Politics

Flooding caused by heavy monsoon rains and exacerbated by human-caused climate change has killed nearly 1,700 people in Pakistan this year. Countries at COP27 agreed that major emitters of greenhouse gases should create a fund to deal with similar crises.

Five Major Storylines From the COP27 Climate Summit

Delegates agree to a loss and damage fund, but some experts worry the conference didn’t go far enough to address climate change

Felton advocated lynching Black men accused of raping white women—“a thousand times a week if necessary,” as she said in an infamous 1897 speech.

The Nation's First Woman Senator Was a Virulent White Supremacist

In 1922, Rebecca Latimer Felton, a Georgia women's rights activist and lynching proponent, temporarily filled a dead man's Senate seat

“I was the daughter of an enormously popular president and the first girl in the White House since Nellie Grant, and I looked upon the world as my oyster,” Alice recalled in her 1933 autobiography.

Women Who Shaped History

From a White House Wedding to a Pet Snake, Alice Roosevelt's Escapades Captivated America

Theodore Roosevelt's eldest daughter won the public's adoration with her rebellious antics

Ugandan youth climate activist Leah Namugerwa speaks during the Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Implementation Summit of the UNFCCC. 

What You Need to Know About the COP27 Climate Summit

World leaders are gathered in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, to discuss climate action

American ambassador Joseph C. Grew (left) meets with Japanese Foreign Minister Teijiro Toyoda (right) in October 1941, two months before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Untold Stories of American History

The American Ambassador Who Tried to Prevent Pearl Harbor

A new book explores the diplomatic efforts of Joseph C. Grew, who was assigned to Tokyo between 1932 and 1942

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The Father-Daughter Team Who Reformed America

Meet the duo who helped achieve the most important labor and civil rights victories of their age

The Trans Bhutan Trail, which was originally part of the Silk Road, is a historic pilgrimage route dating back thousands of years.

The 250-Mile Trans Bhutan Trail Will Reopen After 60 Years

After a major restoration project, the path connecting 400 cultural and historic sites is once again passable

Mikhail Gorbachev died on August 30, 2022, at age 91.

The Contradictory Legacy of Mikhail Gorbachev

The Soviet leader, who died on August 30 at age 91, attempted to enact "revolution from above"

The bill aims to help the nation slash its greenhouse gas emissions.

What the Inflation Reduction Act Hopes to Do About Climate Change

The spending bill aims to spur investment in renewable energy and slash greenhouse gas emissions

Communist revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg speaking at a conference in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1907

History of Now

The 20th-Century History of Anti-Semitic Attacks on Jewish Politicians

Russian rhetoric against Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy echoes the language directed toward Jewish leaders in post-WWI Europe

In 1951, mobster Frank Costello (seated, center) testified in front of the Kefauver Committee during a televised congressional hearing on organized crime that captivated the country.

History of Now

A Brief History of Televised Congressional Hearings

From a 1951 investigation into organized crime to the Watergate scandal, the ongoing January 6 hearings are part of a lengthy political tradition

After his shooting, a hospitalized Wallace holds up a newspaper touting his victories in the Maryland and Michigan Democratic presidential primaries.

How a Failed Assassination Attempt Pushed George Wallace to Reconsider His Segregationist Views

Fifty years ago, a fame-seeker shot the polarizing politician five times, paralyzing him from the waist down

NATO troops from a battalion based in Fort Hood, Texas, train in Germany in September 1983, two months before the Able Archer 83 drill.

The 1983 Military Drill That Nearly Sparked Nuclear War With the Soviets

Fearful that the Able Archer 83 exercise was a cover for a NATO nuclear strike, the U.S.S.R. readied its own weapons for launch

At the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, the story of the Watergate whistleblower Martha Mitchell (detail, oil on canvas, Jan De Ruth, 1970) from Pine Bluff, Arkansas—who pundits dubbed the "Mouth of the South"—is revisited in a new exhibition, "Watergate: Portraiture and Intrigue."

Martha Mitchell Was the Brash 'Mouth of the South' That Roared

A portrait reveals the dignity behind the maligned woman who stepped up to tell the truth

Joseph Mikulec, the “Globe-Trotter” whose toes touched six continents, collected the signatures of such luminaries as Woodrow Wilson, William Howard Taft, Edward VIII, Mary Pickford and Teddy Roosevelt.

The Man Who Walked Around the World, Collecting the Autographs of the Rich and Famous

In the early 1900s, Joseph Mikulec traveled some 175,000 miles on foot, gathering 60,000 signatures in a leather-bound album that is now up for sale

Lai Tek's espionage had geopolitical implications across Southeast Asia.

The Vietnamese Secret Agent Who Spied for Three Different Countries

Known by the alias Lai Tek, the enigmatic communist swore allegiance first to France, then Britain and finally Japan

Under the proposed rules, companies would need to divulge climate-related risks that are likely to impact the business.

SEC Proposes New Climate Change Disclosures for Companies

The proposal passed on a 3–1 vote, and the public will now have around 60 days to submit comments

For many behind the so-called anti-vax movement, faith is the ultimate protection. At an anti-shutdown rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a protester painted the hood of his truck with the motto “Jesus is my vaccine.”

What the History of Science and Religion Reveals About Today's Divisive Covid Debates

A new Smithsonian book and exhibition explores the ongoing conflicts and reconciliations between faith and technology in American life

Wildfires blazed through Big Sur in January 2022.

We Are Changing Climate Faster Than We Can Adapt, New IPCC Report Warns

Despite the 'irreversible' impacts of a warming planet, scientists emphasize there is still time to act

President Biden announced his pick to fill the US Supreme Court vacancy on Friday: Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Women Who Shaped History

What to Know About Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's Historic Nomination to the Supreme Court

Jackson, a 51-year-old Harvard graduate and former public defender, would be the first Black woman on the Court

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