Movies

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

Map from front endpapers to The Odyssey of Homer (translated by T. E. Shaw (Col. T. E. Lawrence)), 1935. 

Art Meets Science

See Fantastical Maps From 'Game of Thrones,' 'Lord of the Rings' and More

In honor of the centennial of James Joyce's 'Ulysses,' a San Marino, California exhibition takes museumgoers on a literary journey

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'

A 1930s couple rings in the new year with party blowers and streamers. New Year's Eve celebrations only began incorporating countdowns decades later, with the first crowd countdown in Times Square taking place in 1979.

Why Do We Count Down to the New Year?

A historian traces the tradition's links to space travel, the Doomsday Clock and Alfred Hitchcock

Numerous books, films and other works first published in 1926 enter the public domain on January 1.

Winnie-the-Pooh, an Ernest Hemingway Classic and a Massive Library of Sound Recordings Will Enter the Public Domain on January 1

Works newly available to copy, republish and remix in 2022 also include poems by Langston Hughes and Dorothy Parker

A Louis Wain illustration of cats singing carols

See Louis Wain's Exuberant Cat Art at the Hospital Where He Spent His Later Years

The Victorian artist's famous feline portraits are on view at England's Bethlem Museum of the Mind

The 1946 film It's a Wonderful Life stars James Stewart as down-on-his-luck George Bailey and Donna Reed as his wife, Mary.

What 'It's a Wonderful Life' Teaches Us About American History

The Christmas classic, released 75 years ago, conveys many messages beyond having faith in one another

Over the course of our planet’s history, major impacts by comets and asteroids are plentiful.

The Very Real Effort to Track Killer Asteroids and Comets

In "Don't Look Up," researchers warn authorities about a comet hurtling towards Earth. Such a scenario isn’t just science fiction

Being the Ricardos features Nicole Kidman (left) as Lucille Ball and Javier Bardem (right) as Desi Arnaz.

Based on a True Story

The True History Behind 'Being the Ricardos'

Aaron Sorkin's new film dramatizes three pivotal moments in the lives of comedy legends Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz

The black-and-white stills represent the spirit rendered by King Richard, the new film starring Will Smith as the Williams sisters’ father, coach and mentor.

Based on a True Story

These Vintage Photos of Venus and Serena Williams Reveal the Truth of 'King Richard'

Seen as preteens, the future tennis sensations loved each other as much as they loved the sport

Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly, holding the Mattel Hoverboard in a scene from Back to the Future II

Marty McFly's 'Back to the Future II' Hoverboard Sells for $500,000

Signed by the franchise's star, actor Michael J. Fox, the movie prop easily surpassed its auction estimate

During the Middle Ages, dragons more often figured in accounts about the lives of saints and religious figures than stories of heists and adventures.

Why Dragons Dominated the Landscape of Medieval Monsters

The mythical beasts were often cast as agents of the devil or demons in disguise

Few epitomized 1970s cool like Richard Roundtree in Shaft.

'Shaft,' 'Super Fly' and the Birth of Blaxploitation

In this excerpt from ‘Music Is History,’ the drummer for the Roots and all-around music ambassador looks at a year when everything changed

Adam Driver (left) plays Jacques Le Gris, a French squire accused of raping Marguerite, wife of knight Jean de Carrouges (right, played by Matt Damon).

Based on a True Story

The True History Behind 'The Last Duel'

A new film from Ridley Scott dramatizes the 1386 trial by combat of a medieval man accused of a horrific crime

Tompson (far left) with colleagues Dot Smith, Walt Disney and Donna Luppo in an undated photo

Ruthie Tompson, Who Shaped Disney's Most Beloved Films, Dies at 111

She spent nearly 40 years at the company, reviewing animations and planning camera angles for classics like "Snow White" and "Dumbo"

The photographs show the "fossil" imprint of a wooden ship that rotted away long before the dig.

You Can Now Explore a Trove of Behind-the-Scenes Photos From the Famed Sutton Hoo Dig

Schoolteachers Mercie Lacks and Barbara Wagstaff captured the snapshots in August 1939

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

In the Southwest, Morris documented what she described as a “treasure trove”—a “topography rich in large dry caves, neatly adapted to ancient dwellings and graveyards.”

Women Who Shaped History

Groundbreaking Archaeologist Ann Axtell Morris Finally Gets the Cinematic Treatment

Nearly a century after Morris excavated ancestral Native lands, filmmakers return with an inclusive approach that brings Navajo Nation onto the big screen

The documentary plays out much like a spy thriller, interrogating the art world and the enigmatic figures who populate it.

Will the Mystery of 'Salvator Mundi' Ever Be Solved?

A new documentary, "The Lost Leonardo," explores the dramatic history of a purported Renaissance masterpiece

Some of the details between the film and its source material are, of course, different, but the themes at their respective hearts remain consistent.

'The Green Knight' Adopts a Medieval Approach to 'Modern' Problems

A new film starring Dev Patel as Gawain feels more like a psychological thriller than a period drama

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