American 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

Actor James Madio played Easy Company T-4 Frank Perconte.

Based on a True Story

'Band of Brothers' Stars Reflect on the Epic Miniseries' Evolving Legacy

HBO's beloved World War II drama premiered 20 years ago this month

Riders outside the Patee House Museum in St. Joseph, Missouri, the route's eastern terminus. Every year the National Pony Express Association conducts an annual re-ride of the famous delivery route.

Six Stops on the Pony Express That You Can Still Visit

Established 160 years ago, the short-lived route was once the quickest way to deliver mail across the United States

William Trost Richards, Along the Shore, 1903

The Sights and Sounds of the Sea Have Inspired American Artists for Generations

Exhibition spotlights crashing waves, maritime voyages and seafaring vessels painted by Georgia O'Keeffe, Normal Rockwell and Jacob Lawrence

Medicine Lodge Archaeological Site is home to hundreds of petroglyphs and pictrographs.

Centuries-Old Pottery Could Reveal When the Crow Arrived in Wyoming

Radiocarbon dating of ceramics found at Medicine Lodge Archaeological Site may offer new insights on the region's Indigenous history

At one point, archaeologists thought the art might be modern graffiti due to its high level of detail.

Missouri Cave Filled With Ancient Artwork Sold Against Osage Nation's Wishes

The Native American tribe had hoped to preserve and protect the site, which may be associated with the Mississippian culture

Poet and Met Gala co-chair Amanda Gorman channeled the Statue of Liberty in this sheer blue Vera Wang dress. Her clutch, emblazoned with the phrase "Give Us Your Tired," references Emma Lazarus' "The New Colossus," which is inscribed on a plaque at the American landmark.

Met Gala Asks What Is American Fashion—and Who Gets to Define It?

From inaugural poet Amanda Gorman to pop star Billie Eilish, here's how stars interpreted this year's theme

The former tavern now serves as a local history museum.

Archaeologists Discover Trove of Artifacts at Site of 19th-Century Alabama Tavern

During the Civil War, both the Union and Confederate armies used the building as a hospital and command center

Over the span of two years, Washington visited all 13 original states (14 if you count Maine, which was then part of Massachusetts), traveling on horseback and by carriage along rutted dirt roads and over rising rivers.

When George Washington Took a Road Trip to Unify the U.S.

Nathaniel Philbrick’s new book follows the first president on his 1789 journey across America

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced plans to remove the sculpture last summer, but a lawsuit filed by locals delayed the process until this week.

History of Now

Richmond Removes Robert E. Lee Statue, Largest Confederate Sculpture in the U.S.

Workers sawed the controversial monument into pieces before transporting it to an undisclosed Virginia storage facility

The stock certificate pieced back together and encased in mylar

Smithsonian Voices

How Conservators Preserved This Stock Certificate Destroyed on 9/11

The certificate arrived in the Smithsonian's Paper Conservation Lab as a pile of paper bits stored in an envelope

Firefighters walk towards one of the towers at the World Trade Center before it collapsed on September 11, 2001.

Innovation for Good

9/11 Changed How Doctors Treat PTSD

New research in the 20 years since the September 11th attacks has led to better therapies for those diagnosed with trauma disorders

Flight 93 fuselage and call button, now housed in the collections of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History

September 11

These Free Online Resources Tell the Story of 9/11 and Its Aftermath

Browse 12 archives, databases and portals that help users deepen their understanding of the attacks

This damaged floor marker, labeled “Stairwell C, Floor 102,” was recovered from the debris of the World Trade Center and is now housed in the National Museum of American History's National September 11 Collection.

September 11

Commemorate 9/11 With Free Virtual Programs, Resources From the Smithsonian

Here's how the American History Museum, the National Postal Museum and more are reflecting on the tragedy

The mounds still rise as much as 66 feet above ground, more than 3,000 years after they were constructed.

Cool Finds

Louisiana's Poverty Point Earthworks Show Early Native Americans Were 'Incredible Engineers'

A new study finds that enormous mounds and concentric earthen ridges were built in a matter of months

Flight attendant Lorraine Bay carefully recorded every flight she worked in this log book, found near the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

September 11

Thirty-One Smithsonian Artifacts That Tell the Story of 9/11

From a Pentagon rescuer's uniform to a Flight 93 crew log, these objects commemorate the 20th anniversary of a national tragedy

Three firefighters—George Johnson, Dan McWilliams and Bill Eisengrein—raising the American flag on September 11, 2001. This last of the series remains the most striking, yet least-known depiction of this scene.

September 11

A Lesser-Known Photo of an Iconic 9/11 Moment Brings Shades of Gray to the Day's Memory

On the 20th anniversary of the attacks, photographers who immortalized the famous scene reflect on what their images capture and what remains out of frame

Frederick Hurten Rhead, panel for overmantel, 1910

First Museum Dedicated to American Arts and Crafts Movement Opens in Florida

Proponents of the artistic philosophy pushed back against industrial production and embraced handcraftsmanship

On the inner wall of one of the two "wings" comprising Masayuki Sono's Postcards monument in Staten Island, flowers are placed next to the names of victims of the 9/11 attacks.

Seven 9/11 Memorials to Visit Across the United States

These lesser-known monuments honor the lives lost in the terrorist attacks 20 years ago

Two original slave cabins, as well as the 1790 Big House, 1790 barn and 19th-century kitchen, survived the storm. But Ida destroyed at least several structures on the historic plantation.

Hurricane Ida Damages Whitney Plantation, Only Louisiana Museum to Focus on the Enslaved

The historic site will remain closed indefinitely as staff assess the destruction and make repairs

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