Cold War

In October 1971, Disney World "cast members" pose with celebrity Mickey Mouse at one of the theme park's grand opening ceremonies. 

In the Magic Kingdom, History Was a Lesson Filled With Reassurance

Fifty years ago, Disney World's celebrated opening promised joy and inspiration to all; today the theme park is reckoning with its white middle-class past

Interest in gymnastics soared during the Cold War, when the Olympics emerged as a cultural battleground for Western and Eastern nations.

The Tokyo Olympics

A History of Gymnastics, From Ancient Greece to Tokyo 2020

The beloved Olympic sport has evolved drastically over the past 2,000 years

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

Peace Corps volunteer Marya Cota-Wilson gives a gardening lesson in Costa Rica in the 1980s.

Why the Peace Corps’ Mission Is Needed Now More Than Ever

On its 60th anniversary, a moment of reckoning arrives for the nation's globe-trotting volunteers

While the island’s dramatic connection to the Bay of Pigs invasion is all but unknown to the outside world, it is part of local lore.

The Florida Resort That Played an Unlikely Role in the Bay of Pigs Fiasco

Sixty years ago, the CIA-backed invasion of Cuba failed disastrously. It all began, here, on Useppa Island

Merab Ninidze and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Courier.

Based on a True Story

The True Story Behind 'The Courier'

A new spy thriller draws on the fascinating life—and whopping lies—of one of the U.K.'s most famous intelligence agents

In the background, a photograph taken by an American U-2 spy plane over Cuba on October 14, 1962, shows a secret deployment of Soviet nuclear-armed ballistic missiles. Right, Juanita Moody, head of the National Security Agency’s Cuba desk.

Women Who Shaped History

The Once-Classified Tale of Juanita Moody: The Woman Who Helped Avert a Nuclear War

America’s bold response to the Soviet Union depended on an unknown spy agency operative whose story can at last be told

An illustration of the British burning Washington in 1814

History of Now

The History of Violent Attacks on the U.S. Capitol

While the building has seen politically motivated mayhem in the past, never before has a mob of insurrectionists tried to overturn a presidential election

English novelist John le Carré in March 1965.

John le Carré, Dead at 89, Defined the Modern Spy Novel

In 25 novels, the former British intelligence officer offered a realistic alternative to Bond, using the spy genre as a vehicle for imperial critique

One of the oldest pairs of jeans in the world is this set of Levi’s, made around the 1880s and still tough as dirt.

How Denim Became a Political Symbol of the 1960s

The blue jeans fabric conquered pop culture and fortified the civil rights movement

A KGB spy pistol used by female operatives and designed to look like a tube of lipstick

You Could Own a Lipstick Gun, a Poison-Tipped Umbrella and Other KGB Spy Tools

Next February, Julien's Auctions will sell some 3,000 items from the shuttered KGB Espionage Museum's collection

Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, left, and Cuban President Fidel Castro, center, are seen outside the Hotel Theresa in the Harlem neighborhood of New York.

Fidel Castro Stayed in Harlem 60 Years Ago to Highlight Racial Injustice in the U.S.

The Cuban revolutionary shined a light on the stark economic disparities in America, much to the chagrin of the U.S. government

The mushroom cloud from Tsar Bomba was 42 miles high, about seven times the height of Mount Everest

Russia Declassifies Video From 1961 of Largest Hydrogen Bomb Ever Detonated

The blast was over 3,000 times bigger than the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima

All this could be yours—for the right price. An auction for this North Dakota Cold War-era missile site begins on August 11.

You Could Own an Abandoned Cold War Missile Site in North Dakota

The 50-acre fixer-upper has potential as a tourist attraction or a pandemic bunker

In Africa, ivory has been a status symbol because it comes from elephants, a highly respected animal, and because it is fairly easy to carve into works of art.

Why Is Ivory So Precious? And More Questions From Our Readers

You’ve got questions. We’ve got experts

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The Bloody Hell of Okinawa

More than seventy-five years ago, the final great battle of WWII convinced Allied leaders to drop the atomic bomb on Japan

A section of the Berlin Wall in Pankow, the neighborhood where a nearly 200-foot stretch of the historic structure was razed to make way for luxury condos

196-Foot Section of the Berlin Wall Demolished to Make Way for Condos

Angry historians say the stretch of concrete was one of the largest remaining sections of the inner wall

The USS Stickleback (left) was accidentally broadsided by the USS Silverstein (right) on May 29, 1958.

Cool Finds

Wreck of Cold War-Era Submarine Found Off the Coast of Oahu

After 62 years underwater, the USS "Stickleback"—the casualty of an accidental friendly collision—has finally been found

Grandma Moses Goes to the Big City (1946).

Women Who Shaped History

How the U.S. Government Deployed Grandma Moses Overseas in the Cold War

In 1950, an exhibition of the famed artist's paintings toured Europe in a promotional campaign of American culture

Among the items stolen from Berlin's Stasi Museum are a pair of earrings, a ring laden with pearls and gems, a gold watch, and a gold timepiece.

Days After the Brazen Green Vault Heist, Another German Museum Is Targeted by Thieves

Burglars stole jewelry and historic artifacts from the Stasi Museum in Berlin

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