Cold War

At the start of the 1960s, color television was still a relatively novel technology.

Color TV Transformed the Way Americans Saw the World, and the World Saw America

A historian of 20th century media argues that the technological innovation was the quintessential Cold War machine

Ed Sullivan interviews Fidel Castro in January 1959, shortly after dictator Fulgencio Batista had fled the country.

When Fidel Castro Charmed the United States

Sixty years ago this month, the romantic victory of the young Cuban revolutionaries amazed the world—and led to a surreal evening on “The Ed Sullivan Show”

Berlin's Famous East Side Gallery Protected from Development

The outdoor gallery on a former section of Berlin Wall has been threatened by a building boom in recent years

At Fort Sill, Oklahoma, you can see "Atomic Annie," the first and only cannon to ever fire a nuclear shell.

This Veterans Day, Visit America’s Top Military Sites

A new book offers a guide to the museums, bases and once-secret locations that reveal America’s complex military history

The Cleaver family of "Leave It to Beaver"

The Dawn of Television Promised Diversity. Here’s Why We Got “Leave It to Beaver” Instead

Using original archival research and FBI blacklist documents, a new book pieces together the intersectional narratives that never made it on air

The 2000 crash of Flight 4590, says author Samme Chittum, was a perfect storm of chemistry gone wrong, a disaster as remarkable in its own way as the Concorde’s typical grace in flight.

This Freak Aviation Disaster Brought Supersonic Idealism Down in Flames

In a just-released Smithsonian Book, author Samme Chittum assesses the Concorde’s demise with the keen eye of a crime reporter

Margaret Chase Smith became the first woman ever to serve in both the House of Representatives and the Senate—and the first senator to stand up against Joseph McCarthy's Red Scare.

The Senator Who Stood Up to Joseph McCarthy When No One Else Would

Margaret Chase Smith was the first woman to serve both the House and the Senate and always defended her values, even when it meant opposing her party

The project will also feature the world premiere of a controversial Ilya Khrzhanovsky film, produced from 2009 to 2011 on another simulated set.

An Immersive Art Installation Will Temporarily Resurrect the Berlin Wall

This fall, event organizers plan on constructing a pseudo-city within a block of Berlin in order to emulate life in an unfamiliar country

Found: A Forgotten Stretch of the Berlin Wall

It formed an outer defensive barrier that stopped East Germans from getting close to the main wall

In the spring of 2018, Angeline Nanni revisited Arlington Hall, where the Venona team got cracking. It is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Women Code Breakers Who Unmasked Soviet Spies

At the height of the Cold War, America’s most secretive counterespionage effort set out to crack unbreakable ciphers

Cover of a propaganda comic book, 1947. During the Cold War, book publishing and popular culture became an ideological battleground.

This Cold War-Era Publishing House Wanted To Share American Values With the World

Funded by the U.S. government, Franklin Publications was viewed as pushing imperialist propaganda

Fifty Years Ago, Airline Diplomacy Sought to Bring the U.S. and U.S.S.R. Closer Together

Hopes for a Cold War détente were sky high when the first American and Soviet flights took off 50 years ago

Artist’s impression of satellites and debris in low-Earth orbit. Currently 70 percent of all cataloged objects are in low-Earth orbit, which extends to 2000 km above the Earth’s surface.

Greening the Future of Outer Space

A team of scientists and policy experts want to develop space sustainably for future generations

American girl Samantha Smith (center) visited the U.S.S.R. on the invitation of General Secretary Yuri Andropov in July 1983. Here, she's visiting the Artek pioneer camp.

The Surprising Story of the American Girl Who Broke Through the Iron Curtain

Samantha Smith was only 10 when she wrote to Soviet General Secretary Yuri Andropov about the Cold War. In response, he invited her for a visit

After the 1943 publication of Ayn Rand's book "The Fountainhead," she amassed a cult-like following that spread her message far and wide.

The Literary Salon That Made Ayn Rand Famous

Seventy-five years after the publishing of ‘The Fountainhead’, a look back at the public intellectuals who disseminated her Objectivist philosophy

When the director of DARPA heard about the blasts and their purpose, he had an immediate reaction: “Holy shit. This is dangerous.”

How Soviet Bomb Tests Paved the Way For U.S. Climate Science

The untold story of a failed Russian geoengineering scheme, panic in the Pentagon, and a Nixon-era effort to study global cooling

View of two farmers checking the corpses of dead sheep on a farm ranch near the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah.

How the Death of 6,000 Sheep Spurred the American Debate on Chemical Weapons

The Dugway sheep incident of March 1968 made visible the military’s covert attempts to test and stockpile millions of dollars worth of chemical weapons

U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev exchange pens during the signing ceremony for the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in the White House East Room on December 8, 1987.

Why “The Americans” Is Taking a Big Leap Forward to 1987

The beginning of the end of the Soviet Union provides great drama for the show’s final season

Amateur Historian Reveals Forgotten Stretch of the Berlin Wall

The dilapidated structure appears to be an early iteration of the infamous Cold War partition

Women grieving over the coffins of those killed in the Kielce pogrom as they are transported to the burial site in the Jewish cemetery.

Kielce: The Post-Holocaust Pogrom That Poland Is Still Fighting Over

After World War II, Jewish refugees found they could never return to their native land—a sentiment that some echo today

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