Family

Omari Maynard with Shamony Gibson, who died after giving birth in 2019

Stories From the Black Maternal Mortality Crisis

The new documentary 'Aftershock' follows two women who died from pregnancy-related complications

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Untold Stories of American History

Escape From the Gilded Cage

Even if her husband was a murderer, a woman in a bad marriage once had few options. Unless she fled to South Dakota

Before the critical 1965 Supreme Court ruling Griswold v. Connecticut, state and federal morality laws prohibited access to contraceptives, even to married couples (above: a picketer protests the opening of a new Planned Parenthood Center in New Haven, Connecticut).

The Revolutionary 1965 Supreme Court Decision That Declared Sex a Private Affair

A Smithsonian curator of medicine and science looks back to the days when police could arrest couples for using contraception

The Godfather was named Best Motion Picture–Drama in the 1973 Golden Globe Awards and Best Picture in the Academy Awards.

Studio Executives Did Not Want Marlon Brando for the Title Role in 'The Godfather'

On the film's 50th anniversary, a Smithsonian historian reflects on the cultural phenomenon of the blockbuster hit

A woman who is six months pregnant receives a Covid booster shot in Los Angeles. The CDC advises pregnant women to get vaccinated.

Covid-19

Seven Things to Know About Covid-19 and Pregnancy

From the effect of vaccines on a baby's immunity to whether Covid-19 can cause stillbirths, experts weigh in with helpful information and advice

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

Portuguese diplomat Aristides de Sousa Mendes was serving as a consul general in France when the Nazis invaded the country.

The Untold Story of the Portuguese Diplomat Who Saved Thousands From the Nazis

As the German army marched across France, Aristides de Sousa Mendes faced a choice: obey his government or follow his conscience—and risk everything

Women who responded to the call of duty on 9/11, shown at the Ground Zero Memorial in Lower Manhattan. Back row: EMT Bonnie Giebfried, NYPD Chief of Transportation Kim Royster, NYPD Chief of Interagency Operations Theresa Tobin, Firefighter Regina Wilson. Front row (all now retired): FDNY Captain Brenda Berkman, Detective Sergeant Sue Keane, Assistant Port Authority Police Chief Norma Hardy.

Twenty Years Later, First Responders and Families Remember the People They Lost on 9/11

These portraits of resilience recall the day when loved ones, friends and colleagues perished in the terrorist attacks

The Marchioness (2016) depicts a member of the fictional UmuEze Amara family, "one of the oldest noble clans in Nigeria."

Imagining a Different History for Africa Through Art

Toyin Ojih Odutola conjures a world that might have been

Pocket watch with engraved, gold-plated case found on the body of postal clerk John Starr March. The hands point to 1:27, around when the Titanic sank on the morning of April 15, 1912.

What a Watch Tells Us About the Titanic's Final Hours

The handheld item, belonging to an American crew member, stopped minutes before the ship sank

Helina Metaferia, Crowning Care 1, 2021

Innovation for Good

Pioneering Project Explores Motherhood Through the Lens of Design

A new exhibition and book series offers an intimate view of reproductive history

Whether they are left- or right-handed, mothers tend to carry their babies on the left side of their bodies.

14 Fun Facts About the Science of Motherhood

A short list of the amazing changes and behaviors that transform both humans and animals on the journey of motherhood

For moms, there's physiological and neurological truth to the cliché that parenthood changes a person.

The New Science of Motherhood

Through studies of fetal DNA, researchers are revealing how a child can shape a mom's heart and mind—literally

L to R: Anna, the eldest van Gogh sister; Elisabeth, or Lies; and Willemien, the youngest, who was better known as Wil

New Book Details the Lives of Vincent van Gogh's Sisters Through Their Letters

The missives reveal that the Impressionist artist's family paid for his younger sibling's medical care by selling 17 of his paintings

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Remembering Tulsa

Looking Back at the Tulsa Race Massacre, 100 Years Later

Confronting the murderous attack on the most prosperous black community in the nation

MyHeritage introduced 'Deep Nostalgia' to allow users to see their ancestors or late relatives come to life but is also being used to animate portrait art, statues and historical figures. Pictured: Smithsonian founder, James Smithson.

New A.I. Tool Makes Historic Photos Move, Blink and Smile

The algorithm matches pre-recorded video with the photo depending on the subject's pose and applies natural facial movements to the image

Studio family portrait, 1960–1970s, by Rev. Henry Clay Anderson

How the Smithsonian Can Help African American Families Research Their Ancestors

The National Museum of African American History and Culture offers service and tips for genealogy efforts

A woman hugs her granddaughter. Some scientists believe child care from grandmothers influenced human evolution.

How Much Did Grandmothers Influence Human Evolution?

Scientists debate the evolutionary benefits of menopause

Submissions will be included in an online exhibition, “Reclamation: Recipes, Remedies, and Ritual,” set to open in January 2021.

Your Cherished Family Recipes Could Be Featured in a Museum Exhibition

The National Museum of Women in the Arts is asking the public to share recipes that document unique family histories

The male skeleton's neck and legs were arranged in an unnatural position, while the woman's remains were held in place by large stones.

New Research

DNA Analysis Suggests Mother and Son Were Buried in Famous Viking Grave

Researchers had previously posited that the man was an executed enslaved individual buried alongside the noblewoman he served

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