Film

Riders on the Pine Apples float in the 1898 parade

Cool Finds

The Oldest Footage of New Orleans Has Been Found

Previously only rumored to exist, the two-minute film depicts a Mardi Gras parade from 1898

The Splash Mountain ride at Disneyland in California

Disney Reveals Rebranding for Controversial Splash Mountain Ride

Come 2024, the attraction—inspired by the racist 1946 movie "Song of the South"—will be reimagined as Tiana's Bayou Adventure

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

The single-engine, single-seat Turner RT-14 Meteor is the "epitome of what a 1930s air racer in the United States would be: big engine, big propeller, small profile,” says the museum's Jeremy Kinney.

The Record-Shattering Airplane Behind a Dashing Pilot’s Meteoric Rise to Fame

Roscoe Turner's air racer takes center stage this fall when newly renovated galleries open at the National Air and Space Museum

Austin Butler as Elvis in the new biopic

Based on a True Story

The True History Behind Baz Luhrmann's 'Elvis'

The new film dramatizes the life and legend of Elvis Presley from the perspective of his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker

The "Gifts We Carry: Sounds of Migration and Memory” concert will combine musicians from several backgrounds and cultures, including Salar Nader on the tabla and Homayoun Sakhi, a master on the Afghan stringed instrument the rubab. 

After Long Absence, the Folklife Festival Returns to the National Mall

The much-loved summer event, featuring the United Arab Emirates and Earth Optimism programs, opens with a concert hosted by Yo-Yo Ma

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

Hassinger's video (above: Birthright by Maren Hassinger, 2005) is a powerful history of seven orphaned children, a story of stolen labor and stolen lives, a family chronicle “that came out of being enslaved, the aftermath of slavery,” says the artist.

Join in a Meditation on the Twists of Memories Handed Down From One Generation to Another

A new commission, based on the acclaimed video 'Birthright' by artist Maren Hassenger, explores the legacy of slavery in family history

Tom Cruise revives his Top Gun role as Pete "Maverick" Mitchell in the new film arriving in theaters May 27.

'Top Gun' Is Back. But Is the Elite Navy Fighter Pilot School Really Like the Movies?

The Smithsonian’s Chris Browne flew the much-feared F-14, and as a former TOPGUN student, knows well the power of a Navy-trained fighter pilot

The Blue-Haired Fairy and the Talking Cricket try to make Pinocchio drink a medicine in an illustration for the children's novel The Adventures of Pinocchio, by Carlo Collodi (1826-1890).

Who Was Pinocchio's Mysterious Blue-Haired Fairy?

Author Carlo Collodi may have drawn inspiration from one—or a few—female figures in his life

Left: Photo of the dress from a Bonhams auction listing. Right: Father Gilbert Hartke with the gifted garment

There’s No Place Like Home—but What’s the Right Place for Dorothy's Dress From 'The Wizard of Oz'?

Donated to the head of Catholic University’s drama department in 1973, the garment's ownership is now at the center of a legal dispute

Still from Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (2018). 

The Surprisingly Long History of 'Choose-Your-Own-Adventure' Stories

From the 'I Ching' to an upcoming Netflix rom-com, interactive fiction dares us to decide what happens next

A Long Island family sits in a "Kidde Kokoon" underground bomb shelter in 1955.

Digging Up the History of the Nuclear Fallout Shelter

For 75 years, images of bunker life have reflected the shifting optimism, anxieties and cynicism of the Atomic Age

Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson depicted the experiences of Black Americans through often-overlooked, working-class characters.

How Playwright August Wilson Captured the Highs and Lows of Black America

An immersive exhibition in Pittsburgh explores the award-winning dramatist's life and legacy

Alexander Skarsgård stars as Amleth, a Viking prince who seeks to avenge the murder of his father.

Based on a True Story

The History Behind Robert Eggers' 'The Northman'

The revenge saga blends traditional accounts with the supernatural to convey the lived experience of the Viking age

The Academy Museum of Motions Pictures received backlash on its opening for failing to portray the stories of Hollywood's Jewish founders.

The Academy Awards Museum Will Create New Exhibition on Hollywood's Jewish Roots in Response to Criticism

When the museum opened last year, industry leaders and donors expressed disappointment at what they saw as a stunning omission in the exhibition content

Marlon Brando confers with director Francis Ford Coppola during the filming on Mott Street of a scene for the movie The Godfather.

A Guide to 'The Godfather' Filming Locations in New York City

To mark the 50th anniversary of the award-winning movie, here are seven scene-setting sites worth a visit

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

Dorchester County artist Michael Rosato painted a mural of Harriet Tubman in Cambridge, Maryland.

Women Who Shaped History

Harriet Tubman Is Famous for Being an Abolitionist and Political Activist, but She Was Also a Naturalist

The Underground Railroad conductor's understanding of botany, wildlife biology, geography and astronomy allowed her to guide herself and others to safety

Today, Betty Boop is an immediately recognizable cultural icon, appearing on everything from luggage to coffee mugs to chunky heels to board games.

The Evolution of Betty Boop

Film censorship sparked the beloved cartoon character's mid-1930s makeover

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