Cold War


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.

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).

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

Diane Meyer walked the entire 96-mile perimeter of the former wall to take pictures for her hand-sewn photograph series “Berlin.” Above, Brandenburg Gate, 2015.

Where the Berlin Wall Once Stood

Even after a terrible barrier comes down, an artist conjures its haunting presence

Today Santiago de Cuba, which lies at the foot of the Sierra Maestra, is a bustling cultural capital.

Tony Perrottet's Cuba

Read <i>Smithsonian</i> contributor Tony Perrottet's coverage of the Caribbean island

Ernesto Guevara cruises by an image of his father on a building in Havana's Plaza of the Revolution, one of the larges public squares in the world.

Roaring Through Cuba With Che Guevara's Son

What's Ernesto Guevara, son of the world's most recognizable revolutionary, doing on a Harley Davidson? Leading a whirlwind tour around his native island

D.C.'s Newseum Is Closing Its Doors at the End of the Year

The museum dedicated to the history of journalism and the First Amendment has struggled financially since opening 11 years ago

Art installation above the Brandenburg Gate

Thirty Years After Fall of Berlin Wall, a Citywide Celebration

A week-long arts festival will feature concerts, immersive exhibitions, art installations, panel discussions and more

Samples of trinitite from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

A Chunk of Trinitite Reminds Us of the Sheer, Devastating Power of the Atomic Bomb

Within the Smithsonian's collections exists a telltale trace of the weapon that would change the world forever

A government demonstration of the polygraph from the 1970s

Why Lie Detector Tests Can't Be Trusted

Federal agencies embraced the polygraph in the 1950s to reassure the public that they could unmask spies

Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev talking with President John F. Kennedy during Vienna Summit.

Imagining a World Where Soviets and Americans Joined Hands on the Moon

Before he was assassinated, JFK spoke of a cooperative effort in space

A woman looks at wreckage of trucks in the ghost city of Pripyat during a tour in the Chernobyl exclusion zone on June 7, 2019.

HBO’s ‘Chernobyl’ Miniseries Is Driving Tourists to the Nuclear Disaster Site

Chernobyl tourist agencies have reportedly experienced a 30 to 40 percent jump in bookings since the show’s premiere

Researchers extracted paint and canvas fiber samples from a known forgery supposedly dating to 1886 but actually created during the 1980s.

Cold War Nuclear Bomb Tests Are Helping Researchers Identify Art Forgeries

Traces of carbon-14 isotopes released by nuclear testing enable scientists to date paintings created post-World War II

The Glomar Explorer, the ship that served as home base for the submarine-retrieval mission of Project Azorian. The Glomar Explorer's cover story was that it was doing deep sea mining research.

During the Cold War, the CIA Secretly Plucked a Soviet Submarine From the Ocean Floor Using a Giant Claw

The International Spy Museum details the audacious plan that involved a reclusive billionaire, a 618-foot-long ship, and a great deal of stealth

The first test of a thermonuclear weapon, or a hydrogen bomb, codenamed Ivy Mike and conducted by the United States in 1952 over the island of Elugelab in Enewetak Atoll in the Pacific Ocean.

Particles From Cold War Nuclear Bomb Tests Found in Deepest Parts of the Ocean

Crustaceans in the Mariana Trench and other underwater canyons feed on food from the surface laced with carbon-14 from Cold War bomb tests

Desert kites, stone structures used for hunting, discovered in the U2 images.

U-2 Spy Plane Images Reveal Ancient Archaeological Sites in the Middle East

Two patient archaeologists organized and scanned the images to find structures destroyed or covered up over the last 60 years

Beginning in the late 1940s, the white picket fence became synonymous with the American Dream.

How Did the White Picket Fence Become a Symbol of the Suburbs?

And why the epitome of the perfect house became so creepy

President Kennedy declassified images like this one that showed medium-range ballistic missile launch sites in the Cuban countryside

How CIA-Backed Spies Detected Soviet Nukes First During Cuban Missile Crisis

A report from <i>Yahoo News</i> lays out how a network of agents detected Soviet operations on the island before a U-2 spy plane snapped the famous photos

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