Civil War

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Women Who Shaped History

Clara Barton Epitomized the Heroism of Nurses

Two hundred years after her birth, her pioneering commitment to public health has only become more salient

In the aftermath of the Civil War, more than four million newly freed Blacks sought fulfillment of the promises laid out in the U.S. Constitution. Says Kinshasha Holman Conwill, NMAAHC's deputy director: "The shadow of Reconstruction is a long shadow." (Above: Lewis "Big June" Marshall carries the flag during the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965.)

America Is Still Reckoning With the Failures of Reconstruction

A new NMAAHC book and exhibition examine the reverberating legacies of the post-Civil War era

Researchers at the University of Virginia analyzed county-by-county data on Confederate memorials and lynchings in 11 Southern states between 1832 and 1950.

Survey Identifies Correlation Between Confederate Monuments and Lynchings

Counties with higher numbers of statues honoring the Confederacy recorded more racially motivated killings of Black Americans

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

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

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

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

Ellen disguised herself as a sickly white man, while William played the part of her enslaved valet.

Follow a Couple's Daring Escape From Slavery in the Antebellum South

A new short film from SCAD chronicles the lives of Ellen and William Craft, who disguised themselves to find freedom in 1848

Through the Freedmen's Bureau, formerly enslaved people were able to obtain formal legal recognition of their marriages.

Innovation for Good

Newly Digitized Freedmen's Bureau Records Help Black Americans Trace Their Ancestry

Genealogists, historians and researchers can now peruse more than 3.5 million documents from the Reconstruction-era agency

Shaped mostly like a diamond, Washington, D.C. is organized by geographical divides centered on the U.S. Capitol and the White House, using mathematical principles employed by the original designer, Pierre Charles L’Enfant.

Track the Hidden Histories Lurking in the Street Names of Washington, D.C.

A new exhibition highlights the people behind some of the capital city’s roadways, plazas and parks

During the Civil War, four major battles took place in the area surrounding Fredericksburg National Cemetery.

Cool Finds

Forgotten Road Found Buried Beneath Civil War Cemetery in Virginia

Archaeologists excavated the site ahead of the planned reinterment of remains discovered near a former battlefield hospital in 2015

Enslavers pocketed the majority of the money earned by enslaved individuals hired out as part-time laborers. But in some cases, enslaved people managed to save a fraction of their earnings in hopes of purchasing freedom for themselves or their families.

This Rare Copper Badge Tells a Story of Slavery in 19th-Century Charleston

The South Carolina city used the metal tags to identify enslaved people hired out as part-time laborers by their enslavers

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

New displays at Arlington House center the stories of individuals enslaved by Lee and his family.

Robert E. Lee's Former Home Reopens With Renewed Focus on the Enslaved

Built by George Washington's adopted son, Arlington House recently underwent a three-year "rehabilitation" project

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

Organizer Quintavious Rhodes addresses Black Lives Matter protesters during a march in Stone Mountain Park on June 16, 2020. Activists have long called for Stone Mountain's carved relief of Confederate generals to be taken down.

History of Now

Georgia Approves Changes to Stone Mountain Park, 'Shrine to White Supremacy'

The site's board authorized the creation of a truth-telling exhibit, a new logo and a relocated Confederate flag plaza

Established 200 years ago, on May 17, 1821, the Tangier American Legation is a rambling mansion that spans two sides of the Rue d’Amerique in the southern corner of Tangier's old walled city.

Why a 200-Year-Building in Morocco Is the Only National Historic Landmark Outside the U.S.

The structure in the port city of Tangier has served as a diplomatic residence, consulate, espionage headquarters, museum and library

Featuring South African actress Thuso Mbedu as Cora (pictured here), the adaptation arrives amid a national reckoning on systemic injustice, as well as a renewed debate over cultural depictions of violence against Black bodies.

Based on a True Story

The True History Behind Amazon Prime's 'Underground Railroad'

The adaptation of Colson Whitehead's Pulitzer Prize–winning novel reimagines the eponymous trail to freedom as an actual train track

L to R: Ward Lee, Tucker Henderson and Romeo were three of the nearly 500 captives illegally transported on the Wanderer.

This Yacht Trafficked Enslaved Africans Long After the Slave Trade Was Abolished

New exhibition in Louisiana details the story of the "Wanderer," the penultimate ship to illegally transport enslaved people into the U.S.

As part of the nation's westward expansion motives, some Midwesterners wanted to move the capital to St. Louis

The Ill-Fated Idea to Move the Nation's Capital to St. Louis

In the years after the Civil War, some wanted a new seat of government that would be closer to the geographic center of a growing nation

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