American Presidents

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

Critics of the statue have emphasized not only to the deferential position of the two other figures but also Roosevelt’s racist beliefs and actions.

Controversial Teddy Roosevelt Statue Will Be Moved From NYC to North Dakota

The equestrian monument will leave the steps of the American Museum of Natural History, finding a new home at the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library

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

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

One of 664 uranium cubes used in a nuclear reactor during World War II. Researchers are trying to confirm whether a similar cube housed in the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's collections was also part of the Nazis' failed nuclear program.

Did the Nazis Use This Uranium Cube in Their Failed Nuclear Program?

New research may help the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory confirm the identity of a mysterious object in its collections

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

The sign states, “The use of enslaved labor to build the home of the President of the United States—often seen as a symbol of democracy—illuminates our country’s conflicted relationship with the institution of slavery and the ideals of freedom and equality promised in America’s founding documents.”

New Plaque Tells Story of Enslaved People Who Helped Build the White House

A marker in Lafayette Square is the first public work to acknowledge these individuals' roles in constructing the presidential mansion

After L. A. Huffman, “A Dead Bull” from William T. Hornaday, “The Extermination of the American Bison, with a Sketch of Its Discovery and Life History,”

Smithsonian Voices

How Yellowstone Was Saved by a Teddy Roosevelt Dinner Party and a Fake Photo in a Gun Magazine

Chilling photos of slain buffalo in Yellowstone Park helped pass an act outlining punishment for poaching on public lands. But the photos were fakes

Abraham Lincoln (left) claimed first place, while William Henry Harrison (right) came in 40th.

History of Now

Who Were the Best and Worst Presidents Ever—and How Do Historians Decide?

C-SPAN's 2021 ranking places Trump near the bottom of the list. Obama, Grant rises higher, while Lincoln holds steady in first

Visitors explore during a sneak preview of the newly renovated Harry S. Truman Presidential Museum and Museum in Independence, Missouri. The $29 million expansion took 2 years to complete.

At the Harry Truman Library and Museum, Visitors Get to Ask Themselves Where the Buck Stops

Interactive exhibitions pose questions about the decision to drop the nuclear bomb, the Red Scare, Truman's foreign policy and more

Workers removed the replica Lady Liberty from its plinth on June 7. The statue will set sail for the U.S. on June 19.

France Is Sending the Statue of Liberty's 'Little Sister' on a Trip to the U.S.

The bronze replica, set to go on view at Ellis Island in July, weighs 992 pounds and stands more than 9 feet tall

Astronaut Sally Ride (left) and poet Maya Angelou (right) will be the first individuals honored through the American Women Quarters Program.

Women Who Shaped History

Maya Angelou, Sally Ride to Be Among First Women Featured on U.S. Quarters

Between 2022 and 2025, the U.S. Mint is set to highlight up to 20 trailblazing American women

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

The oil crisis affected everything from home heating to business costs. But the impact was most obvious on the roads.

History of Now

Gas Shortages in 1970s America Sparked Mayhem and Forever Changed the Nation

Half a century ago, a series of oil crises caused widespread panic and led to profound shifts in U.S. culture

America’s public, partisan and passionate campaigns fired up uniformed young men who participated in torchlit marches, a style pioneered by the Republican Wide Awakes stumping for Abraham Lincoln in 1860 (above: a procession stomped through Lower Manhattan’s Printing House Square).

The Little-Known Story of 19th-Century America's Partisan Warfare

In a new book, Smithsonian curator Jon Grinspan examines the history of America's furious and fractious politics

President Donald J. Trump by Pari Dukovic for Time magazine, 2019

Photograph of Former President Donald J. Trump Is Newly Acquired by the National Portrait Gallery

When the museum reopens May 14, the portrait of the 45th president will be on view in the “America’s Presidents” exhibition

The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery boasts the only public collection of images depicting every single U.S. president throughout history.

The Thorny Politics of Presidential Portraiture

In a new podcast, the National Portrait Gallery reveals that a portrait is being commissioned of the former president

This recreated wooden building resembles one that may have housed enslaved people on John Dickinson's Dover, Delaware, plantation.

Graves of Enslaved People Discovered on Founding Father's Delaware Plantation

A signee of the U.S. Constitution, John Dickinson enslaved as many as 59 men, women and children at one time

Rioters enter the U.S. Capitol's rotunda as chemical irritants fill the corridor on January 6, 2021.

History of Now

Curators Seek $25,000 to Repair Artworks Damaged in U.S. Capitol Attack

Rioters vandalized six sculptures and two paintings, in addition to smashing windows, breaking furniture and spraying graffiti

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

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