Documentaries

Women at Gateways with owner Ted Ware around 1953

Inside Gateways, One of the World's Longest-Surviving Lesbian Nightclubs

A new documentary tells the story of the London nightclub where lesbian women found escape and acceptance

Members of the Jane Collective in 1972

History of Now

When Abortion Was Illegal, Chicago Women Turned to the Jane Collective

A new documentary spotlights the group that helped thousands seeking abortions in the 1960s and '70s

The U.S.S.R. sent legions of “liquidators” to clean up in the aftermath of the meltdown. 

Past and Presence

Footage Shows How Daily Life Didn't Change After Chernobyl—and the Cover-Up's Toxic Aftermath

A new documentary shows how the disaster transformed—and endangered—those who lived near the nuclear plant

To many people, Henrietta Lacks, painted by Kadir Nelson in 2017, symbolizes inequity in medicine. Lacks died from cervical cancer in 1951, but her tumor cells— used in research without her permission—would enable medical advances, including the polio vaccine.

Race in America

The Historical Roots of Racial Disparities in American Health Care

A new documentary from the Smithsonian Channel, 'The Color of Care,' produced by Oprah Winfrey, shines a light on medicine’s biases

Police sketches of the man and woman who stole Willem de Kooning's Woman-Ochre from the University of Arizona Museum of Art in November 1985

Why Would Two Ordinary People Steal a $160 Million Willem de Kooning Painting?

A new documentary tells the tale of a suburban New Mexico couple who allegedly stole the artwork just to hang it behind their bedroom door

Lucille Ball in 1938

Women Who Shaped History

Who Was the Real Lucille Ball?

"I Love Lucy" is having a moment—but we're still not ready to see its star and creator clearly

Andy Warhol poses in his studio, The Factory, in Union Square, New York City, on April 12, 1983.

Art Meets Science

Hear an A.I.-Generated Andy Warhol 'Read' His Diary to You in New Documentary

An new Netflix television series employs artificial intelligence to recreate the voice of the Pop Star icon

Pancho Villa supposedly came to Columbus because he was enraged at the author's paternal grandfather, Sam Ravel, over an arms deal gone wrong. This photo album helped the author better understand Sam.

The Photo Album That Succeeded Where Pancho Villa Failed

The revolutionary may have tried to find the author's grandfather by raiding a New Mexico village—but a friend's camera truly captured her family patriarch

This 1925 painting depicts an idealized version of an early Thanksgiving celebration in Plymouth.

How to Tell the Thanksgiving Story on Its 400th Anniversary

Scholars are unraveling the myths surrounding the 1621 feast, which found the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag cementing a newly established alliance

The team found traces of an earlier temple beneath the famed sun temple of Nyuserra (pictured).

Cool Finds

Archaeologists Discover 'Lost,' 4,500-Year-Old Egyptian Sun Temple

Fifth-Dynasty pharaohs built six such structures. Until now, only two had been found

Researchers discovered Khuwy's richly painted tomb in 2019.

Cool Finds

Richly Adorned Egyptian Tomb Could Rewrite the History of Mummification

A new analysis of a Fifth-Dynasty official's mummy suggests sophisticated embalming techniques are 1,000 years older than previously believed

Attorney, author, scholar and reverend Pauli Murray, pictured here on December 22, 1976

LGBTQ+ Pride

The Trailblazing, Multifaceted Activism of Lawyer-Turned-Priest Pauli Murray

New documentary tells the story of a Black and LGBTQ thinker who helped lay the legal groundwork for fighting gender- and race-based discrimination

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

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