Asian American History

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

Denver's apology for an 1880 anti-Chinese riot comes during a surge of racially motivated violence and discrimination toward Asian Americans. 

Denver Apologizes for Anti-Chinese Riot of 1880

A white mob terrorized residents and murdered a man, but the city never punished the perpetrators

NPS Ranger Betty Reid Soskin sits in front of the Rosie the Riveter Visitor Center.

Women Who Shaped History

Betty Reid Soskin, Oldest National Park Service Ranger, Retires at 100

As an NPS employee, she promoted the stories of African American people and women of color who contributed to the home front effort during WWII

Today, Amache is mostly barren grassland dotted with crumbling foundations and a few historic buildings and replicas.

Japanese American Incarceration Camp in Colorado Receives Federal Protection

The Granada Relocation Center, also known as Amache, grew to become the state's tenth largest city at its peak during World War II

A wooden trestle bridge near Terrace, Utah. The state has more intact miles of original railroad grade than any other in the West.

What Archaeologists Are Learning About the Lives of the Chinese Immigrants Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad

In the sparse Utah desert, the vital contributions of these 19th-century laborers are finally coming to light

Researchers identified that these vertebrae belonged to giant snakeheads, freshwater fish native to Southeast Asia.

Fish Bones Found in Razed California Chinatown Reveal Complex 19th-Century Trade Network

DNA analysis suggests the Chinese immigrants' supply chain stretched to Southeast Asia

Toshio Mori's Yokohama, California was slated for publication in fall 1942. Japan's bombing of Pearl Harbor—and Mori's incarceration under Executive Order 9066—delayed the short story collection's release until 1949.

The Fascinating—and Harrowing—Tale of the First Japanese American to Publish a Book of Fiction

After his incarceration during WWII, Toshio Mori released a collection of short stories based on his experiences as a second generation Asian immigrant

The Museum of Prehistory and Early History in Berlin houses some 5,500 skulls collected by Austrian anthropologist Felix von Luschan in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. On Friday, February 11, the German museum returned 32 skulls from the collection to a Hawaiian delegation.

Germany, Austria Repatriate Dozens of Human Skulls to Hawaii

Earlier this month, a Hawaiian delegation retrieved 58 sets of ancestral remains from five European museums

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the National Park Service and the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation will mark the annual Day of Remembrance, with virtual programming from February 18 to 20, 2022, to explore the Japanese American community's struggle for recognition and redress.

Eighty Years After the U.S. Incarcerated 120,000 Japanese Americans, Trauma and Scars Still Remain

Families were stripped of their rights and freedoms in February 1942, when FDR signed Executive Order 9066

The Donner Summit tunnels and 13 others in the Sierra Nevada built by Chinese railroad workers remain a testament to ingenuity and industry. 

The Quest to Protect California's Transcontinental Railroad Tunnels

Built by Chinese immigrants in the 1860s, the caverns cutting through Donner Summit helped unite the country

This year's list includes Four Lost Cities, About Time and The Man Who Hated Women.

The Best Books of 2021

The Ten Best History Books of 2021

Our favorite titles of the year resurrect forgotten histories and help explain how the U.S. got to where it is today

In October, the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History displayed this vandalized, bullet-ridden marker—one of three placed at the Mississippi site where, in 1955, police found the body of 14-year-old Emmett Till.

Why Museums Are Primed to Address Racism, Inequality in the U.S.

Smithsonian leaders discuss how the Institution can be a powerful place for investigating and addressing society’s most difficult issues

Chinese railroad workers near the Secret Town Trestle in Placer County, California, around 1869

Cool Finds

Artifacts Used by Chinese Transcontinental Railroad Workers Found in Utah

Researchers discovered the remains of a mid-19th century house, a centuries-old Chinese coin and other traces of the short-lived town of Terrace

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

Simone Biles (pictured) and Naomi Osaka, both Black athletes at the top of their sports, have been vocal about their struggles with mental health.

Race in America

The Relationship Between Race and Wellness Has Never Been More Pressing

A new Smithsonian initiative kicks off this week with a virtual summit examining these urgent issues

An interactive lunch counter at the African American History Museum lets visitors grapple with moral dilemmas of the civil rights movement.

Race in America

Secretary Lonnie Bunch on Why the Smithsonian Is Talking About Race

In a deeply divided moment, a new initiative aims to bring Americans together by reckoning with our racial past

Group portrait of three Chinese children, each holding an American flag and a Chinese flag, in a room in Chicago, 1929

Innovation for Good

Illinois Becomes First State to Mandate Teaching Asian American History

The move arrives amid a surge in anti-Asian hate crimes across the country

During the 1860s, Chinese laborers dug extensive tunnels through the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Eleven Endangered Historic Places That Tell Complex American Stories

The National Trust for Historic Preservation's 2021 list includes Mississippi hotel, Navajo trading post and California railroad tunnels

To mark its 35th birthday, American Girl rereleased its original six characters (L to R): Felicity Merriman, Kirsten Larson, Samantha Parkington, Addy Walker, Josefina Montoya and Molly McIntire.

The Enduring Nostalgia of American Girl Dolls

The beloved line of fictional characters taught children about American history and encouraged them to realize their potential

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