Politics

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

The Junction Butte Pack photographed from plane during wolf study in 2019.

Hunters Have Killed 24 Yellowstone Gray Wolves So Far This Season—the Most in Over 25 Years

An entire pack may have been 'eliminated' near the park's vulnerable border in Montana, where hunting restrictions were gutted last year

Activists in London hold signs urging the BBC to boycott the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing.

The Beijing Winter Olympics

Is China Committing Genocide Against the Uyghurs?

The Muslim minority group faces mass detention and sterilization—human rights abuses that sparked the U.S.' diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics

The Bonhams sale features more than 1,000 books from the late Supreme Court justice's personal library.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Personal Library Is Up for Auction

The late Supreme Court justice's collection includes novels, law books, notes and other documents dating back to her youth

The U.S. Capitol building was fenced off on January 7.

History of Now

Archiving the January 6 Insurrection for History

On the one-year anniversary of the attack on the Capitol, the National Museum of American History continues to collect related artifacts

Brunhild and Fredegund were two lesser-known but long-reigning and influential Frankish queens.

The Medieval Queens Whose Daring, Murderous Reigns Were Quickly Forgotten

Over the centuries, Brunhild and Fredegund were dismissed and even parodied. But a new book shows how they outwitted their enemies like few in history

Richmond took down its statue of Robert E. Lee in September 2021.

Richmond's Robert E. Lee Statue Is Headed to a Black History Museum

Officials have tentatively agreed to transfer ownership of removed Confederate monuments to a pair of museums in the Virginia city

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

Dozens of Smithsonian Institution professionals share their favorite reads from this year.

The Best Books of 2021

Smithsonian Scholars Pick Their Favorite Books of 2021

The writings of many fine authors support the research and ambitious undertakings of an Institution rising to the challenges ahead

Jeffrey Peter, of Old Crow, Yukon, cleans a caribou hide during an autumn hunt. When camping, the hide is used as a mattress; at home, it’s clothing.

For the Gwich'in People, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Isn't a Political Issue, It's Home

Journey to the far north of Alaska, where the Indigenous communities hunt caribou, the backbone of the region's ecosystem

Artists paint a mural near the Scottish Events Centre, which will be hosting the Climate Summit starting October 31 in Glasgow, Scotland. 

Five Important Questions About COP26 Answered

Representatives from nearly 200 nations are expected to meet and report on climate change promises made in the Paris Agreement

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