Americana

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

Buildings in New Orleans' historic French Quarter, pictured here, sustained damage when Hurricane Ida made landfall on Sunday.

Hurricane Ida Destroys New Orleans Jazz Landmark Dubbed Louis Armstrong's 'Second Home'

The historic Karnofsky Tailor Shop and Residence collapsed on Sunday after water pooled on its roof

A publicity still from The Wizard of Oz. A lecturer at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. recently stumbled onto one of the costumes worn by Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale in the 1939 film.

Cool Finds

Judy Garland's Long-Lost 'Wizard of Oz' Dress Rediscovered After Decades

A lecturer at Catholic University discovered the rare costume wrapped in a trash bag in a drama department office

The Museum of Everyday Life in Glover, Vermont, is worth the detour.

Eight Unusual Roadside Attractions Worth Stopping For

The stories behind these American road trip pit stops are as curious as the landmarks themselves

An early episode of the rebooted "Jeopardy!," which debuted in 1984 with the legendary late Alex Trebek as its host

History of Now

From 'Jeopardy' to 'Wheel of Fortune,' Archive Will Preserve Game Show History

A new collection at the Strong National Museum of Play in New York will celebrate America's beloved prime-time competitions

A woman reaches for a copy of Life on a New York City newsstand in 1936.

How Magazines Helped Shape American History

Explore 300 years of the periodical in an encyclopedic exhibition opening at the Grolier Club in New York City

Bruce Crane, A Winter Sunset c.1880s (top) and Edward Hopper, Old Ice Pond at Nyack, c.1897 (bottom)

Some of Edward Hopper's Earliest Paintings Are Copies of Other Artists' Work

Curator Kim Conaty says a new study "cuts straight through the widely held perception of Hopper as an American original"

Dead Horse Bay gets its unsavory-sounding name from the numerous horse-rendering plants that operated along its marshy shoreline from the 1850s until the 1930s.

New York’s ‘Glass Bottle Beach’ Closed After Survey Finds Radioactive Waste

The Dead Horse Bay shoreline was a magnet for beachcombers and sightseers who came to peruse the eroding contents of 1950s landfill

An 80-foot dinosaur at the entrance to the town of Wall, South Dakota, advertises for Wall Drug.

Covid-19

Will America's Roadside Attractions Survive COVID-19?

With canceled bus tours and capacity limits, the country’s quirkiest stops are facing some serious challenges

With a countrified accent, Will Rogers (Above: (detail) by Walter K. Kinstler, c. 1923) attempted to link arms with ordinary Americans, always reminding them of his Native American ancestry. “My ancestors didn’t come over on the Mayflower, but they met the boat,” he said.

Will Rogers Was One of a Kind

The popular raconteur touched Americans with his humor, newspaper columns, movie star power, philanthropy and as political agitator

The Valley of the Gods offers one of the most solitary and serene experiences in the American West.

Why the Valley of the Gods Inspires Such Reverence

The haunting beauty of an ancient desertscape

The family of Jaidyn MacCorison, 11 (at a New Hampshire gas station), goes back generations in the region.

The Mysterious Beauty of Robert Frost's New England

These stark yet stunning landscapes inspired the lyricism of the American titan of poetry

Hobo King Dutch, who first set out to ride the rails when he was 10 years old,  meets up at the festival’s boxcar with Britt resident John Pratt.

The Last of the Great American Hobos

Hop a train to Iowa, where proud vagabonds gather every summer to crown the new king and queen of the rails

2018 Smithsonian Ingenuity Awards

Tracy K. Smith, America's Poet Laureate, Travels the Country to Ignite Our Imaginations

Like Johnny Appleseed, Smith has been planting the seeds of verse across the U.S.

Does the Same Goose Always Lead the Flying V and More Questions From Our Readers

You asked, we answered

Early morning fog drapes a field in the Flints Hills of Kansas.

What Makes the Flint Hills of Kansas a Sight to See

70 classical musicians. 200 acres of windblown prairie. And the bracing spirit of the heartland. A Kansas symphony in six movements

A Rare Glimpse of Pre-War Army Life in Color

In 1939, America's military was far from the powerful force it is today, with just 600,000 servicemen

Heinz is why ketchup seemed to become distinctly American.

A Brief (But Global) History of Ketchup

Canada recently slapped a tariff on U.S. exports of ketchup, and the EU plans to do the same. But is the condiment all that American?

A restaurant in Bishopville, S.C. markets the town’s association to the Lizard Man.

A Search for Mysteries and Monsters in Small Town America

How monster festivals became American pilgrimage sites

American soccer fans watch the 2014 World Cup.

What the 2026 World Cup Could Do for America's 250th Birthday Celebration

In eight years, the soccer tournament will come to the U.S. just as we mark a major anniversary, providing an opportunity that can't be missed