Death

The tragedy marked Washington, D.C.’s deadliest single-day disaster. Pictured: an overhead view of the Knickerbocker Theatre following the roof’s collapse

When a Winter Storm Triggered One of the Deadliest Disasters in D.C. History

On January 28, 1922, the Knickerbocker Theatre's snow-covered roof collapsed, killing 98 people and injuring another 133

The multidisciplinary team suggests that Arnold van den Bergh, a notary and member of Amsterdam's Jewish Council, gave the Secret Annex's address to the Nazis to avoid deportation.

New Research

Did a Jewish Notary Betray Anne Frank to the Nazis?

A six-year investigation posits that Arnold van den Bergh disclosed the diarist's hiding place to protect his family from deportation

A small stretch of an ancient cemetery in Naples is set to open to the public for the first time, shedding new light on the Italian city’s history and ancient Greek artistry.

A Long-Overlooked Necropolis in Naples Reveals the Enduring Influence of Ancient Greece

The Ipogeo dei Cristallini's well-preserved tombs will open to the public as soon as summer 2022

The catacombs contain the bodies of 1,284 people, including 163 children.

Researchers Are Using X-Rays to Solve the Mystery Behind Sicily's Child Mummies

The bodies were preserved and put on display at the Catacombs of Palermo between 1787 and 1880, and have yet to be identified

Sidney Poitier, pictured here in 2006 at the Cannes Film Festival, died Friday, January 7. He was 94. 

How Sidney Poitier Rewrote the Script for Black Actors in Hollywood

Smithsonian curators reflect on the legacy of the late Poitier, who starred in 'In the Heat of the Night' and 'Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner'

Archaeologists unearthed a terracotta figurine of a dog at an excavation of one of Rome's oldest streets. The statue is estimated to be around 2,000 years old.

Cool Finds

Construction in Rome Reveals Well-Preserved, 2,000-Year-Old Dog Statue

Researchers also uncovered three stone tombs, an urn and the remains of a young man

Lieutenant Colonel Almon F. Rockwell (center) was a longtime friend of President James A. Garfield (right). He was also one of roughly 25 people present at Abraham Lincoln's (left) deathbed.

This Man Was the Only Eyewitness to the Deaths of Both Lincoln and Garfield

Almon F. Rockwell's newly resurfaced journals, excerpted exclusively here, offer an incisive account of the assassinated presidents' final moments

An illustration from Newes From Scotland (1591), a pamphlet that publicized ongoing witch trials in North Berwick, Scotland, across Europe. Groups of accused women are depicted brewing spells to thwart James VI's ship (upper left), and a local schoolmaster is shown taking notes from the devil. 

Scotland Considers Pardon for Thousands of Accused 'Witches'

Advocates are calling on leaders to exonerate the thousands of women and men targeted in witch hunts during the 16th through 18th centuries

Researchers found the skeleton of a human (pictured) and dog left behind by a tsunami that destroyed coastal communities along the Mediterranean Sea some 3,600 years ago.

Cool Finds

First Human Skeleton From Bronze Age Tsunami Discovered in Turkey

Archaeologists find remains of a young man and dog left behind by a natural disaster some 3,600 years ago in the Mediterranean

Centuries after Amenhotep's death, 21st-Dynasty priests reburied his mummy to protect it from grave robbers.

Innovation for Good

Researchers Digitally Unwrap Egyptian Pharaoh's 3,500-Year-Old Mummy

Scanning technology revealed new insights on Amenhotep I's life

Actress and comedian Betty White, pictured here in 2015, died last week at the age of 99.

Women Who Shaped History

How Betty White Broke Barriers for Women in Television

A Smithsonian curator reflects on the legacy of the beloved “Golden Girls” actress

Finds unveiled in 2021 included a wooden falcon that originally belonged to doomed queen Anne Boleyn, an intact ancient chicken egg and a dress worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz.

Cool Finds

Ninety-Nine Fascinating Finds Revealed in 2021

The year's most exciting discoveries include a Viking "piggy bank," a lost Native American settlement and a secret passageway hidden behind a bookshelf

Workers removed the sculpture from the University of Hong Kong's campus under the cover of night.

Hong Kong Removes 'Pillar of Shame' Honoring Tiananmen Square Victims

The move arrives amid continuing crackdowns on pro-democracy protesters in the Asian city

The Moores' younger daughter, Evangeline, donated this locket and other personal artifacts to the Smithsonian in 2013.

This Locket Memorializes a Black Activist Couple Murdered in a Christmas 1951 Bombing

Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore attracted the KKK's ire for their tireless promotion of civil rights in the Jim Crow South

Brown was known as the Godfather of Soul and the Hardest Working Man in Show Business.

James Brown's Estate Has Sold After 15-Year Dispute

The estimated $90 million deal will go mostly toward a scholarship fund for children from South Carolina and Georgia

bell hooks, pictured in 1999

Women Who Shaped History

Groundbreaking Feminist Scholar bell hooks Dies at 69

The prolific American writer shaped a generation of discourse around Black feminism and intersectionality

Archaeological evidence of crucifixion is rare, as victims were rarely properly buried. Most crucifixions used rope rather than nails to bind the condemned to a cross.

Cool Finds

Rare Physical Evidence of Roman Crucifixion Found in Britain

Researchers discovered the skeleton of a man with a nail hammered through his heel bone

Researchers found the remains of a man in his mid-40s at Herculaneum, a Roman town near Pompeii.

Vesuvius Victim Died Just Steps From the Safety of the Sea, Skeleton Shows

The middle-aged man's remains are the first of their kind found at Herculaneum in 25 years

Of a total crew of 864 men, 429 were killed on the USS Oklahoma, sunk at Pearl Harbor 80 years ago. New DNA testing has allowed scientists to identify 90 percent of the remains in the last few years.

Eighty Years After Pearl Harbor, New DNA Tech Helps Identify Victims of the Attack

Researchers say they have now identified over 90 percent of the remains of those killed aboard the USS Oklahoma

The capsized hull of the U.S.S. Oklahoma (right) is visible next to the U.S.S. Maryland.

The Story Behind Pearl Harbor's Most Successful Rescue Mission

Eighty years ago, civilian Julio DeCastro and his colleagues at the Hawaii base's naval yard saved 32 sailors trapped inside the U.S.S. "Oklahoma"

loading icon