader wonders how birds stay balanced on tree branches while they’re asleep. 
 

Ask Smithsonian

How Do Birds Stay Upright When They Are Sleeping?

You've got questions. We've got experts

Jackie Robinson, seen savoring a 1956 win over Pittsburgh, debuted in the major leagues on April 15, 1947, as Brooklyn’s first baseman.

How Baseball Put Its Stamp on the American Psyche

An exhibition at the National Postal Museum examines the history of the nation’s favorite pastime

A western-style performance outfit worn by Patsy Cline and sewed by her mother. The suit features record-shaped patches stitched with the titles of some of Cline's records.


 

Women Who Shaped History

When Patsy Cline Broke Through as a Country Music Phenom

The recording star sported a homemade suit as spectacular as her voice

For many behind the so-called anti-vax movement, faith is the ultimate protection. At an anti-shutdown rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a protester painted the hood of his truck with the motto “Jesus is my vaccine.”

What the History of Science and Religion Reveals About Today's Divisive Covid Debates

A new Smithsonian book and exhibition explores the ongoing conflicts and reconciliations between faith and technology in American life

With the world on the brink of destruction, three of the earliest comic book superheroes (above: an array of 1940s covers from the Smithsonian collections) joined in the war effort, hawking bonds, boosting morale and entertaining troops.

Before the Riddler, Batman's Archenemy Was Hitler

A Smithsonian collection of vintage Golden Age comic books tells a story of WWII propaganda, patriotism and support of the war effort

Scholars say that Afrocentric notions of invention have often emphasized serving the needs of the community, social justice and artistic self-expression, such as the unpatented innovations of DJ Grandmaster Flash, who reimagined turntables and mixers as musical instruments and developed techniques like “scratching” that defined rap and hip- hop music.
.

Tearing Down the Barriers for Black Inventors Begins With Honoring Their Historic Breakthroughs

Smithsonian’s Eric S. Hintz, a historian of invention, details how scholars are envisioning a more inclusive ecosystem for the innovators of tomorrow

The President with the First Lady in a freight elevator heading to an inaugural ball in 2009.

How Pete Souza Fits Into the Storied History of Presidential Photography

In his new book, the former White House photographer frames a clear picture of the Obama years

In the 2010 Winter Olympics Games in Vancouver, the USA's Hannah Teter (above: in action during the women's snowboard halfpipe competition) took home silver. Her boots are now in the collections of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

The Beijing Winter Olympics

Meet the Trailblazers in Women’s Olympic Snowboarding

The careers of Shannon Dunn-Downing, Kelly Clark, Amy Purdy and Hannah Teter are recognized in the Smithsonian collections; learn their stories

The International African American Museum is slated to open in late 2022 in Charleston's Gadsden's Wharf.

The Most Anticipated Museum Openings of 2022

Scheduled to open this year are new institutions dedicated to African American history, electronic music and Nordic art

With every hope that Covid-restrictions will soon give way to happier times ahead, the Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C. and New York City plan a bright year of grand new showings

Twenty-Two Smithsonian Shows to See in 2022

Falcon hunting, Watergate, a Kusama mirror room and the new Latino Gallery await

loading icon