Government Leaders

A 1997 photo of Madeleine Albright, who died at age 84 on March 23, 2022

Madeleine Albright on Her Life in Pins

In 2010, the former secretary of state reflected on her famous collection of brooches and pins

Barbados officially became a republic early Tuesday morning, casting off Elizabeth II as head of state and swearing in Sandra Mason as the country's new president.

History of Now

Barbados Breaks With Elizabeth II to Become the World's Newest Republic

The Caribbean island removed the British monarch as head of state but will remain a member of the Commonwealth of Nations

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

Smithsonian Secretary S. Dillon Ripley, in 1978, stands before a portrait of a predecessor—Joseph Henry, the first Secretary.

Smithsonian 175

Secretary Lonnie Bunch on What It Takes to Lead the Smithsonian

A successful Secretary must acknowledge the Institution’s failures as well as successes—and celebrate its capacity for change

Abraham Lincoln (left) claimed first place, while William Henry Harrison (right) came in 40th.

History of Now

Who Were the Best and Worst Presidents Ever—and How Do Historians Decide?

C-SPAN's 2021 ranking places Trump near the bottom of the list. Obama, Grant rises higher, while Lincoln holds steady in first

Deb Haaland speaks at the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the National Native American Veterans Memorial, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019.

Smithsonian Voices

Indian Country Weighs In on Deb Haaland's Confirmation as Secretary of the Interior

Seen as "one giant leap for Native women, "Haaland (Laguna and Jemez Pueblos) is hailed for her experience, strength and wisdom

Teeth with dental inlays from a nonroyal elite Mayan tomb.

Archaeologists Uncover a 1,300-Year-Old Skeleton of a Maya Diplomat

The remains revealed that the government official was wealthy as an adult, but he had a difficult childhood

The Royalists used the cookbook to paint Oliver and Elizabeth Cromwell as commoners unfit to rule the kingdom.

This 17th-Century Cookbook Contained a Vicious Attack on Oliver Cromwell's Wife

The Cromwell Museum has republished a text first issued by the English Lord Protector's enemies as propaganda

The exhibition is on view near a neighborhood recreation center that holds classes and homework time, even during the pandemic, and an all-boys high school. "I just feel like this block amplifies all of the messages expressed in the exhibit," says one of the show's organizers.

In a Covid-Affected Washington, D.C. Neighborhood, Black History Is Reinterpreted on a City Block

A powerful outdoor exhibition amplifies a message of "pride, tenacity and possibility"

A framed display of locks of George and Martha Washington's hair is estimated to sell for upward of $75,000.

Trove of Presidential Memorabilia, From Washington's Hair to JFK's Sweater, Is Up for Sale

RR Auction is offering a collection of nearly 300 artifacts, including a signed photo of Abraham Lincoln and a pen used by FDR

Artist Simon Berger created the portrait by strategically hammering cracks into a pane of glass.

Kamala Harris Portrait Draws Inspiration From the Glass Ceiling She Shattered

Artist Simon Berger created the unconventional likeness of the vice president in just one day

Mayor Davie was tossed into jail for refusing to wear a mask.

Covid-19

In 1919, the Mayor of Oakland Was Arrested for Failing to Wear a Mask

John L. Davie was a larger-than-life politician, but during the influenza pandemic, even he wasn’t above the law

“We call ourselves the Great Convener,” says the new Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III, “but really we’re a Great Legitimizer. And I want the Smithsonian to legitimize important issues."

Lonnie Bunch Sizes Up His Past and Future at the Smithsonian

Bunch’s new memoir details the tireless work it took to build NMAAHC and offers insights into his priorities as Smithsonian Secretary

Pîhtokahanapiwiyin, better known as Chief Poundmaker

After 130 Years, Canada Exonerates ‘Peacemaker’ Chief Convicted of Treason

‘In 1885, Chief Poundmaker was treated as a criminal and a traitor,’ Prime Minister Trudeau said. ‘In 2019, we recognize the truth'

A collapsed dam left 200 people missing and at least 58 dead, officials say. Rescuers search using helicopters.

Trending Today

Brazilian Mine Disaster Leaves 58 Dead, 200 Missing

Mine waste and sludge have contaminated a huge stretch of the Paraopeba River

Dr. David Skorton, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, ran one of the most successful capital campaigns in the organization's history, raising $1.88 billion.

Smithsonian Secretary Announces His Departure

After four years as head of the Institution, David Skorton leaves to head the Association of American Medical Colleges

George H.W. Bush (1924-2018). Photograph by William Coupon.

Looking Back at George H.W. Bush’s Lifelong Career of Public Service

The former President, dead at 94 years old, was noteworthy for his “humanity and decency,” says a Smithsonian historian

A Mega Millions billboard in Omaha, Nebraska, adjacent to a Sears store, shows $999 million, the maximum number it can show,

The Puerto Rican Roots of the Mega Millions Jackpot

The first modern lottery in the United States raised funds to fight tuberculosis

The FDA calls teen vaping an "epidemic"

Trending Today

FDA Cracks Down on Underage Use of E-Cigarettes

FDA's largest enforcement action to date gave warnings and fines to 1,300 retailers and requested plans to prevent teen vaping from five manufacturers

Southern Chivalry – Argument versus Club's, John L. Magee

Before the Civil War, Congress Was a Hotbed of Violence

A new book from historian Joanne Freeman chronicles the viciousness with which elected officials treated each other

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